A report from the Office of the Armenian National Committee of Australia
VICTORIA: As the Armenian-Australian community in Victoria prepares to vote ahead of the upcoming Victorian state elections scheduled for Saturday, November 26, 2022, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) met with candidates in the part of our commitment to advancing issues of importance.
The following is our guide, which has been written to assist Armenian-Australians in Victoria as they go to the polls on Saturday 26th November 2022. In this report we cover statements and pledges from Victorian political parties and meetings with the candidates running for the elections in the voters of:
A cross-bank political powerhouse, the Greens have added their powerful voice in support of recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides, following meetings between ANC-AU members and Victoria Greens leader Dr Samantha Ratnam . The Victorian Greens join the Australian Greens, who have adopted an official party policy on the issue and issued a statement ahead of the 2022 Victorian State Elections which read:
“Victoria Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam says it is essential that the Australian Government take the lead in officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide. It is important for the families and descendants of the 1.5 million Armenians who were killed by the Ottoman Empire and the families and descendants of the million Greeks and Assyrians who were also killed.
The genocide was one of the most serious crimes against humanity in modern times and the Victorian Greens honor the memory of the victims. To ensure that such crimes against humanity do not happen again, we must learn the lessons of history.
The Victoria Greens stand in solidarity with the Armenian community.
The Victorian Labor Party
The Victoria Labor Party, led by MP for Mulgrave and Premier of Victoria, the Hon. MP Daniel Andrews has pledged to commit $400,000 in funding to upgrade three Armenian Centers in Victoria to the Armenian Community Centre, Brandon Park (Sahagian) Football Club Pavilion and St Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Surrey Hills.
On Saturday, November 19, 2022, Minister D’Ambrosio – on behalf of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews – visited the Armenian Community Center (Hye Getron) and toured the facilities of the center on Saturday, which also houses the Matheossian Hamazkaine Mesrob Saturday School Mashdots, before making the special announcement in the presence of over 100 members of Melbourne’s Armenian-Australian community.
The Brunswick electoral district covers an area of 14 square kilometres. It includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Carlton North, Fitzroy North, Princes Hill and parts of Brunswick West. The ANC-AU met the incumbent MP for Brunswick, MP Tim Read. Mr Read and the Victoria Greens support recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides.
The Clarinda electoral district covers the suburbs of Clarinda, Clayton, Springvale, Heatherton and Cheltenham. The ANC-AU met with incumbent Meng Heang Tak, who was first elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in November 2018 as a member of the Victoria Labor Party. Since his election, Tak has become a regular participant in the Victorian commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Tak has pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group in the next Parliament to strengthen established relations with the Armenian-Australian community. The ANC-AU also met Liberal candidate for Clarinda, Anthony Richardson, who also pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia parliamentary friendship group in the next parliament.
The Caulfield electoral district covers an area of 17 square kilometers comprising the suburbs of Caulfield, Caulfield North, Caulfield South, Caulfield East, Elsternwick, Gardenvale, Ripponlea and Balaclava.
The ANC-AU had the pleasure of meeting Caulfield independent candidate Nomi Kaltmann. Ms. Kaltmann, who is of Jewish descent. supports Victorian and federal recognition of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek genocides.
The Dandenong Constituency covers 55 square kilometers and covers the suburbs of Dandenong, Doveton and Eumemmerring, as well as parts of Endeavor Hills, Noble Park and Ringwood. The ANC-AU met with Liberal candidate for Dandenong, Karen Broadley, who has pledged to support federal recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides and supports the rights to self-determination of the Republic of Armenia. Ms Broadley has also pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Glen Waverley is a new contested constituency in the 2022 Victorian state elections, covering 36 square kilometers including the suburbs of Glen Waverley, Vermont South, Burwood East and Wheelers Hill. The ANC-AU met Glen Waverley Labor candidate John Mullahy, who pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia parliamentary friendship group.
The Hawthorn electorate is a key seat in Victoria’s upcoming state elections. The seat is currently held by Labor MP John Kennedy with a margin of 0.6%. Hawthorn covers 21 square kilometers and includes the suburbs of Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Camberwell and parts of Canterbury, Glen Iris and Surrey Hills.
The ANC-AU met incumbent Labor MP John Kennedy and Independent Melissa Lowe. Ms Lowe has pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group in the next Parliament.
The Mornington Electoral District is located along the Mornington Peninsula and covers 154 square kilometers including Mount Eliza, Mornington, Mount Martha and Moorooduc. Incumbent Liberal MP David Morris has represented the seat since 2006, which is contested by former Dunkley MP Chris Crewther.
The ANC-AU met Crewther, a close friend of the Armenian-Australian community. Crewther supported federal recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides and is currently a member of Australia’s Friends of Artsakh network. Crewther has also pledged to join a Victorian Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group if elected in the next Parliament.
The Northcote electorate is a Labor-held fringe seat which is contested by Labor incumbent Kat Theophanous. The electorate covers 21 square kilometers and includes the suburbs of Northcote, Fairfield, Alphington, Thornbury and parts of Preston.
The ANC-AU met Theophanous, who is an Australian of Greek-Cypriot descent. Theophanous has spoken at several commemorations in Australia and Greece to stress the importance of recognizing the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides. Theophanous supports federal recognition of the 1915 genocides.
The ANC-AU also met with Greens candidate for the Northcote seat, Campbell Gome, who voiced his support for federal recognition of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides. The Greens in Victoria also released a statement ahead of the elections recognizing the importance of recognizing the genocides.
The ANC-AU has also met with a range of candidates who support issues of concern to the Armenian-Australian community and look forward to working with the candidates elected to the next Parliament to advance public affairs priorities, including the recognition of Armenia, Assyria and Greek genocides and support for the republics of Artsakh and Armenia.
The ANC-AU also met:
James Newbury, outgoing Liberal from Brighton
Lucy Skelton, Labor candidate at Kew
Jess Wilson, Liberal candidate for Kew
Lior Harel, Labor candidate for Caulfield
Cynthia Watson, Liberal candidate in Ringwood
Michael Galea, Work for the Southeast Metropolitan Area
Tim Quilty, incumbent Liberal Democrat for Northern Victoria
David Limbrick, incumbent Liberal Democrat from the Southeast Metropolitan Area
Polls are open for the Victoria State Elections on the morning of Saturday November 26, 2022. Click here to find your local candidates and booths.