OBJECTIVES AND GOALS
The Polish Festival @ Federation Square will be an annual non-profit event, organised free of charge by volunteers, to highlight, maintain and promote Polish culture and art created by successive generations of Poles settled in Australia.
Admission to the Festival will be free of charge, and the Promotional Programme printed every year will be distributed for free.
Organised in the centre of Melbourne, in a square open to the entire multicultural community of the city, it is supposed to unite all generations, religions, organisations, beliefs and social statuses of the Polish ethnic group.
Polish children and young people, dance, music and theatre groups and Polish social organisations, which have been maintaining Polishness on Antipodes for many years will receive understandable support.
In accordance with the requirements of the state of Victoria, the Polish Festival should promote only Polish culture, music, art, cuisine, liquors and customs. Other ethnic groups may make a guest appearance.
HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL
CREATION OF THE POLISH FESTIVAL IN MELBOURNE
In order to promote and revitalise the Victorian Emigration Museum located in a historic building on Flinders St. in the City, the management of this museum decided to present one ethnic group every year. They invited Poles in 2004. The Federation of Polish Organisations in Victoria delegated two members of its Presidium to conduct the necessary negotiations and plans, to prepare the society and to organise the first „Polish Day” at the Museum: Mrs Joanna Merwart and Fr Wiesław Słowik. The preparations took several months. The involvement of the Polish society and active participation of all Polish groups was impressive. The Museum’s management had never recorded such high attendance and activity before or after this event.
The atmosphere and momentum of this Festival was recorded on a video available on our website (watch it HERE).
It was also summarised in “Tygodnik Polski” (read about it HERE).
FIRST POLISH FESTIVAL @ FEDERATION SQUARE
Seeing the social response in the Emigration Museum, which proved the need for a new form of celebrating Polish culture on Antipodes, Fr Wiesław Słowik proposed to a group of ten young social activists to organise a large Polish Festival at Federation Square. The first meeting of the founding group took place in Richmond in January 2005. Mr Jan Szuba took on the functions of the President and represented the Organising Committee. Thanks to effective negotiations with the management of Federation Square, the Polish ethnic group was granted permission for the Festival on the third Sunday of November. A reservation, subject to the fulfilment of obligations and compliance with certain conditions, must be renewed every year.
Seven consecutive festivals, from 2005 to 2012, were held under the auspices of the Polish Community Council in Victoria, using its bank account and social insurance for events.
In 2013, an independent organisation (the “Organising Committee of the Polish Festival at Federation Square”) was established still being part of the PCCV and working in close co-operation with it.
The mission, which the young organisers set themselves already in the first year, was to deliver an annual multi-coloured presentation of Polish culture, music, art, cuisine and customs to all residents of multicultural Melbourne and multinational tourists visiting the city.
They hoped that on Sunday, 20 November 2005, at least 3 thousand people interested in Polish culture would come to the Festival. However, over 23 thousand people took part in the event.
Read HERE to find out how the first Polish Festival in Melbourne was reviewed in “Tygodnik Polski”.
On 19 November 2006, the Polish Festival at Federation Square hosted over 32 thousand people. At the official opening of the Festival, Hon. John Pandazopoulos, representing the Premier of Victoria, stated that a well-known to him and much larger Greek ethnic community in Melbourne could learn a lot from Poles. Apart from him, the speeches were also made by: the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Australia, Jerzy Więcław and the President of the Polish Community Council in Victoria, Mr Krzysztof Łańcucki. Thanks to Mr Tadeusz Matkowski, the owner of Puma Media, millions of Poles in Poland and abroad watched the interesting news footage of this Festival on TVP “Polonia”.
This video is available on our website in the “videos” section (you can watch it HERE)
You will find below how people were invited to this Festival many months in advance (you can read it HERE)
On 18 November 2007, already 40 thousand people took part in the Polish Festival. After morning storms, the sun came out and the temperature reached 37 degrees. For the first time “Kidstop” appeared at the Festival offering many interesting attractions for kids. At the first festival charity event, $585 was raised for an orphanage for children with Aids in African Kassisi. At the official opening, the Premier of Victoria was represented by Minister James Merlino; Poland was represented by Prof. Ryszard Sarkowicz, Consul General of the Republic of Poland of Sydney; Melbourne City Council by Mayor John So himself, State Parliamentary Opposition by Senator Nicholas Kotsiras, and the Polish Community in Victoria by President of the organisation, Krzysztof Łańcucki.
