CANBERRA: The Federal Member for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman has spoken in the Australian Parliament, congratulating the Republic of Armenia on the occasion of its 25th anniversary of Independence.
Zimmerman told the Federation Chamber: “It is extraordinary testament to the spirit of survival and resilience of Armenians – who have endured foreign rule and of course the devastating impacts of the Armenian Genocide – that it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union as a free nation.”
In his speech, Zimmerman congratulated the people of Armenia and acknowledged the significance of this milestone for the many Armenian constituents in his electorate, speaking of the celebrations held in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital and largest city, as a “new yet ancient nation celebrated its 25th year of independence”.
“It was on this historic day [September 21] 25 years ago that the Armenian people boldly and with near unanimity voted YES to secure their independence from the yoke of the Soviet Union,” Zimmerman said.
“After seven decades of Soviet rule, the Armenian people vowed to proudly stand on their own two feet and to walk ahead as an independent nation with a new sense of purpose and belonging.”
Zimmerman also spoke of the unique identity of Armenia as the world’s first Christian nation, and how the nation’s path to independence has been uneasy amongst all the foreign occupation that Armenians have lived under as a result of its geopolitical location at crossroads with larger neighbours.
He expressed that the 25th anniversary of independence was a real cause for celebration at a time when a small land locked nation that borders some hostile neighbours, has been able to overcome challenges and have many achievements, speaking about the high levels of education attainment, and the rich culture of Armenia.
Zimmerman also praised the Armenian Diaspora, which has supported the success of Armenia, acknowledging the significant contributions Armenians have made all around the world where they have settled.
He added: “This is evident across Australia in business, the arts, community and even politics. My predecessor, the Honourable Joe Hockey along with my friends Gladys Berejiklian and the Member for Goldstein [Tim Wilson] are testament to the latter.”
ANC Australia Executive Administrator, Arin Markarian said: “We thank Mr. Zimmerman for his speech. It is welcome to see Armenia’s right to self-determination celebrated and acknowledged in Parliament as it has reached a quarter of a century being free and independent, despite the horrors of the Armenian Genocide and having lived under Communist rule.”