SYDNEY: Over 12,000 people attended the biggest-ever Armenian event in Australia, the Armenian Festival – dedicated to the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide – at Tumbalong Park in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on March 22nd, 2015.
The Republic of Armenia’s Minister of the Diaspora, Hranush Hakobyan was Guest of Honour at the event, which was during her trip to Australia representing the President of Armenia.
Also present was NSW Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, Australia’s Representative to the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, Councillors and leaders of various community organisations.
Renowned singers Zaruhi Babayan and Hamlet Gevorgyan flew in from Armenia to delight the audience, who were warmed up by local Sydney-Armenian band Blackbird – featuring singer Raffy Adourian – during the day. Students from Galstaun College, Hamazkaine Armenian Sydney Dance Company, Hamazkaine Nairi Dance, and talented local musicians and vocalists also entertained the gathered. Vache Kahramanian was the Master of Ceremonies.
The Homenetmen Australia Scouts marched to mark the official opening of the Armenian Festival, which featured speeches from Hakobyan, Haig Kayserian on behalf of the organisers, as well as a representative of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.
The Armenian Festival – organised by a Committee comprising of members from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, Hamazkaine, the Armenian National Committee of Australia, and the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia – featured information and food stalls from all organising organisations, as well as the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
The theme was “100 Years On Armenians Live On”, and the stage featured songs, dance and speeches honouring the memory of the 1.5 million who were massacred during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. ANC Australia hosted a Tent Photo Exhibition dedicated to Armenia and the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide.
The 12,000 in attendance, the Armenian dance, Armenian song and Armenian food on show… proved that 100 Years On, Armenians Live On, and will continue to do so.