Assyria Day Conference in Sydney, Australia 2014
Posted: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 at 09:07 PM UT
Successful Assyria Day Event Builds Supports
On Sunday 29 June 2014, The Young Assyrians, the youth branch of the Assyrian Universal Alliance –Australia Chapter, hosted the 4th annual Assyria Day conference.
The event brought in support from all ages of the Assyrian community as well as others from different cultural backgrounds and politicians from Local, State and Federal Parliament. This year, the conference highlighted the current atrocities taking place in Syria and Iraq, more recently through the actions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extremist Sunni Muslim group, which has brought a humanitarian disaster to the Assyrian people who still remain in the city of Mosul and in the nearby towns and villages.
The Master of Ceremonies Ms Melanie Alkhas began the conference with an acknowledgment of country and thanked all of the attendees, guests of honour and guest speakers. “It’s an honour to host this event at such a critical time in our nation’s history”.
Councillor Frank Carbone, the Mayor of Fairfield city, officially opened the conference and thanked the AUA-Australia for the many years of service to the Assyrian community and for raising awareness and lobbying politicians to gain support and action for the plight of the Assyrian people in the Middle East. He acknowledged the successful work of the organisation in managing to draw young people to the Assyrian cause.
Ninos Aaron, Chairman of The Young Assyrians set the tone as he delivered his address : ” With the current madness that is unfolding in Iraq and the middle east will we sit idly by and have our future dictated by chaos or will we come together to shape our own destiny?”
Assyrian Universal Alliance Deputy Secretary General Mr Hermiz Shahen reiterated the importance of this day. He gave a brief history of the establishment of Assyria Day and stressed the importance of working collectively to ensure a future Assyrian State.
The first main speaker delivered an in-depth insight into the importance of maintaining and educating Assyrian literature amongst the youth. Mr Philimon Darmo began the presentations with an examination of the Assyrian language and its forms throughout history. His speech highlighted the need for action to preserve the ancient language throughout diaspora by youth and elderly alike. Mr Darmo emphasised the importance of language as a cultural identifier and that without its existence, the very foundation of Assyrian heritage and conservation will be endangered.
The second presentation was delivered by Mr Alexander Ryvchin a lawyer, profound writer and Director of Public Affairs at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. His presentation focused on a contrast and assessment of the current state of Assyrians in the Middle East, and that of the plight of the Jewish people in gaining independence. Mr Ryvchin’s presentation on the struggle for liberation of the Jewish people drew amazingly similar parallels to the Assyrian people in their struggle for security and self-determination. Mr Ryvchin declared his support and desire for the two communities to work together concerning the current breaches of Assyrian human rights.
The conference then rested for lunch with a chance for attendees to network, mingle and build relations with other participants and presenters. The conference returned for an emotional and powerful insight from Ground Zero: Assyrians in Assyria from Gilgamesh Dawood. His presentation stressed the importance of action in response to the horrific occurrences and persecution of the Assyrian people in Iraq and Syria. Mr Dawood accentuated the urgent security crisis and mass exodus of the Assyrian people from their homeland with many governments around the world refusing to acknowledge and act on the current state of events unfolding at the hands of the fundamental Islamic groups.
The main speakers concluded with a presentation by the Member of McMahon and Federal Shadow Treasurer of Australia, the Hon. Chris Bowen MP. Mr Bowen highlighted the importance and effectiveness of advocacy on Local, State and Federal levels of the government. A distinct illustration was made in the efficacy of the Assyrian Universal Alliance - Australia and the motions that have been passed in State and Federal Parliaments. Mr Bowen stressed the importance and value of advocacy, especially from the young and educated. He concluded with the fact that the Assyrian demands for an autonomous homeland is not a matter of if, but rather when.
The Assyria Day conference also welcomed old and new friends in the support of the Assyrian people and an autonomous region for the Assyrians in Iraq. David Clarke MLC contributed rousing words of inspiration and compassion for the Assyrian people. The Assyrian people also welcomed a new friend and advocate in Tanya Davies MP who lent her kind words and desire to work with the Assyrian Universal Alliance - Australia to tackle this issue in Parliament.
The 2014 Assyria Day conference was a historic success with an unprecedented number of attendees and resounding positive feedback.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australia and their youth branch The Young Assyrians are continuing to build support by advocating and lobbing local and international politicians and the wider international community to take action against the atrocities and persecution of the Assyrian people at the hands of Islamic terrorists, and to push for and support the establishment of an Assyrian region.