Providing humanitarian relief for thousands of refugees and the elderly in Armenia.

Dr Armen Gakavian - Co-Director

Armen was born in Sydney, Australia. He has 16 years of experience in community development, leadership formation, training and research. Armen received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Sydney, and has taught leadership, sociology and social change in Australia and Armenia.

After co-founding Mission Armenia (Australia) in 2001, Armen spent 3 years in Armenia, where he worked with Mission Armenia to develop an internship program for university students. Armen saw first hand the dedication of Mission Armenia ’s leadership, staff and volunteers, and was impressed with the organisation’s integrity, transparency and holistic approach. Armen was also a consultant for other NGOs, and co-led a student Christian ministry.

In Sydney, Armen founded the Armenian Genocide Research Unit at Macquarie University, and has worked as a researcher at the same University and more recently with various NGOs. He is a team member of The Salvation Army based in Ivanhoe Estate, a public housing community in Macquarie Park. Armen’s vision is for personal and community transformation, based on the principles outlined in the Christian gospels.

Robert Grigorian - Co-Director

Robert was born in Teheran, Iran, in 1954, and moved to Sydney in 1969. He is married and has 3 children. After completing a Structural Engineering Degree in 1976, he continued to work in the engineering industry. In 2003, he started his own construction business. 

Having been involved in the Armenian community all his life, Robert was invited in 1997 to become Principal of the H. Toomanian Armenian Saturday School in Ryde, a position he holds to the present day. 

In 2001, Robert was introduced to the work of Mission Armenia. He was moved by the needs of the elderly and became founding co-director. Two years later, he spent a month with Mission Armenia, visiting soup kitchens and community centres, and experiencing first hand the living conditions and needs of the elderly and refugees. He was deeply impressed by the dedication of Mission Armenia’s staff and volunteers. 

Andre Marootians - Co-Director

Andre was born in Iran in 1947. He grew up in Ahvaz in Khuzestan province, and completed his BSc in Physics at the National University of Iran in Tehran. He married Jasmen and they moved to Australia with their three children in 1979.

Andre’s career in the field of information technology (IT) spans 40 years, and includes working for IBM and running his own IT business for the last 14 years. He has experience in business and project management, leadership and business development.

During his first visit to Armenia in 2005, Andre was impressed with the work of Mission Armenia and became a major supporter. He joined the Board of Directors in 2009. Andre has since visited Armenia twice (in 2010 and 2012), where he developed a further understanding and deeper knowledge of Mission Armenia’s work and needs. In his own words: “Mission Armenia is a very critical organisation in supporting and impacting the lives of thousands of Armenian elderly, families and children – their work is invaluable”. 

Jasmen Marootians - Administrative Assistant

Jasmen is married to Andre. She was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1949. Her passion for the Armenian people and their need for global support was initially awakened as she learned more about Mission Armenia through Andre's involvement.

Jasmen’s desire to build bridges of aid between Australia and Armenia deepened when she visited Armenia for the first time in 2010. Her heart welled up for the people of Armenia as she stood on their soil, listened to their stories and spent time with fellow Armenians in need. Seeing the Motherland, and witnessing the struggles of its poor, inspired Jasmen to become more involved with Mission Armenia.

With a heart for service, a strong belief that love is a verb and a desire to reflect God's unconditional love in her own life, Jasmen is passionate about encouraging others to support Mission Armenia. She considers it a privilege to be part of an organisation that is making a significant, real and daily difference in the lives of so many Armenians. 

Tina Cholakyan - Volunteer and former Office Administrator

Tina came on board with Mission Armenia in Australia in 2007, bringing with her much-needed office skills and fundraising knowledge. Tina has visited Armenia and she has witnessed the difficulties there first hand. She believes that, by using her skills here in Australia, she can make a difference to needy individuals in Armenia. Tina served as Mission Armenia’s Administrative Assistant until 2013, and continues to volunteer her services as needed.

Tina enjoys playing with her three boys and spends any free time creating art out of anything from buttons to wire. She also loves reading when she can and really looks forward to a soy chai latte. 

Julie Redal – Volunteer fundraising consultant

Julie is a pro bono fundraising consultant. She is passionate about helping not-for-profit organisations improve their performance and succeed in their mission.

Julie has 21 years of experience in direct marketing and fundraising. This includes 13 years of experience in direct marketing as a graphic designer in the medical publishing industry, and in the not-for-profit and registered charitable Christian mission sectors. She has eight years of fundraising experience through her work in the not-for-profit and registered charitable Christian mission sectors, and through her present paid role with a global sales and marketing group.

Julie is currently helping Mission Armenia (Australia) pro bono to develop its fundraising strategy. For more information about Julie, visit her website

Our motivation....

We are motivated by the love of God to serve the needy, because we believe that the good news of Christianity is first of all good news for the poor (Luke 4:17-19).

Mission Armenia Ltd Australia has tax deductible Gift Recipient Status and is endorsed by the ATO as an Income Tax Exempt Charity. 
Donations over $2 are tax deductible. ABN: 33 09 7445 808. CFN: 17305. © Mission Armenia Ltd 2014. View our privacy policy.