Apart from Polish Saturday schools, kindergartens (“Krasnoludki”), “Iskierek” from Rowville, scout troops, the Chopin Society, several bands, acclaimed musicians, popular soloists and folklore groups: “Łowicz”, “Beskidy” and “Polonez” performed at the Festiwal. The festival stage also featured the Australian vocal band „Rubies in the Kitchen” and the dance ensemble “Lajkonik” from Sydney. Thanks to the successful entrepreneurial initiative of the organisers, advertisements about the Polish Festival appeared this year in many popular Australian publications, radio stations and the Internet.
You can watch a documentary video by EMI Products HERE
You can read about how the Polish audience was invited a few days before the Festival HERE
The official data from Federation Square reported that on 16 November 2008, 40 thousand people took part in the Polish Festival, just like the year before. A novelty was the screening of Polish feature films at ACMI, located at the Festival square. At the official opening, after the introduction of the President of the Federation of Polish Organisations in Victoria, Mr Krzysztof Łańcucki, the speeches were made by: the new Polish Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Australia, Prof. Andrzej Jaroszyński and Hon Louise Asher, deputy leader of the Victorian Opposition. The official opening of the Festival was done by Minister James Merlino, representing the Premier of Victoria. More than 300 artists, musicians, dancers and vocalists of various age groups and without any remuneration provided a lot of joy for the Polish and multicultural audience.
The article inviting the compatriots to the Festival 2008, published a week earlier in Tygodnik Polski you can read HERE
The official number of participants in this year’s Festival reached 35 thousand. It is considered to be one of the largest ethnic festivals in Australia. The official opening on behalf of Victoria’s Premier was made by the State Minister James Merlino; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland was represented by the Consul General, Mr Daniel Gromann, who came from Sydney, and the parliamentary opposition was represented by Senator Nick Kotsiras. Among the official guests were also Jose Alvarez, Director of the Victorian Department of Emigration, representative of the Federal Commission for Multiculturalism and Victorian Honorary Consul, Dr George Łuk-Kozika. The role of the host was again held by the President of the Federation, Mr Krzysztof Łańcucki. As every year, 10,000 32-page attractive Program was printed and distributed for free.
The total cost of the Festival was $45,791 this year. The biggest expense was to rent Federation Square ($27,613). The organisers thanked for the financial support: Polish Community ($4,000), Polish Consulate in Sydney ($3,500), Blum Foundation ($3,000), Victorian Multicultural Commission ($2,000) and stand exhibitors, paying for their participation. From the beginning, the Festival enjoyed free support of Polish media in Melbourne. As the end of the Festival (at 5 p.m.) was too early for many of the young participants, it was decided to extend it by the so-called “afterparty”, organised in the Transport Bar at Federation Square. The Polish-style party was on till late.
OSKI-Pictures made a documentary video (you can watch it HERE)
This article shows how the Polish press and radio and the official website of the Festival invited Melbourne residents to come to Federation Square this year *(you can read it HERE)
On Sunday 21st November 2010 the Polish Festival at Federation Squared was visited by 38 thousand people. More than 400 artists performed on the festival stages. Among them, the guest dance performance by Oberek from Hobart. Magda Szubanski, a well-known comedian and actress also performed on the main stage. The festival ended with an exceptionally warmly-welcomed Kapela Staska Wielana, a band from Warsaw. Their one and half hour concert delighted the audience. The novelty of this year’s festival was also a warmly applauded and professionally presented Fashion Show of a Polish designer, Dorothy Jelonkiewicz.
This year, the number of exhibitors and food stalls increased and the large tent called “Kidstop” attracted a lot of children. Traditionally at 1.00 p.m. the “Hejnal Mariacki” trumpet call officially opened the Festival, which began at 10.00 a.m. Among official guests, welcomed by the President of the Polish Community Council, Mr. Krzysztod Lancucki, were: senator Rob Hulls, representing the Premier of Victoria, senator Nick Kotsiras, representing the Opposition, Daniel Groman, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Australia and Jose Alvares (the Director of the Immigration Department), Paul Farrell (from the Immigration Department), Sylwia Greda-Bogusz (the advisor of Multicultural Commision), and dr. George Luk-Kozika (the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Victoria).
