Tara Fatehi and the Australian-Kurdish parliamentary Friendship Group
1. What’s the name of your organization?
Australian-Kurdish parliamentary Friendship Group.
2. How did you come up with the idea? And what problems are you aiming at solving?
Basically I have been involved in Australian politics for a few years now in various ways and I have also been involved in the Kurdish community. For a long time I have wanted to do two things: create a strong Kurdish lobby in Australia and activate the Kurdish community to become more politically aware in Australia.
The lobby group was an idea that stemmed from various conversations with Australian politicians and members of parliament. I know the Australian political system very well. So the idea is to coordinate a group of volunteers nationally to create a link with their local MPs and representatives. Then every time an incident occurs and we need answers and action from western governments the volunteers will need to use the link created to get those answers from Canberra and possible foreign governments.
I understand and know that Australian Foreign policy is weak and may have no leverage on Kurdistan. However, I know they have a say in relations with the governments in the US and Britain which do have leverage. If nothing else, we can create a larger awareness of the Kurdish plight to the Australian people and politicians and replicate the kind of support the community has gained in Europe.
3. Where are you operating?
At the moment we have a management team headed by myself and advocates in SA, NSW, VIC. We are still recruiting for QLD, ACT and WA.
4. What are your plans for the future?
Our plans for the future are our aims as outlined above.
The biggest aim is to counteract lobbying from Turkish alliances and Iranian lobby groups, which are not in the interest of the Kurds. But that’s an unwritten rule, if you know what I mean.
By: Azheen Fuad