A report by the Office of the Armenian National Committee of Australia
In order to continue our advocacy and bring awareness to the issues and concerns of Armenian-Australians, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has spent this election campaign meeting with key Members of Parliament and candidates for the 2016 Federal poll, which will be held on Saturday, 2nd July.
This Ultimate Armenian Guide helps Armenian-Australian voters in the Federal Election understand the messages and promises that our politicians and candidates have expressed to us regarding important issues to our community.
During the meetings, specific matters were raised for both domestic issues within Australia, and Armenian-specific issues.
Issues that were discussed include:
Federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide;
Support for the right to self-determination for the Armenians of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh;
Immigration and supporting safe passage of Armenians displaced in Syria and Iraq as a result of ISIL;
Security and support for Armenian-Australian educational institutions;
Understanding positions for anti-racial vilification and anti-racial discrimination laws and policies;
Strengthening bi-lateral relations between Australia and the Republic of Armenia;
The Australian economy and supporting small business.
General party policies are available to the general public through media and party websites (Australian Labor Party [ALP]: www.alp.org.au | Liberal Party of Australia [LIB]: www.liberal.org.au), however this guide will mainly focus on policy positions of politicians and candidates on Armenian-specific issues.
It is important to note as well, that this year’s double dissolution election allows you to vote above the line, and have a say in who represents your State or Territory in the Senate.
In the Senate, it is worthwhile noting that the Greens recently declared through Senator Lee Rhiannon, their party’s collective support for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Also, the leader of the NXT (Nick Xenophon Team) Party, Senator Nick Xenophon, is a long-time supporter of a resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide in Australia, while the Christian Democratic Party – founded by Rev. Fred Nile – has a very strong record on Armenian issues.
Throughout the 44th Federal Parliamentary term, ANC Australia has engaged in more than 300 meetings with MPs and Senators to discuss Armenian-Australian issues, both in their respective electoral offices, and in Canberra. These have included meetings with those who are in Armenian-populated electorates, to gain support on all Armenian related issues of importance.
The electorate of Bennelong is home to the largest Armenian community in Australia and has been held by last year’s ANC Australia‘s Armenian-Australian Community’s Friend of the Year recipient, John Alexander (LIB).
Alexander (LIB) has been an outstanding advocate for Armenian-Australian issues in the House of Representatives since being elected to Parliament in 2010. He has consistently highlighted human rights issues in Azerbaijan including the Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad Pogroms, supported the right to self-determination for the Armenians of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, and has made statements and speeches on the Armenian Genocide in the House of Representatives.
Further to this, he has attended the National Armenian Genocide Commemoration Evening on April 24 every year since being elected, and continues to advocate for Federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and wants to see relations between Australia and Armenia strengthened.
We wish Alexander all the best for his re-election campaign, and support his bid to return to House of Representatives.
Since winning the bi-election for North Sydney on December 4 last year, Trent Zimmerman (LIB) has openly declared his support for the Armenian Genocide to be recognised by Australia through his maiden speech in the House of Representatives, at the annual Commemoration event on April 24, and reiterated this through our most recent meeting with him.
Zimmerman continues to enjoy the support of Armenian-Australians and ANC Australia in his electorate.
As the Shadow Minister for Small Business and Shadow Minister for Citizenship & Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland (ALP), who has been the Member for Greenway since 2010, has continued to be a strong supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition. Focusing on her shadow portfolio, Rowland (ALP) is committed to supporting Armenians who arrive from Syria and Iraq, in order to help make their transition to Australia as smooth and as easy as possible. She also supports Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and wants to see stronger relations between Australia and Armenia.
We support Rowland in her re-election campaign.
Joel Fitzgibbon (ALP), Australia’s former Minister for Defence who is the Member for Hunter, continues to support recognition of the Armenian Genocide and wants to see the strengthening of bilateral relations between Australia and Armenia.
We wish Fitzgibbon all the best for his re-election.
Julian Leeser (LIB), who is the Liberal candidate for Berowra taking over from retiring friend of the Armenian-Australian community, Phillip Ruddock, supports the National Safe Schools Framework to help ensure a secure learning environment for students in educational institutions. He also supports Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
We wish Leeser all the best in his first election campaign.
The electorate of Bruce contains the largest population of Armenian-Australians in Victoria, and a marginal seat that is hotly contested.
Helen Kroger (LIB) attended the Armenian Genocide Commemoration on April 24 in Melbourne this year and spoke at the event. She supports recognition of the Armenian Genocide. She is also committed to supporting small business, and community groups, as she has done through her support for Brandon Park FC. She would also like to see the strengthening of relations between Australia and Armenia.
Julian Hill (ALP), who is the other candidate for Bruce, supports Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and supports security for educational institutions. He will advocate against the human rights abuses by Azerbaijan in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, and also supports recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
We wish both Kroger and Hill all the best for the upcoming election.
Former National Board member of ANC Australia, Hovig Melkonian (ALP) is currently running for the electorate of Casey in Victoria, and has been a long time advocate of Armenian issues. Melkonian supports recognition of the Armenian Genocide, supports the right to self-determination for the Armenians of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, supports having safe passage for Armenians from Syria and Iraq to come to Australia, and supports Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. He would also like to see bilateral relations between Australia and Armenia strengthened.
We wish Melkonian all the best in his first election campaign, and support his candidacy.
The following Members of Parliament and the Senate have also demonstrated a record of support to the Armenian-Australian community and we look forward to working with them after the 2016 Election, and support their election/re-election:
Malcolm Turnbull, Wentworth (LIB)
Chris Bowen, McMahon (ALP)
Paul Fletcher, Bradfield (LIB)
Anthony Albanese, Grayndler (ALP)
Anne Aly, Cowan (ALP)
Tim Wilson, Goldstein (LIB)
Silvana Nero, Senator Tasmania (CDP)
Nick Xenophon, Senator South Australia (NXT)
Lee Rhiannon, Senator New South Wales (AG)
ANC Australia would like to thank all the candidates for meeting with us and would like to wish all supporters of Armenian-Australian issues well in their election campaigns.
We call upon all Sydney and Melbourne community members, who are interested in assisting any of our above supported candidates on Election Day, to email us at email@example.com with your name, address and availability for Saturday, 2nd July 2016.
Interview with ANC Australia’s Arin Markarian on the Federal Election
Armenia TV (Australia)’s Garineh Torossian talks to the Executive Administrator of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia, Arin Markarian about the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community and their pre-election meetings with Candidates ahead of the Australian Federal Election.
Արմենիա TV. Հարցազրոյց Աւստրալիոյ Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի Արին Մարգարեանին հետ
Արմենիա TV (Աւստրալիա) կը ներկայացնէ հարցազրոյց Աւստրալիոյ Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի գործադիր գործավար՝ Արին Մարգարեանի հետ:
Հարցազրոյցի ընթացքին Արին Մարգարեան կը խօսի Շաբաթ 3 Յուլիս Աւստրալիոյ մէջ տեղի ունենալիք դաշնակցային ընտրութիւններու մասին եւ ընտրութիւններուն առնչութեամբ Աւստրալիոյ Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբին ունեցած հանդիպումներուն եւ անոնց արդիւնքներուն մասին:
Յիշենք որ Աւստրալիոյ Հայ դատի յանձնախումբը անցեալ շաբաթ հրապարակեց ընտրութիւններու կապակցութեամբ իր զեկոյցն ու ուղեցոյցը: