Members Statement: Tibetan community

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — On Sunday I had the pleasure of being the chief guest at the Tibetan Community of Australia (Victoria) new year celebration at Phoenix Park, East Malvern, where I was joined by members of Victoria's Tibetan community, Australian Tibet supporters and Chinese democracy activists. The celebration was a fantastic display of Tibetan singing, dancing and ceremonies. It is so pleasing to know that many Tibetan residents are calling the Prahran electorate home, with more and more wanting to do so. This strong Tibetan community has so much to offer our area and will enrich the wider community.

I am fully supportive of their efforts to find a permanent venue the Tibetan community can call home and will provide whatever assistance I can. The Greens have a long and proud record of supporting Tibet. It was the first federal Greens Leader, Bob Brown, who succeeded in passing a motion in the Australian Senate in 1998 calling for Australia to play a more active role in promoting substantive dialogue between the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with a focus on advancing and protecting human rights in Tibet and preserving the unique religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of Tibetans. In the 20 years since, Greens representative at the federal level, led by Senator Di Natale, at the state and the local level have been standing side by side with the Tibetan community in their push for self-determination for Tibet.

Thank you to president Mr Tsering Dorjee, general-secretary Jigme Thinley, all members of the executive and all members of the community who made such a wonderful day possible. I am looking forward to many members of the Tibetan community continuing to live in the Prahran electorate and raising their wonderful families. Happy Losar.