Who is Ananda76 – Real Name Graeme Lyall AM?

Graeme Lyall AMPhotograph of Graeme Lyall AM

After taking Refuge in the Triple Gem on the Holy Day of Vesak, May, 1953, Graeme Lyall served as Secretary of the Buddhist Society of New South Wales from 1953 until 1956. In 1982, he founded the Sydney University Buddhist Society, now known as UNIBODHI, and served as its President until 1986. In 1984, he served a short ordination as a novice monk at the Brickfields Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From 1986 until 1992, he was President of the Australian Buddhist Mission under its Spiritual Director, Venerable Mahinda. From 1992 until 1994, he was Founder Director of the Buddhist Library and Meditation Centre. From 1997 until the present he is a Committee Member of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) New South Wales Chapter.Graeme Lyall was Chairman of the Buddhist Council of New South Wales from 1985 until 2006. Since 2001, he has been a Member of the Executive Council of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, President of the Amitabha Buddhist Association of New South Wales under the spiritual guidance of Venerable Master Chin Kung AM, since 2001 and is the current Chairman of the University Buddhist Education Foundation, which funds Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney. He is also the Buddhist Chaplain at Parklea, Dilwynia and John Moroney Gaols, teaching inmates meditation and Buddhist philosophy. Having been practicing Buddhism since 1953, he is the oldest surviving Australian Buddhist from this era. He has represented Australia at many international Buddhist conferences and was awarded the Award for Volunteering by the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural New South Wales in 2001, the Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2002 and the Centenary Medal in 2003.

Among his publications are: Ethnic Buddhists in New South Wales in Atta, Abe(Wade) Ed. Religion and Ethnic Identity – An Australian Study: Vol.3, Richmond, Spectrum, 1990

Buddhism: Australia’s Reaction to a New Phenomenon in Without Prejudice, No.7, April 1994, Melbourne, Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs.

The King Asoka: The Idealistic Leader of Buddhists in WFB Review, Vol.XXXI, No.4, Oct.-Dec., 1994, Bangkok, World Fellowship of Buddhists.

Religion, Racism and Tolerance in Without Prejudice, No.8, April 1995, Melbourne, Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs.

The Rise of the Mahayana in WFB Review, Vol.XXXII, No.1, Jan.-March., 1995, Bangkok, World Fellowship of Buddhists.

Exploring Religion Beck, Margie, Tatz, Pam, Lewin, Ruth (Eds.) 1997, Melbourne, Oxford University Press (Graeme Lyall is the author of the main chapter on Buddhism and sections of several other chapters on cross-religion studies)Second Edition Published 2000

Some other articles appear on his website: http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/articles.htm


  1. John Jones said,

    8 July, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I am trying to contact Graeme Lyall on Buddhism.
    tel 02 9699 8600 Sydney
    Uniworld Colleges
    (Dr W H Jones)

  2. W.F. Tong said,

    2 December, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    With reference to your website, there is a section on cult like organisations, I would like you to visit this site it is about a event jointly organised by I Kuan Tao and Buddhist (Fo Guang Shan) group in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The site address is as follow – http://english.kscg.gov.tw/newsDetail.aspx?id=396&classId=1

    • ananda76 said,

      6 September, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      There is no mention of I Kuan Tao in this article. It mentions Fo Guan Shan and the Tien Tai Temple in Pu Li. I know both organisations well. They have no connection with I Kuan Tao

  3. ananda76 said,

    2 December, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Dear W.F.Tong,
    Please read my response which I have posted on this site.
    Be happy,
    Graeme Lyall AM

  4. 6 September, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    […] October 1982, Graeme Lyall AM, founded the Sydney University Buddhist Society (now known as UNIBODHI) and served as its President […]

    • ananda76 said,

      6 September, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      UIBODHI was founded in 1982.
      It was then known as the Sydney University Buddhist Society (SUBS). The first meeting was held in the Stephen Roberts Lecture Theatre with a lecture by Dr.Peter Masefield, then a lecturer in the Religious Studies Department, on the Life of the Buddha. At that time, Sydney University was averse to admitting overseas students so our membership was limited to a few students of European background. Later, the University changed its policy and, with the admission of many students from Asian countries, it really took off and an enthusiastic group of students built it up into a leading student society, second only to UNIBUDS. A President, I think his name was Thanh Quach, established many new activities and changed the name to UNIBODHI. UNIBODHI today is hardly recogniseable as the struggling society of the 1980’s

  5. Skye1 said,

    22 November, 2010 at 4:04 pm


    Dear Graeme Lyall AM,

    I hope I am not wasting your time, but as you appear to be one of the most experienced Buddhists in Australia, and you may relate to the question, I thought you might help?

