A hub of harmony in Brunswick’s heart

Tai Chi Society is a beacon of community spirit

Members of the Taoist Tai Chi Society at a recent session. Photo: supplied
Poppy Searle

NESTLED on Moreland Road, a bright red brick building marks the Taoist Tai Chi Society’s 22-year journey in Brunswick.

Once a small group, the society has flourished into a vibrant community, united by the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi.

The Brunswick group is a member of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society, a global umbrella organisation which boasts membership across 26 countries.

This society attracts people from varied walks of life – artists, local school parents, musicians, poets, and even an ex-ASIO intelligence officer – who find a shared purpose in Tai Chi while lending a uniquely Brunswick focus to its eclectic mix of members.

The society’s teaching methodology and philosophy trace back to Master Moy Lin Shin.

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Born in China and later a refugee in Hong Kong, Master Moy’s personal experiences with illness and his Taoist upbringing shaped his understanding of Tai Chi.

His mission led him to the West, where he founded the Taoist Tai Chi Society, aspiring to spread this art form globally. Although Master Moy passed away in 1998, his teachings remain vibrant and continue to evolve, touching new generations.

Dennis Smith has been a member of the Brunswick group for five years and explains that the society’s spirit lies in its communal ethos.

“It’s a space for non-judgmental exercise, mental clarity, and personal balance and a melting pot where varied life paths intersect over Taoist Tai Chi,” he said.

Scott Owen, double bass player in the chart-topping band The Living End’, found himself not only a member but also an instructor at the Taoist Tai Chi Society in Brunswick. His experience as a performer adds a unique dimension to the community.

Similarly, Mandy, another of the instructors, initially joined looking for something to do after the morning school run. Tai Chi changed her life and turned her into an advocate eager to share her story with others.

Beyond Tai Chi, the society’s engagement with the Brunswick community is notable. Situated in a locality that draws members from nearby areas, it has become a central hub for communal activities. Its involvement in local issues, like supporting the fight against the closure of the Preston Market and contributing to bushfire relief, underscores its commitment to broader societal contributions.

Dennis Smith’s advice to those new to Tai Chi is succinct: “Persevere! When you first look at it, it’s quite confusing.

“It’s a very ancient art, unlike what we know in the West. Train the body first. Once you’ve trained the body, then you can train the mind.” 

Today, as communities rebuild in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, the Taoist Tai Chi Society in Brunswick stands as more than just a centre for learning an ancient art. It is a beacon of community spirit, representing the unifying power of harmony in motion and the collective pursuit of holistic health.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society is holding an open day at its Brunswick Centre ,Upstairs 54A Moreland Rd, Brunswick, from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday, February 3. All are welcome. For more information or to register for a course, phone 1800 108 801 or email

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