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. 

radiohead4For the last few months, we have been advocating the Australian government to take urgent action on the crisis in Tibet. In particular, we have been calling on the government to make a strong public statement and intensify its efforts in sending diplomats to TIbet. 

Our campaign got a significant boost this past week as over 7000 Australians added their voice to our petition - Australia: Stand up for Tibet - at Radiohead concerts in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne from 9 to 17 November.

The self-immolations in Tibet have escalated in recent weeks. Over 70 Tibetans have self-immolated  in protest against the Chinese government's policies - more than 50 of them this year alone.

We thank Radiohead for giving us the opportunity to highlight the situation in Tibet at their concerts and for demonstrating their support for the Tibetan people with the Tibetan flag onstage.

larissa-watersSenator Larissa Waters (Queensland): Over the parliamentary winter break, I was enormously privileged to visit the town of Dharamsala, high in the Himalayas in India, home away from home for exiled Tibetans, with my colleague Senator Singh as part of an Australia Tibet Council delegation. The experience is one I shall never forget. The fortitude and happiness of these oppressed people who have suffered under Chinese occupation for five decades now was inspirational and yet heartbreaking all at once.

In what was a very busy and informative schedule, we began with a meeting at Gyuto Monastery with his Eminence the Holy Karma-pa, a man of carefully chosen words and great reflection. His advice to two new senators was to be mindful of each task in our daily busy schedules, to leave greed from our hearts, to have compassion and empathy for people, and to enjoy our good hearts and to enjoy ourselves—very sage advice.

parliament1Australia Tibet Council has urged the Australian government to reinvigorate its efforts in sending a fact-finding delegation to Tibet in the wake of increasing self-immolations by Tibetans. Dhondup, in his sixties, set himself on fire at Labrang Tashikyil Monastery in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province (the Tibetan area of Amdo) yesterday. It was the third self-immolation in the last ten days, and the 57th since 2009.

In response to a question by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young during Senate Estimates last Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade noted that the latest request to the Chinese authorities was made on 10 October.

lisa-singhSenator Singh (Tasmania): In the parliamentary break in July I had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to Dharamsala, the exile capital of Tibet, with my colleague Senator Waters as part of an Australia Tibet Council delegation. The Australia Tibet Council supports this exchange as a way of assisting members of parliament to understand more deeply the situation of the Tibetan people.