The Festival T-shirts were very popular, as every year. The afterparty was organised this year in Beer Delux. You can watch a video-recording of the Polish Festival at Federation
Square in 2010 using these links:
Festiwal 2010 EMI Products Australia part 1
Festiwal 2010 EMI Products Australia part 2
OSKI Pictures part 1 (Koncert Kapeli Staśka Wielanka)
This year the Polish Festival broke all previous records and it was named the biggest festival at Federation Square. 62,784 people took part in it. Last year, before the State Elections the representative of the Opposition, senator Nick Kotsiras in his official speech made a pledge that if the Liberal Party won, the festival could count on the financial support of $100,000. The reason behind this support was that such community initiatives, which the Festival offered for the community struggled with rising costs every year but the initiatives would be very much appreciated by the new government. The Liberals won the elections and the new Victorian Government kept their promise but on condition that the sum offered would be spread over two years and at least 30% of that grand would be spend on wide publicity of our Festival. To fulfil these conditions, the organisers took charge of an extensive and expensive promotion, advertising the Polish Festival in daily press and local Australian social media, which resulted in a big turnout.
The organising committee decided to reduce significantly the fees for all stallholders (both general and food stallholders). Although the fee for the venue hire at Federation Square increased considerably that year, the organisers managed to arrange a one-off fund for all dance ensembles, Polish schools, bands, musicians, soloists and artistic groups. These were rather symbolic sums which were to express gratitude for nearly 400 artists for their dedication and community service. This year a new, important stall was introduced: “the Folkstop” promoting handicraft and other forms of cultural and artistic activities of the Poles in Victoria.
In cooperation with the Polish Art Foundation, a week-long exhibition of paintings by Polish artists was organised in a local art gallery. The Festival was opened by Nick Kotsiras, the Minister of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in a newly elected State Government of Victoria in the presence of the representative of the Opposition, Consul General of the Republic of Poland Daniel Gromann and the representative of the Mayor of Melbourne.
The record of this magnificent Festival is shown in this documentary by OSKI-Pictures (watch here).
52 289 people took part in the Polish Festival at Federation Square on Sunday 18th November 2012.
In addition to the main festival stage and a small stage at the Yarra, the decision was made to hire also the Deakin Edge, the modern theatre, which was part of Federation Square, to enrich the artistic festival presentations. The well-equipped stage and theatre facilities at the Deakin Edge enabled the promotion of more intimate music, singing, poetry, comedy shows and other theatrical forms. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Society of Polish Culture in Victoria staged a very popular concert “the Polish Flowers” and a theatre group Vis-à-vis presented Sydney’s “Kabaret Starszych Panow”.
A Lithuanian ethnic group was invited to take part in this year’s Festival. It was represented on the main stage by “Gintaras” Folk Ensemble, warmly welcomed by the audience at the opening of the Festival. Dennis Gaylard, the President of Lithuanian Community in Victoria.
Nick Wakeling, the Member of the Parliament of Victoria and a long-time friend of the Polish community was honoured to officially open the Festival. The speeches were also made by: The Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, prof. Andrzej Jaroszynski, Jude Perea, representing the Opposition in the Parliament of Victoria and Cr Ong on behalf of the Mayor of Melbourne and the local council.
This year it was decided to introduce a custom of organizing a special lunch for all the official guests. As the costs of organising the Festival grow rapidly, the organising committee managed to negotiate financial support of $10,000 from Qatar Airways.
The Polish Festival at Federation Square was broadcasted by 3ZZZ Radio in Melbourne. You can read about it: HERE
After 8 years of operating as part of the Polish Community Council of Victoria, the organisers of the Festival decided to become independent, hence they established and officially registered an independent organisation, called “Polish Festival Inc.” taking full responsibility of organising the subsequent Festivals but in close cooperation with the Polish Community Council in Victoria, which incorporated 40 other Polish community organisations.
