Australian Institute of Polish Affairs

AIPA Key Events 2014

AIPA Key Events 01/11/2013 – 11/11/2014

a list of events and activities that have either been initiated by AIPA, or with which the Institute has been involved in other ways, both in Australia and in Poland.

31 /01/2014

Hobart. AIPA President, Prof. Jan Pakulski wrote letters to the German Ambassador to Australia and the Chair of SBS Board, Joseph Skrzynski, remonstrating against the distorted and slanderous portrayal of Polish people, especially of Polish resistance fighters (Home Army – AK) in the German film Generation War (Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter), screened by SBS in Australia.


Melbourne. Several AIPA members attended an event commemorating Witold Pilecki, organized by the Jewish Holocaust Centre, and a working dinner that followed. For Witold Pilecki’s heroic bravery during WWII see, amongst others:

Witlod Pilecki (Translated by Jarek Garlinski),The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery. Aquila Polonica, 2012. ISBN 978-1-60772-010-2.


Sydney. Working dinner of AIPA members with directors of IPN (Institute of National Remembrance, Poland), Dr Łukasz Kamiński and Dr Rafał Leśniewicz, on the occasion of their visit to Australia. Discussed were possible forms of cooperation between AIPA and IPN.


Melbourne. Prof Jan Pakulski took part in a Round Table seminar on Ukraine, organized by Monash University, recorded by the ABC “Big Ideas” program and broadcast on 26 February.


Melbourne. Prof. Jan Pakulski was interviewed for the ABC Radio National’s program, “Flights of Fancy”, in a segment about the Smolensk plane crash in which President Lech Kaczyński and 95 other Polish officials were tragically killed.


Melbourne. Several AIPA members and guests attended a seminar at Armagh with the young Polish scholar, Dr Joanna Wawrzyniak, who spoke on the “Genealogy of Memory”. The meeting discussed issues of Polish and Eastern European cultural memory from a global perspective.

16/02/2014 to 07/04/2014

Visit of Professor Norman Davies, distinguished historian and author of many outstanding and critically acclaimed books. Prof. Davies visited Hobart, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne as a guest of AIPA and the University of Tasmania. Prof. Davies’ main engagements are listed below.

Hobart 16/02 – 26/03

  • Keynote address delivered at a conference on the Great War, held at Parliament House, Hobart: “The Great War – Causes and Consequences”.
  • Public lecture at the University of Tasmania as part of the Eminent Scholar Lecture Series: “History – One Damned Thing After Another”.

Sydney (26/03 – 31/03)

  • University of Western Sydney (UWS) Open Forum, Keynote Address: “Ukraine – Not Just a Province of Russia”, followed by dinner.
  • Seminar at the University of NSW: “East is Beast – West is Best”.
  • Lecture at the Polish Consulate: “Poland – a Normal Country?”.
  • Dinner with UNSW academics.
  • Interviews with Philip Adams of ABC Radio National (Late Night Life), Miranda Devine of Radio 2GB, film producer Sophia Turkiewicz, and with the Polish Section of Radio SBS.

Canberra (31/3 – 2/04)

  • Public lecture at the ANU: “Ukraine – Between the EU and Russia”. This lecture is available as a recording:
  • Meeting and lecture at the Polish Embassy: “Poland – God’s Playground or the Lucky Country?” Hosted by H.E. Ambassador RP Paweł Milewski, followed by a reception.
  • Dinner with AIPA’s members at Dr Stefan and Halszka Markowski’s residence at Red Hill.
  • Film screening at the Polish Embassy: “Out of the Ashes – Warsaw Story” with comments by Prof. Davies, followed by Q&A time. Reception organized by the Embassy.
  • Dinner for Prof. Davies and twelve invited guests at the residence of the Polish Ambassador H.E. Paweł Milewski.

Melbourne (3/04 – 7/04)

  • Davies presented the second Annual Andrzej Ehrenkreutz Lecture, established in honour of AIPA founder, Professor Andrzej Ehrenkreutz, at Armagh, Toorak: “East is Beast, West is Best”.
  • John Masanauskas interviewed Prof. Davies for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne HeraldSun.
  • Public lecture at Monash European and EU Centre: “Ukraine – Between the EU and Russia”


Sydney. AIPA annual picnic at Balls Head. Several prospective members also attended. Vice President Mark Burdajewicz advised that he intended to retire from his position as coordinator of the Sydney Branch of AIPA and appealed to members to put forward nominations for his replacement.


Sydney. AIPA organized a public conversation at the Polish Consulate between Prof. Jan Zielonka of Oxford University (where he is Professor of European Politics) and Prof. Martin Krygier of the University of NSW, our member and former President . The subject was Prof. Zielonka’s newly published book, Is the EU doomed?. The lively discussion explored the main arguments of the book and reflected on their implications for Poland.


Canberra. Vice-President Aleksander M. Gancarz attended a meeting at the Polish Embassy with the Speaker of the Polish Senate Bogdan Borusewicz, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate Stanislaw Karczewski and other members of the official delegation of Polish Senators visiting Australia.


Canberra. Seven members of AIPA were invited to take part in a Round Table Discussion (Chatham House Rules) with the delegation of Polish Senators. Venue: Centre for European Studies at ANU.


Sydney. Vice president Mark Burdajewicz attended a meeting at the Polish Consulate General with the Speaker of Senate Bogdan Borusewicz.


