Sydney, Australia: Falun Dafa Band a Highlight at Granny Smith Festival

October 21, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent Mu Wenqing

(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners participated in the 31st annual Granny Smith Festival in Sydney’s suburb of Ryde on October 15, 2016. Drawing more than 90,000 spectators, it’s is the largest annual event of its type. Practitioners have participated in this festival since 2000.

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), a state-owned national public broadcaster, has listed the Falun Dafa waist drum team on its web page to promote the community festival.

The Tian Guo Marching Band, waist drum team, and a float with practitioners demonstrating the exercises were once again a highlight of the program.

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Tian Guo Marching Band

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Spectators wave to practitioners on the float.

Jane Stott, deputy mayor of Ryde, said, “This band is unique. From their uniforms to their music, everything is excellent.” On the city’s web page, a picture of the band’s performance was used to publicize this event.

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Jane Stott (deputy mayor of Ryde, fourth from left in the front row), John Alexander (Member of the Australian Parliament, first from left in the front row) and many government officials who came to the event had high praise for the Falun Dafa group.

Melody, who has been attending the parade for 10 years, said of the Tian Guo band, “The colors are great and the music is wonderful.This is the best thing I have ever seen.”

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Melody (right).

John Alexander, Member of the Australian Parliament, agreed. He has received requests from practitioners urging the Australian government to take action to stop the ongoing suppression of Falun Gong in China. He said it is a severe human rights violation and what the Australian government has done so far is not enough.

Lisa Clarke from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation International wrote an article on this event, which included photos of the Tian Guo Marching Band, waist drum team, and the float. The report was carried by several other news media outlets, including Republika, a national daily newspaper in Indonesia.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

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Car Tours in Queensland, Australia Raise Public and Media Awareness of Persecution in China

September 26, 2016

(Minghui.org) The best way to end injustice is to make it known. Two car tours kicked off in Queensland, Australia on September 22, with the mission of raising public awareness of the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.

One team took the southern route and visited Stanthorpe, and the other team visited three towns in northern Queensland, including Gympie, Hervey Bay, and Bundaberg.

The car tours drew the attention of the local media and were warmly supported by the local residents at every stop. People were especially moved by the experience of one of the car tour participants, Anne Zhao, who was tortured in China for upholding her belief in Falun Gong.

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A reporter from the Gympie Times, a local newspaper, interviews Falun Gong practitioners.

At the first stop on the northern route, the Gympie Times, a local newspaper, interviewed practitioners. Horrified by the Chinese communist regime’s forced organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners, the reporter asked for detailed information. Anne told the reporter about how she was beaten with electric batons and tied to an iron frame in a Chinese prison, only because she refused to renounce Falun Gong.

The reporter was surprised by how little he knew about Falun Gong and the persecution. He thanked the practitioners for staging the car tour and promised to share the information.

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WIN TV in Hervey Bay interviews practitioners.

The reporter from WIN TV in Hervey Bay was also appalled by the organ harvesting atrocities. Practitioners showed the reporter recent evidence collected by independent investigators, who compiled statistics from 700 Chinese hospitals showing that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been killed for their organs since 2000.

The reporter also asked Anne Zhao for details of her experience of persecution. Upon leaving, she said to the practitioners that she admires their spirit. She feels that they are doing a great thing by informing Australians about such a major event.

The reporter asked practitioners to stay in touch and to keep her posted on developments in China. She said that she and her colleagues will try their best to pass on the information about what is happening in China.

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4BU Radio in Bundaberg interviews practitioners.

The city government of Bundaberg enthusiastically supported the car tour. They arranged a press conference at the busiest spot in town for practitioners, and informed the local media.

4BU Radio station received the press release and interviewed the practitioners. The reporter was saddened that so many innocent people have been killed over the past decade, and was especially concerned that so few people are aware of it. She promised to tell her radio audience about what has been taking place in China.

