Dharma school's relocation, dreams for the future

FAREWELL: The students are excited to move to a new school site for the 2019 school year. Photo: Lachlan Bence

FAREWELL: The students are excited to move to a new school site for the 2019 school year. Photo: Lachlan Bence

Daylesford Dharma School is marking a new beginning as it starts moving to another site in time for the new school year.

The school will soon have a newly built classroom and administration building as a result of a number of grants, including a $629,000 federal government grant and support from the Kuang Minh temple in Braybook.

The funding is being put towards relocating some of the existing school buildings to a new site on Daylesford-Trentham Road, where a modular classroom building and student amenities block will be built. 

Principal Jen Willis said the school would be on the site for the beginning of the 2019 school year.

Over time, we would like to expand so we can provide opportunities for the community to use the school as well.

Jen Willis

“This move is stage one of the school’s master plan,” she said. “That means relocating the existing school so we then have the room to increase enrolment.”

The school, which currently has 38 students, will then have the capacity to teach around 50 students. Ms Willis said the school received “a surprising amount of inquiries” for a secondary option.

“In the future, we will move towards bringing in secondary years in a purpose-built school, which we will build out of more earthy materials.”

Due to its location on a large 22-acre block, Ms Willis said the school was looking at creating a Centre for the Cultivation of Compassion and Wisdom.

“There is so much of the year when we don’t have programs in place… Over time, we would like to expand so we can provide opportunities for the community to use the school as well, through moving towards the vision of a centre,” she said.

“It would be somewhere where we could run mindfulness and meditation retreats and school holiday programs so that it would have more of a year-round use where children from other schools could come and experience some of the Dharma education.”

Ms Willis said the school educated through the lens of the Dharma. 

“Anything we do with our land will always have that (idea) at its heart but wanting to recognise that we have this beautiful property on the edge of this lovely town. We want to share some of our vision more widely so that we can engage others in being apart of that bigger education picture.”