HINDU ASSOCIATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA INC

 THE CASE FOR AN EDUCATION & CULTURE BUILDING

 CONTENTS

 INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND
    • The Hindu Community in Perth & Peel Region
    • Community Needs & Opportunities
    • Community Consultation
    • Community Benefits
    • Socio-economic Analysis
    • Policy Framework
    • Stakeholders

 

  1. PROJECT PROPOSAL
    • Project Purpose
    • Project Description
    • Education & Culture Building Floor Plan
    • Development Approved by Local Government
    • Project Budget
    • Financial Sustainability

 

  1. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY
    • Project Governance
    • Communication Plan
    • Project Management
    • Time Frame & Milestones
    • Risk Analysis & Mitigation

 

  1. CONCLUSION

 

 

CASE FOR EDUCATION & CULTURE BUILDING

Hindu Association of Western Australia

 The Vision

To provide a building that will facilitate the empowerment of children and young people, especially of migrant communities, to build resilience and acquire appropriate values and life skills that will enable them to reach their potential.  The building will also be used to bring together families through cultural, social and community development activities.

1.INTRODUCTION

 The concept of the Education and Culture Building, especially to assist our younger generation to blossom fully in this country that we now call home, was first formally considered by the general body at the Hindu Association of Western Australia (HAWA) Annual General Meeting in 2015.  Variations to the concept were considered by subsequent AGMs. At the most recent AGM the Education & Culture Building, as part of the Infrastructure Master Plan, was accepted in principle, subject to the Management Committee and Board of Trustees obtaining financial commitments of $1 million towards the construction cost of the building by the next AGM.  This paper outlines the case for the proposed Building, and the potential benefits to the Community and HAWA.

  1. BACKGROUND

 2.1  The Hindu Community in Perth and Peel Region

 Followers of the Hindu faith have lived in Perth since the middle of the last century.  By early 1970’s different groups of Hindus were holding regular prayer meetings and celebrating major festivals.  There was a steady growth of the community, with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and South Africa.  In 1985 the Hindu Association of Western Australia was incorporated, to acquire a piece of land and construct a building to serve as a place of worship.  The Hindu Temple of WA was consecrated at 269 Warton Road, Canning Vale in February 1990, and daily services have been held since then.  In 2005 the community successfully completed the construction of a larger traditional Temple within the same property.

Based on available census figures and other sources, it is estimated that there are well over 50,000 followers of the Hindu faith in Western Australia, mainly in Metro Perth and Peel Region.

While no records of attendees have been kept, it is safe to assume from observations that prior to Covid restrictions, about 5,000 devotees would have attended the Hindu Temple of WA at least once during the year.

The Hindus who attend the Hindu Temple represent the broad spectrum of Hindus in Western Australia –

  • they have migrated from many countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore,
  • they have a range of ethnic languages as their “mother tongue”,
  • they pray to the one GOD, but in many forms and by different names

2.2  Community Needs and Opportunities

 The majority of the followers of the Hindu faith in Western Australia are still first generation migrants, although the percentage of Australian born devotees is steadily increasing.  Thus the Temples here are required to be more than mere places of worship.  The Hindu Association of WA (HAWA), which manages the Hindu Temple of WA, is an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation led entirely by elected volunteers.

HAWA has realised over a number of years that one of the services that is lacking is the provision of structured spiritual and value education, especially to the children and teenagers.  As an interim measure HAWA is conducting religious classes for the younger children at the current multi-purpose hall, which is also used as a canteen during weekends.  The limited space, as well as the competing demands for that space (canteen use, yoga classes, religious classes, weddings, etc) has been a key factor in preventing HAWA from providing more services to the community.

The proposed Education & Cultural Building is aimed primarily at providing a dedicated venue for conducting classes for the younger generation.  These classes will help them to build their personality with strong religious and cultural base that will enable them to  be valuable  members and leaders of the Hindu community as well as the wider Australian Society.

