SYDNEY: Two representatives from the New South Wales Opposition, Dr. Hugh McDermott MP and the Hon. Walt Secord MLC made speeches during Remembrance Week that confirmed ongoing bipartisan support for Armenian Genocide recognition in Australia’s largest state, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

After the Liberal Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian – a granddaughter of Armenian Genocide survivors – had used her remarks (click here) to promote Federal Australian recognition of the Armenian Genocide at the National Armenian Genocide Commemoration Evening in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood, Labor representative Secord maintained his long-standing commitment to advancing the Armenian cause.

“Currently there are 29 nations which recognise the Armenian genocide,” said Secord, who is the Vice-Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Armenia and has previously visited Armenia, Artsakh and Western Armenia. “I hope one day Australia recognises the Armenian genocide – and that in my lifetime that Turkey recognises the Armenian genocide.”

McDermott, who is the Labor Member for Prospect, delivered a very powerful address at the Sydney #MARCHFORJUSTICE.

“One hundred and four years of denial, one hundred and four years of lies – lies that still continue,” he said. “There is no question there was a genocide, none at all. And for any government or any person to say the opposite is lying to themselves, to history, to the victims, and to the survivors.”

McDermott’s stinging words were more pertinent, considering the March for Justice has special focus placed on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s backflip on using the correct characterisation of the Armenian Genocide, and Opposition leader Bill Shorten maintaining his position against the use of the word ‘genocide’.

McDermott received applause from the over two thousand Armenian-Australian marchers when he said: “Both sides of politics understand what happened, both sides of politics acknowledge what happened, and it’s time that Federal government did exactly the same thing.”

“It makes me feel ashamed to be an Australian with an Australian Prime Minister denying it, turning back and doing what the Turks want,” he said. “And to have Turkey threaten – and certainly we have been threatened by the Turkish government [over Gallipoli]. Well no, if I had a choice I’d rather have the Turkish government recognise the genocide than go to Turkey, thank you very much.”

ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian said: “We thank Mr. Secord and Mr. McDermott for their ongoing and steadfast support for justice for the Armenian Genocide. Our community knows that multi-partisan support for Armenian Genocide justice and Australia’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide begins in New South Wales and is fast spreading within the hallways of Federal Parliament in Canberra.”

Similar bipartisan support was exhibited by MPs from the Federal Parliament (click here).

Hugh McDermott’s speech below: