Graeme Lyall AM


Speech by Ven. Phra Mana Viriyarampo, Abbot of Sunnartaram Forest Monastery, Bundanoon, NSW

Sunday 10 May 2015

Funeral Service for Graeme Lyall

Graeme Lyall AM.

I have known Graeme Lyall nearly 30 years. He travelled to Thailand many times to participate in the World Fellowship of Buddhists meetings, and helped to spread good news of how Australians are so interested in Buddhism.

Sunnataram Forest Monastery was established in 1989 in Bundanoon, Graeme had been a constant supporter of our monastery; dealing with local council and educating local residents about Buddhist culture.

Graeme helped to testify to the good conduct of our founding master, Ven. Phra Ajahn Yantra during his difficult time in Thailand, until the monk won the court case and was granted a political asylum in USA in 1998.

Graeme helped to organize the very first Buddhist Chaplaincy for the Best ever Olympic Games in Sydney in the Year 2000, where I volunteered to be the head of the group of five Buddhist monks who gave Buddhist services, meditation guidance and Buddhist counselling to the international athletes in the Olympic village. The five monks were from Thailand, Loas, Korean and Chinese traditions. The Buddhist room in the Olympic village


was very popular with almost 500 international people from 40 nations practising meditation with the Buddhist monks. The success of the Sydney Olympic Games was not only the friendly and impressive atmosphere of our Australian culture, but also a fresh start of spirituality into the Olympic Games since then. We owed this success to Graeme as the Chairperson of the Buddhist Council of NSW at that time, an enormous debt.





When Sunnataram Forest Monastery, Bundanoon, launched the Gratitude Pagoda Project in 2003, Graeme was invited to give speeches and Buddhist history talks to Buddhists and non-Buddhist participants in many events. His support to the Gratitude Pagoda committee was one of the keys to the success of the project.


When Graeme was still active in the Buddhist Council of NSW, he tried to include all Buddhist traditions in Australia to work in harmony under one umbrella. His enthusiasm to organize the famous Combined Vesak celebration was answered and admired by many Buddhist organizations in NSW. He knew how to use the Buddhist cultural performances and art to bring all different Buddhist temples and organizations to celebrate together at the same Buddha’s Enlightenment event, while serving to introduce Buddhism to a broader public of non-Buddhist participants, like the successful Combined Vesak at the First Fleet Park, near Sydney Opera House in 2006.

Graeme was an exceptionally humble and hard working person. He was evenly globally recognized as a representative of Australian Buddhists and had a permanent role in International Buddhist societies, he showed his genuine respect to the Sangha of all Buddhist schools. His willingness to work hard for the benefit of others and his compassion towards Buddhist communities qualified him the title of an ‘Australian Bodhisatva’ and the ‘Father of Australian Buddhism’.

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