The statute was passed and registered, a bank account was opened and the Committee was elected at the first AGM. Jan Szuba was elected the President, George Papuga became the Vice-President and Aleks Terech became the Secretary while Joanna Merwart was elected as the Treasurer. These were the members: Izabella Kobylańska, Elżbieta Dziedzic, Iga Bajer, Stanisław Mozel, Marcin Piechowski, Dorota Bąkowska, Daniel Szuba and fr. Wiesław Słowik. The decision of leaving the Polish Community Council of Victoria meant a lack of public liability insurance of $10,000 and this sum was now needed; however, it increased the organisational mobility, improved decision-making and relieved the office of PCCV of the growing burden associated with the organisation of the Festival.
Over 50,000 visited the festival and about 400 Polish artists, musicians and dancers performed there. Among the invited guests, the folklore group “Liptar” promoted the Slovak Ethnic Group in Victoria and the popular Australian accordionists who showed the multiculturalism of Melbourne. The growing prestige of the Polish Festival at Federation Square was also proven by the number of official guests who attended the official opening. Just to name a few: Alan Tudge (the head of the secretariat of the Prime Minister of Australia), Nick Wakelling (the secretary of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet of Victoria), Paweł Milewski (the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Australia), Adam Drahan (the new president of the Federation of Polish Organizations in Victoria), Beverley Pinder-Mortimer (representing the Municipal Government and the Mayor), Jude Perera (from the Victorian Parliamentary Opposition), Hass Dellal (the Deputy Director of the State Radio SBS), Regina Jurkowska (the Consul General of the Republic of Poland), Chin Tan (the President of the Victorian Multicultural Commission), George Łuk-Kozika (the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Victoria), Katarina Tomka (the President of the Czech-Slovak Association in Victoria) and Adam Radwański (the representative of the “Qatar Air” airline in Australia).
The activity of Internet users sharing their impressions from the Polish Festival increased, and many memories were recorded and posted on YouTube. Below is one of the amateur videos promoting the performance of the Polish Saturday School in South Melbourne (see HERE).
On November 16, 2014, the Tenth Polish Festival at Federation Square seemed to be threatened by the all-night rain, which was not going to pass. But at 10:15 the sun came out and was shining at the Festival to the end. Over 50,000 people visited us. The official patronage over this Festival was given to the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Australia, Mr Paweł Milewski. Thanks to his efforts, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland awarded the Polish Festival at Federation Square with “the Medal of Honour Meritorious for Polish Culture”. The award was received on behalf of the organizers by Mr Jan Szuba. He also began the opening ceremony at 1 p.m. The speeches for the event were made by: the Polish Ambassador in Australia, Paweł Milewski, representing the State Premier, the Minister of Education in the Victorian Government, Nick Wakeling, representing the Prime Minister of Australia, Toni Abbott, Senator Scott Ryan, Senator representing the Victorian Parliamentary Opposition Khalil Eideh, President of the Polish Community Council of the Australia, Leszek Vicar of Brisbane, President of the Polish Community Council in Victoria, Adam Drahan, on behalf of the Mayor and city authorities of Melbourne, Beverley Pinder-Mortimer, the president of the State Multicultural Commission, Chin Tan, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Regina Jurkowska, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland, George Łuk-Kozika, the director of the ethnic radio station SBS, Peter Khalil and Pamela Pavitt, the manager of Qatar airlines, the official sponsor of our Festival.
On both festival stages, along with the Victorian dance ensembles “Łowicz” and “Polonez”, performed: “Wisla” from Brisbane, “Oberek” from Tasmania and two groups from Sydney: “Syrenka” and “Kujawy”. The last hour of the program was given to the oldest folk group in Poland, 110-year-old “Istebna” from Żywiec Beskid. With their lively highlander music, they won the hearts of the audience. The film “Cheated” by Marcin Solarz was shown at the ACMI cinema. The number of various exhibitors and food stalls increased significantly, and the cost of organizing the Festival exceeded $80,000. As every year, at 5.30 pm, we thanked God during the Holy Mass that took place at the end of the Festival in the historic church of St. Augustine on Burke Streeyt. The fun lasted until late evening hours at Beer Deluxe on Federation Square and Jazz Club Ruby, on Lonsdale St. A few days later, after summing up the ten-year festival achievements, we thanked Janek Szuba, Izabella Kobylańska, Elżbieta Dziedzic and Marcin Piechowski who decided to resign from their roles. They promised all the help to the new Board.
