Snell, McDermott and Alexander Honoured as Armenian National Committee of Australia Raises over $180,000 in Sydney and Melbourne

The Armenian National Committee of Australia’s (ANC-AU) Advocacy Week events in Sydney and Melbourne raised over $180,000, whilst international guest on honour Lindsey Snell, New South Wales Member for Prospect Hugh McDermott and Tasmanian Member for Bass, Lara Alexander received the organisation’s illustrious annual awards.

ANC-AU’s glitzy event at the Sofitel in Sydney’s Darling Harbour featured a stellar list of guests, led by honourees Snell, McDermott and Alexander. They were joined by Federal parliamentarians Jerome Laxale MP and Paul Fletcher MP; NSW State parliamentarians Mark Buttigieg MP, Mark Coure MP, Jordan Lane MP, Matt Cross MP, Jackie Munroe MLC, Susan Carter MLC, Chris Rath MLC and Scott Farlow MLC; former NSW parliamentarians Jonathan O’Dea and Amanda Fazio, and local government representatives including Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor,  Ryde City Mayor Sarkis Yedelian, Willoughby Councillor Sarkis Mouradian and Northern Beaches Councillor Michael Gencher.

Among the guests were also ethnic and Armenian community leaders and clergy, as well as visiting Armenian Missionary Association Artsakh representative, Viktor Karapetyan.

The ANC-AU’s Melbourne Cocktail Event was the organisation’s first in Victoria in over ten years at the Rivers Edge Events function centre along the famous Yarra River.

Victoria’s Armenian community raised over $19,000 in the presence of six Victorian state parliamentarians, including Kat Theophanous MP, John Mullahy MP, Kim Wells MP, Michael Galea MPC, Ann-Marie Hermans MLC and Nick McGowan MLC. Both events were also attended by political party executive leaders and Armenian, Indigenous, Assyrian, Greek, Kurdish and Jewish organisations.

The organisation’s highest honour, the ANC-AU Freedom Award, was presented to Dr Hugh McDermott at the Sydney ANC-AU Gala. The award is inscribed: “In recognition of your championing of the rights of Armenian citizens in the Republics of Artsakh and Armenia, visiting both nations, denouncing human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijan and Turkey, both historic and current.”

To watch Dr McDermott’s acceptance speech, click here.

This year’s Armenian-Australian Community’s Friend of the Year Award was presented to Lara Alexander MP, who travelled from Tasmania to New South Wales to participate in the ANC-AU’s night of nights in Sydney. The award is inscribed: “In appreciation of your commitment to truth and justice and extraordinary contributions in securing Tasmania’s state recognition of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.”

To watch Ms Alexander’s acceptance speech, click here.

Travelling international journalist Lindsey Snell was honoured as the 2023 Ben Bagidikian Media recipient at both events in Sydney and Melbourne. The award is inscribed: “In recognition of your fearless reporting and dedication to truth and justice, shedding light on Azerbaijan’s human rights violations and aggression against citizens in the Republics of Artsakh and Armenia.”

To watch Ms Snell’s acceptance speech, click here.

Both events in Sydney and Melbourne featured stand-alone segments on the third Australian Delegation to the Republic of Armenia, which took place earlier this year in September 2023, as well as the ANC-AU Outreach initiatives, which include the Hagop Kortian Scholarship, Junior Advocates, Youth Advocates and Galstaun Government.

Throughout the night in Sydney, attendees were treated to entertainment from the Armenian Sydney Dance Ensemble, who also performed a traditional Armenian ‘shoorchbar’ with the parliamentarians in attendance and Winner of 2020/21 MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR and winner of the WORLDS BIGGEST MAGIC COMPETITION’s, Armenian-Australian illusionist Jack Daniels.

ANC-AU Executive Director Michael Kolokossian, who delivered the organisation’s Advocacy Address in the presence of over 350 attendees in both Sydney and Melbourne, thanked the broader Armenian-Australian community for their continued solidarity with the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community.

He said, “We are in charge of our response to this conflict. We are in charge of how we respond to the fate of the people of Artsakh. We are in charge of ensuring Australia stand on the right side of history.”

“With every mountain we climb, there is another one tomorrow. The Armenian National Committee of Australia is ready to charge. Thank you for your support.” Kolokossian added.

To watch Mr Kolokossian’s speech, click here.