John Alexander and Hugh McDermott Honoured with Presidential Medals as Artsakh Celebrates History-Making Australian Delegation

By ANC-AU | Wednesday, 02 October 2019

STEPANAKERT: Republic of Artsakh President His Excellency Bako Sahakyan has bestowed honours to Federal Australian parliamentarian Mr. John Alexander MP and New South Wales State parliamentarian Dr. Hugh McDermott MP for their exemplary advocacy for the rights to self-determination of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

Mr. Alexander, who made history during this delegation as the first Federal Australian parliamentarian to visit Artsakh, was awarded the “Vachagan Barepasht” (Vachagan Pious) medal, while Dr. McDermott received the “Gratitude” medal.

The duo were handed their medals by the Speaker of Artsakh’s Parliament, Mr. Ashot Ghoulyan. Also in attendance were Foreign Minister Mr. Masis Mayilyan, Chair of the Artsakh-Australia Friendship Circle Mr. Davit Ishkhanyan, Artsakh’s Representative to Australia Mr. Kaylar Michaelian, and Mr. Haig Kayserian and Mr. Vache Kahramanian from the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

“For many years, Mr. Alexander and Dr. McDermott have spoken publicly in support for the rights to self-determination of the Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh, they have called out Azerbaijani aggression, and made history during this delegation by visiting this piece of Armenian heaven on earth,” said ANC-AU Executive Director Mr. Kayserian.

“These medals are justified honours for two people, who were among the first to sign up to the Australian Friends of Artsakh network, which has so far brought together 47 prominent Australians in support of the Armenian Republic of Artsakh,” Kayserian added.

Artsakh’s Representative to Australia Mr. Michaelian congratulated Mr. Alexander and Dr. McDermott.

“It was an honour to be in the office of the President of Artsakh’s National Assembly as two of the staunchest supporters of the Armenian-Australian community’s desire for peace in the Republic of Artsakh were decorated,” Mr. Michaelian said.

Later in the evening, Mr. Ghoulyan, Mr. Mayilyan and Mr. Ishkhanyan, as well as Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian, were among a star-studded reception in honour of the first Federal-led Australian Delegation to Armenia and Artsakh.

There were many toasts to the honourees, while some of Artsakh’s best talent entertained with traditional song and dance.