Many local residents told practitioners that they heard about the car tour on the news the previous night, and they strongly support practitioners’ peaceful resistance against the bloody organ harvesting.

A local woman said, “Some people don’t want to hear bad news from a country so far away from them. It’s sad that they don’t want to know. The silence of good people makes the evil more rampant.”

The woman added that she admires practitioners’ spirit and effort. “Your persistence will stop the evil. Keep up the good work,” she encouraged practitioners.

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The car tour stops in Stanthorpe. Local newspaper Stanthorpe Border Post interviewed the practitioners. Many people signed the petition to condemn the persecution in China.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

Australian Car Tour Receives Strong Support

September 23, 2016 | By Mu Wenqing, a Minghui correspondent in Australia

(Minghui.org) During the Australian Falun Dafa car tour, practitioners from Sydney have provided information about the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa in China, especially the state-sanctioned large-scale forced organ harvesting from living Falun Dafa practitioners in China, to almost 60 towns in Australia. More than 200 towns are on the car tour route. Practitioners have received great support in every town they passed.

Politicians Attend Rally

It happened to be Parliament sitting when the car tour arrived in Canberra on August 30, 2016. When Falun Gong practitioners held a rally in front of the Parliament House, Senator Janet Rice and Senator Scott Ludlam attended the rally to show their support. They praised Falun Gong practitioners for their work and expressed their support for human rights in China. Falun Gong practitioners submitted more than 3,000 postcards with signatures from the public, calling for the Prime Minister to urge the Chinese government to stop the persecution. Senators are passing the postcards to the Prime Minister.

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Falun Gong practitioners hold a rally in Melbourne.

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Senator Janet Rice and Senator Scott Ludlam show their support at the Falun Gong rally in Canberra on August 30.

Senator Lee Rhiannon from New South Wales sent a supportive letter to the rally. She wrote that U.S House Resolution 343 had brought hope. She would like to see the Australian government formally condemn and help stop the organ harvesting in China.

MP David Shoebridge in the NSW Parliament called for Prime Minister Turnbull to raise the human rights issue directly with the Chinese regime. He said there was nothing to lose, and we had the responsibility to help stop this practice (organ harvesting) as part of international society.

Victorian State MPs Bernie Finn and Gerard Flood, treasurer of the Democratic Labor Party, praised Falun Gong practitioners’ work at the rally in Melbourne on September 2. Mr. Flood encouraged practitioners to visit members of parliament to tell them facts about the persecution.

Report Series by News Corp Australia

News.com.au, a news website owned by News Corp Australia, interviewed several Falun Gong practitioners from the car tour, and produced a series of reports, including Extreme torture: Inside China’s correctional facilities, Inside China’s secret brainwashing centers: “People only see what the government wants them to see,” and The Reality of Human Organ Harvesting in China. These reports exposed the tortures, brainwashing, and organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. The reports were coupled with interview videos.

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A WinTV reporter interviews Falun Gong practitioners.

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A practitioner is interviewed by ABC Radio Australia.

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Reporters from BorderMail, Newsweekly, DailyAdvertiser, and other media reported on the car tour.

Besides mainstream media, local newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations also reported the car tour as it passed through their cities.

Support from Local Communities

Falun Gong practitioners in the tour visited many local governments and offices, hospitals, libraries, and churches. Many people offered to help with spreading the news. They helped practitioners contact governments and media, and post information along the streets.

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Falun Gong practitioners demonstrate exercises in front of Taree City Hall.

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Father Ken supports Falun Gong practitioners.

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Many people sign postcards calling for the Australian Prime Minister to take action to stop organ harvesting.

Sisler, a teacher in Goulburn, asked for more than 20 postcards for colleagues and friends to sign.

