Australian Institute of Polish Affairs

President’s Report and list of Key Events 2023

Australian Institute of Polish Affairs

President’s Report – October 2022 to October 2023

Reflecting on the events and activities undertaken by the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA) between October 2022 and October 2023, we witness a dynamic engagement with the Polish and Australian communities and beyond, both online and through live events. These endeavours show our commitment to fostering ties between Australia and Poland and promoting a deeper understanding of Polish culture, history, and contemporary political and social issues.

This period began with a festive Christmas dinner in Melbourne on 16th December 2022, bringing together over forty AIPA members and friends at the Osteria restaurant in Toorak. It set the tone for the events that followed, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among our members.

The year has been marked by numerous insightful lectures, discussions, and collaborations, showcasing our organization’s commitment and dedication to:

  • advancing knowledge about Poland in Australia
  • monitoring and promoting information on Poland and Polish-Australian affairs
  • organizing public lectures, conferences, and commemorative meetings
  • advancing education by networking with academic, political, commercial, and cultural organizations in Poland and Australia. 

To increase our ability to implement these goals, AIPA applied for registration by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The process took seven months and required proving that AIPA’s past and planned future activities satisfy the ACNC requirements for registration. These efforts were fruitful, and AIPA is now a registered Charity. Charity status contributes to legitimacy and prestige. As ACNC points out on its website:

The ACNC Registered Charity Tick helps charities promote their registration and presence on the ACNC Charity Register. It is also a way for donors and the public to easily identify registered charities. We encourage charities to display the Charity Tick to publicly promote their registration and commitment to transparency and accountability.

The next step is to apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for Deductible Gift Recipient status (DGR), which will allow our donors to obtain tax deductions in the future.

This will help to raise funds to establish scholarships and awards, enabling us to advance our educational goals in the future and strengthen our reputation as a Think Tank.

Below is a detailed list of key events and activities that have either been initiated by AIPA or with which the Institute’s members have been involved in other ways. The list contains both online and live events.

1. Christmas Dinner in Melbourne (16.12.2022)

Location: Melbourne

Description: A warm and festive Christmas dinner was held at the Osteria restaurant in Toorak, bringing together over forty AIPA members and friends for a memorable evening.

2. AIPA Webinar with the Ukrainian Ambassador (6.03.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: AIPA organized a ZOOM webinar featuring a discussion with His Excellency Vasyl Myroshnychenko, the Ukrainian Ambassador. The insightful conversation was made available on YouTube.

3. Publication by Dr Gosia Klatt (16.03.2023) Location: Sage journals online

Description: AIPA Treasurer Assoc. Prof. Gosia Klatt published an academic article in the European Educational Research Journal titled: Resisting Europeanisation: Poland’s education policy and its impact on the European Education Area. It discusses significance of the illiberal policy shifts in education under the populist government of the PiS coalition. Open access:

4. AIPA Lecture by Professor Jan Kozłowski (21.03.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: Professor Jan Kozłowski, an esteemed ecology expert, delivered a lecture at Armagh on climate change policies, offering perspectives from Australia, Poland, and the global context. The event aimed to promote discussions on this pressing issue.

5. Event with Prof. Marcin Wodziński (16.04.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: AIPA President Dr. Alexandra Dunwill attended an event at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation. Prof. Marcin Wodziński, a leading expert in early modern Polish history, at the University of Wroclaw, shared insights about Jewish studies in contemporary Poland.

6. Constitution Day Celebration (7.05.2023) Location: Hobart

Description: Professor Jan Pakulski spoke at the Polish House in Hobart to celebrate the anniversary of the Polish Constitution Day (1791), fostering cultural ties and historical awareness.

7. Mary Gilmore Award Nomination (8.05.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: AIPA member Eva Collins’s poetry book, “Ask No Questions,” was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award 2023, recognizing its excellence in Australian poetry.,(Harry%20Reid%2C%20Cordite).

8. Book Launch by Prof. Wojciech Sadurski (15.05.2023) Location: Sydney

Description: The University of Sydney Law School hosted the launch of the book “Constitutional Public Reason” by AIPA member Professor Wojciech Sadurski. The book launch was graced by The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.

9. Lecture by Prof. Jan Pakulski in Warsaw (7.06.2023) Location: Warsaw, University of Warsaw

Description: AIPA Vice-President, Prof. Jan Pakulski, presented a lecture on “Political Elite Decay in Poland” at the University of Warsaw.

