The esteemed Tibetan Buddhist monk Khensur Geshe Tashi Tsering, former abbot of Gyumed Monastery in southern India and now living in Australia, was awarded the Order of Australia medal on 8 June for his services to Buddhism and education.
“A proud moment!” the Queensland Tibetan Community wrote in a congratulatory message on their Facebook page. “[The] Queen’s Birthday Honours lists our community member Khensur Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering. Rinpoche has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to Buddhism and to education. Rinpoche so deserves this award for his tireless, selfless, and continued service to the Australian community for years. Many Tashi Deleks and congratulations to Rinpoche from the local Tibetan community members.” (Queensland Tibetan Community Facebook)
Geshe Tashi Tsering is the second Tibetan ever to receive the award after Namgyel Tsering, who received the medal in 2007.
According to the website of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Governor-General David Hurley announced the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List recognizing 933 Australian politicians, scientists, musicians, artists, athletes, business leaders, and philanthropists, who also include former prime minister Tony Abbott and former New South Wales premier Mike Baird. Geshe Tashi Tsering was listed among the 710 recipients in the General Division.
“In this list we see all the positives that are in our community—we see the great ideas, we see the hard work, we see the love and compassion for fellow human beings—it’s a microcosm of Australia,” said Hurley. “This list recognizes a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally, or domestically. Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they’ve been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition.” (The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia)
Established on 14 February 1975 by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Australia is an order of chivalry to recognize Australian citizens and other persons for achievements or meritorious service. Before the order was established, Australian citizens were bestowed British honors.
Born in 1937 in Kardze, eastern Tibet (now Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Geshe Tashi Tsering is a highly respected Tibetan teacher of the Gelug tradition founded by Lama Tsong Khapa. He became a monk at the age of seven and began his monastic training at a local monastery called Khangmar. At 17, he went on to study at Sera Monastery in Lhasa. After fleeing the takeover of Tibet by Communist China in 1959, Tashi Tsering continued his monastic education in exile in India. In 1984, he was awarded the rank of lharampa geshe, a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monastics.
Geshe Tashi Tsering is now based in Brisbane, capital of Queensland, where he has been teaching since 1990. He teaches regularly at his School of Buddhist Science, known as Tashi Khangmar Samdrub Ling (TKSL), in Spring Hill. Geshe Tashi Tsering has hundreds of students in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, India, and Tibet, all of whom have been inspired by his personal qualities and great wisdom.
Prominent Tibetan monk awarded ‘Order of Australia’ medal (Phayul)
Brief Biography of Khensur Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering (Khensur Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering)
Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List (The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia)
Queensland Tibetan Community (Facebook)