Australian Institute of Polish Affairs
The Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA) was founded in Australia in 1991 in order to foster relations between Poland and Australia. It is an independent, non-political, voluntary organisation that seeks to enhance current levels of Australian awareness of political, economic, social and cultural life in Poland today. Founded by leading members of the Polish Australian community, AIPA’s roots derive significantly from the Solidarity movement in Poland. As a result, AIPA remains strongly committed to contemporary values of democracy and liberty. Because Australia is home to a considerable community of Jews who themselves, or whose families, came to Australia from Poland, AIPA also strives to promote dialogue and reconciliation between Polish Christians and Jewish Australians.
To realise its core aims, AIPA has brought a significant number of leading Polish politicians, economists, activists, intellectuals as well as Polish and non-Polish experts on current Polish issues. (See below for a fuller list of AIPA guests). In conjunction with the visits, AIPA has arranged many lectures at leading Australian institutions and numerous public meetings with both Polish Australian and Jewish Australian communities (notably at the Melbourne Holocaust Centre and the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation). Furthermore, AIPA has consistently enabled direct encounters between its guests and influential Australians in government, media, the press, and education. In its early years, AIPA notably hosted Jan Karski, Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, and Adam Michnik. Prof. Norman Davies, world-leading historian of Poland, has also been one of AIPA’s eminent guests. AIPA has brought 4 former Polish Prime Ministers to Australia.
- 1 SELECTIVE LIST OF MAJOR AIPA GUESTS (1991-2016) 
- 2 Further AIPA endeavours
- 3 References
- 4 External links
|REASONS FOR PROMINENCE||SIGNIFICANT APPEARANCES, MEETINGS|
|Jan Nowak-Jezioranski||1991||Head of Polish Section, Radio Free Europe;||Quadrant Lecture, National Press Club, Macquarie University|
|Adam Michnik||1992, 1997||Key Solidarity leader; founder and editor of the leading Polish daily newspaper||Sydney Institute,
ANU, ABC National Radio, University of Melbourne, Quadrant Lecture,
|Jan Karski||1992||Courier from Polish government in exile to Poland during WWII; brought eyewitness reports of ongoing Holocaust to UK and US in 1943. olocaust HH||ABC Radio National, Executive Council of Australian Jewry|
|Leszek Balcerowicz||1992, 2008||Deputy Polish Prime Minister (principal architect of economic reforms in Poland, 1993-4?-- economic reform [cf. “shock-therapy”] trail-blazer in post-soviet bloc||University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, Monash University, ABC Radio National|
|Wladyslaw Bartoszewski||1993||Key leader in Poland’s transition to democracy; Co-founder of Żegota; Foreign Minister of Poland (1995, 2000–01)||Jewish Holocaust Centre, University of Melbourne, SBS Television|
|Hanna Suchocka||1994||Prime Minister, Poland (1992-3)||National Parliament, Quadrant Lecture, National Press Club,
University of Melbourne
|Jan Krzysztof Bielecki||1995||Prime Minister, Poland (1991)||Institute of Public Affairs, Monash University, SBS Television|
|Janusz Lewandowski||1998||Architect of Poland’s privatisation program, EU Budget and Financial Programming Commissioner (2010–14)||Quadrant Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, ABC Radio National|
|Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz||1999||President National Bank of Poland (1992-2000); President (Mayor) of the city of Warsaw (since 2006 -)||Institute of Public Affairs|
|Henryk Grynberg||1999||Historian, author|
|Timothy Garton-Ash||2000||Historian, author and commentator||Quadrant Lecture, Melbourne Writers’ Festival|
|Stanislaw Obirek||2000||Leading Polish opinion maker||University of New South Wales|
|Krzysztof Zanussi||2001||Film Director||University of New South Wales|
|Archbishop Jozef Zycinski||2002||Archbishop of Lublin (1997 -2011), Philosopher||Senior Catholic Clergy,
Sydney Jewish Museum
|Bronislaw Geremek||2003||One of the key architects of Poland’s transition to democracy, former foreign minister (1997-2001) prominent Euro-parliamentarian||University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, The Age|
|Leon Kieres||2004||President, National Remembrance Institute (2000- 2005), Judge of the Constitutional Tribunal||ANU, Sydney Institute, University of Melbourne|
|Marek Belka||2006||Prime Minister, Poland (2004-5)||National Parliament, Sydney Institute,
University of Melbourne, ABC Radio National
|Gunnar Paulsson||2006||Historian, author of “The Secret City”||Jewish Holocaust Centre|
|Fr Michal Heller||2007||Cosmologist, Winner of the Templeton Prize (2008)||Australian Catholic University|
|Zbigniew Nossowski||2009||Polish Catholic Intellectual, Editor of Więź||Monash University Centre for Jewish Civilisation|
|Adam Rotfeld||2009||Minister for Foreign Affairs (2005), Poland; Co-chair, Polish Russian Group for Difficult Matters (2008-2015)||Institute of Public Affairs, Sydney Institute|
|Aleksander Skotnicki||2010||Haematologist, activist for Polish Jewish reconciliation|
|Pawel Spiewak||2013||Director, Jewish Historical Institute||Monash University Centre for Jewish Civilisation|
|Andrzej Rychard||2014||Sociologist||University of Melbourne|
|Andrzej Folwarczny||2015||Head and founder of Forum for Dialogue||National Parliament,
Sydney Jewish Museum, Jewish Holocaust Centre
Further AIPA endeavours
Media-Truth/ Freedom and Democracy/Watch
AIPA monitors and reacts to anti-Polish distortions in the Australian media and expresses concerns as to developments in Poland that might seem to run counter to contemporary notions of freedom and democracy.
The Masterpieces of Polish Cinema Initiative
In cooperation with Melbourne Cinemathèque and the Polish Consulate, AIPA has been instrumental in organising film seasons of the following distinguished Polish film directors: Andrzej Wajda(2008), Jerzy Skolimowski (2009), Krzysztof Zanussi (2010), Agnieszka Holland (2011), Wojciech Has and Andrzej Munk (2012), Jerzy Kawalerowicz (2015).
AIPA and the Melbourne Writers’ Festival
Respectively in 2000 and 2003, AIPA joined with the Melbourne Writers’ Festival in bringing Eva Hoffman and Timothy Garton-Ash to Australia. Further such cooperation is anticipated in the future.
In the 1990’s, particularly at the time of Robert Manne’s editorship of Quadrant, a number of significant joint lectures were held in Melbourne.
AIPA Book Launches
1997 – book by Lech Paszkowski, “Paul Edmund de Strzelecki”, launched by the then Federal Minister for Immigration, Phillip Ruddock
2013 – book by John Williams and John Bond “Promise of Diversity. The Story of Jerzy Zubrzycki, architect of multicultural Australia”, by Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia (1975-1983)
Notable Australians and AIPA
Gough Whitlam attended the AIPA 5th Anniversary dinner; Sir Ninian Stephens addressed the 10th 5th Anniversary dinner; Chris Wallace-Crabbe joined in an AIPA commemoration of Czeslaw Milosz. The Hon. Margaret Reid, President of Australian Senate delivered a presentation at AIPA’s AGM in 1997.
Current and Past AIPA presidents
Adam Warzel is the current president of AIPA. Past presidents include Profs. Jerzy Zubrzycki, Martin Krygier, Andrew S. Ehrenkreutz and Jan Pakulski.
- cf. The Australian Institute of Polish Affairs. “1991-2011: Celebrating 20 Years”, pp.18-23.