10. Lecture by Dr. Katarzyna Williams in Canberra (28.06.2023) Location: Canberra

Description: AIPA Board member Dr. Katarzyna Williams presented a lecture titled “Slow Memory: the Diary of Frank Kustra” at the Australasian Association for European History conference in collaboration with ANU School of History.

11. Poetry Presentation by Eva Collins (11.07.2023) Location: Melbourne –

Description: AIPA member Eva Collins presented her poetry at La Mama Poetica, sharing her creative work with the Melbourne literary community.

12. Lecture by Dr. Katarzyna Williams in Canberra (19.07.2023) Location: Canberra –

Description: Dr. Katarzyna Williams presented a lecture at the Australian National University on the theme, “What does it mean to come together?”: The Art and the Other after the Long Summer of Migration in Europe, as part of the Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry.

13. AIPA seminar with Polish Sociologists (01.07.2023)Location: Melbourne –

Description: AIPA members in Melbourne had the privilege of meeting with Polish sociologists who came to Australia to participate in the XX ISA Congress of Sociology, promoting knowledge exchange in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Three presentations were delivered exclusively for AIPA members at the University of Melbourne.

14. Panel Presentation in Warsaw (21.07.2023) Location: Warsaw 

Description: AIPA Vice-President Prof. Jan Pakulski participated in a panel presentation during the Concillium Civitas on “Political Elite Decay and its Consequences.”

15. Screening of “Masha and Valentyna” (31.07.2023) Location: Canberra –

Description: AIPA President Dr. Alexandra Dunwill attended the screening of the documentary “Masha and Valentyna” and met with AIPA members and notable figures in the Ukrainian, Polish, and Australian communities, strengthening cultural and diplomatic connections.

16. Presentation at ECPR Conference (4.09.2023) Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Description: AIPA Vice-President Prof. Jan Pakulski presented a paper on “Political Elite Decay in Poland and Hungary” at the ECPR Conference at Charles University.

17. Publication of Dr. Alexandra Dunwill’s Book (05.09.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: AIPA President Dr. Alexandra Dunwill’s book titled “Scrutinising Elites and Schooling in Post-communist Poland.” has been published by Routledge Taylor & Francis in London.

18. Welcome to the New Ambassador of the Republic of Poland (06.09.2023)  Location: Melbourne, Canberra

Description: On behalf of the Board, AIPA President sent a welcoming email to the new Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Maciej Chmielinski, as part of diplomatic and cultural engagement.

19. Educational Tour in Europe (11-22.09.2023) Location: Belgium, Italy, and Poland 

Description: AIPA Treasurer, Associate Professor Gosia Klatt led a successful 2-week study tour to three European education systems with 17 students from the University of Melbourne, enhancing educational insights and promoting cultural exchange.

20. Election to Linux Foundation Networking Governing Board (16.09.2023) Location: Melbourne

Description: AIPA member, Dr. Walter Kozlowski was elected as a member of the Linux Foundation Networking Governing Board, contributing to the advancement of networking technologies.

21. Lecture by Dr. Katarzyna Williams in Canberra (21.09.2023) Location: Canberra

Description: Dr. Katarzyna Williams presented a lecture on “The wall with a view of Europe: Two long years of the EU–Belarus border crisis” as part of the ANU Migration Seminar Series.

22. Meeting with the Australian Ambassador in Poland (25.09.2023) Location: Warsaw

Description: AIPA Vice-President Prof. Jan Pakulski met with the Australian Ambassador in Poland, HE Lloyd Broderick, to discuss past and future collaboration, recognizing AIPA’s contributions to strengthening Polish-Australian relations and aiding Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

23. Exhibition of Aboriginal Art in the Utopia gallery in Warsaw (12.10.2023) Location: Warsaw

Description: Dr Halina Zobel-Zubrzycka represented AIPA at the opening of the Aboriginal exhibition in Warsaw. Dr Zubrzycka emphasised AIPA’s role as a promoter of knowledge about Aboriginal art in Poland, allowing the exhibition guests to learn about the history of AIPA and its role in building a cultural, social, and political bridge between Poland and Australia.

24. Martin Krygier on Elections in Poland. Radio National (14.10.2023) Location: Sydney

Description: AIPA member Professor Martin Krygier spoke with the Radio National presenter Geraldine Doogue about the upcoming elections in Poland.

These activities reflect our commitment to advancing knowledge about Poland in Australia, strengthening academic ties, and enhancing the Polish-Australian relationship. We look forward to continued growth and collaboration in the coming year.

Thank you to our members for making these accomplishments possible.

Warm wishes,

Dr Alexandra Margaret Dunwill

AIPA President

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