AYF Australia holds inaugural Artsakh Advocacy Week

Wednesday, 02 November 2016
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The Armenian Youth Federation of Australia Nigol Touman Chapter held its inaugural “Artsakh Advocacy Week” starting on Sunday the 28th of August until the 4th of September.

The Advocacy week coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Artsakh. Inspired by 25 years of independency, AYF decided to dedicate a week of advocacy to raise public awareness of the struggle of Artsakh especially outside the Armenian community and in the general Australian public.

The Advocacy week begun with an information session with Mr. Kaylar Michaelian, the Permanent Representative of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to Australia. Mr Michaelian gave a brief recap on the Artsakh War and gave more details on the current situation in Artsakh, the future of the region as well as what we can do as Armenian Youth in Australia. Touching on many different strategies that we could implement as an organisation as well as individuals. Mr Michaelian emphasised that winning the Artsakh War in Australia is all about spreading awareness of the issue and that the Advocacy Week is a major step in ensuring the future of Artsakh as a free and independent state.

Although a relatively small task, but an important one none the less in regards to raising awareness, the AYF released a ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Fact Sheet’ which was seen by over 4,100 people on social media.

Identifying university students as a major target audience, as they represent the future generation, AYF Australia worked closely with the Armenian Students’ Association (ASA). Together, ASA and AYF hosted three public exhibitions at the University of New South Wales, University of Sydney and Macquarie University educating students about Artsakh as well as the Azerbaijani aggression towards the republic, while gaining signatures on a petition that will be submitted to the Australian Parliament.

AYF visited the HASG College, an area where we could further educate the Armenian youth and students in the community, and presented an educational lecture on Artsakh and the importance of its struggle, which was very well received by all the high school students at HASG.

AYF Australia Nigol Touman’s Political Committee Representative Panos Borghonzian said, “Artsakh is extremely important to us as an organisation and should be a focus point of every Armenian. It is our job to raise awareness of the struggle of Artsakh to non-Armenians so that they can join us in our struggle”. Borghonzian also said “We would like to say a special thank you to the ASA who have helped us significantly with our cause and have given us the opportunity to take a different direction and approach. We look forward to working with the ASA again in the near future.”