WILLOUGHBY, Australia (Public Radio of Armenia) — Willoughby City Council, in Sydney’s North Shore, passed a motion recognizing the Armenian Genocide on May 11, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia).
Willoughby is home to many thousands of Sydney-Armenians, as well as to Armenian churches and community centers. The motion reads: “Willoughby City Council recognizes the genocide of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrians peoples by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922 and condemns these and all other acts of genocide and crimes against humanity as the ultimate act of intolerance.” The motion was introduced in what is the Armenian Genocide’s centenary year by long-standing friend of the Armenian-Australian community, Councillor John Hooper, and was seconded by Councillor Judith Rutherford. It passed unanimously, making Willoughby City Council the second Australian local government to recognize the Armenian Genocide after Ryde City Council.
ANC Australia’s executive director, Vache Kahramanian, addressed the Council meeting to speak in favor of the motion and on the importance of Armenian Genocide recognition as a mechanism to prevent future instances of genocide being perpetrated. Upon passage of the motion, Kahramanian remarked: “I thank Councillor Hooper and Willoughby City’s Councillors for adding their formal recognition of the Armenian genocide. Such motions send the clearest signal that genocide denial has no place in the twenty first century.” “There is a national movement in Australia towards recognition which will ultimately lead to the Commonwealth Parliament also affirming the historical reality of the Armenian genocide,” Kahramanian added. The motion adopted by Willoughby City Council comes only weeks after Ryde City Council reaffirmed its long standing position on the Armenian genocide.