His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Posted on: Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 6:21:59 PM

AICC(WA) Business Lunch:  15 June 2015

 An Octogenarian’s Ocean of Wisdom 

Testament to the uniqueness of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama was the humility with which he approached his topic “Can One be Happy and Rich?”

A capacity crowd in the Hyatt ballroom were treated to one of the world’s greatest thinkers, an admired and influential spiritual leader of our time.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The AICC (WA) Business Lunch was presented in conjunction with the Dalai Lama in Austraila and sponsored by Mrs Sue Clough with Dr Harold Clough AO OBE and family.  A reflective and meditative scene set by chanting Monks was complemented by Ms Sue Clough whose introduction to His Holiness highlighted his compassion for all people and his interest in science and the working of the human mind as a way of understanding the pathways to inner peace.   She particularly noted that if people across the world took heart to his message that the world will become a better place.

From left to right - Mr Graham Laitt, Managing Director, Milne AgriGroup Pty Ltd and President, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Dr Patricia V Kailis AM OBE, Co-Founder, Kailis Australian Pearls and Governing Director, MG Kailis Group of Companies, Professor  Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist of WA, Office of Science, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Mr Larry Lopez, Vice-President, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA) and Partner, Australian Venture Consultants, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr Dean Pike, Director, Pike Skinner and Board Member, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Professor Steve Chapman, Vice-Chancellor and President, Edith Cowan University, Ms Cheryl Robertson, State Director, Microsoft Australia, Mr John Battley, Owner, Globetrotter Corporate Travel, Ms Christina Cluer, Horizon Yoga, Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Ms Diane Horwitz, Executive Administration, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA) & Ms Kayla Horwitz, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA)


An infectious aura of happiness surrounds the Dalai Lama.  His tireless work inspires millions of followers.  His advocacy of non-violence is respected globally.  The strength he brings to his people and his determination to preserve Tibetan culture and identity is ceaseless.  

The Dalai Lama spoke with passion about universal inter-human relationships, projecting the collective responsibility amongst “seven billion brothers and sisters”.  With increased poverty in many places, he challenged the Australian community to realise the great potential that we have as a nation to assist the impoverished. 


His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“We all deserve a happy life.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually we are all the same”.  The Dalai Lama further noted that “a peaceful mind is very important for a healthy body”.  It was this universality of condition that the Dalai Lama used to exemplify harmony across all religious beliefs.  He went on to call to task the untenable level of violence that exists between people of many creeds, and in-particular questioned how sectarian violence in the name of religion can be tolerated by humanity.  “Each nation belongs to the people, not their governing leaders.”

The philosophy that underpins his message is based on sensitivity to be exercised by all people who hold a system of belief, but also further extends to everyone to cultivate humane values like compassion, supported by scientific findings that more compassionate attitudes are good for our physical and mental well-being.  The three commitments he shared related to the cultivation and preservation of ecology the promotion of human happiness through the practice of compassion and the fostering of harmony among the world’s religious traditions.              

Buddhism harnesses the knowledge and learning of both belief and practice.  The Dalai Lama explained that his happiness comes from a process of intellectual challenge; of always asking “why” and searching for answers.  For the past thirty years he has engaged in conversation with scientists to mutual benefit.  This has led to a dialogue with neurologists, quantum physicists and Buddhist scholars to explore the relationship of science and the working of the human mind. 

Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ms Sue Clough, Clough family and Cambodian Children’s Fund.

The Dalai Lama spoke of his affection for Israel as a place of modern scientific discovery and human endeavour.  Admiring the culture and work ethic, he also returned to his comments regarding religious inspired conflict and cautioned that world peace requires peace between Israelis and Palestinian’s despite the obstacle of terrorism.  He was optimistic about opportunities he had seen from the groundswell of people working together to defy political limitations.  Above all, he commended the environmental sustainability of Israel and affectionately encouraged Israel to bring this technology to transform the barren desert of Australia into arable land.  With avuncular and meaningful anticipation, he further suggested this would enhance the capacity of Australia to provide a home for more refugees.     


 Mr Scott Neesen and His Holiness


Triple Olympian and Anglican Dean of Perth, The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley, facilitated a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Mr Scott Neeson, former Australian and Hollywood producer turned philanthropist and Executive Director of the Cambodian Children’s Fund.  Echoing the comments of the Dalai Lama, Mr Neeson noted that the more material possessions he accumulated the less happy he became.  “I was so satiated by material experience I could not figure out what was missing”.  In discussion, His Holiness and Mr Neeson talked about how people bring their own meaning to their lives through personal experience and self-realisation. 

When queried about why people visit him for inspiration, the Dalai Lama responded with good humour that it was not for economic advice.  He has wealthy people, organisations and academic institutions seeking inner value and searching to find the courage overcome the risks and challenges in front of them in order to help other people.  He assists each person to focus on being a happy individual, to have a happy family and a healthy body, and to harness knowledge of how to deal with emotions through both meditation and an understanding the working of the human brain. 

The Dalai Lama concluded that all people and most animals can return affection, while material objects do not; and we need affection.  Richness and happiness is found in the basis of trust and friendship, and humanitarian values bring forth both.  “We are socially focussed, we get tremendous satisfaction from helping others.  His Holiness said that Karma means action.  Real impact comes through action, not just thinking.  Prayer and meditation can motivate, but of themselves do not bring about peace.  He advocated action to achieve fulfilment.  Silent expression willing peace inspires the work but effort is required to attain it”. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr Harold Clough AO, OBE, Chairman, McRae Investments Pty Ltd and Mrs Margaret Clough

Australian Test cricket representative, turned successful coach, Mr Justin Langer, in his capacity as SolarisCare ambassador, asked the Dalai Lama how to prioritise charitable causes, both home and abroad.  His Holiness said he approached the question with the utilitarian ideal of seeking the biggest impact for the benefit of the most people.  For this reason he placed value on providing funds for education, and for the personal wellbeing of people ahead of projects relating to construction and amenity.  His Holiness mentioned that he just visited an indigenous community in Uluru and felt that many of their problems would be aided by education.  He had donated funds from a trust he controls towards their health and education. 

His Holiness was also asked by 16 year old Student Edge representative ’Who provides you with your inspiration “ The Dalai Lama referred to himself as a simple Buddhist Monk who was the student of great Indian masters who themselves learned from inspired teachers.  He learned how to think and analyse which in turn allows him to influence, and inspire others to be people who implement the ideas in which they believe.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama


To mark the auspicious occasion of the 80th birthday of the Dalai Lama, a special videoed birthday tribute from the children  being helped by the Cambodian Children’s Fund was played.  Prior to the AICC WA lunch his Holiness gave a public talk to thousands at the Perth Arena and a presentation to UWA Student Guild on the importance of education.  His stamina and strength to endure  an exacting itinerary and  retain his charisma, conviction and energy belies his age.  His Holiness provided an insightful view of critical ethical issues but the occasion was an emotional one for many in the audience who enjoyed meeting a great leader and thinker who also showed great humility and practises being a brother to all regardless of race or creed.  


 Photos taken by Matt Jelonek

Back to Search Results