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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia Footscray, Victoria

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:
Collect and preserve documents, medals, objects, photographs and other materials that have historical significance to the Polish community and the wider community in Australia.
Make materials available to members of the general public and academics for research and other activities, such as exhibitions.
Work cooperatively with organisations that have similar goals.
Publish reference materials and books about the history and experiences of Polish immigration to Australia.
Seek support for the Polish Museum and Archive’s activities from mainstream, government and non-profit organisations and individuals.

Contact Information

location
Millennium House 296 Nicholson St Footscray VIC 3011 (map)
phone
+61 0403 655 044

Contact

Opening Hours

3rd Sunday of the month: 10 am to 2 pm Closed - Easter, Christmas and 1st January Or by appointment. Please note that access to the archives for research purposes is by appointment only.

Entry Fee

Gold coin donation.

Location

Millennium House 296 Nicholson St Footscray Victoria

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117 items

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117 items

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Pennant

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Pennant of red cloth with screen printing in white, mustard yellow and black hung on copper wire with gold cord

Historical information

In 1955 the Polish Community in Chile wanted to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the ending of the 2nd World War but, since it was not a happy occasion, as Poland had been betrayed and placed in the Soviet sphere of influence, they chose to create a Pennant with a plea for the Patron Icon of Eastern Poland - Our Lady of the Sharp/Morning Gate (Matka Boska Ostrobramska/Zaranna) in Vilnius (Wilno) - to give them a new Miracle on the Vistula, in reference to an epic battle which took place on 15th August 1922 on the banks of the Vistula (Wisla) River in which the Polish troops defeated the Soviet Army and turned back the march of Communism to the West. This particular Pennant was purchased by Stanislawa Zamecznik (nee Zakrzewska), while living in Chile after deportation from her birth place in Sianozatki near Bychov (Bychow) to Schweningen in Germany from which they emigrated to South America as Displaced Persons. It was brought to Australia when the Zakrzewski Family emigrated from Chile in 1956, first to Port Augusta and then subsequently to Sydney.

Significance

It is significant in that it tells the story of the aspirations of the Polish Diaspora displaced from it's Homeland in the Kresy Region and scattered throughout the World, including the Americas and Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front: Polish inscription "KROLOWO POLSKI / BLAGAMY CIE O NOWY / CUD NAD WISLA / SANTIAGO DE CHILE / 15.VIII.1955" Back: Spanish inscription "LA CASA DE BANDERIN AHUMADA 61"

Nelly Times 1949

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

polonia

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

refugees press publication

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

56 page publication issued by the executive committee of the Polish union in Germany in 1947 editor Jerzy Grot Kwasniewski. The publication describes the situation of the Polish refugees throughout Europe their numbers, circumstances and conditions

Historical information

this publication describes the general circumstances of her Polish refugees scattered throughout Europe in the post war period. It does not limit it sell to just those in Europe but also in other countries around the world. It attempts to quantify the numbers and goes into detail about the circuit stands is of their refuges

Significance

this is an extremely unique and rare item. It is one of the few remaining copies of this type surviving in the world

Inscriptions & Markings

paper whites with blue heading and black print

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Nelly Times 1950

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

suitcase of life

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

wolf

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

ex servicemen tasmania 1948

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

soldiers identity card

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

soldiers identity card from world War two belonging to Stanislaw Blumnerves in the vehicle's

Historical information

identity cardsissued to members of the Polish military forces in the West.

Significance

unique documents of the Polish military fighting under the command of the British Allied forces belonging to a significant individual in the Polish community

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

sibirak conference booklet - 40 lat w Australii

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

white paper, cream cover,

Historical information

Siberian survivors - the history of this particular groups on the 40th anniversary of arrival, settlement and self organisation in Australia - testiimony to their displacement - documentation of their members in Victoria

Significance

document of settlement in Australia - photographs and memoirs of members

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

program for 10th anniversary of Dom Polski Syrena

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

cross of valour identity card

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

identity card made from card whites paper

Historical information

Polish Cross of valour awarded in June 1941 to Sgt Jan Artymiuk of the 300 Polish squadron based in Swinderby Lincolnshire

Significance

documents linked to a significant activist within the Polish community in Victoria who was highly awarded during world War two

Inscriptions & Markings

pprint

sibirak jednodniowka

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Gold Caterpillar

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

small gold coloured caterpillar

Historical information

pin given to air men who had survived jumping out of aeroplanes during the war on a parachute. The parachutes were produced by the Caterpillar company and symbolically acknowledged the survivors. This particular pin was given to sergeant Jan Artymiuk

Significance

war time memorabilia and remanents of war veterans experiences

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

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Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Kreisler Radio mid 1950s

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

Help Poland Live collection box

Polish Museum & Archives in Australia, Footscray

white painted wooden collection box from 1980 with the solidarity symbol on the side'

Historical information

during 1980 when when military government was impose on Poland and the free solidarity you trade union was banned. The Australian Polish community established that help Poland live campaign where it gathered funds for humanitarian purposes. Such boxes were widespread during the collection process.

Significance

one of the very few remaining help Poland live collection boxes

Inscriptions & Markings

read solidarity logo on the front of the box coin slipped on top. Metal handle on the back