19 Australian Federal Parliamentarians Sign Joint Justice Initiative Supporting Australian Recognition of the 1915 Genocides

In 2023, the Joint Justice Initiative secured support from 19 Federal Parliamentarians, who have officially signed the Joint Justice Initiative’s Affirmation of Support Document calling for Australian recognition of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia.

In total, nine Parliamentarians elected to the House of Representatives signed the support document, including Dr Sophie Scamps MP – Member for Mackellar, Allegra Spender MP – Member for Wentworth, Jerome Laxale MP – Member for Bennelong, Zali Steggall MP – Member for Warringah, Henry Pike MP – Member for Bowman, Stephen Bates MP – Member for Brisbane, Max Chandler-Mather MP – Member for Griffith, Gavin Pearce MP – Member for Braddon and Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP – Member for Ryan.

A total of 11 Senators met with representatives of the Joint Justice Initiative in 2023 who agreed to support the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek communities, including Senator Jonno Duniam – representing Tasmania; Senator Mathew O’Sullivan – representing Western Australia; Senator Wendy Askew – representing Western Australia; Senator Lidia Thorpe – representing Victoria; Senator David Shoebridge – representing New South Wales; Senator Dorinda Cox – representing Western Australia; Senator Penny Allman-Payne – representing Queensland; Senator Dave Sharma – representing New South Wales and Senator Maria Kovacic – representing New South Wales.

Of significance, the latest cohort of signatories also includes Senator Claire Chandler – Senator for Tasmania and Assistant Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister and Senator Jordon Steele-John – Senator for Western Australia and Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs.

As a result of the Joint Justice Initiative’s advocacy efforts across 2023, 47 sitting elected representatives are now calling for official recognition of the 1915 Genocide, the largest cohort since the group’s establishment in February 2020.

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Michael Kolossian, said the Joint Justice Initiative was proud to have an additional 19 allies supporting national recognition of the genocides.

“These principled parliamentarians are demonstrating the will of the Australian people who elect them. They are our three communities’ greatest assets in our struggle for truth and justice.”

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 Genocides against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian citizens of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.