REPORT FOR ARMENIAN-AUSTRALIANS: Local Council Elections Saturday 4 December 2021

By ANC-AU | Thursday, 02 December 2021



SYDNEY: Citizens in Australia’s largest state of New South Wales head to the polls this Saturday, 4th December 2021, to elect Councillors (and Mayors where applicable) in Local Government Elections.

Three Armenian-Australians are among the candidates vying for public office, as well as long-time and newly-minted supporters of issues important to the community.

The Armenian National Committee of Australia met with many of the candidates from Armenian-populated municipalities, including Willoughby, Ryde, Northern Beaches, North Sydney, Fairfield, Parramatta, Hills Shire and Cumberland.


WILLOUGHBY CITY COUNCIL

In meetings held primarily at the offices of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, delegations from the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community met with mayoral candidates, Angelo Rozos, Craig Campbell and Tanya Taylor.

Mayoral and Council candidate Angelo Rozos is a long-time supporter of the Armenian-Australian community in Willoughby. He has been a Willoughby City Councillor for almost nine years and currently serves as the Deputy Mayor of Willoughby. As a Councillor, he has been steadfast in his commitment to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia, and supported the erection of a Khatchkar memorial at Beauchamp Park in honour of the 1.5 million victims of 1915. In 2020, Rozos voted in favour of the Council recognising the Republic of Artsakh and is a current member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network.

He has pledged to continue to bring awareness to issues of importance to Armenian-Australians and promised to make representations on issues of importance to local Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

Mayoral and Council candidate Craig Campbell has been a Councillor for the West Ward for the last 4 years, and served twice as Deputy Mayor. While limited in his direct dealings with the local Armenian community during that time, Campbell affirmed he is a supporter for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by all levels of government in Australia. In 2020, he also voted in favour of the Council recognising the Republic of Artsakh. He has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan's continued occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Mayoral and Council candidate Tanya Taylor is not a current Councillor. She affirmed her support for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by all levels of government in Australia. She also pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan's continued occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Sarkis Mouradian is running for Council in the Middle Harbour Ward. He is an active member of the Armenian-Australian community, being a former member of the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia and currently serving as a member of the Parish Council (Armenian Church Council of Australia in NSW) for the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection. As a descendant of survivors, Mouradian is committed to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia, and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Mouradian’s election would mean another Armenian-Australian will grace the political stage in Australia, which has luminaries including former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, Assistant Minister for Industry Tim Wilson, former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Councillor Sarkis Yedelian, among others.

Hugh Eriksson is a long-time supporter of the local Armenian-Australian community. He has been a Willoughby City Councillor for nine years during which time he has also had a period as Deputy Mayor. As a Councillor, he has been steadfast in his commitment to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia. In 2020, Eriksson, who is part of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network, voted in favour of the council recognising the Republic of Artsakh and pledged to continue to bring awareness to  Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Brendon Zhu has also been a consistent supporter of the Armenian-Australian community in Willoughby. As Councillor, he has been steadfast in his commitment to have the Armenian Genocide recognised at all levels of government in Australia. In 2020, Zhu voted in favour of the council recognising the Republic of Artsakh, and he is a proud member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network.

Jam Xia is running as a candidate for Council for the first time to represent Chatswood West Ward. He is committed to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and supports the right to self-determination and recognition of the Republic of Artsakh.

Wendy Norton is a long-time supporter of the Armenian-Australian community in Willoughby. She has been a Councillor for nine years and has served as the Deputy Mayor of Willoughby. Norton has been steadfast in her commitment to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and supported the erection of a Khatchkar memorial at Beauchamp Park in honour of the 1.5 million victims

As a member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network, Norton voted in favour of the council’s recognition of the Republic of Artsakh and pledged to continue to bring light to Azerbaijan's continued aggression and occupation indigenous Armenian lands.

Georgie Roussac and Anna Greco supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia, while Greco also pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians in Willoughby were also covered. The candidates all committed to helping the community with their needs to the best of their abilities if elected. For further information on their policy proposals and campaign platforms, please visit their respective websites.


RYDE CITY COUNCIL

Sarkis Yedelian is an active member of the Armenian-Australian community and a lifelong advocate for Armenian issues as a grandchild of genocide survivors. On three separate occasions, the City of Ryde has unanimously passed motions moved by Yedelian recognising the Armenian Genocide.

In 2018, Yedelian moved a motion which saw the City of Ryde recognise the Republic of Artsakh and its peoples’ rights to self-determination. In 2019, another of his motions led to Ryde forming an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

In 2019, he was honoured with the Republic of Artsakh State Minister's Medal of Honour, which was handed to them by visiting Artsakh Foreign Minister, Masis Mayilian. In 2020, he moved motions assisting Armenians in Lebanon and condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks against the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh, which called on the Australian Government to do the same.

Yedelian has always been ready to make representations on issues of importance to local Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

Another champion of the aforementioned motions, is current Mayor of the City of Ryde, Jerome Laxale. His support for issues important to the Armenian-Australian community has ensured all initiatives helping the community have been bipartisan and supported unanimously.

He has been steadfast in his commitment to Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has been party to motions recognising the Armenian Genocide in the local council. In 2018, Laxale was a key supporter of Yedelian’s motion to recognise the Republic of Artsakh's independence. In 2019, he seconded a motion on a resolution to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

In 2019, he was honoured with the Republic of Artsakh State Minister's Medal of Honour, which was handed to them by visiting Artsakh Foreign Minister, Masis Mayilyan. In 2020, Laxale seconded a motion condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks against "the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh" and called on the Australian Government to do the same. Laxale looks forward to visiting Armenia one day. He also supported a motion to financially aid the Armenians of Lebanon after the Beirut Blast in 2020.

