Sydney

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Armenian Community

Armenian migration to Sydney, Australia, began as early as the 1850's during the time of the Gold Rush. Migration was in small numbers and originated from Calcutta (India) and Singapore, as Armenian communities had established themselves in these areas years before.

The main migration began in the 1960's bringing to the Australian shores, Armenians from Egypt, then Cyprus, followed by Lebanon, Iran and later from Soviet Armenia.

Sydney is Australia’s largest city with a population of 4.8 million. It is an economic hub and in recent years has attracted many skilled Armenian migrants.

The Armenian community in Sydney is estimated to be around 40,000[1]. The Community has managed to built numerous churches, including the largest being the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy Resurrection) as well as the Armenian Catholic Church, Armenian Evangelical Church and so on. The main concentration of Armenians are around the northern suburbs of Sydney with the largest being the City of Ryde (12,000 - 15,000), which currently has 2 Armenian councilors including the Deputy Mayor) followed by City of Willoughby.

The community has established organisations such as Homenetmen (5 chapters), Hamazkaine (4 chapters), A.G.B.U, AYF and many more.

Armenian schools exist throughout Sydney, with the largest being the Hamazkaine Arshak & Sophie Galstaun College providing bilingual education to young Australian Armenians, being one of the only Armenian schools to cater for both the Western and Eastern dialects (Kindergarden - Year 12). Other schools include St.Gregory's Catholic Armenian School (K-10) and Alexander A.G.B.U Primary school (K-6). Several Saturday schools also exist with the largest being Hovaness Toumanian Saturday School in Ryde currently consisting of 200 students and teachers teaching Eastern Armenian.

Famous Politicians with Armenian Decent

Mr Joe Hockey (Hokeidonian) Member of Parliament- Shadow Treasurer, Ms Gladys Berejiklian Member of Parliaments - Shadow Transport Minister, Mr Stephan Kerkysharian - Chairman of NSW Ethnic Affairs

Australia-Armenia Relations

Australia recognised the Republic of Armenia on the 26th December, 1991. Diplomatic relations were later established on the 15th January, 1992. Back in 2007 the Foreign Minister of Armenia, his excellency Mr. Vardan Oskanian, visisted the Australian-Armenian community whilst on official visits to the foreign affairs department of the Commonwealth of Australia. In 2006, the Australian Minister for education, his excellency, Mr.Joe Hockey (M.P), visited Yerevan, Armenia, meeting up with several ministers as well as visiting the Tsitsernagapert Genocide Memorial. (Mr.Hockey, is of Armenian descent). Australia recognised The Republic Armenia on 26 December 1991 and person-to-person governmental links have been steadily increasing since the diplomatic relations were established on 15 January 1992.

In July 2000, the Armenian Minister for Sport and Culture Mr Roland Sharoyan visited Sydney during the 2000 Olympic Games. This was reciprocated in September 2003, when The Hon Mr Philip Ruddock MP visited Armenia in his former capacity as Australian Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

More recently the Armenian Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr Vartan Oskanian, visited Australia in October of 2005 and in November that same year, The Hon Mr Joe Hockey MP, Minister for Human Services, visited Armenia.

Turkish PM Erdogan visit

MIXED RECEPTION FOR TURKISH PM ON FIRST VISIT TO AUSTRALIA

Gulf Times, Qatar Dec. 10, 2005

SYDNEY: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received contrasting greetings on a visit to Australia's largest city yesterday - condemned by protesters outside a business function and then mobbed by well-wishers on a surprise visit to a local mosque.

A peaceful protest of about 50 protesters jeered Erdogan as he entered a business meeting in central Sydney, calling for Turkey to formally recognise as genocide the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Erdogan then cancelled a planned speech to an international policy think-tank to make an unannounced trip to Friday prayers at the Gallipoli mosque in Sydney's western suburbs - named for the battlefield where Australians and Turks fought in World War I.

During the visit, which was kept secret from the media, Erdogan posed for photographs with children as a crowd of about 500 people from the local community cheered him on.

Australian officials denied the last-minute change of plan was due to the protest but said the mosque visit was kept secret because of the possibility of demonstrations.

Protest organiser Haig Kayserian said the itinerary change showed Erdogan's sensitivity to human rights issues as Turkey pushed for admission to the European Union.

"The Turkish government has covered up the massacre of 1.5mn Armenians for 90 years and it doesn't want its appalling human rights record coming to light now because it knows Europe is watching," he said.

Erdogan is making the first visit to Australia by a Turkish leader. He will remain in the country until tomorrow.

Armenians say that up to 1.5mn of their people were slaughtered in 1915 in mass killings carried out under the Ottoman Empire.

Ankara says that 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife during World War I when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops invading the crumbling empire.


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ERDOGAN FACES ARMENIAN PROTEST IN SYDNEY By Cihan

Zaman. Turkey Dec. 10, 2005

In Sydney, an Armenian group protested against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is currently paying an official visit to Australia. Another group consisting of Turkish nationals responded with a show of support waving Turkish flags and placards.

Erdogan arrived in Sydney on Friday, the final stop of his 11-day New Zealand and Australia visit.

A group of Armenian nationals waiting in front of the Intercontinental Hotel chanted slogans and protested against Erdogan, calling on him to remove the embargo imposed on Armenia. One of the protestors, shouting in Turkish, claimed that the Armenians had been subjected to genocide by the Turks.


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Armenian Youth Federation of Australia PO Box 238, Willoughby, NSW Australia 2068 publicaffairs@ayfaustralia.com www.ayfaustralia.com

PRESS RELEASE 7 December 2005

SYDNEY ARMENIANS TO RISE AS ONE IN PROTEST AGAINST TURKISH PRIME MINISTER ERDOGAN

SYDNEY * Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Australia with 3 of his Ministers, 10 Members of Parliament and a group of officials, in addition to 60 Turkish Businessmen from various industries until December 11, 2005.

The entire Turkish delegation, including the Prime Minister, will be in Sydney for a business conference this Friday December 9, when the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia has organised a community protest.

The Australian-Armenian community is expected to attend the protest outside the Sydney InterContinental Hotel, which is the venue of the conference, in great numbers to voice their collective concern at the Turkish government's treatment of the Armenian Cause and the Armenian Nation.

Prime Minister Erdogan is the parliamentary leader of the state which is still in denial of the 1915 Armenian Genocide by its predecessors who carried out the systematic slaughter of over 1.5 million Armenian civilians, and the forced capture of 90% of Western Armenia.

Prime Minister Erdogan, and his delegation of parliamentary associates visiting Australia, also form part of the government currently holding a crippling economic blockade against Armenia.

The protest will aim to get a strong message across to the Turkish Prime Minister and his travelling colleagues, that Armenians, even in faraway Australia, 90 years on, will stand up for the cause that took away the lives and homes of their forefathers.

Attendees are asked to dress in white shirts/t-shirts/tops to show continuity, while Armenian flags, banners and signs will be provided at the venue. The Armenian Youth Federation will also provide water for the consumption of all protestors. For any people wishing to create their own banners, please run its content by the contact listed below to ensure it forms part of a consistent message.

The Sydney InterContinental Hotel is found on the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets in Sydney's CBD.

Those wishing to travel directly to the venue, the Armenian Youth Federation asks that you are there by 10:30am.

Those wanting to join the community on arranged buses from Willoughby, please meet members of the Armenian Youth Federation at the Armenian Cultural Centre (259 Penshurst Street * corner of Crabbes Avenue) at 9:00am for a 9:15am departure.

The protest is expected to conclude at 3pm, at which time the buses will be there to return its occupants to Willoughby's Armenian Cultural Centre.

The Armenian Youth Federation wishes to thank all individuals, media and organisations aiding in promoting and participating this combined community event.


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MEDIA AND COMMUNITY CONTACT: Haig Kayserian AYF Public Affairs Chairman 0403-317-903 publicaffairs@ayfaustralia.com www.ayfaustralia.com

Armenian Churches

Armenian Churches in Oceana

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