The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) rolled out an Armenian red carpet for New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian during her visit to Washington, DC as part of Australia’s largest ever trade delegation to the United States.
During her official visit, Premier Berejiklian made time for a leadership meeting with the ANCA in their national headquarters, a community reception at The Aramian House, home to the ANCA’s youth training and career placement programs, and interviews with Voice of America and Armenian television stations.
In her remarks to a capacity crowd of ANCA supporters at The Aramian House, the Premier underscored that: “I am here in my capacity as the Premier of New South Wales, but I’m also here with you as someone who shares a common heritage of our Armenian culture and history. I want to thank you for the work you do on the ground here in Washington, DC, thank you for the warm reception you’ve given me this morning, and please know that communities like yours all around the world support your activities. We often look to DC and take great strength from what you’re doing to support Armenian communities around the world.” She closed with an invitation to the gathered youth to visit Australia, gain valuable international foreign policy experience as interns with her office, and maybe even volunteer for her re-election campaign.
“We were honored to host Premier Berejiklian, a great leader in both the Australian and Armenian traditions,” said ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian. “Her visit to the ANCA reminds us, in very powerful and personal ways, that – as Armenians, diverse and dispersed across the globe – we remain informed by our common history, inspired by our shared values, and united in our enduring devotion to the future of the Armenian nation.”
The grand-daughter of Armenian Genocide survivors, Berejiklian grew up an active member in Australia’s vibrant Armenian community, attending Hamazkaine’s Saturday School, participating in Homenetmen scouts and basketball, and later taking leadership roles in the Armenian Youth Federation and Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
Ms. Berejiklian joined the Liberal Party in 1993 and was first elected to represent Willoughby in the NSW Parliament in 2003, becoming NSW Transport Minister in 2011, Treasurer in 2015 and ascending to the position of NSW Premier in 2017, only the second woman to hold that post.
Alongside her successes in each of these positions, Ms. Berejiklian has been instrumental in representing Australian Armenian community concerns, advocating for state and federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, supporting Republic of Artsakh freedom, and expanding Australia-Armenia ties.