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Allen in Dungog shows great interest in Falun Gong and would like to help stop the persecution.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

Australia: Falun Dafa Inspires Visitors to Ormeau Fair on the Gold Coast

September 18, 2016 | By Falun Dafa practitioners in Australia

(Minghui.org) Many Australians felt something special after learning about Falun Dafa at the Ormeau Fair on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

The Ormeau Lions Club invited Falun Dafa practitioners for the fourth year in a row to the fair held on September 3-4, 2016. The major community event attracts thousands of people each year.

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An Asian couple became very interested in learning the Dafa exercises and asked where the regular practice locations were on the Gold Coast. The woman was pleased to take a folded paper lotus flower because her name in English means “Lotus.” The practitioners remarked that this was a good sign–perhaps indicating that she was predestined to learn the practice.

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A young mother said she was spiritually-minded and looking for something her family could do together. She felt that Falun Dafa seemed to be a good fit. The practitioners encouraged her to come to the local exercise site.

Two women from the Ormeau Rural Fire Brigade stopped at the booth and expressed great interest in joining the local exercise group.

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Former Senator Glenn Lazarus saw the practitioners demonstrating the exercises and asked about Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Practitioners encouraged him to visit the Falun Dafa website. The following day, Glenn thanked the practitioners and discussed what he had read online.

Robert, who moved to the Gold Coast from Sydney, said he had seen Dafa practitioners peacefully protesting outside of the old Chinese Consulate.

“I used to work nearby, and the Chinese Consulate would invite my colleagues and me to their evening events, and ask if we saw anyone from Falun Dafa do anything [illegal]. We said Falun Dafa did nothing wrong, so the consular staff started taking photos of the protestors outside,” he said.

Robert recalled that the Australian community was rather disgusted by the anti-Falun Dafa propaganda boards behind the consular fence, so much so that they destroyed the boards and wrote messages on the footpath condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s killing of innocent people. He was also very encouraged to hear about Mr. Chen Yonglin’s defection from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney in 2005, and that the Australian Government had granted him asylum.

Fair visitor Pam had seen the Falun Dafa booth at the Ormeau Fair for the past few years and always stopped to talk to the practitioners. She said that the persecution of the practice in China was “disgusting.”

One of the event organizers was so enchanted by Falun Dafa that she walked all the way to the booth three times and took lotus flowers, bookmarks, and every flyer available.

The practitioners thanked the fair organizers for their continued support of Falun Dafa at this major community event.

Category: Other Community Events

Australia: Falun Dafa Experiencing Sharing Conference Held in Melbourne

September 06, 2016 | By Minghui correspondents Mu Wenqing and Hua Qing

(Minghui.org) Nearly 1,000 practitioners attended the 2016 Australia Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference at Melbourne Town Hall on September 4. Twenty-three practitioners, both Chinese and Western, spoke onstage about how they have benefited from Falun Dafa, looked within to improve, and worked to fulfill their historic vows.

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2016 Australia Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference at Melbourne Town Hall on September 4.

Cultivating Ourselves

Ms. Zhao, a coordinator of the Falun Dafa Association, shared how she had improved her xinxing. She explained how she often worried that practitioners had not walked their paths well, but one day realized that being overly worried about this actually indicated she lacked faith in Master and the Fa.

“Coordinators may not be the ones who cultivate the best or the smartest, so when practitioners have different opinions, it is important to accommodate them and encourage them, instead of simply saying no and insisting on my own ideas.” A coordinator needs to be responsible for the entire group, and at the same time engage more practitioners, she explained.

Ms. Mei, a regional coordinator, also spoke. She related how she was able to improve the quality of her Fa study. This allowed her to promote Shen Yun with a more pure heart, and led her to get better at looking within and thinking about things based on the Fa when experiencing conflicts. In addition, she began trying to understand each practitioner better so that their unique skills and wisdom could be more fully realized.

Ms. Li works in several Dafa projects. As a result, she has learned more about how to let go of human notions and selfishness. In the past, she limited herself to her own thoughts and attachments. Now she is more broad-minded and realizes that we should consider things from the perspective of assisting Master with Fa-rectification. This, she remarked, is the only path to the new cosmos.

