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The Significance of Mt Kosciuszko as a Special Place to the Polish Community in Australia Ursula Lang and Andrzej Kozek 28-07-2012 Song My Mountain Kosciuszko.

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Presentation on theme: "The Significance of Mt Kosciuszko as a Special Place to the Polish Community in Australia Ursula Lang and Andrzej Kozek 28-07-2012 Song My Mountain Kosciuszko."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Significance of Mt Kosciuszko as a Special Place to the Polish Community in Australia Ursula Lang and Andrzej Kozek Song My Mountain Kosciuszko Lyrics: Ursula Lang. Music and performance: John Hospodaryk.

2 Dr Ernestyna Skurjat-Kozek (standing) and Ursula Lang with Ngarigo traditional dancers at Kozzie Fest, Cooma 2009

3 Kosciuszko Heritage Why us – who are we? How did we get involved (Kosciuszko Music on Mt K, involvement with NPWS) Working in group sessions with Aboriginal leaders - organised by NPWS Organisation of yearly Festivals – each year with a different theme I nvitations to Aboriginal community reciprocated at NAIDOC week

4 Dr Andrzej Kozek (with camera) with Ngarigo traditional dancers at Kozzie Fest, Cooma 2009

5 Acknowledgement of Significance 2008 – Draft Statement of Significance on public exhibition: no mention of why the name of Kosciuszko was important, no mention of who Kosciuszko was, no mention of why Strzelecki gave the mountain this name, and no mention of why the values that Kosciuszko fought and stood for, are important to the Polish Community

6 Dr Ernestyna Skurjat-Kozek (red hat), Steven Reden (Kosciuszko NP) and Mr Jerzy Więcław, the Ambasador of Poland with Lajkonik, Polish folklore dancers at Mt Kosciuszko, Kosciuszko Music on Mt Kosciuszko 2007

7 Mission of KHI To tell Australians, with all its many cultures, that the values of freedom and equality, core values within our democracy, are embedded within the name of Kosciuszko, because of who Kosciuszko was, and because of what he fought and stood for – its about the values. These values unite us! Kosciuszko fought in foreign countries, for the liberty of others, esp. the underprivileged. When the American War of Independence broke out in 1775, K travelled to America to fight under George Washington. He is recognised as a great man. Kosciuszko never came to Australia – does this matter?

8 From the Visitors Book at the exhibition Tadeusz Kosciuszko: Hero of Nations Macquarie University, 27 July – 27 August 2006

9 Why the Name of Kosciuszko When Strzelecki named Australias highest mountain, it was for good reason. It is our view that this reason forms part of the cultural heritage. The reason should be known, understood and respected; Strzelecki chose the name of Kosciuszko to honour General Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The shape of the mountain reminded him of a man-made mound in Polands old royal town of Krakow, which is a monument to Kosciuszko.

10 Mt Kosciuszko seen from the Main Range Walk

11 Dr Ernestyna Skurjat-Kozek with Dr Mieczysław Rokosz at the Mound Kosciuszko in Krakow, 2009

12 Kosciuszko was an expert on fortifications (WestPoint was his design) and a brilliant military strategist and engineer; His friend, Thomas Jefferson, main author of the American Declaration of Independence, said about him the purest son of liberty that I have ever known; Following the signing of the Polish Constitution of 3rd May 1791, the first in Europe and the second in the World, after the American one, Poland was subjected to the second of three partitions by Russia, Austria and Prussia. Kosciuszko led a national uprising in 1794 in which he managed to persuade both nobles and peasants to fight for one cause, promising extensions of liberties to the underclasses;

13 Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko leading his Insurection Army to a victory at Racławice, Poland (Fragment of Panorama of Racławice, a famous 360° painting, Wrocław, Poland)

14 Belorussian author Vladimir Lihodedov wrote The name of Kosciuszko unites various people on different continents. The national hero of Belarus and of the United States of America, is also an honoured citizen of France. Everybody claims him for their own and he is remembered everywhere. This is a wonderful foundation for strengthening understanding between peoples, developing fruitful relations at an inter-personal and interstate level.

15 ° A Ngarigo Elder, Aunty Rae (right) with her daughter Sharon Anderson Kozzie Fest, Jindabyne 2010

16 Meaning of the Name Kosciuszkos name is synonymous with the human quest for liberty and justice; Kosciuszkos achievements and the person he was, inspired the writing of celebrated authors and poets: Lord Byron wrote:The sound that crashes in a tyrants ear... Kosciuszko; and Thomas Campbell wrote:Hope for a season bade the world farewell, and freedom shrieked as Kosciuszko fell.

