Community meeting notes – 21 May 2022


  • Cat welcomed everyone to the meeting, and opened the meeting after leading the Refuge and Bodhicitta prayer

 1. Achievements since last meeting – Martin Horan and Angela Scherma

  • New community documents
    • The website link that exists for community documents was outlined, and the reminder that it is not openly accessible from the TBS website.
    • The website link for community documents can be requested by anyone who would like the link. The link is
    • Suggestion raised that the link could be provided at the end of every Campaign Monitor email that goes out.
    • Reminder that people could save the link as a bookmark on their browser
    • There is now a new Q & A document at this link
    • There is also a Complaints procedure that has been finalized and approved by the directors.
  • Revenue Raising Ideas session
    • A well-run workshop was held on 07th May
    • The Community Support Team has merged the ideas from the online and onsite workshops
    • The Community Support Team will review the combined list, with a view to determining the best way forward, including which ideas to suggest are progressed first
    • Some of the ideas included regular short retreats, garden visits by groups, renting rooms at TBS and group visits to the temple. 
  1. Charitable activities – Rosie McKew
  • An update on the Banksia Gardens program
    • Sunday lunches at Banksia Gardens are resuming on Sunday 05th June 2022
    • Diane Schudmak is organizing volunteers for these fortnightly lunches.
    • An email will be sent out for expressions of interest in helping at the Sunday lunch program or the Homework club, which has already recommenced.
    • The Banksia Gardens program is funded from the TBS Charitable account, which is a separate bank account.
    • Suggestion to put a link to donating to the charitable account on Campaign Monitor email where appropriate
    • Suggestion to have a donation or Support tab on the home page of our website that might have drop-down options to supporting classes, retreats, Banksia gardens and others as needed special projects. Ideally useful to have a comments section like the old form did too (if possible)
  • Fundraising for Disaster Relief
    • Previous fundraising efforts are a lot of work (eg. Proposal to directors, publicity, liaise with the Finance team for how to pay the donations, thank you communications to the participants, sending the money to the recipient)
    • For the recent fundraising effort for the Australian floods and the war in Ukraine, TBS made its own donation, and provided a link to the Red Cross donations web page
    • A suggestion was made to have a form for donations, provide the link to the form, donation received and receipts sent out automatically after submitting the form
    • The alternative solution is to provide a link to a reputable organization that is collecting funds for the particular event (for example the Red Cross).
    • There was a suggestion to do light offerings to support funding for disasters
    • Suggestion that the proposed Volunteer page on the website could also advertise for volunteers willing to organise fundraising efforts for disaster support as needed
    • A suggestion was made to reinstate the bin in the temple dining room areas for donations of non – perishable foods. In terms of the question of which organization to donate the food to, Banksia Gardens has a foodbank service. Suggestion was for TBS to support this foodbank, given the help and association that TBS already has with Banksia Gardens through the Sunday lunch program and the Homework club. However, there could also be benefits in continuing to provide items to Anglicare including the interfaith connection.
    • Suggestion to donate second hand clothing or hold a market for second hand clothing
    • The Charitable activities team is looking for more team members, if anyone has an interest in this area.



  1. Maintaining Maintenance – Michael Joseph and Anna Goldstein
    • Discussion related to the aging of the buildings (House – 42 years old, Temple – 22 years old)
    • Discussion of the challenges of maintaining these aging buildings
    • Recent projects have included refreshing security, fixing leaking pipes, installing acoustic tiles in the temple dining room ceiling
    • Work is underway to replace security monitors and install UV lamps in the water filtration system.
    • Consideration is being given to leveling the temple garden path.
    • The temple roof requires work to fix problems with leaking
    • Some temple windows need replacing due to rotten timber.
    • Some of the other building issues include one of the pool room roofs, west house room damage, plumbing work, wheelchair access to the temple
    • Jobs are done based on highest priority and capacity
    • Temple issues- The waterproof membrane on the roof has leaks from building movement. The membrane needs replacing with something that does not tear. This is an expensive solution, as one quote for this work was $200,000.
    • There was discussion regarding problems with the gold leafing on the roof. Some of the gold leaf is lifting and peeling off.
    • People can contribute to maintenance in several ways
      • Oversee trades people onsite
      • Offer handyman skills (eg. Painting). Caution was expressed related to ensuring the quality of work if done by volunteers.
      • Donations to fund maintenance works
    • There was discussion about needing to keep the temple in good condition.
    • There is a general callout for more people to help with ideas and implementing the ideas on how to manage the maintenance issues and how to fund the work.
    • An idea was expressed that if enough people made a regular donation, that pool of income may fund a loan.
    • If anyone is interested in being involved, they can approach Michael, Chris or Sox.
    • (See also further suggestions relating to this item that arose later and are minuted in the open forum section below)
  1. Ideas for Retreat topics – Christine
    • There has been a recent suggestion to offer more retreats
    • Ideas are being sought on the following
      • Do we want more retreats?
      • What topics to base the retreats on, recognizing that the core Mahayana teaching is Bodhicitta.
    • Tim spoke about the idea of having more retreats, with minimal work – retreat guests to look after themselves with respect to food, bedding, clean their room at the end of the retreat. Overnight stays during retreats were also proposed as a way of raising money from room rental.
    • Suggested topics were White Tara or Shakyamuni Buddha and bodhicitta with a discussion about having a variety of topics offered
    • There was discussion around making it less expensive if people self–cater.
    • It was noted that Sox has offered to cook for these retreats.
    • There was also discussion related to combining a working bee day or weekend with a retreat. Perhaps offering people doing work, then the retreat would be free.
    • In terms of offering more retreats and possible complexity of overnight stays, it was suggested that as a pilot program it might be possible to begin by making a particular Saturday of each month a retreat (eg the second or third Saturday of the month, given that the first Saturday of the month is garden open day) and thereby gauge interest, enthusiasm and uptake of these retreats
    • The meeting recommended that the Retreats team look into this. Tim offered to progress the proposal for regular short retreats (eg monthly). Anna proposed that someone from the Events and Classes team be on the Retreats team that looks at progressing more retreats, to assist with timing of retreats with other events.
    • Noted that the old meditation room could be used for retreats if there is a class with events in the temple.
    • The cost of cleaning may still need to be factored into the cost of any short retreats.
    • There was discussion around the need to recognize that there is detailed planning that needs to be thought through in offering more retreats.
    • An indication was given of interest in more regular retreats
    • Tim and Jono are happy to join the Retreats team for this project.
  1. Dharma Study Group Pilot – Martin
    • TBS is looking at starting a pilot study group
    • One subject suggestion is studying Geshe-la’s book on “The Fundamental Potential for Enlightenment”
    • There was also the suggestion of one topic for four to six weeks then change topic.
    • An indication was given of expression of Interest by many in attendance.
    • Martin offered to send out an email seeking people to be involved in establishing the study group
  1. Open Forum – Cat facilitated
    • A suggestion was made that the centre look to broadening its volunteer base and perhaps even change the use of the word “students” to “volunteers” or to “friends of the TBS” so as to include people supportive of TBS but not necessarily students. This is already in place in the garden but perhaps could also be a way of attracting other skilled handy folk to assist in other maintenance jobs or those willing to help attracted by the lovely surrounds and social contact
    • For maintenance jobs, would it work to try to attract volunteers from say Men’s Shed program?
    • There was discussion regarding some jobs being complex and needing professionals. Need to be cautious with seeking volunteers for maintenance jobs and the individual skill level.
  1. Wrap Up
  • Cat thanked everyone for their involvement.

A dedication led by Cat then closed the meeting, with afternoon tea provided