Brief History of the School
Our vision, philosophy and objectives become clearer and easier to understand in the context of history of the Polish Schools in Canberra. The current Polish Language School in Phillip began its activities in Canberra 22 March, 1985 when a relatively large group of new Polish immigrants arrived in the ACT. In Australia, there are approximately 160 thousand people of Polish background and in the Canberra region, about 3.5 thousand people. The first Polish migrants arrived in Australia a long time ago, but the largest wave of immigrants came in the few years after the end of the World War II in 1945. Most of them were soldiers, who fought for the independence and freedom of Poland. When the World War II had finished, many soldiers did not agree with the political arrangements in Europe (they never accepted Poland under the Soviet control). They started migrating to many free countries around the world. One of these countries was Australia.
These people have very strong emotional links with Poland. This is why they have been very passionate about their language and culture. Very quickly they established the Polish Ethnic School in 1953. It was the first ethnic school in the ACT. Back in 1953, when the Polish Ethnic School in Turner commenced its activities, the subjects taught included: Polish literature, Polish language and History of Poland. Due to the political situation in Poland in the late 1970's and early 1980's a large number of Polish people migrated to Australia. This created a much bigger demand for Polish schooling. It became evident, that the existing Polish Ethnic School could not cope with the demand at the time. As a result of this extra demand our current Polish Language School was established. The opening of our school was made easier thanks to the continuing support of the Department of Education and a few Polish groups. The official ceremony took place in 1985 at the Phillip College and we commenced teaching Polish language with 48 students and 4 teachers. At one stage, the number of students has grown to 120 and that of teachers - to 8. One of the biggest achievements of the Polish Language School in Phillip is that it obtained accreditation from the Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) for Year 11 and 12 studies back in 1989.
All this has been made possible thanks to the founding father of the school Czeslaw Rudowicz, with significant contribution of many teachers to name a few: B. Zmijewska, Dr. J. Drobiszewski, J. Dabrowska, N. Zmijewski, and S. Gajewski.
At present, we have over 60 students, including adult classes for beginners and 9 teachers. The School is a non-profit organisation and the income received from the courses we deliver is only used to promote the aims of the School. The governance of the Polish Language School is ensured by the creative stewardship of the Polish Education Committee, the school administration and participation of the wider school community.