A record number of seven Australian Parliamentarians from the New South Wales and Victorian Parliaments will participate in the third Australian Parliamentary Delegation to the Republic of Armenia led by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) from September 25-28.
The four-day jam-packed itinerary will shine a light on the unfolding crisis in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), including the ongoing nine month blockade, the recent military assault against the region’s indigenous Armenians and Azerbaijan’s invasion into the sovereign borders of Armenia.
“This is a momentous time in Armenian history, with existential threats against both Armenian Republics of Armenia and Artsakh and both internal political and geopolitical manoeuvring playing out in real time, and to have a group of Australian political leaders available to witness it first-hand is an opportunity we are excited to host,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian, who will be leading his organisation’s representatives in chaperoning some of the most recognisable faces in New South Wales and Victorian state politics.
New South Wales Member for Prospect Dr Hugh McDermott and New South Wales Member for Willoughby Mr Tim James MP – the Co-Chairs of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Armenia – will lead the Parliamentary Delegation consisting of over 20 Australians.
McDermott and James will be joined by NSW State parliamentary colleagues Mark Coure MP – NSW Member for Oatley, Matt Cross MP – NSW Member for Davidson, Susan Carter – Member of the Legislative Council, as well as members of the ANC-AU National Office and Board, and Australian business leaders.
For the first time ever, two sitting Victorian State MPs are visiting the Republic of Armenia, including Kim Wells MP – Victorian Member for Rowville and Ann-Marie Hermans – Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, as well as former federal parliamentarian, Tim Wilson, who is of Armenian origin.
Armenian National Committee of Australia – Melbourne branch member, Jessica Cinar said, “It’s really exciting to see two of our own, MPs representing Armenian-Australian constituents in Victoria, travelling to the homeland, and this is due to the ANC-AU’s active presence in Victoria in 2023 and expanding ties with Victorian state MPs.”
The four-day itinerary includes meetings with political and business leaders, visits to some of Armenia’s picturesque mountains and historical sites, as well as the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex (Tzizernagapert) and the Yerablur Military Pantheon to pay their respects to all Armenian lives lost at the hands of Turkish and Azerbaijani aggression over the last century.