Team

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Delegates

Tenzin Kunsel

I am a daughter of a Tibetan political prisoner. My family and I moved to Australia in 2014. I am doing my first year of a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science at Sydney University.

I am passionate about Tibetan music. I sing and play Tibetan musical instruments. I also enjoy sports – both indoors and outdoors. As a young Tibetan, I am interested in talking about politics, listening to the stories of other people and learning more about the world. I have participated in many cultural and political activities in my local community.

Going to Canberra to lobby for Tibet for the first time has been a powerful experience. Through my personal story, I was able to tell politicians the reality facing Tibetans in Tibet.

Tashi Gyatso

I was born in Tibet’s Kham province in 1998 and escaped to India by crossing the Himalayas on foot for many days. Politicians were moved by hearing my story of escape from Tibet at a young age.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Law from Madras Christian College. I have had the honour of working in various non-government organisations where I gained many skills and knowledge about dealing with people from all walks of life. Some of these organisations include Students for a Free Tibet, LHA Charitable Trust, Tibet World, Himalaya Tours and Travels, ESUKHIA, and Tibetan Students Association Madras (TSAM).

I moved to Australia last year. I currently work in the NSW Department of Justice, Liquor, Gaming, and Racing. I love playing football in my free time.

Tsundu Oser

I am 36 years old. I was born in Minyak in Kham province of Tibet, a beautiful place known for its holy mountains. Most families were nomads and farmers.

Every Tibetan wishes to see the Dalai Lama in their lifetime, and at 17, I escaped to India to see His Holiness. I moved to Australia in 2005 and have since worked as a disability support worker. Over the past decade, I have organised many campaign activities in Sydney to raise awareness of the Tibet issue. In 2008 in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics, I scaled a huge billboard in the busy Kings Cross area to protest against China’s human rights abuses. I served as the president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Sydney. Currently, I am a member of the executive committee of the Sydney Tibetan Community.

I have participated in the Tibet Lobby Day for the third consecutive year. Speaking out for my fellow Tibetans in Tibet is my right and my responsibility.

Kungam

I am a writer, activist and a journalist. I was born in Ngaba in Tibet’s Amdo province. My father, mother, two sisters and I have all been in Chinese prisons for our political activities. This included distributing pro-Tibet flyers and sending information about the situation in Tibet, including the self-immolations, to Tibetans overseas.

As a young boy, I joined the Kirti Monastery in my hometown to study Buddhist philosophy. In 2000, I went to India and joined the Dharamsala-based Kirti Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. Over the years, I have written, edited and published many articles and books in Tibetan language, literature, politics and culture. In 2008, I was instrumental in collecting information about the uprising in Tibet and sharing it with various media outlets around the world. In 2010, I founded a newspaper called Kalon Tripa (meaning Prime Minister) in the lead up to the Tibetan general elections.

Before coming to Australia in 2015, I was the general secretary of Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet, an association of former political prisoners, in Dharamsala.

Tseten Lama

I am a mother of an adult son. I was born in Kalimpong in eastern India in 1963. My parents were from Phari in U-Tsang province of Tibet. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Bengal and an MBA.

I migrated to Australia in 1988. A year later, I met and married my husband, Sonam Tsering Lama. We were among the first Tibetan residents to settle in Dee Why in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, which has now become home to many of our community members.

Like a typical migrant, I have worked in different fields and with different multi-national businesses.

I have been an active member of my local community for a long time. By taking part in ATC’s Tibet Lobby Day, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to be engaged again.

Tenzin Dolmey

I am a travel nurse by profession and am pursuing an Honours degree in Emergency Nursing from the University of Tasmania.

I am a third generation Tibetan-in-exile and migrated to Australia in late 2013. Growing up in exile has at times been confusing and frustrating. However, the stories of hardships and hopes passed on by my elders and friends have kept the “Tibetaness” in me alive.

Being part of the Tibet Lobby Day for the second time was an enriching experience. I hope to stay engaged in the Tibetan freedom movement.

Tenzin Norzin

I was born as a Tibetan refugee and raised within an educational community for Tibetan children in India, the Tibetan Children’s Village School. As a child, I gained comfort in reading, and I would often be spotted with my nose buried in a book during our free times. Over the years, I gradually discovered a penchant for science and I actively engaged in numerous efforts to raise scientific and environmental awareness within Tibetan communities.

