ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE MONUMENT
A memorial can be viewed as a window into the past. Through artefacts and memorial monuments we are able to remind ourselves of a time gone by, and reflect upon the achievements of mankind. Without these artefacts, we would have no knowledge of human events, and for this reason it is important to share those memories with our future generations.
Assyrian in Australia wants to honour the memory of all victims of Assyrian genocide with efforts to attain the justice of a living memory for them and to prevent any further horrors of that sort by educating all mankind toward the guiding ideals of humanity and solidarity among all people.
This Assyrian Genocide Statue at Bonnyrigg where the majority of the Assyrian community resides is to become a memorial complex dedicated to the remembrance of over half a million Assyrians who perished in the first genocide of the twentieth century at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. The Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo) was the greatest tragedy in modern Assyrian history.
This Monument will become a pilgrimage site. With a beautiful landscape, it will blend in perfect harmony with its surroundings, becoming an integral part of Australia’s architecture. Its austere outlines convey the spirit of a nation that survived a ruthless campaign of extermination.
Every nation has a day set aside for the remembrance of its nationals who bravely give their lives for the preservation of their fellow people, culture and ethnic identity. Every year, on 7th of August, Assyrians all over the world including our community in Fairfield gather to commemorate the Assyrian Martyrs and Genocide Remembrance Day to honour the memory of the victims of the Assyrian genocide. Efforts are made to attain justice through holding their memory alive, and to prevent any further horrors of that sort by educating mankind about the guiding ideals of humanity and solidarity among all people.
“Assyrians appreciate the value of citizenship in Australia and consider themselves even more privileged to be living in what they recognise as being the best city of the world – Sydney. This vibrant community cannot however cease mourning its tragic past when its people remember that they are the children and grandchildren of those who even to date have vivid memories of the horrific events of a genocide that shaped their present status as a stateless nation… It is in this context and in the context of universal human rights that the Assyrian community, as part of the Australian community, pleads that this ethnic, religious and cultural genocide of their people be acknowledged and recognized.” One in ten persons residing in Fairfield is of Assyrian ancestry.
With so many of our residents settling in Fairfield City after fleeing situations of war, trauma and torture, the sculpture proposed by the Former Committee of Assyrian Universal Alliance -Australia INC conveys a universal message of a safer world.
The Design and Construction of the Memorial:
The sculpture is designed by artist Lewis Batros. He started working on assembling the genocide Monument during January 2010 , after a hard work of four months the sculpture was made ready to be transferred to the location were the genocide monument will be erected and built at Bonnyrigg Park . The construction of this memorial commenced in May 2010 and is expected to be completed in July the same year for the official unveiling on August 7.
The hand represents the people who dedicated their lives to create a better and safer world. The hand is draped in the Assyrian flag, representing the survival and spiritual rebirth and unity of the Assyrian people. Figures of young children come together at the base, symbolising the faith in the younger generation to carry the torch for the future of the Assyrian nation. The hand holds the globe for recognition of the Assyrian genocide. The Lamassu (winged bull) is a mythological entity which wards off evil spirits.
Total height of the memorial = 4.5 m
Steel: 3 tonnes, concrete 15 tonnes
The location of the memorial:
The monument is located on the corner of Smithfield Road and Elizabeth Drive, Bonnyrigg, NSW, 2176 Australia.
Other important dates:
Date of First Application: 5 July 2009
Council Approval: 15 December 2009
Construction Began: 23 May 2010
Construction Completed: 16 July 2010
Dedication Date: 7 August 2010
The contract between Fairfield city Council and the Assyrian Universal Alliance was singed on 29th April 2010, Clr Nick Lalich , Mayor of Fairfield City singed the agreement on behalf of City council witnessed by Deputy Mayor , Clr Anwar Khoshaba
Mr Hermiz Shahen, Regional Secretary of the AUA in Australia and New Zealand, signed the agreement on behalf of the AUA together with Mr David M. David, Executive Board member of the Assyrian Universal Alliance witnessed by Mr Paul Azzo .
The Construction and Funding:
The construction and installation of the memorial was proposed and fully funded by the proponent, the Assyrian Universal Alliance- Australian chapter (AUA) . The AUA established a construction committee chaired by Mr David M. David. The building on the site was under supervision of Mr Paul Azzo .
Support for the Proposal:
Assyrian Australian National Federation
Assyrian Australian Association
Assyrian Charity & Educational Community
Babylon Cultural Association
Assyrian National Centre Inc.
Committee members and supporters who worked hard for the construction of this Assyrian genocide monument:
Mr Hermiz Shahen, Deputy secretary General & Regional Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) in Australia & New Zealand.
Mr David M. David , President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation, And Executive Board member of the Assyrian Universal Alliance .
Mr Paul Azzo , Senior Advisor on governmental issues
AUA Australian Committee members and supporters who worked hard to build the Monument foundation:
The late Nenos Nissan,
Mr Wiliam David
Mr Ben Jabro
Mr Leyon Gewargis
Mr Benjamin Benjamin
Mr Simon Essavian
Mr Saib Hurmz
Other Volunteers :
Alex Johns, Plans, Engineering and Surveying work
Carmen Lazar on behalf of the Assyrian Australian Association – Assyrian Diqlat School, for organising students for the unveiling ceremony
Flora St Vincent, for designing and making the statue cover for the unveiling.
Lyon Gorgiskhan, all concrete and steel work
Sam Zumaya , Excavation
Busınesses In Alphabetıcal Order :
Andravos Kashro , Babylon Industries P/L
Be Mure Pty Ltd
C&N Laser Pty Ltd
Elias & Louis Shamoon, Statewide Quality Services P/L
Fred Giv- Rockfill Design & Construction Pty Ltd
Glamor Pty Ltd
IN2 Fones Pty Ltd
Karim David, Sydney Acres – Real Estate
Lawrence Simon, BP Express Casula
N M V Pty Ltd
Perfection Group Services Pty Ltd
Tony Jawaro, T&J Smash Repairs Pty Ltd
VE Laser Pty Ltd
Wilson Younan, Storm International Pty Ltd