Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Tibet Advocacy Project

Australia can play a constructive role in the resolution of the Tibet-China conflict. ATC is committed to making Tibet an important part of a deepening Australia-China relationship and in leveraging Australia’s growing importance as the global power shifts from the west to the east.

Our strength in building political support comes from our movement of 20,000-strong Australians.

Translating our strong public support into real political action for Tibet is a key goal at ATC.

Tibet in the Australian parliament

parliament1We work closely with the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in Canberra, a cross-party group of members from both houses of the Parliament. They keep the Tibet issue on the parliamentary agenda through motions and statements and raise the issue with the government through questions to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and meetings with the foreign minister. Members also participate in meetings with visiting Tibetan leaders including the Dalai Lama in the Parliament, take part in parliamentary delegations to Dharamsala and speak at rallies and public forums across the country.

Tibet Advocacy Day

TAP1The Tibet Advocacy Day is our annual lobbying initiative for Tibet in the Parliament. Members of Australia’s Tibetan community visit Parliament House every March, brief parliamentarians on the latest situation in Tibet and call for stronger political support.

2017, the sixth Tibet Advocacy Day in Australia, will see our largest delegation ever, with 14 delegates and four mentors.  They will discuss China’s intensifying crackdown on the Tibetans’ freedom of religion and push for a visit to Tibet by Australian parliamentarians.

Australian visits by Tibetan leaders

ktls tt sydAlong with Tibet Information Office, we work towards building political support for the Dalai Lama and the democratically elected Tibetan leadership in exile.

Australian politicians, media and the public gave a strong endorsement to Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay as he visited Australia in August 2012 for the first time since taking over Tibet's political leadership from the Dalai Lama.

Parliamentary delegations to Dharamsala 

delegation2012A parliamentary delegation to Dharamsala is an important step in Australia’s support for Tibet. We have been involved in organising two parliamentary delegations to the Tibetan exile capital in India, the most recent in July 2012.

After meeting with Tibetan political and community leaders, students, former political prisoners and artists in Dharamsala, politicians have invariably returned with a deeper appreciation of the Tibet issue. Back in Australia, they become strong voices for Tibet in the Parliament. 


Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon: Has our ambassador to China spoken to Chinese officials about the trend of self-immolation amongst some Tibetans?

Mr Varghese : The issue of human rights in Tibet is the subject of conversations with China at several levels. It has indeed been raised by our ambassador in Beijing. Our ambassador in Beijing visited Tibet, and most recently it was one of the topics that was included in the Australia-China human rights dialogue, which was held in Beijing.

Senator Rhiannon: Just to ask the question again—I appreciate that there is discussion about human rights—has the current trend of self-immolation among Tibetans been discussed?

Mr Varghese : Yes, it has.


Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens): I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

I rise to thank the members and the secretariat of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights for their valuable contribution to the debate over the government's proposal for mandatory data retention for the entire Australian population.

The proposal has copped a bit of a bucketing, since it first emerged into the light of day from the telecommunications industry, from digital rights organisations and advocates right across the political spectrum. The government is on the back foot, such that it has delayed debate on the bill to 2015 and the ALP and the crossbenchers have raised significant concerns alongside the concerns of the Australian Greens. So we may yet get our 38 votes.


Labor MP Melissa Parke: In September 2009 I spoke in parliament advocating for the release of Tibetan political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen after meeting his distraught wife in Dharamsala, India, in July of that year. Last week, after serving six years in prison, Wangchen—the self-taught cameraman and video activist—was released from prison in Qinghai's provincial capital Xining.


16 June 2014, House of Representatives, Australia

melissa-parkeIn September 2009 I spoke in parliament advocating for the release of Tibetan political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen after meeting his distraught wife in Dharamsala, India, in July of that year. Last week, after serving six years in prison, Wangchen—the self-taught cameraman and video activist—was released from prison in Qinghai's provincial capital Xining.

In 2009 Wangchen was convicted on grounds of inciting separatism after coproducing and distributing the controversial and eye-opening documentary 'Leaving fear behind'. Wangchen and his assistant, Golog Jigme, had travelled across Tibet in 2007-08 giving everyday Tibetans a voice—an opportunity to tell the world about their plight and grievances at a time when China was experiencing heightened global attention as hosts of the Olympic Games in Beijing.