Meet Jill Lancashire & Mark Allaway, our Regional Coordinators in Australia

Jill and Mark recently joined our team. They have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to share with us!

Jill’s story

Jill has a bachelor’s degree in education and a graduate diploma in instructional design & technology. Since 1976, she has been a teacher, learning designer, writer, and editor in a range of school, tertiary and corporate settings. From 2004-2018, Jill ran her own consulting business designing online learning for professional associations, corporations, and universities. During this time, she worked in several sectors including financial planning, business, law, securities trading, general medical, and logistics.

From 2018 – 2021, she worked for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), Melbourne, in the School of Business & Law, training academics in educational principles and practice. She was also in charge of helping academics formulate authentic assessments, an approach that sees assessment replicate real job outcomes, while still embodying the essentials of a given discipline. As Covid broke out in Melbourne in 2020, she was part of the quality assurance team that oversaw mass conversions of courses, from face-to-face delivery, into online versions supported by lectorials, webinars, and online tutorials. At the end of 2020, she retired to work on projects of personal and Dharma interest.

In 1979, while hiking in the Solo Kumbu region of the Himalayas, Jill met Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Lawudo. She was impressed by his view on difficult emotional topics coupled with his deep caring for those who were listening. Soon after, she met Lama Yeshe and the Dalai Lama. As the principles of Buddhism were so helpful, and the lamas so intelligent and compassionate, she became a Buddhist in 1981 and has been a student ever since. Jill is currently working on compiling and editing a vegetarian cookbook on behalf of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Mark’s story

Mark Allaway has worked in various roles both in Australia and overseas, since the mid-1970’s when he graduated in agricultural science from Latrobe University in Melbourne, Victoria. He began working in his own business as a landscape designer/builder in regional Victoria for about 18 months following graduation in 1976. He then took a role as a landscape construction manager for an Australian irrigation company operating out of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf for two and a half years. On returning to Melbourne, he worked as a plant breeder on vegetable seeds in Victoria for two years, before attending Melbourne University and completing a master’s degree in landscape architecture in 1984.

Mark began working for the Victorian public sector as a landscape architect for 3 years until he started his private practice in 1987. In 1994, Mark took a two-year break to work as a regional planner in western New South Wales assessing the clearing of native rangelands by graziers on public leasehold land. On returning to Victoria and resuming his practice, he went on to complete more than 1,000 residential and commercial projects until he ceased his practice around 2002.

By that time, having developed skills in broad environmental policy areas, Mark decided to shift his focus to government policy. He joined the Victorian state government agriculture department as a senior policy advisor and worked as a ministerial advisor for the next 7 years on such areas as soil health, biodiversity, and climate change. Significant achievements were the departmental response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into soil acidity in 2004 and the release of the first departmental Soil Health Policy Framework for Victoria 2006 and the first biodiversity policy for agriculture in 2007. From 2000 to 2009, Mark was a part-time doctoral thesis candidate in Environmental Science (Policy) at RMIT University, Melbourne, investigating “New paradigms for environmental management in Gippsland.” The thesis is not completed.

Since retiring in 2009, Mark has volunteered at Tara Institute as the buildings manager (2010-2018) and for the Heart of Wisdom Retreats at the Great Stupa (2015, 2017) as a member of the event facilities team.

Together, from 2010 until now, Jill and Mark have operated a philanthropic business venture importing and marketing hand-printed cotton textiles from India (Rajasthan) into Australia. They support various charities including the Sarnath Universal Education School, Maitri Trust, Kopan Monastery, and Sera Jey Monastic University. In 2008, Jill and Mark established a philanthropic trust to support community organizations operating in areas of social justice, environmental education, community health, and environmental activism, conservation, and protection, in Australia and overseas.

Thank you for sharing your precious time, energy, and wisdom with us, Jill and Mark.
We are very excited to learn from you!

Reach out to Jill and Mark, and ask them how you can get involved:

Please share this. Thank you!


More News

Reflections on Walk For The Trees 2023 – Part 2

Mark shares with us that, “Overall, Jill and I are thrilled about the outcomes and the way things went during the whole process”.

Developments from our Australian partner, Atisha Buddhist Centre

Mark tells us that they are applying for funding to create a “honey and native bee pollinator garden” around the Kadampa Stupa.

International Youth Day: Inspiration from Zimbabwe

On August 12, we celebrate International Youth Day! This brings about an excellent opportunity to hear from our Regional coordinator in Zimbabwe, Jussa Kudherezera, who is also the founder of Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA).

Mark Allaway’s birthday fundraiser

THANK YOU for celebrating your birthday with us, Mark Allaway!

Food Security and the way forward

This piece explains the current state of food security in Nigeria, the challenges it faces, and potential solutions to address this pressing issue.

Welcome to Burkina Faso, country number 66 to join our global community!

In June 2023, Burkina Faso became country number 66 to join our global tree-planting community! Burkina Faso is a West-African country, lying in the Sahel belt region.

Meet Raman Reikhi from Reikhi Farms, India

Raman is one of the active members of our community forum, and he has also planted many trees in the past. In this article, we want to tell our community more about Raman and his farm, Reikhi Farms.

Our community gardeners from around the world

Gardening can be quite a rewarding experience and it has proven benefits to one’s health (both physical and mental). Our global community has been dedicating some time to growing food and tending to small indoor gardens.

Children in Equatorial Guinea share their humble gardening activities

One of the heartfelt stories that reached us through this global challenge, comes from Equatorial Guinea, Africa. Sr. Manuela Benavides tells us about the activities that they carry out with the disabled children in Mikomiseng.

GTI India offers their collective success and efforts to the Dalai Lama!

Mrinalini Nigde, one of our dedicated coordinators in India, tells us about a wooden plaque that was offered to the Dalai Lama.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter. Stay tuned to all our news. There is more to come.

You have Successfully Subscribed!