Veteran Member of Parliament Warren Entsch has signed an affirmation of support backing the Joint Justice Initiative – launched by the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities – and their call for Federal Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire from 1915.
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.
Queenslander Entsch, who is the Federal Member for Leichhardt, served in the Royal Australian Air Force before a career in farming, real estate and crocodile catching prior to entering politics in 1996. During his distinguished career in Canberra, Entsch has served as the Chief Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives (2010 to 2013) and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers of Industry, Science and Resources (1998–2001) and Industry, Tourism and Resources (2001-2006).
Entsch has long been an advocate for minority rights, and after attending the launch of the Joint Justice Initiative, was compelled to join in advancing the collective Cause of Armenian-Australians, Assyrian-Australians and Greek-Australians.
“It is important to our communities that we have broad-based support from across the Parliament in advancing our collective calls for Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, and this context makes the support of a prominent Queensland MP in Mr. Warren Entsch so satisfying,” said Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian.
“We thank Mr. Entsch and look forward to working with him and his growing list of colleagues to achieving our goal in the name of justice and human rights.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Entsch, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Andrew Wilkie MP, 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.