Australia: Rationally Opposing the Persecution, Ms. Dai Zhizhen and Her Daughter Win Humanitarianism Award in Melbourne

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The Australian Altruism Foundation, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia issued the "The Turtle Award," the award of humanitarianism, of year 2006 to Ms. Dai Zhizhen and her daughter, Chen Fadu, on the evening of May 3rd, 2007. The award commends their courage and spirit in their trips to 45 countries around the world in the past few years to call for help for those practitioners and their children who have been persecuted. They are the first ever Chinese winner since the foundation was established.

Ms. Dai Zhizhen and her daughter Chen Fadu
Ms. Dai and Kirsty Marshall, MP of the Victoria Province (middle) and a Falun Gong practitioner from Melbourne
Shane Holst, founder of the the Australian Altruism Foundation calls on people to help Ms. Dai Zhizhen by all means in the banquet and to relay her story to more people

Nearly 200 people attended the award ceremony and charity banquet held at Leonda By the Yarra, a renown restaurant on the bank of the Yarra river in Melbourne. There were three winners for the Award of Humanitarianism, and six individuals won the Turtle Award. "The Turtle Award" is named because the turtle has a characteristic whereby it "sticks out its neck". The award focused on those who advocate more people to step up and call for the changes that benefit the public. Shane Holst, the founder of the Australian Altruism Foundation said, "We advocate care, compassion and courage."

Ms. Dai Zhizhen won the Turtle Award in the belief category. Her husband was tortured to death by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for practising Falun Gong in 2001. Her daughter had just been born at that time. The host of the ceremony gave Ms. Dai six minutes for a speech, while other winners were given the normal two minutes. Ms. Dai said, "There are many many families, and many many kids who suffered the same as what my daughter has suffered. But they don't get a chance to speak out. I took my daughter and travelled around the world. I decided to let the entire world know about my husband's death due to the CCP's persecution."

Many were moved by Ms. Dai's speech. Bruce Carney, the winner next to Ms. Dai, was particularly moved. He said, "I don't have much to say, especially after Ms. Jane Dai. I have to say that I don't know why I am here. But anyway, thanks for the award."

The host of the ceremony also changed his easy going and humorous character, and looked sorrowful.

Shane Holst, the founder of the foundation, noticed the host's emotion and said, "He is very worried because he's so moved by Ms. Dai's story. He thinks his humour a few minutes ago may have been inappropriate."

An independent judge of The Australian Altruism Foundation, Susan Barton, was deeply touched by Ms. Dai's accomplishment. Ms. Susan said, "It's surprising that she has done so many things as a woman. She has been travelling around the world, after going through this profound hardship. She set a great model for women in the world."

Ms. Dai indicated that she didn't think the award should be only for herself. She believes it's a commendation of Falun Gong, because Falun Gong promotes the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." Falun Gong practitioners follow the principles to improve themselves to be selfless and altruistic people. During the past eight years of persecution, in order to help people recognise the CCP's lies, practitioners have tried their best to clarify the facts around the world. This award also reflects that more and more people in the world have come to understand Falun Gong practitioners' rational behaviour in opposing the persecution. She expressed her appreciation to people from all over the world who provide their help and support to Falun Gong practitioners.

At the end of the banquet, the founder of the foundation reminded people that they should help Ms. Dai in any way possible, and let more people know her story.

The Australian Altruism Foundation is a nonprofit charity organisation. Its positive vision is for an ethically, spiritually and psychologically healthy Australia. It strives to reverse the negative vision which manifests as dishonesty, greed, manipulation, exclusivity, divisiveness, opportunism and self-servingness. Its purpose is to be a catalyst for positive social change in the Australian community.

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