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Speakers at the 2016 Australia Falun Dafa Experiencing Sharing Conference

Saving People

Ms. Tao has practiced Falun Dafa for 23 years. In recent years, she has been explaining the facts of Falun Dafa to Chinese people visiting local tourist sites and making phone calls to China, telling them why separating themselves from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is critical for their future. “I explain that since the Party has committed so many bad deeds harming innocent people, anyone affiliated with it will face serious consequences,” she said.

As a well-known instructor in China, Ms. Zhao said she was able to let go of her attachment to fame and material interest after practicing Falun Dafa.

Talking to Chinese people at tourist sites and on the internet, she used to be disturbed because of the influence of Party culture she observed in the people she spoke to.

She realized that she should let go of this, and began acting in better accordance with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance, looking inward rather than outward. As a result, she was able to communicate with people more effectively, making it much easier for her to save them.

Ms. Shi from Sydney gave examples of maintaining righteous thoughts and righteous actions while promoting Shen Yun. “We need to be clear on what we do. When issues come up, the opportunity is presented to tell people the facts and save them.” She said it is important to pay attention to the different mindsets that different people have and to take them into account when communicating with them.

Doing Well in Various Projects

Ms. Rui said she joined the Epoch Times in 2002 and devoted herself to it ever since. Through the process, she slacked off in genuine cultivation, wrongly considering work on projects as cultivation. After realizing her mistake, she made corrections, let go of various notions, and was able to work better as a team member.

Ms. Zhang works for Sound of Hope. She said that for a period of time she lacked motivation. After realizing the sacredness of cultivation, she improved in studying the Fa and doing the exercises and was able to do much better in compiling news from China for the radio station.

Ms. Li also works at the Epoch Times. She shared how she left a job at the University of Melbourne to work full-time at the newspaper. “This is a good opportunity and my heard is purer now,” she added.

Western practitioner John has been interacting with government agencies and various organizations for a long time. After realizing that he was not being as considerate of others as he felt he should be, he began to participate in more activities with various human rights organizations.

“I was hesitant to do so in the past because it is time-consuming and not directly related to the persecution of Falun Gong. Now I have changed and often join such events.” He found that he was always very welcome and that this afforded him many new opportunities to talk to people about the suppression of Falun Dafa in China.

New Practitioners

Mr. Ren, a new practitioner in his 70s, began to practice Falun Dafa after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Soon after, his health took a turn for the better and he is very grateful. He does his best to follow the Falun Dafa principles, study the Fa and do the exercises every day, and he also goes to tourist sites to talk to people about the persecution in China.

Young practitioner Ming Zhen is from a family of practitioners. He made phone calls to China and joined various other Dafa activities. However, he did not do well in cultivation and gradually became addicted to video games. After realizing this problem, he begged Master for help and things have improved significantly. “I have now truly witnessed that Falun Dafa is sacred and powerful,” he said.

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences

Sydney, Australia: Locals Express Support for Falun Gong

June 18, 2016 | By Hua Qing, Minghui Correspondent in Sydney, Australia

(Minghui.org) The streets of the Asian community of Eastwood, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, were lined with local Falun Gong practitioners raising awareness about their peaceful spiritual practice and the persecution it endures in China on June 11. Many people were shocked to learn about the ongoing organ harvesting atrocities targeting Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.

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Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney held activities in Asian community of Eastwood.

Overseas Chinese Should Step Up and Say ‘No!’

Mr. Heng, a Chinese Malaysian business owner who works in Australia, said, “What you are doing is great! I hope more people will learn about the CCP’s crimes against Falun Gong practitioners. You have never created any trouble for anyone. I’ve observed you doing the morning exercises and your peaceful protests. No Australian has ever complained. Why does the CCP persecute Falun Gong? The Chinese government should allow them to practice openly.”

Mr. Heng was adamant that former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who initiated the persecution, should be brought to justice, “It’s very important!”