Through my involvement in the Global Tibetan Students’ Union and the Science, Monks and Technology Program, I had the opportunity to be part of a new generation of Tibetans promoting the values of education in our community and exploring the connections between science and Buddhist philosophy.

In 2014, my family and I moved to Australia under the Australian government’s humanitarian program for Tibetans. Here, I continued my studies in Science and was privileged to be awarded the Australian National University’s Love Scholarship. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Advanced) at the ANU. I hope to share my passion for science with Tibetans from all walks of life, from children in the nomadic plains of Tibet to Tibetan elders in exile.

Tsering Samkhar

I am a Tibetan born in Australia. I am a fourth year Law and International Relations student at the Australian National University in Canberra.

I recently returned from a six-month trip to Dharamsala in northern India, the capital of exile Tibetans, studying and experiencing our culture, language and religion.

My hope for Tibet is to see a free society where the Tibetan people live without fear and where the basic human rights and freedoms are promoted and protected by law. As a Tibetan living in a free, democratic society, I feel I have both an opportunity and a responsibility to effect positive change in Tibet and the world.

I am delighted to have been part of the Tibet Lobby Day again. It’s been an excellent opportunity to be a voice for my fellow Tibetans inside Tibet.

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Pema Pelmo

I was born in Tibet and left my family and country at a young age to study in India. My father was a former political prisoner. I moved to Australia in 2015. I completed my Master’s degree in environmental studies from the Australian National University earlier this year. I was honoured to be given the opportunity to speak and share my story at the ANU’s 2017 graduation ceremony.

For me, Tibet Lobby Day is one of the most important events for the Tibetans living in Australia. It’s the day when we can directly communicate to the decision makers in this country and share the truth about what is happening in Tibet.

Yeshi Dorjee

I am from the town of Golog in Tibet’s Amdo province. I fled to India around the age of 16 to study Tibetan Buddhism and I have always had a keen interest in political activism. I joined the Tibetan Youth Congress and participated in many of their campaign activities from peace marches to demonstrations.

I returned to Tibet in 2000. Upon arrival in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, I was arrested by the Chinese authorities and imprisoned for three years. My crime was bringing DVDs and books about His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings to Tibet. After my release from jail, I escaped to India for the second time in 2004.

I moved to Australia in 2015. As a Tibetan living in a free country, I want to amplify the voices of my fellow Tibetans in Tibet on the global stage and ensure that the sacrifices they make for our country do not go in vain.

I was happy to be able to share the aspirations of the Tibetan people on Tibet Lobby Day.

Lobsang Lungtok

As a young boy growing up in Rebkong in Tibet’s Amdo province, I developed a strong sense of nationalism when I saw my brother arrested for distributing posters on Tibetan freedom. At 15, I joined Rongpo monastery. In 1995 after hearing on the radio that Tibetans in India were organising a peace march to Tibet, I wrote a poem in support of the rally and pasted posters on school and monastery buildings. I was convicted for “counter-revolutionary propaganda” and spent the next two years in prison.

Soon after my term, I fled into exile in India seeking freedom and education. In Dharamsala, I worked as a researcher with Tibet Information Network. I moved to Australia with my young family in 2002. Over the past decade, I have served the various Tibetan associations as a local community leader and have led and organised many political and cultural events. Today I am the President of the Australian Tibetan Community Association as well as the head of my small local community in Newcastle.

I have been part of ATC’s annual Tibet Lobby Day since it began six years ago. I have come back from Canberra, feeling more determined to speak out for justice for Tibet.

Tenzing Yeshi

I am an activist and a musician. I have a diploma of Tibetan music and dance teaching from the prestigious Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India. I graduated from TIPA in 2006 and worked as a music, dance and drama teacher at a Tibetan primary school in my hometown.

I have been living in Melbourne since 2009. I enjoy sharing the unique Tibetan music with the people of Australia. My music has been aired on various Australian radio stations.

I have worked with the Multicultural Arts Victoria’s “Emerge” festivals and “Visible” program which provided me with mentoring and the opportunity to produce my debut album, “Lewang”.

I have also performed at the prestigious Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland and have been a regular performer at the Festival of Tibet in Brisbane.

Tenzin Lobsang Khangsar

I have participated in Tibet Lobby Day in Canberra for the fifth time.

