Armenian Youth Federation of Australia Demonstration Delivers Letter to PM Scott Morrison Calling for Armenian Genocide Recognition

By ANC-AU | Friday, 16 April 2021

SYDNEY: Twenty members of the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia’s (AYF-AU) Western Sydney and Northern Sydney chapters held a demonstration outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison's electorate office calling on his recognition of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The two-hour demonstration was well received by local residents in the Electorate of Cook, who were eager to learn about the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides of 1915. They were informed that the source of the demonstrators’ frustration was Scott Morrison’s 2019 backflip on his pre-Prime Ministerial position, when he advocated for Federal Australian recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a back-bench parliamentarian in 2011.

AYF-AU members held up banners with messages, such as '#SpeakUpScomo', 'Turkey is Guilty of Genocide' and 'Australia's First Major International Humanitarian Relief Effort Aided Survovivs of the Armenian Genocide'.

Further, they urged members of the public to sign a banner titled ‘ScoMo, Recognise the Armenian Genocide’.

Members Areg Grigorian and Gayaneh Kortian from the AYF-AU Northern Sydney Chapter hand-delivered a letter to the Prime Minister’s electorate officers on behalf of over 200 AYF-AU members between the ages of 10-16 and the broader Armenian-Australian youth.

The letter reads: “As direct descendants of genocide victims and survivors, our members and the broader Armenia-Australian community have expressed frustration and extreme disappointment in the repeated failures of our past leaders to accurately characterise the events of 1915 as Genocide.”

“All we ask is for you to say what you truly believe. Your statement a decade ago was well-received by our community, and we are hopeful that these same sentiments will be echoed, this time as Prime Minister, in your statement marking the 106th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on 24th April 2021.”

Roupen Terzian of the AYF-AU Central Executive said: “It is time our Prime Minister honours our ancestors' memory by recognising the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, and stands with over 30 nations worldwide in characterising the mass murder and persecution of our martyrs as Genocide.”

“Whilst we may live 14,000km away from our motherland, and these massacres were systematically orchestrated over 106 years ago, this wound remains open. Therefore, our youth will continue to demand justice until the Australian Federal Government stands on the right side of history.”

In recent days, pressure has increased on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to properly characterise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides in his commemorative statement marking the 106th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The New South Wales Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group and Christian charity Barnabas have joined the Armenian-Australian community in their appeal to the Prime Minister.

Throughout the month of April, AYF-AU members in Sydney and Melbourne will be taking part in numerous activism initiatives to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide amongst the general Australian public.

The Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities have united under the Joint Justice Initiative banner, announcing a #SpeakUpScoMo March for Justice in Sydney and Melbourne on 24th April 2021.