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Mr. Heng, a Chinese Malaysian

Mr. Heng said, “We overseas Chinese do our best to bring honor to the Chinese people. But the CCP brings us shame and humiliation with its crimes of persecution and organ harvesting. Overseas Chinese should step up and say ‘No!’ It’s critical!”

Governments Are Supposed to Protect People but the CCP Doesn’t.

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Bernadette (middle) and Nicole (right) sign a petition calling for an end to organ harvesting.

Bernadette and Nicole both signed the petition calling for an end to the organ harvesting in China. Bernadette said, “Governments are supposed to protect people, but the CCP doesn’t. How can it persecute people who follow Truthfulness- Compassion-Forbearance? What the Chinese government is doing is ridiculous.”

She said she sees practitioners’ activities and peaceful protests in many places, and always supports them. She’s even told others about it and asked them to sign the petition.

Nicole added, “We should expose what the Party is doing to stop it. I hope you will do more to tell people about Falun Gong. I think the CCP will collapse soon.”

Practitioner Ms. Gao helped more than 20 Chinese people quit the Communist organizations that day. She said, “Many young people from China don’t know much about the CCP’s persecution against Falun Gong. They think it has nothing to do with them, but after they read the flyer and learn more about it, they willingly quit the Communist organizations. Those who have previously quit are happy to see us and treat us like we’re old friends.”

Falun Gong practitioners have been exposing the persecution and helping people withdraw from Communist organizations in Eastwood every weekend. More and more Chinese people are learning about the persecution. Newly immigrated Chinese eagerly take the informational materials so they can know the truth about what’s going on in China.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

Perth, Australia: “I Want To Be a Force for Positive Change”

June 18, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent Mu Wenqing in Perth, Australia

(Minghui.org) “I want to help,” a young man named Junior said to the group who were calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. “I want to be a force for positive change.”

Local Falun Gong practitioners set up a booth in downtown Perth, Western Australia on June 11. They demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises and raised awareness about the persecution that the peaceful spiritual practice continues to face in China today.

The young man also learned that Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese cultivation practice that promotes mental and physical health and uplifts the spirit. He signed a petition calling for an end to the persecution.

Two other passersby, Georgia Fealey and Catherine Vernon, asked if they could sign the petition since they are not 18 yet. They were told that anybody can help, and that many people at their age or younger practice Falun Gong, yet are persecuted in China. The two girls signed their names with tears in their eyes, and asked for materials to help them spread the word on their social media accounts.

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Demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises in downtown, Perth, Australia, on June 11.

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Many people learned about the persecution and signed a petition condemning it.

Mark Cleaver and his wife Yara had heard about the suppression of beliefs in China, and understand that the Communist Party only wants people to believe in what the Party wants them to.

But the couple had never heard that state-sanctioned organ harvesting atrocities were happening in China; that prisoners of conscience are being killed to harvest their organs for sale on the black market. “This is absolutely unacceptable, and it must be stopped!” They signed the petition.

Rose Whitchurch also couldn’t believe it when she heard about the organ harvesting atrocities. Practitioners showed her reports prepared by independent investigators, and she signed the petition. She said that she will share the information with her friends and family.

A passerby named Paul Goerke read the petition out loud. He immediately decided to sign it and happily found that one of his friends had already signed. He said that he would pray for an end to the persecution each day.

A man named Luke Hazel never heard about Falun Gong. He was attracted by the peaceful energy field of the Falun Gong exercises. He asked what was going on, and signed the petition. Upon leaving, he said, “Keep up the good work, for it is for a compassionate goal.”

Three Chinese men tried to avoid the practitioners when they tried to hand a booklet to them. One practitioner said, “Reading Falun Gong materials is not against the law here. You are free to take a look. You’re in a free society here. Why don’t you take the chance to learn what Falun Gong really is?”

The negative attitude of the Chinese men disappeared. They each took a booklet, and started reading right away.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events