Here you can find how a week earlier, the Polish press invited compatriots to the jubilee edition of the Polish Festival in Melbourne. (Read more)
Preparations for the Polish Festival at Federation Square 2015 began with the general election meeting. A new Board of the Organizing Committee was elected. The current vice president got the position of the president, Mr George Papuga, Monika Paszkiewicz took over as the Secretary, and Joanna Merwart remained the treasurer. Iga Bajer agreed to continue the coordination of the artistic program. Stanisław Mozel took over the technical service, Daniel Szuba was to manage the website, publications and promotion of the festival, and Fr. Wiesław Słowik – spiritual and substantive support of the Committee.
New members were admitted to the Management Board. Their responsibilities were as follows: Katarzyna Czyrek applying for grants and financial support, Katarzyna Bebejewska welcoming the honorary guests, Katarzyna Lisaj Kidstop organization, Dominika Sikorska advertising and Grzegorz Machnacki artistic program at Deakin Edge. We were working hard to prepare for the thirteenth national Festival of Polish Culture and PolArt2015, which was planned to begin on the Yarra River in 6 weeks and host hundreds of young artists from all over Australia.
The official program of this year’s Festival promoted PolArt2015 – the event which was organized in Melbourne and invited Polish and Australian youth to Krakow for the World Youth Day with the Holy Father. Apart from Polish Saturday schools and Melbourne dance groups, on the festival stage we also could see the debut of the Seattle Fix band. In addition to the richness of musical presentations, Deakin Edge promoted the autobiography of the famous Australian actress Magda Szubański. The Polish Festival received the new logo designed by Piotr Bajer.
Several days before the Festival in Tygodnik Polski, the Organizing Committee published an article and invited the whole Polish community to the Federation Square. It also included detailed information about the finances of the Polish Festival as well as announcements of the upcoming artistic program and some practical advice. You can read it (HERE).
During the general meeting, the new Committee of the Polish Festival at Federation Square was established. We thanked Jurek Papuga, Daniel Szuba, and Stanisław Mozel. Aleks Terech came back and joined Kasia Koło and Irena Łobaza. The new Management Board began festival preparations. Aleks Terech became the president, Monika Paszkiewicz the secretary, Joanna Merwart the treasurer, Iga Bajer the artistic coordinator and Grzegorz Machnacki became her assistant. Katarzyna Koło took over the editing and graphic design of the website. Irena Łobaza was entrusted with a difficult job of coordinating stalls and exhibitors. Kasia Lisaj organised Kidstop and Kasia Bebejewska was asked to invite and welcome official guests. Dominika Sikorska was responsible for advertising, and Fr. Wiesław Słowik for pastoral care as well as the role of an adviser.
An amazing performance was prepared for the large audience at Daekin Edge. Among others: an actor and vocalist from Poland, Artur Gotz with a fairy tale for children and a patriotic program. Zofia and Małgosia Kaszubski, and Krzysztof Derwiński in the program commemorating the Polish Independence Day. Marta Kaczmarek a well-known and respected actress from Australia, presented a poetic monodrama. It was accompanied by Chopin’s pieces and songs, played by Konrad Olszewski, a winner of the Chopin Competition, Japanese Kotaro Nagano, and a talented soprano, Jolanta Kaczmarek. The last hour at Deakin Edge was given to young people, Viktor Janisiow and the band Fortitude, with the vocalist Klara Rawdanowicz. The flyers which, were distributed at the Festival, presented the most important events in the history of Poland and informed about the achievements of the Victorian Polish Community.
The post festival issue of Tygodnik Polski features a detailed coverage by Remigiusz Kędra (you can read HERE).
