Canberra: Resident MP Tenzin Doring attended the maiden session of the V-TAG MEET held between 17-18, November in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, jointly organized by the Department of Information and International Relations and the Tibet Information Office, Canberra. The first day of the session was held at National Press Club of Australia and the second day was held at Old Parliament House Meet Room.
The inaugural session of the V-TAG Australia Strategy Meeting and Advocacy Training was attended by Kalon (Minister) for Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration and Australia’s Federal Senator Janet Rice, who is also the Co-Chair of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively. Representative Karma Singey of the Office of Tibet (OoT), Canberra, delivered the welcome address. Both Minister Norzin Dolma and Senator Janet Rice addressed the inaugural session.
The event’s first talk session began with Hon. Kevin Andrews, former Defence Minister of Australia, discussing Tibet, Australia, and China relations. The session was moderated by Tsewang Thupten, Former Vice President of ACT Tibetan Community. Mr. Gabriel Lafitte, an author and Tibet Environment Specialist, took the stage to delve into “Climate Change and Tibet with particular focus on large scale lithium mining taking place in Tibet”. The session was moderated by Lhadar Ringapontsang, Former President of ACT Tibetan Community. MP Tenzin Doring spoke on “The Role of Tibetan Youth and Future of Tibet”, moderated by Gompo Tashi, who is Youth Ambassador for V-TAG.
The subsequent training session featured Dr. Zoe Bedford, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council, who spoke on Advocacy and Human Rights. Kyizom Dhongdue, former member of Tibetan Parliament and Strategic Campaigns Lead at Amnesty International, Australia, discussed key components of Campaigning, Movement Building and strategising political advocacy.
Mr. Doring in his speech stressed on the pivotal role of youth in shaping the course of Tibetan freedom movement, particularly on the political participation and engaging with emerging young leaders in Australia, participating in social, cultural, economic and political aspects of Tibetan lives in the country.
The participants subsequently proceeded to the Australian Parliament House for a short tour. MP Doring explained the structure and functioning of the two chambers of the parliament during the tour and enunciated on the different roles of each chamber as Senate and House of Representatives and the power of President and Speaker thereof respectively.
The V-TAG Australia meet promises to be a platform for robust discussions, strategic planning, and skill-building for the advancement of Tibetan cause spearheaded mainly by the Tibetan youth.
The event concluded on 18 November evening during which deliberations were undertaken on how to carry out action plans collectively all over Australia and within the regions or states. The final day also included the election of six regional coordinators amongst the regional participants. The meeting ended with closing remarks from the Secretary, Department of Information & International Relations and MP Doring.
–Report filed by Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat