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The Brisbane Thai Buddhist Temple is a spiritual and community based organization that administers to the spiritual, moral and cultural needs of the Thai Buddhist community. The Temple is a pivotal component of the community, offering spiritual services including religious guidance, support in times of illness, counseling services, marriage ceremonies, funeral processions, language and cultural classes.

Daily Lunch Ceremonies are held, where the Thai Community offer food to the monks who are unpaid for all of their work and who fast after the pre-midday meal. The monks rely totally on their parishioners for all of their material needs. Between 6-10 people attend the Lunch Ceremonies Monday to Friday and up to 40 people on the weekends.

On special religious ceremony days (four each year - see below and the Thai Culture page), between 2,000 and 3,000 people from the local Thai and Australian community attend the Temple.


The Early Years

The Thai temple in Brisbane was born out of the mother temple in Melbourne, Victoria, which is called Wat Thai Nakorn Melbourne . Both these temples have Phra Thammakhunaphon (Luangpo Phaibun) as their patron.

Luangpo Phaibun passed away on pilgrimage in India on the 25th of December 2003. Due to his kindness and compassion for both the Thai and Australian community the two above?mentioned temples were founded. Contemplating the history of Buddhism, especially that it disappeared from India completely, he thought he would do good to help establish Buddhism in the West, in case of the unfortunate conditions arose that caused it to disappear from Thailand. We hope that will never happen.

In 1987, Phramaha Wanchai Phasuko Phra Norman Dhammanusarano and the driver, Lee Cahill, to visit Brisbane arrived in Brisbane in a small rented car from Melbourne and found temporary accommodation in some rooms under a school where shop at 11a Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill, Queensland 4101. Both the rooms and the shop were owned by Sarath and Vinitha Chandra, devout Sri Lankan Buddhists. In this picture the school ware shop has been moved upstairs, but it was originally in the shop on the ground floor with the yellow sign above it with the name Sooki. Those wishing to see the monks had to walk down the drive way to the left of the shop. The arrow in the picture below points to the door to the rooms the monks stayed in.

After a little while, through the networking of the Sangha Trust, much interest was shown by the Buddhist community: Thai, Lao, Cambodian, Burmese and Sri Lankan. As there were very few Buddhist monks of any tradition in Brisbane at the time, the Buddhist community requested the monks to stay in Brisbane permanently and help establish a temple for their religious practices. There was one Sri Lankan Theravadin monk living only a few hundred metres from the school ware shop at the time the monks came to Brisbane.

The request for monks to live in Brisbane permanently was taken back to the abbot in Melbourne who sought permission from the chief monk of Kanchanaburi in Thailand, the Most Venerable Phra Thammakhunaphon [Luangpo Phaibun]. He gave his permission, which meant he would support the efforts to establish the temple in Brisbane, as he had done with the temple in Melbourne.

The two monks came back to the rooms under the shop in Highgate Hill, Brisbane and started looking for more suitable accommodation with the support of the lay Buddhists. Soon they temporarily rented a house in 26 Queenscroft Street, Chelmer, Queensland 4068, about 10 kilometres west of the City of Brisbane while they continued to look for more permanent accommodation.

1988 The Buddhist community eventually bought a property at 398 Waterford Road, Ellen Grove, Queensland 4077. This property was about 25 kilometres south of the City of Brisbane. They started preparing to establish a proper temple.

Phramaha Wanchai Phasuko came to visit the temple in Ellen Grove unofficially before Phra Norman left for Thailand. After the latter left, the Luangpo Phaibun asked the former to come to live in Brisbane permanently. So from then on Wat Thai Buddharam Brisbane had two monks, Phramaha Wanchai Phasuko and Chao Khun Chana .

After a year or so, they found out the Logan Motorway was going to be built across the property and they would have to move once again. The Buddhist community liaised with the council to get a property that would be safe from such a thing happening again and that they would probably be able to get approval for as a proper Buddhist temple. That is when they found the current property at 1 Paradise Road, Forestdale, Queensland 4118, a very apt address for a temple! They purchased this property in 1995 and moved there.

There was some fear mongering caused by some religious groups and the temple had to go to court and won, but there were conditions for approval. About two acres of land along the creek had to be dedicated as a nature reserve, which the temple was happy to do. That left just over 8 acres for general use by the temple. Major construction was limited to the plan approved by the court, which had a place for the Observance Hall [Bot, Uposatha]. Any more construction would have to be approved in court with the original objectors given a chance to speak