Laxale has always been ready to make representations on issues of importance to local Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

Jordan Lane is a long-time supporter of the Armenian-Australian community in Ryde. In 2018, Lane voted for the City of Ryde Council to recognise the Republic of Artsakh and its citizens' right to self-determination, he voted to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert. In 2020, he voted to condemn Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks against the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh.

Lane has always spoken on these issues and was registered to visit the Republic of Artsakh to monitor local elections before Covid-19 restrictions derailed plans.

Bernard Purcell supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia. In 2018, Purcell voted to recognise the Republic of Artsakh's independence. In 2019, he supported a motion to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

Purcell was registered to visit the Republic of Artsakh to monitor local elections before Covid-19 restrictions derailed plans.

Trenton Brown is a long-time supporter of the Armenian-Australian community in Ryde. In 2018, Brown voted for the City of Ryde Council to recognise the Republic of Artsakh and its peoples’ rights to self-determination, he voted to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert. In 2020, he voted to condemn Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks against the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh. Brown has also been a speaker on some of these motions.

Penelope Pederson supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh. In 2018, Pederson voted to recognise the Republic of Artsakh's independence. In 2019, she supported a motion to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

Peter Kim supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh. In 2018, Kim voted to recognise the Republic of Artsakh's independence. In 2019, he supported a motion to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

Gary Patni is not a current councillor. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledges to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

It is noteworthy that Ryde City Council commemorates the Armenian Genocide every year at the Meadowbank Memorial Park, where the same council has erected a plaque in memory of the 1.5 million victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians in Ryde were also covered in these meetings. The candidates all committed to helping the community with their needs to the best of their abilities if elected. For further information on their policy proposals and campaign platforms, please visit their respective websites.


NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL

Vincent De Luca is a current Councillor for Northern Beaches Council’s Narrabeen Ward and has served in that position for over a decade. As a former political staffer of NSW Parliamentarian, Marie Ficarra MLC, whose advocacy for the Republic of Artsakh took her to Stepanakert during her career in public life, De Luca is intimately knowledgeable on issues of importance to Armenian-Australians.

He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of Australian government. He is also a current member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

David Walton is a current Northern Beaches Councillor elected to the Curl Curl Ward. He is a member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network and has pledged to support the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh and their right to self-determination, as well as being a supporter for Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia.

Chris Sharpe is not a current councillor. He is running in the Northern Beaches Council’s Frenchs Forest Ward. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Michael Gencher is also not a current councillor. He is running in the Northern Beaches Council’s Frenchs Forest Ward. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Jose Menano Pires is not a current councillor. He is running in the Northern Beaches Council Is Frenchs Forest Ward. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Stuart Sprott is not a current councillor. He is running in the Northern Beaches Council’s Frenchs Forest Ward. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Kristyn Glanville is not a current councillor. She is running in the Northern Beaches Council’s Frenchs Forest Ward. She supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Pamela Dawes is not a current councillor. She is running in the Northern Beaches Council’s Manly Ward. She supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Sarah Grattan has been a Northern Beaches Councillor for the Manly Ward since 2017, and as an employee of UNICEF, is deeply engaged on international issues of human rights. As such, she is an in-principle supporter of the international issues of importance to Armenian-Australians.

The Armenian National Committee of Australia also met with Candy Bingham and Sue Heins. Both candidates have committed to building stronger relationships with the local Armenian-Australian community.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians in the Northern Beaches were also covered. The candidates all committed to helping the community with their needs to the best of their abilities if elected. For further information on their policy proposals and campaign platforms, please visit their respective websites.


THE HILLS SHIRE COUNCIL

Alexia Ereboni Yazdani is a dynamic young member of the Armenian-Australian community. She is running as a mayoral candidate for the Hills Shire Council. Yazdani attended St Gregory’s Armenian school, and is an active member of the Armenian Professional Network of Australia as well as the organisation’s Legal Forum.

She supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to use the profile of an elected official to bring further awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians were also covered during meetings, where Yazdani affirmed her support for her constituents.

If elected, Yazdani will be another Armenian-Australian to grace the political stage in Australia, which has luminaries including former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, Assistant Minister for Industry Tim Wilson, former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Councillor Sarkis Yedelian, among others.


CITY OF PARRAMATTA COUNCIL

Andrew Wilson has served as a councillor for two decades, including as Lord Mayor from 2017-2019. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and has pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians were also covered during meetings, where Wilson affirmed his support for his constituents.


NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL

Steven Barbour was first elected to North Sydney Council in 2008 and has twice served as the City’s Deputy Mayor. He supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

James Mullan is not a current councillor, and he also supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia while pledging to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians were also covered in these meetings. The candidates all committed to helping the community with their needs to the best of their abilities if elected. For further information on their policy proposals and campaign platforms, please visit their respective websites.


FAIRFIELD CITY COUNCIL

Carmen Lazar is a long-time friend and supporter of the Armenian-Australian community. Presently, she is a Community Settlement Officer at the ­Assyrian Resource Centre, which has a close working relationship with the Armenian Resource Centre of Australia.

As a descendant of survivors of the Assyrian Genocide, Lazar supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh.

Lazar also promised to make representations on issues of importance to local Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

George Barcha also supports Armenian Genocide recognition by all levels of government in Australia and pledged to bring awareness to Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and occupation of the Republic of Artsakh. Barcha promised to make representations on issues of importance to local Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

Local issues for Armenian-Australians were also covered in these meetings. The candidates all committed to helping the community with their needs to the best of their abilities if elected. For further information on their policy proposals and campaign platforms, please visit their respective websites.


CUMBERLAND CITY COUNCIL

The Armenian National Committee of Australia also met with Mayoral Candidate for the Cumberland City Council Steve Christou. He has committed to make representations on issues of importance to Armenian-Australian constituents, and the organisations which represent them.

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