(Minghui.org) After a grand parade and rally on May 11, 2024 in downtown Melbourne, Falun Dafa practitioners held another celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in the Box Hill Central shopping district to honour the 25th World Falun Dafa Day.

City of Whitehorse in Box Hill is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in Australia. In a 2021 nationwide census, Chinese people accounted for nearly 47 percent of local residents.

Honourable guests, Whitehorse City Councilors Tina Liu, Blair Barker, and Andrew Munroe, personally attended the celebration. In their speeches, they spoke of how they appreciated Falun Dafa practitioners’ efforts to spread the wonderful values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and praised practitioners for their contributions to the local community.

Falun Dafa practitioners in Melbourne held a rally in the predominantly Chinese community of Box Hill on May 18, 2024, to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day.


Councilor Tina Liu: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Is of Great Importance

Councilor Tina Liu said that Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are very important. She said she felt privileged to attend a celebration of the 32nd anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction.

Councilor Liu commended Falun Dafa practitioners for hosting such “fantastic artistic performances.” She said that the event enabled practitioners and people in the community to come together, and it would be a day full of joy and spirituality.

Councilor Liu is also the former Mayor of Whitehorse. She told a Minghui reporter, “The universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are very important, particularly now in today’s world, they are important more than ever.”

“These are principles that will resonate with anyone. I think the values are certainly very important,” she said.

“I commend Falun Dafa for all your contributions to our community,” she added.

Regarding Falun Dafa practitioners’ efforts to raise awareness and peacefully work against the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution over the past 25 years, Councilor Liu said, “It’s important for any person, particularly in Australia, to have the ability to express themselves. That’s the beauty of the Australian values, and it’s something that should be upheld.”

“Falun Dafa obviously is part of our diverse multicultural community. We support community efforts and we support the fantastic work that many of our community groups do, including Falun Dafa,” she said.

White Horse City Councilor Tina Liu speaks at the celebration in Box Hill on May 18, 2024, to honor World Falun Dafa Day.


Councilor Blair Barker: Falun Dafa Makes a Massive Contribution to the Community

Councilor Blair Barker addressed the rally and said that the Falun Dafa group in Whitehorse is full of energy. He said that in a democratic country, everyone is free to practice their faith.

Councilor Barker said that he is Christian, but he often thinks about joining the cultivators that he often sees practicing the exercises together in local parks. He appreciates practitioners for openly displaying their belief, and he said they benefit their great city.

He also affirmed that he knew about the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa by the Communist Party in China. It is “one of the greatest crimes humanity has ever seen,” he said. He said such a thing wouldn’t happen in their city, where practitioners are forever safe to practice their faith.

Councilor Barker told a Minghui reporter that Falun Dafa makes “a massive contribution” to the community. “And the first way is that faith is an important part of humans’ lived experience. It’s also the ability to unite people,” he said.

“Because loneliness is one of the most damaging things in our society, where people don’t have any human contact. I see you [Falun Dafa practitioners] providing not only a spirituality for people, but providing an ability to bring people together, to come together, to exercise, to think about your spirituality. So they make a massive contribution,” he said.

He said that he thinks [Dafa’s principles of] Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are really essentially Australian values as well. “Being truthful, showing forbearance, being patient and having that resilience – they’re essentially Australian values. It’s entirely consistent with an Australian view of the world too. And I might add the best of Australia, where we are truthful with one another, where we do have the courage to celebrate our faith.”

His final thought was that practitioners’ activities bring “love and energy and hope and friendship to our city. I thank you for it.”

Councilor Barker wrote on his social media that day: “So nice to spend time with local Falun Dafa folk for their world [Falun Dafa] day. They bring an energy and warmth on a cool afternoon.”

“I only find kindness, a warm energy and a desire to help others, and it’s not just people from China, there are plenty of anglo-euro and other locals that find it ‘their jam,’” he wrote.

Councilor Blair Barker addressed a rally on May 18, 2024 in Box Hill to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day.


Councilor Andrew Munroe: Wishing Mr. Li Hongzhi a Happy Birthday

Councilor Andrew Munroe also attended the day’s celebration and accepted an interview from a Minghui reporter.

“It was good to see so many people from Falun Dafa,” he said. “It was great to see so many people celebrating Falun Dafa Day in Box Hill on Saturday and it was a beautiful sunny day and there was a great atmosphere for the people involved.

“I congratulate all the people who organised the event, and it was a great successful event in the mall in Box Hill, with many people participating directly and many members of the community looking on the sidelines, and people getting some understanding of Falun Dafa and what they represent.”

He said the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are very important, because these principles improve people’s well being and the community’s harmony.

“So it’s a worldwide celebration, and Falun Dafa practitioners get to enjoy the company of others and participate in the Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, and it’s certainly on show. I think the people looking after their spiritual well-being and their health well-being leads to stronger societies and that is reflected all around the world where people are practicing and celebrating Falun Dafa and Falun Dafa Day.

“People who are participating in Falun Dafa are able to do that with freedom and without interference, and in turn they are making a positive contribution to the well-being, the mental and the physical well-being, of the community in which they live.”

He also expressed his congratulations for Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, on his birthday.

Councilor Andrew Munroe was reelected to the Whitehorse Council in October 2020 for his fourth term as a councilor. He served as Mayor for three terms, from 2012 to 2021.

Councilor Andrew Munroe accepted an interview after the day’s celebration. (Image courtesy of Councilor Munroe)


Expressing Thanks to Dafa

Gao Jian, head of the Melbourne Democracy Alliance, said that he is not a Falun Dafa practitioner but he supports Falun Dafa, and he is a friend of Falun Dafa. He said that since the CCP seized power, it has carried out political persecution and constantly created terror.

“Today, I can speak on the stage. It’s not because of my courage, but because I overcame fear. I came from mainland China, and experienced the June 4 Massacre. I know the CCP quite well,” he said.

Mr. Gao said facing the CCP’s tyranny, “many people dare not express their anger. Falun Dafa practitioners face the CCP’s brutal persecution and are still spreading the message of Dafa. They follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and in a peaceful and non-violent way, resist the CCP’s brutality. This is a remarkable power, and only the divine is able to do so.”

“I see hope in Falun Dafa practitioners, and I thank them!” Gao shouted out, “Thanks, Dafa! Falun Dafa is great!”

Gao Jian, head of the Melbourne Democracy Alliance, speaks at the rally celebrating World Falun Dafa on May 18, 2024.