Marty Matuszewski’s documentary film was published on YouTube (you can watch it HERE)
The cost of hiring space at Federation Square were raising every year. Fees of exhibitors and gastronomic stands could cover only a third of cost. Therefore, the organisers of the Festival were looking for sponsors and applied for possible grants. The City of Melbourne, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the Polish Community (Wspólnota Polska), the Embassy and Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Australia and the Blum Foundation were the institutions which helped to organise the Polish Festival at Federation Square and without their help the Festival wouldn’t be possible. The support received from these institutions, amounting to $35,000 each year – that’s a lot but still insufficient. Thanks to an advertising agreement with Qatar Airways, over a few years, we received support of up to $15,000. Thanks to the advertising agreement with Ashley Jewellers, we were able to print magnificent programme brochures for several years. We also received small but always gratefully welcomed support from various institutions and businesses. The Polish Festival at Federation Square will never forget the significant financial assistance offered by Dr Barbara Reczek from Wieliczka, which was used to make up for the annual several thousand financial shortfall.
In 2017, the Organising Committee together with a group of devoted friends decided to return to the beautiful Polish traditions and organize a fundraising Midsummer Ball. It was planned to be not only a source of income, but also an attractive promotion of the Festival, an appropriate forum to inform the Polish society about the achievements and needs of the Festival and an opportunity to encourage young people to join in its organisation. The ball took place on the 1st July. It was reported in Tygodnik Polski (the text of the article you can read HERE).
On Sunday 12th November 55,000 people took part in the 13th Polish Festival on Federation Square. “Tekla Klebetnica”, a three-person professional music and vocal band from Poland; “Vardos”, a multicultural folk band from Melbourne and the world-famous jazz trio of Andrzej Jagodziński were the extraordinary attractions of this year’s Festival.
Additionally, as many as five folklore groups (Polonez, Łowicz and Łowiczaki from Melbourne, Oberek from Hobart and Lajkonik from Sydney) caught the attention of the multicultural audience. There was no lack of warm words of official guests and wonderful, sunny weather. Aleks Terech chaired the Organising Committee with great intuition and devotion. The role of Kasia Czyrek was taken over by Aleks Łobaza who joined in and, as her mother used to do, she took responsibility for the growing number of the festival stands. The novelty of this Festival was the joyful presence of over 30 volunteers, who were easily recognized because they wore their special T-shirts. Providing relevant information, they distributed thousands of copies of the beautiful programme brochure promoting Poland and the Australian Polish community.
Review of the 13th Festival was published a few days after in Tygodnik Polski.
This year, the Federation Square was the site of upgrades and redevelopments. Despite its limited usable space and the replacement stage, the Polish Festival held on Sunday, 18 November, attracted over 50 000 participants. The members of the Organising Committee changed. Regretfully but with gratitude, we bid farewell to Iga Bajer and Aleks Terech,. Monika Paszkiewicz became the new president, and Jennifer Badzaj took over the post of the secretary. Renata Stanisławska-Nowak took over the artistic management and Magdalena Opalińska took over the coordination of volunteers. It was a special year. Poles celebrated the 100th anniversary of regaining independence and the Polish Festival in Federation Square turned out to be the natural culmination of the year-long celebrations.
An extraordinary musical feast was prepared in Deakin Edge. Konrad Olszewski performed Ignacy Paderewski’s Piano Concerto, and Alan Kogosowski Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto with a 40-person symphony orchestra conducted by Marek Shiell. “Colours and Shadows’ by Fryderyk Chopin performed by Krzysztof Małek was presented by Bogumiła Filip’s musical theatre from Sydney. Artur Gotz from Poland and students from various music schools in Melbourne completed the list of permorers. On the main stage, Polish Saturday schools did not forget about the 100th anniversary of regaining independence, and apart from the Polonez and Łowicz, Lehenda, an excellent Ukrainian folk band from Melbourne, also gave a guest performance.
In the afternoon the musical talents of Vardos and Paper Girl bands were admired. During the official opening of the Festival, the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Australia, Mr Michał Kołodziejski, representatives of the Premier and the local government, and the President of the Polish Community Council of Australia, Mrs Małgorzata Kwiatkowska made speeches. The head of the state opposition, Hon Matthew Guy also addressed the audience in a passionate speech, hoping to win the upcoming elections.
