Author – Wesa Chau

I am considered to be a pioneer in many areas. As a student I became an activist working with international students as their bridge to help them better understand the wider community and improve the community’s understanding of cultural diversity.

I worked with the government to enable change in the cultural diversity sector and became a spokesperson in the media on international student issues and on cultural diversity.

I was proud to be named Young Victorian of the Year 2010, to be inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2012 and more recently a finalist for Agenda Setter of the Year 2016.

Professionally I have been a senior manager leading change in a community organisation, and I am currently a consultant helping others see the power of diversity. I am also a board member for a number of organisations and understand the power dynamics of boards and the importance of governance.

Apart from working in the community, I am also involved in politics, and I was preselected as a candidate in the Australian Federal Election for the Australian Labor Party in 2013. I am a co-founder of Poliversity, an organisation designed to increase cultural diversity in the Australian Labor Party and I am also a graduate of the Pathways to Politics for Women program 2016.

Apart from leadership and change management, I have had strong connections to eastern philosophy since primary school because of my Chinese background and my love of Chinese literature.  This interest in philosophy has led me to learn and practice sound meditation for more than a decade, which in turn has deepened my understanding of eastern philosophy and Buddhist teachings.  I now apply these principles to all facets of my life.

In 2015, I started Enlightened Heart, which is a translation of my birth name in Chinese – Wai Sum. Wai Sum has many levels of meaning in the Chinese language, it can mean an intellectual heart, or a wise heart and at the deepest level it refers to an enlightened heart.  It is also term that is used in Buddhism to denote a heart that is able to understand the wisdom of the Buddha. Enlightened Heart is now a space where I share my knowledge of eastern philosophy through the power of sound and music.

My sport interests are also aligned to my personality – I practice both aerial and archery.  I love aerial because whilst you need the strength in order to hold yourself up on an aerial silk or trapeze, it looks so effortless and elegant. I relate to power in similar ways – in order to maintain stability and be able to work through crisis gracefully and elegantly, I need to build my internal strength and a strong core to support me to appear effortless when internally even when I might be going through extreme turmoil.

Archery (Kyudo) in the Japanese culture is a martial art in which to practice steadiness and focus, much like action meditation.  Whilst I have yet to find a place to learn Kyudo in Australia, western archery is also extremely peaceful and helps me to focus and maintain stability even when I am tired or stressed.

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