The new building will also enable HAWA to provide much needed services to the elderly in the community – a place where like-minded seniors can come together for prayers, satsangs, welfare activities and social interaction.  Similarly, the new building will enable HAWA to provide counselling and mentoring services by professionals within the community to youth, new migrants and others in need, thereby also reducing mental health issues. 

2.3 Community Consultation

 An Exploratory Workshop was held on 27 August 2017.  The Workshop and the discussions in subsequent years with community members and potential users  have identified the need of space in the building for:

 

  •  Understanding our roots – classes on religious and cultural practices, values and morals
  •  Personal development – Yoga and Meditation classes, satsangs, seminars
  •  Adapting to the new environment – New-migrant guidance, counselling
  •  Dance and Music classes, practices and performances
  •  Community celebrations – weddings, concerts, graduations, festivals
  •   Library and Museum – books and items related to our culture and history
  •   Social – bonding and fun activities for children, youth and seniors

2.4 Community Benefits

The benefits to be derived from providing space for the identified needs can be summarised as follows:

For Children (4 to 13 years).

Early introduction to traditional values, morals, culture and religious practices in a nurturing environment, to help   children to grow up into loving, caring, inclusive and resilient individuals.

 For Youth (14 to 30 years)

Opportunities to participate in activities that will help youth to develop their self-confidence, values, artistic abilities, and skills in leadership, communication and service, along with building up a network of friends.  The activities will be built on both Vedic and modern philosophies, to enable the youth to comfortably fit into the wider Australian community.  There will also be opportunities for mentoring and counselling by qualified professionals when youth are confronted with challenges.

For Adult Community

Safe space for their children to acquire beneficial knowledge and skills, and to build relationships with peers.  This will be of great assistance to the newer immigrants who have come from homogenous communities to fit into the Australian multi-cultural environmentThere will also be activities adults can participate in such as satsangs by visiting Gurus, study-circles and community celebrations.  These will enable them to enhance their understanding of themselves, while net-working with like-minded persons.

  For the whole Family

The vision is of the whole family coming to the Hindu Centre; the children will participate in activities at the new Education & Cultural Building while the parents / grand-parents do their prayers in the Temple – or participate in some seva.  The whole family will then gather in the Canteen, possibly with other friends, for an affordable, healthy vegetarian meal.

Community connectiveness is extremely important in contributing to positive health and wellbeing.  Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation are on the rise in modern society, and further that there are direct correlations between this phenomena and mental and health issues of individuals.  The Hindu Centre, with the varied opportunities for networking and fellowship, will help to build a stronger individual and community.

For the wider Community

The building and its facilities will cater primarily to the Hindu community in Metro Perth, but the facilities will also be available to the wider community, especially the residents of the Cities of Canning and Gosnells.  The wider community will be invited to participate in activities that will help build harmony and friendship.

2.5 Socio-economic Analysis

Inherent within the operation and design of this facility are the non-financial economic benefits relating to socio-economic advantages including:

  • improving social, cultural and educational services and facilities offered to the community by providing quality facilities where accessibility is a primary, integral part of the design;
  • improving community connections and inclusion by co-locating services within a multipurpose facility;
  • opportunities for learning and knowledge through technology improvements, meeting places and direct involvement in running programs including volunteering and personal interactions;
  • supporting and protecting Hindu heritage and culture;
  • strengthening community institutions, governance and leadership capacity by bringing together those organisations whose focus is community wellbeing;
  • creating a sustainable future by addressing the needs and delivering benefits to the area beyond construction phase.

This Project has enormous scope to involve people of all ages and abilities in whole of community activities. Community connections and social inclusion will be increased through the capacity for events and activities such as educational and cultural activities, museum activities, book club initiatives, library activities, young readers’ activities, Lego club, toy library, school holiday workshops and information technology workshops, all happening in the same location. All of these initiatives aim to deliver a sense of togetherness and interaction, and strengthen the physical and mental wellbeing of users

It is well known from around the world that a multipurpose community hub, such as the one proposed,

  • gives diversified learning opportunities for children, strengthening their self-esteem and confidence;
  • gives opportunities for parents and the community to become more involved in their own learning and professional development and increase their social participation;
  • creates more cohesive and resilient community;
  • provides hope and focus for the community.

