THE EXECUTIVE TEAM
Pal Buddhist School is managed by a dedicated and committed team of leaders, including Principal Panha Pal and Deputy Principal Helen Lam.
Buddhists may know the Buddha as the greatest engineer of the human mind that ever lived, but to me it is quite apparent that the Buddha’s first and foremost profession was a teacher. We know this for certain, as even in these present days he is still teaching us through his Dharma.
Clearly, he knew that education was the great leveller. In his time, there existed a 6-caste- system, from the janitors all the way to kings and then high level monks known as Brahmins. Whilst the society at the time believed that people were born into slavery or royalty, the Buddha clearly and firmly upheld that:
No one is born a nobleman,
One becomes a noble man by good deeds alone.
When I changed my career for the third time, from teacher, to engineer, to entrepreneur, then to teacher again, I found no other profession more noble than that as a Teacher. Over the last 4 years of working at Pal Buddhist School, my fellow colleagues were the unsung heroes. They shared my belief that students always need someone with compassion and appreciative-joy to be their champion guide. These champion guides are the super glue that unwaveringly knit this Buddhist school in firm-hold to form our School community.
As we know, every school community tells a story. Pal Buddhist School is the new chapter in an old lineage educational book called the Dharma – founded by the Buddha. Great schools are not known for what riches and facilities they have – like football fields, swimming pools, great gymnasiums or great old historical building monuments. Great schools are known for their sense of community and determination to succeed, for their unwavering commitment to every kid and his or her family, and the certainty that all students, regardless of their background, deserve the very best education that society can provide. This commitment that every person matters is what Pal Buddhist School brings to our community. This is the fundamental theme of our story.
The concept of Oneness of mentor and disciple is well-known in Buddhist teachings. The disciple actively seeks to reveal their full potential by enacting the mentor’s guidance in their daily life. At the same time, it is also known that the Buddha advocated the following:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it…because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.”
While the two concepts may appear paradoxical there actually belies a more important truth: a person must find balance between wisdom gained from a mentor and wisdom gained through one’s own self-discovery.
The path from completing a Bachelor of Law to a immutable passion at Pal Buddhist School is the culmination of years learning from the wisdom of mentors and learning through personal effort. In the past four years at this school, I have seen the fruits of success that stem from a successful relationship between students and teachers. I have also seen the light of wisdom gained from students who, inspired by their mentors, seek out and learn on their own accord.
At Pal Buddhist School we believe that great students start with great teachers. But our teachers are not sages on stages but guides on the sides who support our students’ journey of learning for themselves. Regardless of their background, our teachers take it upon themselves to instill within students the principles of wholesome behaviour, morality, and compassion in their early path through life. After all, while the teacher can point the way, it is the students alone who must walk through the door of discovery.
Bhante Jason is Australia’s Walking Monk and you may have seen him walking in your streets with three robes, a blanket and a robe. Although Bhante Jason does not carry a passport, he does have Honours of Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Sydney University and a Bachelor of Arts, Sydney University. Afterwards, being highly ordained as Theravadan Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, Bhante Jason returned to Australia to practice Early Buddhism to live out how monks would 2500 years ago. On his path to enlightenment, Bhante Jason has come on board as our Spiritual Advisor to consult executives and teacher training as well as host weekend Dhamma talks and meditation workshops.
Dr. Min-Zhao Lee’s day job is an emergency Doctor, formerly at Royal Prince Alfred, at Concord Hospital. By night, he is an educational doctor teaching the students at Pal Buddhist School in Mathematics, Science and Coding Club. Dr. Lee has 15 years of experience under his belt training James Ruse students to cpmpete internationally in the Maths and Science Olympiad. With that being said, he is a three-time Olympiad medallist and whilst in his youth, he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Melbourne University; Bachelor of Surgery, Melbourne University; Masters of Engineering and IT, University of Sydney. Introducing Dr. Min-Zhao Lee as the executive consultant at our School will invigorate the academic culture we have here at Pal Buddhist School.