About The Armenian Youth Federation of Australia
The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) is an international organisation consisting of members between the ages of 16 and 25. It's primary goal is to raise awareness and take action against Armenian political and social issues. Through social media campaigns, fundraising events and volunteering opportunities, AYF plays a fundamental part in preserving the Armenian culture and fighting for the Armenian Cause. As well as creating a productive environment for its members, AYF strives to bring the Armenian youth together by hosting several fun and social events for both its members and the wider Armenian community.
AYF holds formal meetings in Armenian Cultural Centres in Northern Sydney, Western Sydney and Melbourne, during which announcements are made, forum discussions on world news take place, educational topics are presented, and members separate into their committees for work. On weekends that don't have a formal meeting, informal meetings are held, where members participate in group activities and have some free time to socialise with their peers.
AYF Australia has six working committees under the AYF Executive: Social/Fundraising, Public Relations, Political, Educational, Membership and Community; each of which have a unique role in the function and organisation of AYF and events held throughout the year.
The AYF Juniors ‘Badenagan’ chapter is for Armenian youth aged from 10-16 years old. The Badani’s have weekly meetings and learn about their Armenian history and culture in a fun environment. They also play games, go on outings, have meetings with AYF and of course go on fun camps as part of the AYF. The aim of the Badanegan chapter is to educate the youth on what the AYF does and believes in, so that they can make the seamless transition when they move up into the AYF ranks. AYF History
The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), founded in 1933 in the United States, serves as the youth organisation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF).
Today, the organisation’s goals have remained the same as when the AYF was first founded by Karekin Njdeh:
- The establishment of a Free, Independent, and United Armenia.
- Armenia must be a democratic and socialist independent republic.
- The Armenian people, including its dispersed masses, must assemble on the territory of Independent Armenia.
- The still unpunished crime of the Genocide against the Armenian people must be condemned and redressed by the return of the occupied territories and by the just reparation for losses to the Armenian people.
- The basic laws of the Republic of Armenia shall be decided by the constitutional assembly of Armenia elected on the basis of universal, equal, direct, secret, and proportional representation.
During his 1978 visit to Australia, ARF Bureau Member from Lebanon, Papken Papazian, encouraged and put the foundations in place for an AYF group to be established.
The ARF ‘Tro’ Committee immediately went to work and chose a five-member AYF Central Executive. This body’s duty was to establish chapters within Australia, to create regional elections for Executives, to put into effect internal rules and regulations and to organise educational seminars.
Three chapters were established; Northern Sydney - Willoughby, Western Sydney - Fairfield and Melbourne. Within the first six months, the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia had over 160 members, with the Northern Sydney chapter hosting the majority - approximately 120 members, while Western Sydney and Melbourne had close to 20 members each.
Over 30 years later, the AYF in Australia is now as active as ever, with over 120 AYF members and badanis across three regions.