Prominent Independent Andrew Wilkie, the Federal Member for Clark in Tasmania, has joined a growing list of colleagues in support for Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides by signing on to the Joint Justice Initiative of the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities.
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.
As one of only three Independents in Australia’s House of Representatives, Wilkie has carved a reputation as a strong advocate on social issues, having entered politics following a distinguished military career during which he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He currently serves on the House Standing Committee on Environment and Energy.
“The Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities’ combined cause to have the Genocides suffered by our ancestors recognised by Australia is emboldened by the addition of Mr. Andrew Wilkie to our Joint Justice Initiative,” said Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian.
“Mr. Wilkie joins a growing list of our country’s federal lawmakers who are signing their names an initiative that proves Australia out of touch with truth and justice on what is an important issue of human rights, which deserves recognition and justice.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Wilkie, Julian Leeser MP, Michelle Rowland MP, 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.