17 A portrait of Gen. T. Kosciuszko with his American Will A painting by A. Szyk

18 Monuments in Poland, Ukraine, the States and other countries Man-made mound in Krakow; The equestrian bronze statue at the Royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, where Kosciuszko was buried Belarus - Bir, Kobrin, Baranovichi and Brest Streets in Pinsk, Slonim and Volkovysk were named after the hero; Chicago - monument to Kosciuszko, unveiled in 1905; Detroit Milwaukee – famous, much-loved statue of Kosciuszko on horseback, placed in a park named after the US Army Brigadier General; Town of Kosciuszko in the USA and Kosciuszko Park; Kosciuszko Bridge, New York City, built 1939;

19 The equestrian bronze statue of General T. Kosciuszko at the Royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland

20 Dr Ernestyna Skurjat-Kozek (right) with Krystyna Jacniacka at the Kosciuszko monument in Chicago, Ill. (USA)

21 Gen. T. Kosciuszko monument in Chicago, Ill. (USA)

22 Warsaw monument unveiled in November 2010 in the presence of the Polish President and the US Ambassador. The monument is an exact copy of one in Washington by sculptor Antoni Popiel given to Americans on behalf of the Polish nation. At its unveiling outside of the White House in 1910 the promise was made to erect a copy in Poland if ever the country regained its independence; US Congress not only conferred high military rank on K but awarded him large land holdings, with a life-term pension. Kosciuszko willed his money to the purpose of buying freedom and educating Black American slaves;

23 K osciuszko - Champion of Human Rights Kosciuszkos Will I, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, being just in my departure from America, do hereby declare and direct that should I make no other testamentary disposition of my property in the United States thereby authorize my friend Thomas Jefferson to employ the whole thereof in purchasing negroes from among his own as any others and giving them liberty in my name in giving them an education in trades and otherwise, and in having them instructed for their new condition in the duties of morality which may make them good neighbors, good fathers or mothers, husbands or wives and in their duties as citizens, teaching them to be defenders of their liberty and country and of the good order of society and in whatsoever may make them happy and useful, and I make the said Thomas Jefferson my executor of this. Thaddeus Kosciuszko 5th day of May, 1798 Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko Will directing Thomas Jefferson to use all his properties in the US to free and educate Black American slaves (70 years prior to the abolition of slavery in America)

24 MT KOSCIUSZKO IT IS A UNIQUE MONUMENT BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY NATURAL MONUMENT We believe it should be treasured by ALL Australians as a symbol of Democracy, Freedom and Equal Rights – the Principles so dear to every Australian.

25 Participants of the Kozzie Fest 2012 pointing their hands towards Mt Kosciuszko at the Monument of Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki in Jindabyne, NSW

26 Mt Kosciuszko and its links with Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki and with the Polish community found the way to the National Heritage list in 2008

27 Why do people want to go to the Summit? According to NPWS data, over 100,000 people go to the Summit each year, to experience the highest point of Australia; Stunning landscape, unique environment; Sporting events – Bike rides and mountain runs; first Catholic mass celebrated on the summit 2013, a centenary mass will be held. There have been other pilgrimages e.g. in 2008 carrying the Papal Cross

28 Sunset at Mt Kosciuszko (fot. Puls Polonii)

29 A Catholic Mass at Mt Kosciuszko celebrated by Father Wiesław Wójcik 2012

30 Polishness – why Polish people value freedom so much History of Polands partitions (Poland did not exist for 123 years), moving boundaries, invasion,displacement Loss of independence as a result of WWII Suppression of Democracy by Communists/ USSR after WWII – role of Polish Pope John Paul II and Solidarnosc (Solidarity Movement) Migration – Australia the Land of Freedom/Opportunity

31 Legendary Leaders of the Solidarity movement Andrzej & Joanna Gwiazda At the Kozzie Fest 2011, Charlotte Pass, NSW

32 Going forward – Our vision Ongoing dialogue/friendship with the Aboriginal Community; Ongoing cultural festivals and celebrations linked with Mt Kosciuszko; Ongoing education and promotion – Brochure, Music, information for schools, events

33 Ngarigo Dancers posing to a joint photo with a Polish folklore ensemble Lajkonik, Kozzie Fest, Jindabyne 2009

34 Polish-Aboriginal-Australian fraternity and friendship flights over Mt Kosciuszko, Kozzie Fest, Jindabyne Aeroclub 2012 (four generations of Ngarigo and Polish communities took part in the flights)


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