The second-ever #ARTSAKHSTRONG Telethon, which encouraged Armenian–Australians to donate to the “Republic of Artsakh Independence, Security and Peace Foundation”, raised a massive $75,000, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reports.
The visiting State Minister of the Republic of Artsakh, the Hon. Arayik Harutyunyan headlined TV and radio interviews, which also featured Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand, Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Kevork Vartanian – Chair of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF-AU) Central Committee, Kaylar Michaelian – Republic of Artsakh’s Representative to Australia, Hanriet Andriasian – Adviser to the Diaspora Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Galstaun College Principal Edward Demirdjian, and the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Haig Kayserian.
Minister Harutyunyan praised what he was witnessing as something that should become an example for other communities.
“We are building a nation in Artsakh and refuse to rest on our laurels in our battle for recognition, and have chosen the path of democracy to achieve the peace our people crave and deserve,” he said. “I praise this community, the Armenian-Australian community is organised, it is clear in its directives and ready to sacrifice for the people of the Republic of Artsakh.”
Donations were received by hundreds of Armenian-Australians, Armenian-owned businesses, non-Armenian businesses and individuals in support of Artsakh. Many community organisations also participated in the Telethon with their donations, and representatives from organisations and committees including those under the umbrellas of the ARF-AU, the Armenian Apostolic Church, Hamazkaine Cultural & Educational Society, Homenetmen Sporting & Scouting Association, the Armenian Relief Society, the Armenian Youth Federation, the Macquarie University Armenian Students Association, the Armenian Church Youth Association, and the ANC-AU.
Live donations received from the Armenian Resource Centre of Australia, its MANOH Committee which aids refugee Armenians from the Middle East, as well as the Karen Jeppe College Alumni – Australian Chapter were very well received.
In Melbourne, the Armenian Community Centre in Springvale was also buzzing, with outcalls from members of the leaders of the local Armenian organisations leading to donations totalling nearly $7,000.