Venerable Phrakhrusupatsarasopon

Dear Venerable monks, nuns and friends,


I am writing to inform you of our good news that LuongPo Sawat (Phra Khru Supatsarasopon) has been granted a Permanent Resident Visa on 12 July 2018.


After our first unsuccessful court hearing, Venerable Phra Mana and I wrote lengthy letters explaining the history, geography (100 acres) and daily activities,

to explain why Sunnataram Forest Monastery needed two senior resident monks, and explained how LuongPo had come to overstay his visa due to a change in Immigration Laws.


Against all odds, but with huge effort from our lay community, other temples and the Thai Ambassador and Thai Consul general, we were at first granted a Ministerial Intervention.


We were overwhelmed and touched by everyone’s beautiful letters of support, but were extremely uncertain of the outcome.


After a lengthy 2 month wait, with LuongPo Sawat on a bridging visa, we were informed of our successful campaign last week.


Now we are hoping that this will be a case study and perhaps help other temples who find themselves in a similar situation, of a shortage of monks.

Now to our even greater surprise, we have just had 4 young trainee Thai monks granted 3 month visa, to stay for the rain retreat,  and to learn our Dhamma Teaching in English program.


Venerable Phra Mana sends blessings and thanks you for your ongoing support and friendship.


With metta and gratitude,


24 July 2018


The History from April - July 2018

Due to a change in Immigration laws, our senior monk Phrakhrusupatsarasopon, aged 66, will be asked to leave Australia this month unless we can gain the ministers Intervention.

Phrakhrusupatsarasopon has been coming to Australia, to assist Phra Mana, on a 2 year visa since we began the Gratitude Pagoda project in 2003.

He has not applied for PR, as he would regularly return to Thailand as abbot of his own temple, and considered this to be the most honest visa to apply.

Last year the Australian govt put a limit on amount of accumulated 2 year visas, which he has now exceeded and was granted a short bridging visa.

Unless we can illustrate his importance to the monastery in Australia, he will be deported by 18/4/2018.

This would leave Phra Mana as the only monk teaching, administrating and presiding over 100 acres at SFM.

The last monk we sponsored who was here on a 12 month visa has just given up and returned to Thailand after 6 months.

Over the past 25 years of our sponsorship of monks, mostly from Thailand, but also some Australian monks, only Phra Mana has remained.

We are well aware we are the most difficult of Buddhist monasteries in Australia, because of remoteness, lack of facilities and no local supporters.

Our community is from Sydney and mostly only available on weekends, so it can be a very lonely existence for monks who come from big city temples in Thailand.

Now we passed the time to lodge the letters.

Thanks for all of your support and love.

Just wait and see with equanimity.


With kindest regards and metta,


April 2018




Our successful meditation retreats are from combination of dedication, effort, love, wisdom from monks and volunteers.

Phrakhrusupatsarasopon and volunteers are supporting our Australian communities to find Inner Peace by the practise of Mindfulness, Wisdom, Love and Compassion.

Behind the scene. Phrakhrusupatasarasopon collecting and cutting fire wood to keep everyone warm during meditation retreats.

When other people enjoy listening Dhamma talk and practising meditation, he is the one who maintains fire to keep us warm, so we all can have a good time.

Phrakhursupatsarasopon is 66 years old now, but he doesn't mind to do anything to make sure that all retreat people can have a good meditation and good rest.

Phrakhrusupatasarasopon loves to do walking meditation (to overcome his own sleepiness !?), and he loves to lead us walking and enjoy the beautiful monastery gardens.

His behing-the-scene support enables Phra Mana to teach, and the monastery can benefit many people from different walks of life.

Phrakhrusupatsarasopon always shows his kind support to teach many students in many schools since he came to Australia.

The special memorial service for the late King Bhumibol of Thailand Mon 17 Oct 2016. A lot work behind the scene was prepared by Phrakhrusupatsarasopon, monks and volunteers.

The Historical Event of Thai Community in Australia with the largest number of Thai people participating in the one function (around 20000 people) with 80 monks and nuns from all Buddhist traditions with Hindu and Christian priests.

Phrakhrusupatsarasopon and volunteers spent months to make the big lotus to display on the Special Chanting day for the King Bhumipol Memorial Service at Tumbalong Park on 17 Oct 2016

Phrakhrusupatsarasopon is teaching Dhamma by his own actions. He is one of the hard working monks which are very rare to find in Australia. We won't find any monk to replace him at least for another 10 years.

Phrakhrusupatasarasopon assisted Phra Mana teaching Buddhism to School Assembly, Oxley College, Bowral. June 2014

Renovation of the old train to be the male accommodation 2014-5