ARS Australia 30th Annual General Meeting concludes


SYDNEY: The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) held its 30th Regional Annual General Meeting on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of June. The meeting was held at the Hamazkaine 'Nairi' and Homenetmen 'Ararat' hall in Ryde.

The meeting, which is the highest ranking ARS meeting in Australia, saw the representation of three chapters via 17 elected members. Along with these members, the meeting also welcomed the attendance of Unger Kevork Vartanian and Unger Shant Kradjian on behalf of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Tro Gomide. The ARS Regional Executive had also invited Unger Assadour Shoukayan to attend. The Hamazkaine Regional Executive had also sent representatives, Ungeroohi Seta Hovagimian and Ungeroohi Silva Nazarian.

The ARS Regional Executive Chairwoman, Ungeroohi Suzy Sarafian welcomed all meeting attendees and special guests to the 30th Annual General Meeting. The meeting was opened with the "Hayr Mer" and the ARS anthem.

Ungeroohi Sarafian ended her opening address with a heartfelt message: "Such a valiant organisation, which has been in existence for over 100 years, has entered its new century, we hope to use this meeting to establish a productive strategy in order to benefit this organisation in the year ahead."

The ARF Tro Gomide representative Unger Vartanian was invited by the ARS to address the meeting. He congratulated the current ARS Regional Executive and illustrated the importance of such an organistion for the Armenian community.

He stated: "The existence of the ARS is essential for the benefit and motivation of its sister organisations."

The meeting elected as its joint-Chairs Ungeroohi Hasmig Zaratsian and Ungeroohi Silva Tufenkjian, and as its joint-secretaries, Ungeroohi Adel Kradjian and Ungeroohi Nora Sevagian.

The following ARS members were introduced to the meeting:

• Ungeroohi Nina Kaprielian and Engeroohi Arshalooys Tahmezian as representatives of the Regional Assembly.
• Ungeroohi Silva Tufenkjian as the Regional Assembly Secretary.
• Enger Assadour Shoukayan as Guest Speaker for the meeting.
• Ungeroohi Sona Meloian as Meeting Supervisor.

The meeting reviewed the Regional Executive's Annual Report, which illustrated the work carried out throughout the executive's term in office. These included the following:

• Became a representative in the committee for the Pan Armenian Association.
• Has continued to successfully support Armenian orphans'. The ARS has continuously worked towards providing grants for educational purposes within their sponsored orphanages.
• The ARS has continued to collect donations for the "Mor oo Mangan" Birthing Clinic in the city of Akhoorian.
• The ARS has assisted ANC Australia, Galstaun College, HMEM, The Armenian Sydney Dance Company and the Armenia newspaper through its ongoing moral and financial support.
• The ARS has made financial donations to the Japan earthquake appeal and towards Ardemis Bedrossian's running fundraiser. 
• The ARS have donated the University fees of two Armenian Youth in Lebanon. This was an initiative made by the ARS Regional Executive. 
• The ARS attended the United Nations Seminar which was held in Melbourne, they had three representatives. 
• The ARS has hosted three educational Seminars with its main goal of increasing membership numbers.
• The ARS had uses many outlets for propaganda mainly the Armenia Fortnightly Newspaper, Sardarabad Radio, the Armenian Program on SBS Radio as well as other various events held within the community.
• Another membership increase initiative introduced by the ARS, has been to invite the youth of the community to give them a brief description of ARS and what it works towards as an organisation.

The 30th Annual General Assembly meeting attendees passed on their compliments to the previous term's Regional Executive.

The meeting then began to propose a new agenda for the organisation's next term in office, which included the following:

• Elect two members to represent the ARS at the United Nations Convention next year.
• The ARS wishes to increase communication with the global ARS "family" in order to be able to invite ARS members from all over the world to Australia for meetings/seminars.
• The formation of an ‘Educational Committee' to establish a specific criteria that can be taught to current and future members of the ARS, particularly those in Fairfield (Arax) and Melbourne (Nairi).
• Create a fundraiser committee with AYF/Badani to help raise funds for Armenian or non-Armenian benevolent organisations as well as attempting to create a friendly atmosphere among families and the two organisations. 
• A special committee to be formed in order to research and contact Armenian business owners in Sydney and Melbourne to make them friends of the ARS. The friendship will require these business owners to make a small donation whereby their names will be displayed on an ARS monument.

Along with the aforementioned passed decisions, many other suggestions were put forward and will be reviewed by the ARS executive. The meeting also reviewed the ARS Central Executive's success levels with a brief update and provided the Central Executive with positive feedback regarding their successes.

All the information that was collected and assessed in this meeting will be represented at the ARS 70th International General Assembly meeting by the ARS Australia Liaison.

The newly elected Regional Executive for the 2011/2012 year is as follows:

• Mary Deukmejian - Vice Secretary
• Adel Kradjian - Secretary
• Annie Setrakian - Treasurer
• Nina Kaprielian - Vice Chairperson
• Silva Tufenkjian - Chairperson
• Arpene Minassian - Vice Treasurer
• Kalousd Ipradjian - Melbourne Advisor


Translated by
Maggy Kayserian