Retiring Member of Australia’s Federal Parliament, Michael Danby used his valedictory speech in the House of Representatives to reflect on a career where he has advocated for human rights causes around the world, including for the Armenians demanding justice for the Armenian Genocide.
The outgoing Member for Melbourne Ports told Parliament: “I stand up for human rights here and around the world provided the cause is principally non-violent. I’m here for the Kurds, the Armenians, the Uygurs, the Tibetans, the Dafuris, the Baha’is and prisoners in North Korean concentration camps.”
The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has thanked Danby for his steadfast commitment to raising important awareness for the Armenian Genocide and many other important human rights causes.
“Mr. Danby retires tall, having defended what would have been forgotten human rights issues throughout his career in public office,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. “The Australian Parliament would be poorer without Danby unless those who take his place continue this proud legacy.”
Danby has spoken on recognition of the Armenian Genocide on several occasions throughout his distinguished Parliamentary career. Last December, speaking on a motion honouring the 70th Anniversary of UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, he said: “It was Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish lawyer from Poland, who coined the term ‘genocide’ in response to the extent of the atrocities inflicted on the Armenian people—1½ million people, as the member for Berowra [Julian Leeser MP] said. Apparently it wasn’t understood or known before that. Of course, in that conflict with Turkey, many Greek and Assyrian people of the Ottoman Empire were equally badly affected.”