Federal Member for Greenway and Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland has joined the the Joint Justice Initiative of the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian by signing an affirmation of support for their calls for Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.
The February 2020 launch of the Joint Justice Initiative at Australia’s Parliament House featured the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) and Australian Hellenic Council (AHC), which declares Australia’s recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides as a priority on behalf of their communities.
Rowland was first elected to Parliament in 2010 and has risen to become one of the most respected political performers for her party. The former Deputy Mayor of Blacktown has spoken in parliament and during commemoration events, honouring victims of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.
In 2013, Rowland told an Armenian Genocide Commemoration event in Sydney: “Today I acknowledge the tragic events of 1915 and affirm my commitment to never forget what happened to the Armenian people who were effectively eliminated from the homeland they had occupied for nearly 3,000 years… I want to end this speech by noting that Australia’s first major international humanitarian relief effort was in fact to help Armenian orphans from the genocide.”
Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian welcomed the support of Rowland on behalf of the Joint Justice Initiative.
“On behalf of the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities, we are thankful to Ms. Michelle Rowland for her principled support for our joint cause of achieving Australian recognition and justice for the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, which was committed by the Ottoman Empire during World War I,” said Kayserian.
“Ms. Rowland has joined what is a growing caucus of supporters urging Australia to the path of the righteous nations who urge Turkey to stop denialism.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Rowland, Senator Paul Scarr, Tony Zappia MP, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Hollie Hughes, Senator Rex Patrick, Mike Freelander MP, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Pat Dodson, Jason Falinski MP, Josh Burns MP, John Alexander MP, Senator Andrew Bragg and Bob Katter MP, with a promise of more announcements to come.
On 25th February 2020, over 100 Federal Australian parliamentarians, diplomats, departmental officials, political staffers, academics, media and community leaders were treated to cultural performances, food, wine and brandy, as well as the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which affirmed that the signatory public affairs representatives of the three communities were jointly committed to seeing Australia recognise the Turkish-committed Genocide against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian citizens of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.