Australian City Launches Humanitarian Appeal for Artsakh

The Armenian National Committee of Australia reports that the City of Ryde Council in Sydney has unanimously adopted a motion, establishing a ‘Mayor’s Appeal for Artsakh’ to provide much needed humanitarian aid to the Armenians of Artsakh and the independent republic’s refugees who, since 12 December 2022, have been cut off from essential supplies by the Azerbaijani authorities.

Armenian-Australian Mayor Sarkis Yedelian OAM tabled the motion in his Mayoral Minute, which pledged an initial $1,500 to from the City of Ryde to kickstart the appeal.

“While the Mayor’s Appeal will go some way in alleviating the human suffering of an indigenous population, it also represents the humanity of all Australians in our City,” said Yedelian.

The City of Ryde municipality is home to the largest population of Armenian-Australians in the country and its Council has an exemplary record standing with its constituents by recognising the Armenian Genocide, recognising the Republic of Artsakh, and establishing a sister city relationship with Artsakh’s capital Stepanakert.

The Armenian Relief Society Australia (ARS-AU), with its parent body based in New York, is the oldest Armenian women’s organisation, providing humanitarian assistance to Armenians worldwide and will work in collaboration with the Council to promote the appeal and deliver the aid to the people of Artsakh.

Armenian Relief Society of Australia Chairperson Nora Grigorian welcomed the appeal and said, “We are grateful for the launch of this Mayor’s Appeal to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the 120,000 indigenous Armenians of Artsakh.”

“It was Australia’s humanitarian assistance in 1915 that saved my grandparents from perishing during the Armenian Genocide over 100 years ago by providing an orphanage for refuge. Today, as an Australian-born resident of Ryde, I’m proud that our City is lending a hand to overcome the physiological and physical suffering emanating from Azerbaijan’s inhumane blockade,” added Grigorian.

In the lead-up to the meeting, the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) wrote to Councillors calling for immediate action and support.

Following the success of the motion, ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian said, “108 years ago, Lord Mayors from across New South Wales and Victoria set up Council led appeals to aid victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Today, the City of Ryde honoured that history and continues that legacy through this appeal as Armenians in Artsakh face a similar plight in 2023.”

“Our community thanks Mayor Sarkis Yedelian and the City of Ryde Council.”

The appeal will be open for all Australians to contribute between the 1st of September until the 15th of September 2023.

Donations can be made by direct deposit to:

Account Name: Mayors Appeal ARS Australia
BSB: 062295
Account: 10425847
Reference: MayorsAppeal_YourName