Zaproszenie na seminarium "Elitarne szkoły w Polsce po 1989 roku

AIPA President, Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill, has been invited to present her research findings at the webinar organised by the Laboratory of Analysis of the Transformation of Elites and Intelligentsia, #Elitylab UW, operating at the Faculty of Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw.
Please see the invitation below for more details.

Szanowni Państwo, 

Laboratorium Analiz Transformacji Elit i Inteligencji, #Elitylab UW działające przy Wydziale „Artes Liberales” zaprasza na otwarte seminarium Elitarne szkoły w Polsce po 1989 roku.

Podczas seminarium wyniki swoich badań zaprezentuje dr Alexandra Dunwill (Prezes Australijskiego Instytutu Spraw Polskich). Skomentuje je prof. UW. dr Grażyna Czetwertyńska (Wydział „Artes Liberales”, Uniwersytet Warszawski). Po prezentacji zapraszamy na wspólną dyskusję. 

Jednym z punktów wyjścia do rozmowy będzie tekst European, national or global? Elite schools in postcommunist Poland (Alexandra Dunwill, "Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies", Vol 13 (1), 2021). Zachęcamy do lektury, tekst dostępny jest pod poniższym linkiem:

Spotkanie odbędzie się 23 czerwca 2022 o godzinie 13:00 (9.00 pm w Australii) w formacie online. Link do spotkania poniżej. 

Link do spotkania:

Z wyrazami szacunku

Piotr Kulas, Karolina Filipczak 

Polish aid to Ukrainian museums and national heritage: SAVE THE DATE: 14 JULY 2022

Dear AIPA Members and Friends,

I would like to alert you to a forthcoming Zoom webinar that is being organised by AIPA, about Polish assistance to Ukrainian Museums following the Russian invasion.

The webinar is scheduled to take place on 14 July 2022, 18:00–19:30 (AEST) / 10.00–11.30 (Polish time)

It will be conducted in English and involve four speakers: three from Poland and – we hope – one from Ukraine.

The Convenors of the webinar are AIPA members, Irena Zdanowicz and Joanna Lang.

More information will follow in due course and a Zoom link will be sent to you.

Please distribute this information amongst your networks.

With warm wishes to you all,

Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill

AIPA President

Happy Easter

Dear Members and Friends,

On behalf of the AIPA Board, I wish you a happy, safe, and peaceful Easter, Passover, or just Happy Holidays.

May this time be filled with joy, hope, peace, and love.

Let's hope that this Easter will be a harbinger of the rebirth of peace in the world and hope for better, more peaceful, and more prosperous times in the present catastrophic geopolitical situation.

Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill

AIPA President

AIPA donates to Ukraine

Dear Members of AIPA,

I am pleased to inform you that at the AIPA Board meeting of 8 April it was decided unanimously that we should make a donation in support of humanitarian aid to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. We have therefore donated $5000 to the appeal through:

I have written to Mr Kohut, President of Association of Ukrainians in Victoria and Mr Romaniw, Chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations informing them of our decision and I include the text of my correspondence below.

With best wishes to you all,

Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill

AIPA President

Melbourne, 12 April, 2022

Mr Slawko Kohut, President of Association of Ukrainians in Victoria and  

Mr Stefan Romaniw, Chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations,

Dear Mr Kohut and Mr Romaniw,

On behalf of the Board of The Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA) I wish to state once more that AIPA stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state, so brutally attacked by Russia. 

We unequivocally condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and call for the harshest possible sanctions to be imposed on President Putin and his collaborators. By invading Ukraine, Russia has violated all international agreements, as well as the civilised values of freedom, democracy, and the right to national self-determination. 

We call for solidarity with Ukraine and support its right to independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised state borders. 

To help the Ukrainian cause, AIPA has donated $5000 to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal at: .

We will inform you of our future fundraising activities and events in support of the Ukrainian cause. 

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely

Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill 

AIPA President

Polish Woman Recognised as Righteous Among the Nations

On 13 December 2021, in Melbourne, a Polish woman who, during the Second World War provided help to a Jewish couple, was recognised posthumously by Israel's Yad Vashem Institute, which bestowed on her the title of "Righteous Among the Nations".

Rena Makarow, a Polish Catholic woman, was living in Vilnius in 1941 when German forces invaded the city. Soon after the invasion, the Nazis began to systematically liquidate the local Jewish population.  

Joseph Skowronek was a 30-year-old Jewish man from Warsaw, the only son of a well-to-do banking family. Together with his wife, who was also Jewish, he had managed to flee the Polish capital and headed to Vilnius seeking safe refuge. When the situation in Vilnius became intolerable for Jews, he contacted - through mutual friends - Rena Makarow, who organised hiding places for him and his wife. They had to move several times for safety, each time helped by Rena.

As time went by, a special bond developed between Joseph and Rena, and they fell in love. Rena gave Joseph's wife her own identity documents and assisted her in moving to a new hiding place. Once the war was over, the first wife moved to Paris and gave Rena and Joseph her blessing to start a new life together. They married, changed their name to Skowroński and eventually settled in Melbourne.

The ceremony of posthumous recognition of Rena Skowroński was organised by the Embassy of Israel in Australia and took place in the beautiful St. Kilda Synagogue in Melbourne. It was followed by a reception at the Jewish Museum of Australia.  The event was attended by federal and state parliamentarians, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Israeli embassy, Race Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission, representatives of the French, German and United States embassies, as well as Jewish community leaders.

One of the keynote speakers was Ewa Collins, daughter of Rena and Joseph Skowroński, who is a member of AIPA.

None of the Polish diplomats accredited in Australia were present at the event, even though they were officially invited.

Adam Warzel

Photo: Copyright: Paul Topol/MFA