2.6 Policy Framework

The objects of HAWA, as stated in the Constitution, include:

  • Promote understanding of the Hindu Religion through worship, education and discourses by learned scholars, monks and lay preachers including the facilitation of classes, retreats and similar activities for children and youth. 
  • Provide opportunities and venue(s) for cultural, educational and welfare activities, and related fund-raising activities, and in all such and other activities of the Association, the practice of vegetarianism according to the Hindu tradition shall always be maintained. 
  • Establish and manage a library to assist in an understanding of Hindu religion, culture and practices.

2.7 Stakeholders

The following internal and external stakeholders may be affected by or may influence this Project:

Stakeholders Interest/Impact Comments
Hindus living in Greater Perth provision of quality services and facilities. On-going consultation during the Planning stage to identify quality services and facilities required by the community.
 

Neighbouring local governments – City of Gosnells and City of Canning

 

Growth within the south-eastern region of Perth will impact the need for the planned facilities. Planning policies and conditions of the City of Gosnells will impact the final design of the Project.

 

There will be on-going consultation with the Local Government during the Planning and implementation stages.

 

User groups (Dance schools, Music teachers, yoga instructors, spiritual groups, HAWA Religious Committee, community organisations, event organisers, etc)

 

The user groups are the main clients of the Project. The main advantage of the Building is that it will enable a variety of activities to be carried out at the same time within one building.

 

Representatives from the core user groups have been and continue to be involved in consultation around the development of this facility.

 

Professional Service Providers within the community

 

Lease of consultation space, subject to conditions.

 

Conditions to be developed nearer the completion of the building.

 

Government Departments dealing with services to new migrants, youth and seniors

 

Use of the facility for meetings and briefings to community members.

 

Discussions will be held nearer the completion of the building.

 

 

  1. PROJECT PROPOSAL

 

3.1 Project Purpose

 

This project involves the construction of a multi-purpose building within the premises of the Perth Hindu Centre, at 271 Warton Road, Canning Vale, Western Australia.

 

This Project intends to achieve a facility that is responsive to community needs and is appropriate for educational, cultural, social, spiritual, welfare, youth, seniors’ and community activities.

 

It is envisaged that with the completion of the Education & Culture Building the Hindu Centre will become a friendly hub for the Hindus in Perth and its surroundings.  The Centre will provide a place and avenue for members of the community, especially the children and youth, to engage, connect, and develop to become healthy and good citizens.

 

3.2 Project Description

 

The building will be of a single floor.  The core of the building is a hall with a seating capacity of 400 persons, but which can be partitioned into 3 activity rooms of approximately 140 sqm each.  These rooms will be used as seminar rooms, as well as for yoga, meditation, dance and music classes.  When the partitions are opened, the hall can be used as a wedding hall, or for cultural performances and community celebrations.  The hall has a stage, with change rooms on either side.

 

In addition to the main hall and stage, there will be a function room with an attached kitchen which can be used for small functions.  It is envisaged that food will be catered, preferably from the HAWA Canteen, and the kitchen in this building will be for the preparation of drinks and to act as a servery.  The function room can also be used as an additional classroom, practice room, or even for private wedding ceremonies.

 

The building has a reasonable sized (54 sq m) foyer, which will be useful when the main hall is used for weddings, performances and large meetings (AGMs, Navaratri, etc.)  The space shown as “Lobby” can double up as a small museum/gallery depicting the history of the Temple.

