Formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Armenia

  • November 30, 2016

Formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Armenia

Mr Speaker,

Australia is home to one of the largest diasporas of people with an Armenian background.

Some 50,000 Australians trace their heritage to this part of the world.

Armenians have long been part of the Australian community – indeed the earliest migrants arrived to our shores during the gold rushes of the 1850s.

More came following the tragic circumstances of the Armenian genocide.

Most Armenians arrived, however, in more recent times – during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Those of Armenian heritage have become exemplary Australians, often playing leading roles in business, culture and even politics.

Our relationship with modern Armenia – which celebrated 25 years of independence just this year – is an important one.

I am pleased this has been recognised through the establishment of a Parliamentary Friendship Group for Armenia and I am honoured to have been appointed as its Chair.

I want to thank the many members who have helped establish the group, including the Member for Hunter and the Member for Bennelong – both of whom have been such strong supporters of the Australian-Armenian community.

I also want to particularly acknowledge the advocacy of the Armenian National Committee which has done so much to encourage the formation of the Group.

In its modern incarnation, Armenia is progressing the development of its economic and democratic institutions and the sharing of ideas between our two countries can help that process.

Similarly, we can be enriched by a nation that traces its traditions and culture to ancient times.

I hope that the parliamentary friendship group will be a vehicle for achieving these goals.