Mrs Tanya Davies, MP, State Member for Mulgoa 8 May 2014

Sydney – 8 May 2014
Mrs Tanya Davies, MP, State Member for Mulgoa, made a statement in the Legislative Assembly of NSW State Parliament regarding the Assyrian New Year festival that was held on 30th March 2014 at Fairfield Showground in Sydney.
On behalf of the Assyrian universal Alliance and the Assyrian Australian community, we would like to thank Mrs Davies for her inspiring speech and support for the Assyrian community.
Mrs Tanya Davies, MP made the following statement on Tuesday 6th May 2014 at [1.06 p.m.]::

“Today I bring to the attention of the House th e Australian Chapter of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, who recently held their spectacular annual New Year Festival, which I had the pleasure of attending last month. The New Year Festival celebration was hosted by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in conjunction with the Assyrian Australian National Federation. The festival is a celebration of the rich, sophisticated and longstanding history of the Assyrian people that dates back more than 6,700 years. In 2014 we celebrated the commencement of the 6,764th Assyrian New Year. The festival is of great significance to the Australian Assyrian community, not only because of its incorporation of traditional song, dance and history but also because it was an opportunity to remind everyone attending, whether in person or via the video web link across the globe, of the continuing struggle by the Assyrian community for their own safe province within Iraq.

Mr Hermiz Shahen, Deputy Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, reflected on the hope of Assyrians in the face of the tragedies their people have faced. He also welcomed the wonderful opportunity presented by the New Year’s Festival to celebrate the contributions of the Assyrian community to a societal landscape that makes them proud to be Australians. Mr Ninos Aaron, chairperson of the Young Assyrian Youth Branch of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, spoke on the potential for us to change the fate of the Assyrians in the Middle East from where we are now placed. Mr David M. David, President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation, also discussed our potential to ease the suffering of Assyrians and Christian Assyrians, and highlighted the vital role that the Australian Government is playing in supporting and securing self-determination for Assyrians in Iraq.

I also acknowledge the contributions to this wonderful festival by local community groups and organisations. Representatives were present from the Fairfield City Council, the Republic of Iraq in Australia and New Zealand, the Young Assyrians, the NSW Police Force, the Cabramatta Community Centre and the National Council of Churches in Australia. The Assyrian Star Folkloric Dancing Group performed two wonderful dance pieces, which were significant to the occasion and also highly entertaining. The Australian and Assyrian national anthems were beautifully performed by Ms Jessica Ablahad, showcasing exceptional talent and also representing the unity between the Assyrian Universal Alliance and the wider community. Special thanks also go to the sponsors, artists and the Committee of the Young Assyrians, which is the youth arm of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, for organising the Assyrian exhibition and to the Assyrian Diqlat School of the Assyrian Australian Association, Mr Simon Israel, Ms Moreen Eramya and Mr Walter Lolham.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance was established to be a voice for the Assyrian community and is committed to upholding the Assyrian name in our community. I offer my congratulations to members of the Assyrian populace who have done so and as a result received awards on Australia Day this year. Mrs Carmen Lazar is the centre manager and settlement officer at the Assyrian Australian Association office of the Assyrian Resource Centre, Fairfield, and recipient of the prestigious Order of Australia award. Other Assyrian Australians who received Australia Day awards include Basim Shamaon, the youngest ever Fairfield City Young Citizen of the Year awardee, and Albert Mooshi, who received the City of Fairfield Achievement Medallion. These awards are presented on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the local community and I commend them.

These Australia Day award recipients demonstrate the true spirit of this great country in their continued commitment and perseverance within our community to build a better country. Mrs Carmen Lazar, OAM, is involved with projects such as the Consumer and Community Participation Network at Fairfield Hospital, the refugee and housing task forces, Medicare Local, Fairfield Migrant Interagency and the Fairfield Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network, as well as contributing to local student success and helping out with the Assyrian Universal Alliance’s response to the crisis in the Middle East. Her fellow Australia Day awardees, Basim Shamaon and Albert Mooshi, are also involved with charity and humanitarian causes and Mr Mooshi is a member of the Assyrian Charity and Educational Community.

This hope brought to our united society contrasts with the circumstances for Assyrians in Iraq. Australian Assyrians continue to work toward not only a better situation for Assyrians overseas but also contribute to local communities in such a way to make us all proud to be Australian. I was inspired by the unity, strength and single-mindedness of the Assyrian-Australian communities which celebrated the Assyrian New Year together. Around 15,000 people were in attendance that day. I look forward to my continuing involvement with and support of the Assyrian community in the days, months and years ahead.”
For more information please refer to the following link:

Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australian Chapter
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia.