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. 

An Australian parliamentary delegation to Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, is an important step in Australia’s support for Tibet. Along with Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and Tibet Information Office, we have been part of two such exciting trips to Dharamsala.

The program helps in raising Tibet’s profile in the parliament and engaging greater interest from politicians. The politicians develop stronger relations with Tibetan leaders in exile and together explore avenues in advancing the Tibet cause. They also gain fresh insights into Tibet’s political and cultural life while meeting young students, activists, former political prisoners and local artists in Dharamsala.

Dr Lobsang Sangay, the man Tibetans have elected to succeed the Dalai Lama as the political leader of the Tibetan people, was embraced by the Australian politicians, public and the media during his visit from 24 June to 1 July. 


Tibet Advocacy Day 2012

Published in Tibet Advocacy Project
Friday, 30 March 2012

Congratulations to our team on an outstanding Tibet Advocacy Day on 19 March 2012 in Canberra.

Our delegation of 12 Tibetans met with 35 politicians from both Houses of the Parliament, from all parties and from every state and territory. They briefed the parliamentarians on the current situation in Tibet and appealed for stronger government action.

On the day the Tibet team was in Canberra, the government finally broke its silence on the deepening crisis in Tibet. Foreign minister Bob Carr announced the government is seeking permission for the Australian Ambassador in Beijing and a parliamentary delegation to see for themselves the conditions which have seen over 30 Tibetans setting themselves on fire in acts of protest.

Thank you for getting behind this project. Our voices are making a difference.

melissa-parkeMs Parke (Fremantle): I acknowledge the presence of 12 Tibetan representatives from across Australia in parliament today. They are here seeking strong cross-party support for the Tibet issue. On behalf of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Tibet and my constituents in Fremantle, may I say how concerned we are about the deepening crisis in Tibet, which has seen around 30 Tibetans setting themselves on fire in acts of protest since 2009. The latest immolation of a 38-year-old Tibetan monk in Tongren County in Qinghai province on 15 March is a grim reminder of the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. These acts of self-immolation and a wave of fresh protests in eastern Tibet have been met by intensified military control and a media blackout by the Chinese authorities. All Tibetan areas have been closed to journalists, tourists and outside observers.

A recent report by Reporters Without Borders said: Out of sight of the world, a major crisis is unfolding. Even Pyongyang has an international media presence, which is not the case in Lhasa. A handful of Western journalists who have managed to sneak into the heavily restricted towns have revealed the extent of China's military and armed police presence.

Tibetans around the globe marked 10 March as the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising when, in 1959, thousands took to the streets in Lhasa to protest against China's occupation of Tibet. Fifty-three years on, the Tibetans continue to show their opposition to the repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. The disturbing trend of self-immolations reflects the depth of the crisis in Tibet and the need for the Chinese government to review its policies. I hope the Australian government will continue to urge China to address the grievances of the Tibetan people through dialogue.

Source: Hansard