Dozynki Harvest Festival

Legislative Council, Wednesday 29 March 2017

Tammy Franks MLC contribution



Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. J.S. Lee:

         That this council—

  1. Recognises that 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Polish Dozynki Harvest Festival and 160 years of Polish settlement in Australia;
    1. Acknowledges the wonderful work that the organising committee has done over the years in the promotion of Polish culture, food, language and activities of Australian-Polish community in South Australia; and
    2. Pays tribute to the social, cultural and economic achievements of the Australian-Polish community to South Australia, including the contributions of many Polish clubs and associations.

         (Continued from 30 November 2016.)


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (18:03):  I rise also to support the motion of the Hon. Jing Lee, and join other members of this chamber in celebrating and acknowledging that 2016 marks 160 years of Polish settlement in Australia and the 50th anniversary of the Dozynki Harvest Festival. The Polish community in South Australia has been very active in sharing its culture with us all.

 While we are talking about the Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival, I want to also make mention of some of the incredible Polish organisations in our state. There are over 40 Polish organisations, clubs and committees for Polish South Australians, the largest of which are the Federation of Polish Organisations SA, the Polish Association of South Australia, the Dom Polski Centre, the Polish Cultural Society and the Polish Women's Association. Many Polish organisations are associated with aged care or strive to maintain links between older Polish people and their communities, while many also support young people or are Polish language schools.

 In particular, I would like to note the importance and success of the Federation of Polish Organisations in SA, which unites 22 Polish member organisations that represent cultural, educational, patriotic, historical and social aspects of South Australia's Polish community and provide a vital hub of information and link services such as welfare services, the Polish social support services where volunteers provide transport help assistance with shopping and support for carers, as well as community aged care packages and the Polish active seniors program, which focuses on maintaining health and well being as well as providing social activities and connections.

 We have some wonderful groups and organisations sharing Polish art, culture and history, such as tatry, the traditional Polish folk dance and song group, part of a network of tatry groups across the world. We have a Polish radio program called Always on Sunday on Radio Adelaide, which provides news, culture and information for the Polish community in Adelaide and is presented in Polish and brought to you by the Polish Radio Programs Association.

 While we are talking about celebrating 160 years of history of Polish settlement in South Australia, we should also look to the future, and so I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication also of those who run, organise and participate in Polish language schools in South Australia, particularly the young children who, while they may not have been born in Poland, are still learning the language, history and culture of their heritage.

 Federico Fellini, an Italian film producer, once said that 'A different language is a different vision of life,' and as we live in a multicultural society we are truly blessed to recognise just how valuable those different perspectives are and how much they contribute to our collective wellbeing, understanding and worldview. I want to commend all of the organisers of the Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival for their hard work and success. It is amazing to see how the festival has grown and created such a wonderful occasion for families to celebrate their history and heritage, to attract guests and musicians and speakers from Poland and to include festivities such as the wonderful folklore performances, sheaf-tossing contests, and exhibition of Polish arts and crafts.

 In particular, I would like to recognise the hours and hours of practice and hard work that goes into creating these performances, where children and adults alike have been giving up their spare time to choreograph, teach and learn traditional Polish dances and songs.

 In conclusion, I join the Hon. Jing Lee and others in recognising the rich history of Polish settlement in South Australia and commending it. I encourage those who are reading this Hansard or, indeed, members of this chamber, to have a look at the Polish Hill River Church Museum that commemorates and documents this history. As with all people of any culture or nationality who make their home in South Australia, there are not enough words to describe the value of having people share, celebrate and pass on the knowledge, history, language and culture of their other countries, the countries of their heritage, as this is what has built the rich multicultural society that we enjoy here in our state. I want to thank all those who have contributed and continue to contribute and the hard work of the Polish communities that make South Australia the wonderful place it is today.

 The Hon. J.S. LEE (18:08):  In summing up, I would just like to express my appreciation and thank the Hon. Tung Ngo and the Hon. Tammy Franks, particularly when the Hon. Tammy Franks was talking about the Dozynki Festival itself. It brings back lots of memories of when I attended those festivals and the sort of activities and the socialising and entertainment that they have, which is just wonderful. So I express my thanks for your contributions and commend the motion to the chamber.

          Motion carried.

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