Armenian Relief Society Appeal: Australian Farmers Need Us, Like We Needed Them 100 Years Ago

By ARS Australia Regional Committee | Saturday, 08 September 2018

SYDNEY, MELBOURNE: The Armenian Relief Society of Australia (ARS-AU) Regional Committee has announced a community-wide Appeal to help drought-stricken Australian farmers. The Appeal, titled "Australian Farmers Need Us, Like We Needed Them 100 Years Ago" references the important assistance rural Australians provided to survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Nationwide newspaper articles from 100 years ago detail how farming organisations and unions (including the Pastoralists' Association, the Master Tanners' Association among others) mobilised their members to donate life-saving supplies - such as milk, leather and wool - to help the Armenians who miraculously managed to survive an attempt to rid the world of the ancient Christian race.

After being notified of this important historical context by researcher, Vicken Babkenian and the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), the Armenian Relief Society of Australia Regional Committee decided to make it a key part of their messaging in their planned appeal for Armenian-Australians to help the farmers in Australia.

"Many Australian rural communities are experiencing their worst drought in centuries, with farmers being forced to kill their starving livestock, while others are irreparably suffering from the strains of losing their ability to provide for themselves and their families," said ARS-AU Chairperson, Nora Sevagian.

"The Armenian Relief Society of Australia is always there to mobilise our compassionate community in such circumstances like natural disasters, and this cause seems even more significant when remembering the many thousands of dollars in aid, which was provided by farmers to help our ancestors survive 100 years ago."

The Armenian Relief Society of Australia is asking for donations to be electronically deposited to the following bank account:
Armenian Relief Society Australia
BSB: 062-295
Acc Number: 10430743
(Reference: ARS-RURAL AID)

"The funds collected will be announced via Facebook Live on Thursday 11th October 2018, 7:30pm, and handed to Rural Aid on behalf of the Armenian-Australian community," Sevagian added.

Rural Aid, author of the Buy a Bale campaign is helping support Australia's rural communities an farmers by providing tangible resources to drought-affected communities. These resources include stock feed, money and volunteer assistance.