Inside and Outside the Churches of Scientology Around the World
Thousands of Scientologists, dignitaries and guests from across the nation celebrated a milestone—the opening of the first Ideal Scientology Church in Australia – the massive new Church of Scientology of Melbourne, located in Ascot Vale.
Auntie Joy Murphy Wandin, senior elder of the Wurundjeri people, opened the dedication with the traditional “Welcome to Country” ceremony, welcoming Scientologists to the lands of her ancestors.
Scientologist, Melbourne native and award-winning singer and songwriter Kate Ceberano performed a moving rendition of her original composition “This Song is You,” written in honour of the occasion and the heritage of the city and all that Australia holds dear.
In tribute to the significance of the occasion Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, travelled to Melbourne from the United States to officiate at the dedication. He acknowledged the long parade of accomplishments by Australian Scientologists that culminated in the new Church.
“It is my honour to join you this evening and commemorate a moment that will live on in history for a long time to come. Not that you haven’t loomed large in history before, not that you haven’t triumphed over great adversity in years gone by, not that you didn’t stand firm for the dignity of Man, and not that you didn’t indeed uphold the God-given rights of all religions all over this world.
“But having triumphed today in the name of our religion, you just flipped this planet all the way around so that Melbourne now sits on top of the globe. And that’s what it means to build an Ideal Org beneath the Southern Cross.”
Mr. Miscavige also spoke of Melbourne’s hallowed place in Scientology history, noting that Founder L. Ron Hubbard himself came to Melbourne in November 1959 to deliver a series of lectures to its founding Scientology community. As Mr. Miscavige explained:
“Those November 1959 lectures marked a turn in the path and a rise in the road, from which the whole panorama of human potential came into focus."
"Whence, the highest levels of Scientology and the whole vista of spiritual enlightenment and freedom."
“So you wonder where you stand in the history and legacy of LRH and our religion as a whole? None of it would exist were it not for what began right here—and that’s both the heritage and legacy, which is indelibly woven through the brickwork of your new Ideal Org of Melbourne.”
Acknowledging the Church for its many contributions to the community were Melbourne Lord Mayor the Honourable Robert Doyle, Moonee Valley City Councillor Paul Giuliano, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Honourable Justin Madden, Sociologist Professor Gary Bouma and former Indigenous Person of the Year Uncle Bob Randall.
Praising the Church’s active role in community life, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told those assembled: “Today marks an historic occasion for Scientology. The building you see before you is the first of its type in Australasia, and the re-birth of an historic Melbourne building. This is a unique space. I hope benefits flow in partnerships, community connection and goodwill. I invite you to celebrate this opening in the heart of our exciting, welcoming and diverse Melbourne.”
Moonee Valley City Councillor Paul Giuliano welcomed the congregation to his metropolitan Melbourne community where the Church is located: “I know that I speak for many when I say thank you so very much for restoring this beloved landmark to its former glory. I cannot think of a better custodian than the Church of Scientology.”
The occasion was a reunion for teacher, football icon and Victoria Shadow Minister Justin Madden, who attended the Catholic University within the walls of what is now the new Scientology Church. He commended the Church for its historic preservation as well as its literacy and drug education initiatives: “Unselfishly, you work to provide ways and means to uplift our society. You have set the standard for the community with your restoration of this building and with your social programs—an example I will point to for others to follow. Your new Church is as Melbourne as Melbourne gets.”
Human rights activist Bob Randall, whose award-winning documentary, Kanyini, exposed the plight of the Aboriginal “stolen generations,” thanked the Church and its Scientology Volunteer Ministers program for its commitment to the indigenous people of Australia: “Scientology Volunteer Ministers have come to my country and given us hope that we can deal with these problems and we will make a difference in the near future. The Volunteer Ministers I’ve met have become my friends. The fellowship between us has been fun and I look forward to continuing that relationship to continue on to the present into the future. On behalf of me and my people, I thank you.”
To contact the church or schedule a tour, see a map to the church here, or see:
Church of Scientology of Melbourne
231-251 Mt. Alexander Road, Ascot Vale
Melbourne, Victoria 3032