Launch of the Contemplative Studies Centre

Her Excellency, the Victorian Governor officially launched the Contemplative Studies Centre on 23 November 2022.

The Centre was established in 2021 at the University of Melbourne via a $10m gift from Martin and Loreto Hosking. The Centre fuses contemplative wisdom, innovative research, lifelong education, authentic dialogue and practice in the pursuit of knowledge to allow us, our society, and our world to flourish. What sets the Centre apart is their mission to cut through the marketing and corporatisation of ‘big wellness’ by using scientific rigour to review and advance mindfulness, meditation and other contemplative practices in collaboration with the faith, wisdom, secular and Indigenous traditions from which many such practices originated.

Pictured: Professor Duncan Maskell, Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Martin Hosking, Ms Jane Hansen AO, Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam (Photo by Simon Fazio)

The Centre comprises diverse expertise and are a source of evidence-informed guidance for policy and decision-makers. The Centre also aims to help practitioners make informed decisions about how to discern between the plethora of offerings to ensure connection to authentic practices and optimal outcomes for all.

Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam leads the initiative as its inaugural Director. Nicholas is a highly regarded global leader in contemplative research and practice.

His vision for the Contemplative Studies Centre reflects a desire for inclusivity, authenticity, integrity, and excellence, embedded within a rigorous ethical framework to ensure retention of the ethos of contemplative practices while simultaneously promoting their empirical study.

The Centre's launch featured a engaging Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Mandy Gawarn Nicholson from Djirri Djirri, joined by her beautiful baby grandson.

Australian singer-songwriter Lior performed Avinu Malkeinu, an ancient Hebrew hymn that expresses the wisdom of compassion. The songs is a wonderful reflection of the vision for the Centre; one of the quotes from the song is 'Instil me with a greater sense of compassion so that I can be liberated'.

Pictured: Lior (Photo by Simon Fazio)

(Photo by Simon Fazio)