Philosophy, not religion, is PAL Buddhist High School's aim

Reaching out: Principal Pal Panha and students look forward to this weekend's fund-raising ball. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Reaching out: Principal Pal Panha and students look forward to this weekend's fund-raising ball. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

ALMOST two years ago the first Buddhist high school in NSW opened its doors. This weekend it will host a charity ball to raise funds for new teachers and resources.

PAL Buddhist High School in Canley Vale is a secular school that teaches the Buddhist philosophies of kindness, compassion and understanding of the self.

Principal Pal Panha said that although the school's enrolment had increased from 17 students to 50, many members of the community were still unaware of the school and what it stood for.

"One of the aims of this dance is to create more awareness about what the school has to offer," he said. "We are trying to reach out to our community.

"As a school we do not adopt the religious aspect of Buddhism. We teach the philosophy.

"Students consider this school more of an extended family, they get involved in building the school and experience ownership."

School development manager Joyce Nguyen said: "The school is built for the community, for people from all different cultures and religions.

"Buddhism is very embracing. It helps people to be better and accept other people's beliefs."

The fund-raiser is named after the first monarch to adopt Buddhist teachings, King Ashoka, who spread the philosophy of tolerance, non-violence and reverence for life.

The night will include a meal, live music entertainment and dance performances from groups including Team 9lives as well as a raffle, live auction and the chance to meet Miss Charity Australia.

King Ashoka's Ball is at Mounties on Saturday, November 15 at 6.30pm.

Cost: $60. Call 9755 7778.

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