The Australian National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, which will be premiered live on Facebook and YouTube this Friday 23rd April 2021, will feature over 20 political leaders, including Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Hon. Paul Fletcher MP; New South Wales Premier Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP; Federal parliamentarians Tim Wilson MP, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, John Alexander MP, Trent Zimmerman MP, Senator Kristina Keneally, Julian Leeser MP and Senator Eric Abetz among other colleagues; as well as New South Wales legislators Speaker Hon. Jonathan O’Dea MP, Minister Hon. Victor Dominello MP and Shadow Minister Hon. Walt Secord MLC.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reported that the Australian politicians will offer messages of solidarity for Federal recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides on the occasion that marks the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which saw the Ottoman Empire systematically massacre over 1.5 million of its Armenian citizens, and a further 1 million Assyrians and Greeks.
Minister Paul Fletcher will continue his steadfast activity calling for national recognition of the Armenian Genocide by his Government, as he has consistently done since his entry into federal politics in 2009.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who currently leads Australia’s largest state of New South Wales, is a grandchild of Armenian Genocide survivors and will share how genocides unrecognised and unpunished lead to further attempts at ethnic cleansing, as was witnessed in the Republic of Artsakh last year.
Minister Fletcher, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt, Member for Berowra Julian Leeser, Member for Goldstein Tim Wilson, Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon, Senator Andrew Bragg, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator Kristina Keneally, Member for Mackellar Jason Falinski MP, Member for Reid Fiona Martin, Member for Macarthur Mike Freelander, Member for Macnamara Josh Burns, Member for Bennelong John Alexander, Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman and Member for Adelaide Steve Georganas are among the Federal parliamentarians that will feature in the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee’s broadcast.
Premier Berejiklian will be joined by fellow New South Wales parliamentarians, including the co-convenors of the state’s Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, Member for Davidson Jonathan O’Dea and Walt Secord, Member for Ryde Victor Dominello, Member for Prospect Hugh McDermott, and Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.
ANC-AU welcomed the swell of non-partisan support being received by the Armenian-Australian community.
“Making sure our community hears from the representatives we elect is a fundamental part of a democracy. It shows the power of the grassroots effort that we have spent so much time building up as a community. The outcome of this effort is seeing the significant support call for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANC-AU Executive Director Haig Kayserian, who will deliver the Commemoration’s Advocacy Report.
In addition to these political messages of support, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received letters calling for his accurate recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides from Mr. Trent Zimmerman MP and Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP – as co-convenors of the Armenia-Australia Inter-Parliamentary Union, Senator Janet Rice – as the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson of The Australian Greens, Hon. Jonathan O’Dea MP and Hon. Walt Secord MLC – as co-convenors of the New South Wales Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, the New South Wales Young Liberals, the New South Wales Ecumenical Council representing 16 churches, Christian Charity Barnabas Fund Australia, Kurdish Lobby Australia, as well as from numerous prominent academics. On 20th April, the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies passed a motion joining their peak Executive Council of Australian Jewry reiterating their call on the Australian Government and all governments to recognize the Armenian Genocide at a plenum held in Sydney titled “Learning from the Holocaust: Why countries should recognize the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides”.
On 20th April, the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies passed a motion joining their peak Executive Council of Australian Jewry reiterating their call on the Australian Government and all governments to recognise the Armenian Genocide at a plenum held in Sydney titled “Learning from the Holocaust: Why countries should recognise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides”.
“The unprecedented number of federal parliamentarians, state parliamentarians, prominent individuals and organisations lending their support for this cause means Australia has spoken. We are just waiting for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and our Government to join us,” Kayserian added.
The Australian National Commemoration will also showcase a keynote feature, which links the Armenian Genocide with the 2020 Artsakh War through testimonies from the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh, Mr. Davit Babayan and the Republic of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender, Mr. Arman Tatoyan.
The 75-minute Commemoration, which premiers live at 7:30 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) via the Facebook and YouTube pages of Armenia Media and other organisations on Friday 23rd April 2021, will also be encore streamed on the same channels at the same time on Saturday 24th April 2021.
The member organisations of the organising Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee are the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Missionary Association, Hamazkaine, Nor Serount, Homenetmen, Tekeyan, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, Dkhrouni, AGBU Youth and the Armenian Youth Federation, in addition to Sahagian Sporting Club in Victoria and the Armenian National Committee of Australia Head Office and Branches in Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.
This event is held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Evangelical Church.