I am a Tibetan born in India. I did my schooling at Tibetan Children’s Village and my Bachelor and Masters degrees in economics at Baroda University. I moved to Australia in 2008 and did a Graduate Diploma in Information System at La Trobe University and a Master of Business at Victoria University. I have worked in the IT sector for some time. Currently, I am working as a Tibetan interpreter with Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Being Tibetan and Buddhist, I am committed to fighting for my country’s freedom through non-violent actions. I do this by keeping the interest of the Tibetan people in my heart and the teachings of His Holiness in my mind.

While attending university in India, I was the president of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress – Baroda. Since moving to Melbourne, I have continued to be an active member of our community. I was the vice-president of Tibetan Community of Victoria from 2012 to 2014.

I am a co-founder of Australia New Zealand Tibetan Youth, a group that supports orphans in India and Tibet.

I dedicate a lot of my time and energy to helping newly arrived Tibetan refugees settle into their new lives in Australia. I was a finalist in the Fair Go category for 2015 Pride of Australia Medal sponsored by the Herald Sun and the Cohealth Frank Fisher Award 2015.

Sherab Tsomo

I was born in Tibet and currently reside in Brisbane. Like many Tibetans of my generation, I was sent to India by my family as a young child to receive a decent education at a Tibetan school. I was schooled at the Tibetan Children’s Village and migrated to Australia with my dad, a former political prisoner, in 2012.

After completing my Bachelor of Nursing from the Queensland University of Technology last year, I work as a Registered Nurse. I am also doing Master of Nursing as a part-time student.

Although I live a normal life like any other Australian, as a Tibetan I am always aware of the suffering endured by my people back in Tibet. For this reason, I have always been an active member of my local Tibetan community and the Tibet Support Groups in preserving our rich culture and bringing awareness of Tibetan issues in this country.

I have participated in the Tibet Lobby Day for the third time. The experience from all these lobby trips to Canberra has made more a more effective advocate.

Mentors

Yeshi Tsomo

As a Tibetan born in Tibet, I left my country and family at a very young age to get a proper education in exile. I grew up in India as a stateless person. I came to Australia in 2012 and completed my Master’s degree in human rights at Sydney University.

I now live in Newcastle and work as a case worker with refugees.

As a Tibetan living in a free country, I hope to be the voice for the voiceless Tibetans inside Tibet to express their aspirations for freedom and fundamental human rights and to garner support for our struggle.

I have taken part in the Tibet Lobby Day for the third time. I was a delegate in the first year and returned as a mentor the last two years.

Palmo Tenzin

I was born as a refugee in Dharamsala in India to parents who fled Tibet after the 1959 Chinese occupation. My early life was defined strongly by Tibetan language, culture and identity. At the age of 5, I moved to Australia where I was able to preserve my Tibetan values and culture.

Although raised in Australian society, I have been defined significantly by both cultures and feel it is my duty as a Tibetan-Australian privileged with freedoms to express the concerns of Tibetans without a voice. My wish for Tibet is a Tibetan nation that can enjoy the right to self-determination.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Asia-Pacific Studies from the Australian National University. As someone with a deep interest in Chinese studies and security studies in the Asia-Pacific region, I did my postgraduate degree in water security within Sino- Indian relations. I currently work in a government department in Canberra.

Migyur Samkhar

I worked in the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala in northern India from 1975 to 1998. In 2000, I joined the Australian Public Service. I currently work in a Commonwealth Department in Canberra.

I was the President of the Tibetan Community Association in New South Wales in 1992 and later served as President of the Tibetan Community Association in Canberra.

I have a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA.

Sonam Paljor

I was born and raised in India. After completing my university, I went to work in the Central Tibetan Administration’s health department. I moved to Australia in 1999 and did a Masters degree in public health from Sydney University. I have been working in the NSW government for some years.

In 2012, I travelled to Canberra as a delegate on the first Tibet Lobby Day. Since then, I have been returning to be a mentor for our delegates, accompanying them through their training and on their meetings with politicians. I have seen the impact of Tibet Lobby Day on myself and many young Tibetans, as we’ve learned new skills in lobbying and strategic campaigning. We’ve gained confidence as spokespersons over the years, holding many meetings with Australian politicians to inform them of the real situation inside Tibet and ask them for stronger action.

I serve as a board member of the Australia Tibet Council.

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