Warsaw. Prof. Jan Pakulski met Prof. Andrzej Rychard regarding his visit to Australia as a guest of AIPA in November 2014.


Warsaw. Prof. Jan Pakulski met the Ambassador of RP in Australia, HE Paweł Milewski, and discussed with him possibilities ways of cooperating in the forthcoming year, including over the visit to Australia of Prof. Andrzej Rychard.

19 /07/2014

Warsaw. On behalf of AIPA Prof Jan Pakulski wrote a letter to the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Julie Bishop, expressing his sympathy and concern regarding the MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine.


Warsaw. Barbara Zagala, past Secretary and a long time member of our Institute, has been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Zasługi RP), at a Ceremony in the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is awarded to individuals who have rendered great service to the Polish nation. It is granted to foreigners or Polish residents abroad for significant achievements in fostering international relations between Poland and other nation-states.


Warsaw. At the suggestion of Ambassador Paweł Milewski, Jan Pakulski met Mr Andrzej Folwarczny (ex-MP), president of the organization Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, and discussed with him possibilities of cooperation between the Forum and AIPA in furthering Polish-Jewish dialogue.


Canberra. Vice-President Aleksander M. Gancarz attended the funeral of Aleksandra Antonina Zubrzycka (wife of Prof. Jerzy Zubrzycki) who passed away on 11 August 2014.


Melbourne. Adam Warzel, AIPA’s Melbourne Cinematheque (MC) Liaison Officer, organized a meeting to discuss the possibility of the Polish Consulate assistance in organizing the screening of Polish movies at the MC in 2015. The meeting was attended by Ms Regina Jurkowska, Polish Consul General, Michael Koller, Chief Curator of MC, Tadeusz Matkowski, organizer of Polish film screenings, and Adam Warzel.


Warsaw. Prof. Jan Pakulski wrote a short commemorative article on Aleksandra Antonina Zubrzycka for Gazeta Wyborcza.


Warsaw. Prof. Jan Pakulski met Zbigniew Nossowski, Editor of the monthly journal Więź, (and a guest of AIPA in 2009), and discussed with him possibilities of cooperation in publicizing the current Polish-Jewish dialogue.


Melbourne. Adam Warzel, together with Michael Koller of the Melbourne Cinematheque, prepared a submission to the Polish Consulate for funding to organize a season of films by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.

If approved, the season will be held in the second half of 2015.

15/9/ – 21/9/2014

Canberra. On behalf of AIPA, Vice-President Aleksander M. Gancarz helped organize the association of Friends of Chopin Australia to promote in Australia and in Poland the II International Chopin Competition at the School of Music at the Australian National University. 


Warsaw. Prof. Jan Pakulski and Zofia Pakulski met an Australian parliamentary delegation (which included Michael Danby and his wife) visiting Poland at the invitation of the Forum for Dialogue Among Nations. They attended a dinner at the Australian Embassy where they discussed ways in which AIPA and the Forum for Dialogue could collaborate; this included the possibility of a visit to Australia in 2015 by Mr Andrzej Folwarczny, the Forum’s founder and President.


Warsaw. At the invitation of the Forum for Dialogue, Prof. Jan Pakulski and Zofia Pakulski joined the Australian parliamentary delegation at a special preview of the main exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.


Canberra. Vice-President Aleksander M. Gancarz organized the visit of Dr John Besemeres (member of AIPA in Canberra) to a meeting of the Canberra Burley Griffin Rotary Club. Dr Besemeres gave a lecture on the current situation in Ukraine and this was followed by a Q&A session.


Melbourne. The Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) placed on its website a 500 word blog prepared by Adam Warzel about its Polish film season (Martin Scorsese’s “Masterpieces of Polish Cinema”). ACMI blogs are viewed by up to 1 million visitors a year. The blog can be viewed at:


Melbourne. AIPA members Dr Julie Fedor, Dr Malgorzata Klatt and Mrs Sophie Skarbek were panel speakers at an event organized by the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, following the screening of Sophia Turkiewicz’s documentary “Once my mother”.


Melbourne. Publication of the book The Poles & Australia by Dr Malgorzata Klatt, AIPA Committee Member. (Publisher: Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne ISBN: 9781925003826)

03/11/2014 – 11/11/2014

Visit of Professor Andrzej Rychard, Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Professor Rychard is the author and/or co-author of more than 100 scientific publications in Polish, British, Swedish, German and American professional journals, including books and monographs. Prof. Rychard’s main engagements are listed below. See also:


  •  Public lecture at the Polish Consulate on Polish post-communist transformations.
  •  Interview with Radio National ABC’s Phillip Adams (Late Night Live), broadcast on 4 November 2014.


  •  Public lecture/seminar at the ANU’s Europe Centre on post-communist transformations in Poland.
  •  Meeting at the Polish Embassy and informal discussions on Poland’s new status in Europe.


  •  Dinner with the Governor of Tasmania, prof. Kate Warner at Government House, Hobart.
  •  Meeting with academics at the University of Tasmania.


  • Public lecture at Armagh: “Polish Transformation: Towards Market, Democracy and Social Pluralism. Lessons for Others?”.
  • Presentation at Melbourne University’s Europe Centre: “The Heart of Europe. Poland in the Second Decade of the 21st Century”.


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