Australia’s House of Representatives will debate, for the first time, a Motion to recognise the Armenian Genocide through the prism of Australia’s first major international humanitarian relief effort on Monday, June 25, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reports.
The Motion, which is being moved by Trent Zimmerman (MP for North Sydney) and seconded by John Alexander (MP for Bennelong), proposes Australia recognises, among other things, “the extraordinary humanitarian efforts of the then newly formed Commonwealth of Australia for the orphans and other survivors of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire including Greeks and Assyrians”.
The Motion has been supported by Members of the Coalition government as well as the Australian Labor Party, led by the Co-Chairs of the Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Union Friendship Group Co-Chairs, Zimmerman (LIB) and Joel Fitzgibbon (ALP - MP for Hunter).
ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian explained that Armenian-Australians were hoping the debate will portray a favourable reflection of the will of Australia to “recognise an important and proud chapter in Australia’s history that has been kept under wraps for too long due to a foreign dictatorship’s gag order on the Government’s accurate characterisation of Armenian Genocide”.
“We are hopeful that the majority of the speakers in Monday’s debate will taken a major step towards Australia recognising that the country’s first major international humanitarian relief effort was to aid survivors of the Genocide that decimated the Christian Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians of the Ottoman Empire,” said Kayserian.
“Australians embarked on these efforts because our brave Gallipoli ANZAC POWs witnessed the genocide and wrote home about what was happening to the Christian Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. Aussies helped the systematically targeted people of the Ottoman Empire during their most desperate time of need because Australian newspapers published over 10,000 articles during covering the Armenian Genocide in great detail.”
On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Genocide which began in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.