Museum and Archives in Australia
Archiwum Polonii Australijskiej
Dr Zdzislaw Andrzej Derwinski
1956 - 2021
We regret to inform you that our Founder
and long time President of the Polish Museum and Archives in Australia
Inc, Dr Zdzislaw Derwinski, died suddenly on 3rd October 2021.
His passion was for the preservation of the history of the Polish community in Australia, especially our Museum.
He was involved with many committees and Polish organizations.
He was well known known for his forward thinking.
His memory will live on.
Drodzy Czlonkowie PMAA,
Z glebokim zalem zawiadamiamy o naglej smierci w dniu 3.X.2021, Dr
Zdzislawa Derwinskiego, zalozyciela i wieloletniego przewodniczacego
Muzeum i Archiwum Polonii Australijskiej.
Jego pasja byla ochrona i kultywowanie pamieci o historii polskiej spolecznosci w Australii, a w szczegolnosci nasze Muzeum.
Zdzislaw angazowal sie z zapalem w wiele Polskich Inicjatyw.
Byl szeroko ceniony i lubiany oraz znany z postepowego, otwartego myslenia.
Pamiec o nim niech pozostanie na wieki. Postaramy sie kontynuowac jego dzielo.
The Polish Museum and Archives in Australia was established in 1991 as an
initiative of a number of people who saw the importance of collecting
and preserving historical materials that reflected the individual and
community life of Polish immigrants living in Australia. The
organisation was incorporated in 1992.
The aims of the
organisation are to:
Activities and Projects
The Polish Soldier
and preserve documents, medals, objects, photographs and other
materials that have historical significance to the Polish community and
the wider community in Australia.
materials available to members of the general public and academics for
research and other activities, such as exhibitions.
cooperatively with organisations that have similar goals.
reference materials and books about the history and experiences of
Polish immigration to Australia.
support for the Polish Museum and Archive’s activities from mainstream,
government and non-profit organisations and individuals.
In 1947 and 1948
Australia accepted a very specific Polish migrant. Over 1,500 former
members of the Polish military based in the United Kingdom arrived in
Australia aboard the “Asturias” and the “Strathnaver”. These men
represented various military services including the Carpathian Brigade,
the Air Force, Armoured Division and the Second Corps. A sizeable
number worked on the Hydro-Electric Scheme in Tasmania; but many were
sent to various parts of Australia. These men were vital to the
establishment of Polish community structures in the following decades.
They also represent a significant prelude to the massive post-war
Polish migration from the displaced persons camps scattered throughout
The Polish Museum and Archives in Australia is seeking to document this
unique group of Polish soldier migrants in the form of a publication
and is currently conducting research. You can register your details here.
Polish Museum and Archives continually seeks significant objects,
documents and photographs that relate to the story of Polish post war
migration experiences. It would be a lost opportunity to make our mark
on the multicultural mosaic of Australia and for our own sense of
cultural identify, if we were to lose these treasures, just because
their true significance was not recognised at the time.
Oral History Project:
post-war Polish immigrants are today our senior citizens. It is
therefore important to document the experiences of these early
pioneers. Such experiences include:
is vital that these stories be recorded and passed down to future
generations of Polish Australians. They should also be documented as
part of the greater multicultural Australian experience.
If you would like
to donate an object to the collection, please contact the President,
life in Australia - life in migrant hostels, the two-year work
homes, community structures and cultural life.
on Polish migrants’ lives today.
in the form here.
If you would like to share your story as part of our oral history
programme, please contact the President,
in the form here.
If you would like
to make a financial donation please forward your cheque or money order
to the Polish
Museum and Archives in Australia, or direct deposit to BSB 063100, account no 1020 3665, name of account: Polish Museum and Archives.