Armenian-Australians Thank Hospital Workers With Five Thousand Dollar Donation to Australian Womens Shelters In Honour Of Genocide Relief Nurse

By | Thursday, 14 May 2020

SYDNEY: Armenian-Australian organisations in Sydney have donated $5,000 to Women’s Community Shelters on behalf of nurses and doctors leading the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in honour of late relief worker Sister Isobel Hutton who helped survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

The Sydney chapters of the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen Scouting and Sporting Association, Hamazkaine Educational & Cultural Society, Armenian Resource Centre, Armenian National Committee of Australia, Armenian Youth Federation and Armenia Media led this initiative.

On Wednesday, they handed thank you cards and cookies to Royal North Shore and Ryde Hospital workers with the following message:

"Your courage, selflessness and dedication are humbling.

To all healthcare professionals and support staff on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, the Armenian-Australian community would like to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude.

As a tribute and in response to the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley’s call for financial assistance, the Armenian-Australian community has donated $5,000 to the Women’s Community Shelters’ ‘Walk Beside Us’ Emergency Appeal, in your honour.

We do this as a community of descendants of survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

During our ancestors’ time of need, Red Cross nurse, Sister Isobel Hutton and other Australians were at the forefront in providing relief to the approximately 70,000 "wearied, frightened, hungry" and desperate Armenian refugees in Aleppo, Syria in 1919.

With this gesture, we honour Sister Isobel Hutton.

Thank you for being our nation’s guiding light in the face of this adversity. You are making the world a better place.  We are with you!"

During a Zoom meeting, Women’s Community Shelters CEO Annabelle Daniel, who has seen an increase in demand for their relief efforts during the COVID-19 isolation period, was delighted to receive a cheque for $5,000 from the Armenian-Australian organisations in honour of the hospital workers and Sister Isobel Hutton.

"We're enormously grateful for this gift from the Armenian Relief Society and associated Armenian-Australian community organisations,” Daniel said.

“It will help us do more of what we do best, supporting women who are experiencing domestic and family violence and homelessness across our shelter network.”

“It's especially important at this time with the COVID19 pandemic making it more challenging for women to seek help," she added.

Janet Michaelian of the Armenian Relief Society of Australia Regional Committee, who were part of the group of organisations that participated in this gesture of goodwill, said Armenian-Australians were appreciative of all workers who are sacrificing so much to help New South Wales through this pandemic.

“True to our Organisation’s motto of ‘with the people, for the people’ and the traditions of humanitarian assistance over the past 110 years, we were honoured to join with our sister Armenian-Australian organisations to thank the medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19 in NSW,” said Janet Michaelian of the Armenian Relief Society of Australia.

“We trust our donation to Women’s Community Shelters will assist the organisation in dealing with the sad increase in domestic violence cases as a result of this horrible pandemic.”

Sister Isobel Hutton – as featured in the Peter Stanley and Vicken Babkenian co-authored 'Armenia, Australia & The Great War' – was among many Australians, who were at the forefront in providing relief to the approximately 70,000 "wearied, frightened, hungry" and desperate Armenian refugees in Aleppo, Syria in 1919 following the Armenian Genocide.

“The Armenian-Australian community is incredibly proud of the relief efforts of Australians, like Sister Isobel Hutton, in helping our ancestors survive following the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” said Armenian National Committee of Australia Executive Director, Haig Kayserian.

“The ANZAC POW eyewitness accounts of the sufferings Armenians were exposed to during the Armenian Genocide, and the ensuing first major international humanitarian relief effort by Australians remains under-reported, and this gesture by some of our community’s leading organisations – honouring Sister Isobel Hutton – delivers a deserved spotlight to this proud chapter in Australia’s history.”