Elected in February 2017 by the membership and supporters of the BDA.
Kerstin Liebchen-Meades (chairperson), Kim Lewis (secretary), Loris Neff (treasurer), Karen Longland (minutes secretary), Eoin Liebchen-Meades, Crissi Schmidt, Debbie Winfield, John Ransley and Janet Stampalija .
India has been in Crissi’s heart since the 70s when she first travelled there on her spiritual search.
She was fortunate to go to Bodhgaya in 1989 and has been part of the BDA committee since the beginning.
In 2009 and 2016 she visited the PV School and other local projects, and is continually inspired by seeing the wonderful children grow and flourish in all areas with this chance of education, which is somewhat taken for granted in the West.
Eoin is a founding member of the BDA. He was inspired by the PV school founder, Rick Peterson and started a group in Brisbane to help fund the school. Eoin started travelling to India over 30 years ago, and has since visited the country over 20 times.
His relationship with Buddhism goes back even further. Eoin was an original founder of the Buddhist Chenrezig Institute at Eudlo in Queensland. He was the first joint resident with Nin Anila and Anne McNeil forming the foundation of his passion that is spirituality in all its forms.
Eoin is married to Kerstin Liebchen and has two children, Darius and Lena. Being a traditional Chinese practitioner of 34 years, he retired in 2017. He sees the BDA as a great project and it is an ongoing pleasure for him to see it flourish.
Her exposure to the PV school and various other projects supported by the BDA at that time, provided the impetus for Karen to volunteer in varying capacity. Experiencing the great work of the BDA Karen was pleased to accept a role on the committee. She brings to the BDA a wealth of administrative good practice and management expertice.
Karen continues to be inspired with the opportunities possible through this small but effective organisation.
He believes caring for others enriches us all. The BDA gives this opportunity to the extended network of supporters in Australia to experience.
The Bodhgaya Development Association Incorporated (BDA)
1. To support education, health, literacy and life-skills programs in Dalit communities in the Bodhgaya region of Bihar State, India.
2. To raise funds and use these funds to support only schools or other programs which have Indian Government approval for receiving funds from overseas through the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. To also provide teacher training and management support for these programs when required.
3. To support those programs which respect the diversity of religious views in Bodhgaya and which encourage self-reliance.
4. To ensure that 100% of funds donated will be used by programs in Bodhgaya and nearby areas.
5. To help adults and school students in Australia understand the culture, circumstances and difficulties of life in Bodhgaya. To foster communication between school students in Australia and school students in Bodhgaya. To help Australians travelling in India meet community members, staff and students of the supported programs.
6. To co-operate with and offer non-financial support to donors and other aid organisations involved in the same or similar programs in Bodhgaya.
If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us.