Successful Assyria Day Event Builds Supports

Member, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
Regional Office of Australia and New Zealand
For Immediate Release – Sydney-30 June 2014

On Sunday 29 June 2014, The Young Assyrians, the youth branch of the Assyrian
Universal Alliance –Australia Chapter, hosted the 4th annual Assyria Day conference.
The event brought in support from all ages of the Assyrian community as well as
others from different cultural backgrounds and politicians from Local, State and
Federal Parliament. This year, the conference highlighted the current atrocities taking
place in Syria and Iraq, more recently through the actions of the Islamic State in Iraq
and Syria (ISIS), an extremist Sunni Muslim group, which has brought a humanitarian
disaster to the Assyrian people who still remain in the city of Mosul and in the nearby
towns and villages.
The Master of Ceremonies Ms Melanie Alkhas began the conference with an
acknowledgment of country and thanked all of the attendees, guests of honour and
guest speakers. “It’s an honour to host this event at such a critical time in our nation’s
Councillor Frank Carbone, the Mayor of Fairfield city, officially opened the
conference and thanked the AUA-Australia for the many years of service to the
Assyrian community and for raising awareness and lobbying politicians to gain
support and action for the plight of the Assyrian people in the Middle East.
He acknowledged the successful work of the organisation in managing to draw young
people to the Assyrian cause.
Ninos Aaron, Chairman of The Young Assyrians set the tone as he delivered his
address : ” With the current madness that is unfolding in Iraq and the middle east will
we sit idly by and have our future dictated by chaos or will we come together to shape
our own destiny?”
Assyrian Universal Alliance Deputy Secretary General Mr Hermiz Shahen reiterated
the importance of this day. He gave a brief history of the establishment of Assyria
Day and stressed the importance of working collectively to ensure a future Assyrian
The first main speaker delivered an in-depth insight into the importance of
maintaining and educating Assyrian literature amongst the youth. Mr Philimon
Darmo began the presentations with an examination of the Assyrian language and its
forms throughout history. His speech highlighted the need for action to preserve the

ancient language throughout diaspora by youth and elderly alike. Mr Darmo
emphasised the importance of language as a cultural identifier and that without its
existence, the very foundation of Assyrian heritage and conservation will be
The second presentation was delivered by Mr Alexander Ryvchin a lawyer, profound
writer and Director of Public Affairs at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
His presentation focused on a contrast and assessment of the current state of
Assyrians in the Middle East, and that of the plight of the Jewish people in gaining
independence. Mr Ryvchin’s presentation on the struggle for liberation of the Jewish
people drew amazingly similar parallels to the Assyrian people in their struggle for
security and self-determination. Mr Ryvchin declared his support and desire for the
two communities to work together concerning the current breaches of Assyrian
human rights.
The conference then rested for lunch with a chance for attendees to network, mingle
and build relations with other participants and presenters. The conference returned for
an emotional and powerful insight from Ground Zero: Assyrians in Assyria from
Gilgamesh Dawood. His presentation stressed the importance of action in response to
the horrific occurrences and persecution of the Assyrian people in Iraq and Syria. Mr
Dawood accentuated the urgent security crisis and mass exodus of the Assyrian
people from their homeland with many governments around the world refusing to
acknowledge and act on the current state of events unfolding at the hands of the
fundamental Islamic groups.
The main speakers concluded with a presentation by the Member of McMahon and
Federal Shadow Treasurer of Australia, the Hon. Chris Bowen MP. Mr Bowen
highlighted the importance and effectiveness of advocacy on Local, State and Federal
levels of the government. A distinct illustration was made in the efficacy of the
Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australia and the motions that have been passed in
State and Federal Parliaments. Mr Bowen stressed the importance and value of
advocacy, especially from the young and educated. He concluded with the fact that
the Assyrian demands for an autonomous homeland is not a matter of if, but rather
The Assyria Day conference also welcomed old and new friends in the support of the
Assyrian people and an autonomous region for the Assyrians in Iraq. David Clarke
MLC contributed rousing words of inspiration and compassion for the Assyrian
people. The Assyrian people also welcomed a new friend and advocate in Tanya
Davies MP who lent her kind words and desire to work with the Assyrian Universal
Alliance – Australia to tackle this issue in Parliament.
The 2014 Assyria Day conference was a historic success with an unprecedented
number of attendees and resounding positive feedback.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australia and their youth branch The Young
Assyrians are continuing to build support by advocating and lobbing local and
international politicians and the wider international community to take action against
the atrocities and persecution of the Assyrian people at the hands of Islamic terrorists,
and to push for and support the establishment of an Assyrian region.

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