Local schools should teach the story of the Armenian Genocide, Member of the Australian Parliament John Alexander said on Monday, The Weekly Times reports.
Mr Alexander’s appeal was made at Ryde’s Armenian Genocide Memorial in Memorial Park, where the local Armenian speaking community will commemorate the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide on the weekend of April 24-26th.
“An estimated 1.5 million men, women and children died in the Armenian Genocide, which is recognised as the first genocide of the 2oth Century,” he said.
“I do believe that school groups that visit Memorial Park should also visit the park’s Armenian Genocide Memorial and learn about it.
“It is especially important because it is also part of the Anzac tradition and it was our Anzacs who were the first to witness this atrocity, committed by the Ottoman Empire, not far from Gallipoli.”
The Bennelong MP said it is also relevant for Ryde’s students to learn the tragic circumstances of this genocide because Ryde has a large Armenian speaking community.
“The Armenians were the first Christian country and the Armenian speaking community are good citizens who are justifiably proud of their heritage,” he said.
Mr Alexander said he believes it is appropriate the Armenian Genocide be taught alongside the story of the Jewish Holocaust and expressed hope the Republic of Turkey will recognise the Armenian Genocide with the same reverence today’s Germany recognises the crimes of Nazi Germany.
“There are some countries which have come to terms with the past and it is an important part of the healing process to acknowledge wrong.
“Likewise, our students should also be taught about the wrongs done by our nation, particularly against the Chinese community in our early history.”