    My best friend, I’ll just say his name is “LOVE”, is an academic like you. I am not a fantastic intellectual but he is. I’m sure you would both get on. Big library of philosophy and stuff. He was a head lecturer of a university in Australia – sort of humanities. He is the kindest and most loving and most humane man I have ever known. His daughter got Anorexia Nervosa with extreme physical and mental complications at the age of 11. It was quite bizarre as she never wanted of love. Anyway she went through torture like in a “Concentration Camp” for 20 years and died of a heart attack in the shower, a couple of years ago. His grief is very heavy. As well as this he has so many friends because all he ever does is help people … he has saved my life but I won’t start on that. He’s TIRED.

    So to turn this grief into JOY! I am a VERY Western “great yogini” but I have VERY LITTLE “mystic gift”. However my main mystic gift is my ability to recognise a reincarnation, but that’s only when they’re grown up and are standing in front of me. Nevertheless I received a very loud and clear message from her during a stage of long meditations and stream entry. I heard her pick up the phone from the “bardo” and say something like “I’m coming home now.” etc – SHORT + SWEET. I saw that she was interested in Buddhism as a cure to “obsessive female body ideas” and had a prayer wheel. She was an academic too – humanities sort of. Soon after the news came that his other daughter in London was pregnant – they are also an academic family. I had an extreme intuition about it. I wrote down the exact date and time of the message, put it in a beautiful home made amulet and gave it to him. It flashed into my mind to tell him to put his hand on his daughter’s belly and see if it is warm and try to talk to her. It is a girl. He said it was warm but there’s no connection yet. Other than setting aside her favourite item, her laptop, in case she recognises it, that’s my sum total of knowledge as to how to find a reincarnate. I’ve tried to put it into my “Dream Yoga” but nothing clear yet.

    Is there anything you might be able to say to help in this pursuit of this totally ANGELIC girl? And my friend’s grief medicine? If there is someone you know who is particularly good at this kind of thing it would be VERY VERY VERY appreciated.

    Sorry for the length. Thankyou for your precious time. I would be extremely grateful for any response at all.

    • ananda76 said,

      22 November, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Skye1,
      I admire you for your skill in recognising reincarnations. My knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism is very sparse so I cannot comment on your ability or gifts. I have no such gifts, however, i share my limited knowledge of the Dharma, especially, with prisoners in NSW gaols. As far as offering help to your grieved friend, may I suggest the buddhist story of Kisagotami who had lost her baby child and approached the Buddha to ask if his miraculous powers could bring her child back to life. The Buddha set her the task of knocking on every door and try to find any family who had not lost a loved one. Naturally it was an impossible task but it made Kisagotami realise that death is inevitable and withut warning. We have to accept that separation from those near and dear to us are an inevitable outcome of this unsatisfactory existence. This is the First Noble Truth of Buddhism. I don’t know if this helps but I offer it for your consideration.
      Be happy,

      • Skye1 said,

        23 November, 2010 at 6:21 pm

        That is just so beautiful Graeme. I am forwarding it to my friend. I will try for a small book or article on the subject and rely on my own powers. I think it is very touching that you help inmates … those whose lives are cursed with ill luck or moral mistakes are in true need of love/help … may you be blessed.

  6. peccadilloes said,

    2 March, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    read the http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/budislam.html with approval and interest. ven chin kung and other buddhist leaders casually point out the ‘good’ points of buddhism which I find hard to comprehend. did not know where else to leave feedback as the link from the islam article led nowhere to a comment.

    • ananda76 said,

      2 March, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      Dear Peccadilloes, Than k you for you query re the Islam article. The writer is a fanatical Muslim according to my informants at Affinity Intercultural Foundation, a mainly Turkish Muslim group, based in Sydney. They work for interfaith and intercultural understanding and such articles create disharmony and intolerance of Muslims. The author is doing Islam a disservice. All religions should work together on those values which they hold in common. Let us put our differences, which are important, to one side and try to create a harmonious society. I don’t know where you can leave feedback on this article unless you care to voice your opinion to Affinity”s President, Mehmet Saral at msaral@affinity.org.au . Thank you for your interest.

  7. peccadilloes said,

    2 March, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    sorry I meant the good points of ‘I slam’

  8. eternal nothing said,

    7 March, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I’m considering studying towards a B.A Religion hoping towards some sort of academic career related to Buddhism, preferably in Australia. Do you think this is realistic?


    • peccadilloes said,

      8 March, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      there should be various orders here where you could get direct training into Buddhist ministry, with or without qualification depending on your interest.
      if you have a link with such a body, then it would flow naturally, here or overseas.

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