Representatives of the Perth-based Hong Kong community are feeling helpless as the Hong Kong political situation worsens.
Over the past few months, Hong Kong protests have been at the forefront of global news amid fears of Hong Kong being stripped of its civil liberties.
The Perth Hong Kong community have held multiple rallies and a memorial service with the aim of raising international awareness.
Perth Hong Kong students’ AntiELAB concern group spokeswoman Sherene Nee said she felt a sense of responsibility to stand up for people’s rights to freedom and justice.
“The main purpose surely is to show our solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong, besides, we also want to tell Australian authorities and people about the issue in order to raise more power to help Hong Kong,” she said.
Ms Nee said it was depressing following the news every day, as even though she lived in Australia, Hong Kong was still home.
“It is heartbreaking to see what is happening back home, but we can’t be there to support the social movement,” she said.
The protests in Hong Kong have sparked a global movement, with HongKongers across the world demonstrating for those back home.
University of Western Australia political science and international relations Professor Jie Chen explained the inevitability of this global wave.
“You can’t have something like hundreds of thousands of people hitting the streets in Hong Kong without triggering some sort of sentiment from Hong Kong people elsewhere,” he said.
Professor Chen said global Hong Kong activists were usually surrounded and overpowered by those from the opposing side.
“I don’t think everybody in the Hong Kong community or every Hong Kong student here has the energy to demonstrate here, not because they feel detached from their homeland, but really because of what they have witnessed elsewhere,” he said.
The size of the Hong Kong community in Australia is expected grow as the protests have resulted in a rise of migration enquiries from Hong Kong citizens.
“Unfortunately more people in Hong Kong are worried about prospects, including the future of their children,” Professor Chen said.
The global effect of the Hong Kong protests is evident in Perth, with action planned to continue until intervention by Australian authorities.