Member for Mackellar, Dr Sophie Scamps has signed the Joint Justice Initiative’s Affirmation of Support, joining over thirty of her parliamentary colleagues in calling for Federal recognition of the 1915 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire.
Mackellar is the Federal electoral division covering Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and was previously held by staunch supporter of his local Armenian community Jason Falinski. Scamps was elected to the seat at the 2022 Federal Election.
Since her election, Scamps has worked closely with the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) to understand issues of concern to her local Armenian-Australian community. Her signature adds to a growing chorus of voices demanding an end to decades of failing to formally recognise the massacres of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in 1915 as genocides.
Executive Director of the ANC-AU, Michael Kolokossian welcomed Scamps’ signature saying: “We thank Dr Sophie Scamps for affirming her support for her local Armenian-Australian community and working constructively with the ANC-AU to advance national recognition of the genocides”.
“Failure to acknowledge the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides is why our compatriots in Nagorno Karabakh are facing another round of ethnic cleansing by the Ottoman Empire’s successor states, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Australia must recognise the 1915 Genocides and hold the perpetrators accountable to ensure crimes against humanity are never repeated,” added Kolokossian.
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Scamps, Kristy McBain MP, Senator Rachel Siewert, Susan Templeman MP, Adam Bandt MP, Senator Janet Rice, Steve Georganas MP, Michael Sukkar MP, Senator Louise Pratt, Warren Entsch, Andrew Wilkie MP, Julian Leeser MP, Michelle Rowland MP, Senator Paul Scarr, Tony Zappia MP, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Hollie Hughes, Senator Rex Patrick, Mike Freelander MP, Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Pat Dodson, Josh Burns MP, Senator Andrew Bragg and Bob Katter MP with a promise of more announcements to come.
On 25th February 2020, over 100 Federal Australian parliamentarians, diplomats, departmental officials, political staffers, academics, media and community leaders were treated to cultural performances, food, wine and brandy, as well as the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which affirmed that the signatory public affairs representatives of the three communities were jointly committed to seeing Australia recognize the Turkish-committed Genocides against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian citizens of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The Joint Justice Initiative currently has over 35 signatories in Federal parliament.