The Table below summarises the proposed accommodation:

 

Facility Approx. Size Use / Comments
Seminar Rooms x 3 420 sq m in total Designed such that they can easily be configured as 1, 2 or 3 rooms to suit specific needs.  They will form part of the Cultural Hall when partitions are opened

 

Activity / Practice Room   54 sq m Can be used for meditation, yoga and dance/music practices /classes/ counselling
Heritage Museum   15 sq m Will hold all articles of historical significance, including the Lingam that denotes the start of the Hindu Temple in Perth.
Cultural Hall (including Stage and Change Rooms x 2) 545 sq m Can be used for large conferences, meetings, traditional weddings, concerts and graduation ceremonies (arangetrams)
Reception & Foyer 54  sq m To enable the staging of cultural functions
Kitchen & Storage 74 sq m For preparing light refreshments; storage of equipment & Furniture
Restrooms 70 sq m  
     TOTAL  812 sq m  

3.3  Education & Culture Building Floor Plan (schematic described below)

3.4  Development Approved by Local Government

The Education & Culture Building is the main element of the Infrastructure Master Plan development approved by the City of Gosnells in December 2021.  The other items to be developed are:

  • An over-flow car park at the back portion of the property to accommodate up to 130 cars. This car park is expected to be used on major festival days to supplement the existing car parks when large number of devotees come to the temple concurrently.  This new car park may also be used when cultural activities are held at the new building – which will not be on days when the Temple is having special festival prayers.
  • An access road from the new car park to the entrance to the property off Warton Road. This will require the relocation of the chariot shed.
  • A new and larger storage building for the Temple, with washing facilities for large containers are trays.

The perspective below shows the location of the Education & Culture Building in relation to the Temple Building and the other developments.

3.5  Project Budget

 

HAWA MASTERPLAN IMPLEMENTATION – Budget
ESTIMATED EXPENDITURE
Educational & Cultural Building (inc Fittings &

Furniture) – Land value excluded

 $  2,840,000
Chariot & General Storage  $     150,000
Landscaping  $       20,000
Car Park – grassed & Approach  $     280,000
Development costs  $     150,000
Contingency  $     360,000
 $  3,800,000
SOURCE OF FUNDS (over 3 years) No.  
Platinum Donors (with naming rights) 7  $     700,000
Diamond Donors ($10 K and above) 40  $     400,000
Gold Donors ($2 K and above) 200  $     400,000
Silver Donors (Less than $2K) 100  $     100,000
Grants (including State & Federal)  $  1,800,000
HAWA ( Fund raising and in-kind)  $     400,000
 $  3,800,000
Donation of $10 K is equivalent to  approximately $ 9 PER DAY over 3 years
Donation of $2 K is equivalent to  approximately $ 1.80  PER DAY over 3 years All donations and sponsorship will be appropriately acknowledged.

3.6  Financial Sustainability

As will be seen in the following sections of the paper, the new building is expected to be functional in April 2025.  The operating model will be finalised in late 2024, based on updated information as to demand and market conditions.  A revised operating budget will be developed at that stage.  The following financial sustainability model, based on currently available information, is to show that the new building can be financially sustainable.

(Fees and charges are set on cost-recovery basis and market rates.)

 

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
REVENUE          
HAWA Activities (Educational and Religious) $12,000 $12,000 $18,000  $18,000 $18,000
Educational and Cultural classes (Outsourced) $28,800 $43,200 $50,400  $57,000 $59,000
Community Events (including Weddings and Performances) $14,400 $21,700 $28,800

 

 $27,000 $30,000
Total Revenue $55,200 $76,900 $97,200 $102,000 $107,000
EXPENSES          
Insurance & Security $  7,000 $  7,500 $  7,500 $  8,000 $  8,000
Utilities (including A/C) $14,000 $16,000 $17,000 $17,000 $17,000
Cleaning $10,000 $12,000 $12,000 $13,000 $13,000
Repairs & Maintenance $  4,000 $  4,500 $  4,500 $  5,000 $  5,000
Admin Contribution $  4,800 $  4,800 $  4,800 $  4,800 $4,800
Total Expenses $39,800 $44,800 $45,800 $47,800 $47800
           
Surplus before Depreciation $15,400 $27,900 $51,400 $54,200 $59,00
           
Depreciation $48,000 $48,000 $48,000 $48,000 $48,000
           
Net Operating after Deprn ($32,600) ($20,100) $     3,400 $  6,200 $11,200
           

 

 

  1. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

4.1 Project Governance 

The Hindu Association of WA, an incorporated body with a history of over 35 years, will be responsible for this Project’s administration, financial obligations and implementation. As at 30 June 2020 HAWA had net assets of $ 9 million.