An interesting account of this Festival by R. Kędra was published by Tygodnik Polski (read HERE).
A film report by R. Kędra was published on YouTube: “Arkadiusz Rejman Photogrphy”. (you’ll watch HERE).
The 15th Polish Festival @ Federation Square, held on 10 November 2019, attracted around 50,000 participants. It was enriched by dance groups from various states. “Kukułeczka” flew from Perth, “Obertas” from Brisbane, and “Syrenka” and “Kujawy” from Sydney. Together with local bands: “Polonez” and “Łowicz” offered participants an extraordinary richness and diversity of traditional folklore and contemporary Polish dance, folk and modern choreography, a beautiful mosaic of music and costumes.
The vocal-music band “Senivoda”, known in Australia and abroad, created by a Polish woman from New Zealand and an Australian man from Melbourne, presented unique musical forms combining Polish highlander music with the rhythms of Australian Aborigines. And in the last hour of the festival a chef, traveller, composer, guitarist and singer, Lukas Zawirski as well as a singer, guitarist and composer known for his participation in various music festivals, who played a great didgeridoo, Victor Janisiow conquered the heart of the audience crowding around the stage.
Pianists Konrad Olszewski and Kotaro Nagano performed on the Deakin Edge stage. The musical talent Andi Wu, a finalist of the Ewa Malewicz Competition, was also performing, and Marta Kaczmarek, accompanied by Roman and Alicja Syrek presented a musical and poetic programme to the audience. There was also time for the presentation of students from various Polish music schools in Melbourne and a folk-dance lesson for children.
This year, an extensive film coverage of the Festival was published by Bumerang Media from Sydney (call it HERE).
ORGANIZERS OF THE POLISH FESTIVAL @ FEDEARATION SQUARE
MEMBERS OF ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Joanna Merwart (2005 – until now)
ks. Wiesław Słowik SJ OAM (2005 – until now)
Aleks Terech (2005 – 2017) (President)
George Papuga (2005 – 2015) (President)
Jan Szuba (2005 – 2014) (co founder and the first and long term President)
Izabella Kobylańska (2005 – 2014)
Elżbieta Dziedzic (2005 – 2014)
Helena Sosnowska (2005 – 2009)
Krystyna Kisiel (2005 – 2007)
Iga Bajer (2007 – 2017)
Stanisław Mozel (2007 – 2016)
Mateusz Buczko (2008 – 2011)
Marcin Piechowski (2011 – 2014)
Dorota Bąkowska (2011 – 2014)
Daniel Szuba (2012 – 2015)
Monika Paszkiewicz-Furman (2014 – until now) (President)
Katarzyna Czyrek (2014 – 2018)
Irena Łobaza (2015 – until now)
Katarzyna Lisaj (2015 – until now)
Grzegorz Machnacki (2015 – until now)
Dominika Sikorska (2015 – 2018)
Katarzyna Bebejewska (2015 – 2019)
Katarzyna Koło (2016 – 2019)
Alex Łobaza (2016 – until now)
Renata Stanisławska-Nowak (2017 – until now)
Magdalena Opalińska (2017 – until now)
Jennifer Badzaj (2017 – until now)
Natalia Maciuła (2018 – until now)
Andrzej Bołkunowicz (2018 – until now)
ks. Mariusz Han SJ (2019 – until now)
Viktoria Obiegło (2019 – until now)
Dorota Bacal (2020 – until now)
PRESENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Monika Furman (President)
Natalie Maciula (Secretary)
Joanna Merwart (Treasurer)
Fr. Wieslaw (Tony) Slowik SJ (Chaplain)
Renata Stanislawska-Nowak (Artistic Coordinator)
Jennifer Badzaj (Artistic Coordinator)
Grzegorz Machnacki (Artistic Coordinator)
Irena Lobaza (Assistant Stalls Coordination)
Alex Lobaza (Stall Coordinator)
Katarzyna Lisaj (KidStop)
Magdalena Opalinska (Volunteer Coordinator)
Fr. Mariusz Han SJ (Multimedia Designer)
Andrzej Bolkunowicz (Stall Coordinator)
Victoria Obieglo (Marketing Coordinator)
Dorota Bacal (VIP Coordinator)