Earlier this month, Australia was admitted as the 33rd membership of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) following a unanimous vote of the plenary in Luxembourg. Australia is the first Indo-Pacific Nation to join the IHRA.
IHRA is the international and intergovernmental body promoting Holocaust education, remembrance and research and countering antisemitism, racism and anti-Roma and Sinti prejudice.
Dr Avril Alba and Emeritus Professor Suzanne Rutland from the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies were among a small group of expert members of the Australian Delegation to IHRA who worked for more than four years to secure Australia’s place in the alliance.
IHRA grew out of the Stockholm Declaration, an initiative of the Swedish government to ensure that countries remember and educate their citizens about the Holocaust and its universal messages.
“Now that Australia is a full member we are able to full participate in IHRA's efforts to formulate policies, plans and programs advancing Holocaust education, commemoration and research. This is particularly important given the large number of Holocaust survivors and their descendants in Australia,” Dr Alba said.
“Membership also provides a mandate to further enhance Australia's efforts in Holocaust education and commemoration with the support through IHRA of leading experts from around the world,” Professor Rutland added.
The Australian government's commitment to IHRA enjoys bi-partisan support and is facilitated through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Head of the Australian delegation is Lynette Wood, Ambassador to Germany.