The President and Chairman of the Trustees will be delegated the authority to act as the Project Sponsors under a mandate from the General Body at a General Meeting. The Project Sponsors, in consultation with the Project Steering Committee, will define the project parameters, oversee the project, make strategic decisions, and review project status reports.

The Project Steering Committee will consist of the members of the Management Committee, Board of Trustees, and representatives of major stakeholders.  This committee will meet at least once every six months, and will provide policy guidance to the Project Sponsors.

4.2 Communication Plan 

A communication plan will be developed and located within the Project Management Plan. External press releases and advertising will require the approval of HAWA President (in consultation with the Management Committee) prior to distribution.

4.3 Project Management 

It is anticipated that the Project Team will consist of the Project Manager, HAWA Vice President, HAWA Treasurer, two Trustees, two members from the Management Committee and four professionals from within the Community selected by the Management Committee for their competence to contribute to the successful implementation of the Project. Other professionals (including the Architect) and the successful contractor representative will be invited to the meetings on a need-to basis.  A Terms of Reference will be developed to confirm the responsibilities of the different Team members within the first month following the AGM approval to proceed with the Project.

The Project Team is expected to have fortnightly meetings to discuss this Project’s progress against milestones and the proposed budget during the construction phase.

HAWA has amongst its membership many professionals who have the necessary expertise and experience in working on, and managing, multi-million-dollar construction projects.  HAWA constructed the beautiful and functional traditional Temple at the current site, and completed it in 2005 at just over $2 million, thanks to the hundreds of hours of professional hours contributed pro-bono by its members.  The pool of professionals who can be called upon to assist with the proposed project has increased substantially over the past 15 years.

.4.4 Time Frame & Milestones

The target is to complete all detailed designs and planning within 6 months of the “go-ahead” by the HAWA General Body.

The physical construction is expected to take between 18 and 24 months, depending on the availability of the necessary workforce  – impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic at that time.

 

Arrangement of Project Funding                –            Feb 2022 to June 2022

General Body approval to construct           –            August 2022

Detailed Planning and Building Permit       –            Sept 2022 to Feb 2023

Construction Work                                      –            April 2023 to Dec 2024

Formal Opening of Development               –           14 April 2025

 

 

4.5  Risk Analysis & Mitigation  

 

  Risk Likelihood Consequence Risk Score Strategies on Risk
1 Project objectives differ from community expectations Rare Minor Low Potential users and community members are regularly consulted during the planning phase.
2 Failure to secure adequate funding for entire project Possible Moderate Moderate The construction phase will not commence until adequate funds are arranged.
3 Inaccurate capital cost estimates/contingencies if project is delayed Possible Minor Moderate Ensure accurate budgets are prepared and subsequently managed by qualified personnel.

Contract for construction by set project milestones

4 Delayed delivery of design and construction component, therefore delays in progress of project Possible Minor Moderate Adequate time is provided for development of detailed designs.

Detailed schedule of works developed.

Regular project team meetings to monitor progress.

6 Budget exceeded Possible Minor Moderate Passed and forthcoming expenditure to be reviewed against Budget at each project team meeting.
7 Change in Principal Office-bearers Possible Minor Moderate Project Team and Budget approved at General Meeting.  Six-monthly reporting to members.

 

5.CONCLUSION

 

The Hindu Community has been waiting for many years for a dedicated venue for the sharing, and understanding, of the rich knowledge base of Hinduism, and its application in the modern Australian context.  Now that the Local Government approval has been obtained for HAWA’s Infrastructure Master Plan inclusive of the Education & Culture Building, it is hoped that the community, well-wishers and Governments (State and Federal) will support the Management Committee and Trustees in realising the VISION as soon as possible.

President                                                                           Chairperson, Board of Trustees

Hindu Association of WA                                                    Hindu Association of WA