Almost three weeks have passed since the Annual General Meeting during which 208 Ordinary members elected a new Management Committee. I now take this opportunity to write to the members of “Polonia” in what will become a regular communication that informs members of newsworthy developments and summarises the committee’s goals and achievements.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to the outgoing Committee for the enormity of passion and commitment they put into an intense five months’ hard work since their election in April 2021. Their combined achievements in such a short period of time are truly remarkable and certainly put “Polonia” on a very solid road to financial security. Nonetheless, we still have $70,000 to repay to SPK Australia, so I appeal to you all for your continued generosity and support.

In accepting the role of President of “Polonia” and the many associated responsibilities, I repeated the scout oath I swore over 50 years ago, "I sincerely wish to serve God and Poland with my whole life, to help my neighbours and obey the scout law" to which I added, "I promise to worthily serve the Association of Poles in Queensland by defending its constitution."

The newly elected Management Committee has now met twice since the AGM and I look forward to working with each and every member.  I have set out their names and roles below, as well as a brief description of their responsibilities, so you can familiarise yourself with the team.

President: Henry Kurylewski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – responsibilities include leading the MC; leading strategic planning;, leading Constitutional review; managing contractual paperwork; chairing meetings; representing the association at events.

Vice-President: Paweł Krawczyński (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – responsibilities include overseeing compliance and risk management; asset management; IT co-ordination and website; substituting for the President as required.

Secretary: Eliza Hess (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – responsibilities include drafting and actioning correspondence on behalf of the association; maintaining the association’s records; drafting and review of policies and procedures; organising meetings and minute taking.

Treasurer: Jason Mordacz (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – responsibilities include keeping and maintaining an asset register for the association; documenting all payments made, including receipts, invoices and statements; approving, ratifying & keeping track of all payments made.

Committee Member: Chris Dutkowski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Media, Marketing & Publications Coordinator – responsibilities include managing social media content (including Facebook & Website); overseeing all marketing, promotions & publications (including Biuletyn); coordinating necessary venue signage & marketing promotional material.

Committee Member: Ala Tabor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Event Planning & Cultural Coordinator – responsibilities include managing Polonia venue hire; planning & overseeing community events (Akademia 3.maja & Akademia 11.listopada, touring concerts); planning & overseeing all functions (Zabawy, Dinner Dances & Market Days).

Committee Member: Agnieszka Kowal (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Polish Community Coordinator – responsibilities include liaising with Koło Polek & Koło Seniora, Harcerstwo, Mały Brisbane, Obertas, Polska Szkoła, Wisła, Polacy na Gold Coast, Polacy na Sunshine Coast; facilitating & supporting their initiatives.

Committee Member: Robert Myszkowski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Zakopane Coordinator – responsibilities include managing Zakopane venue hire & bookings system; preparing budgetary needs; coordinating site maintenance; overseeing Zakopane sub-committee projects.

In this initial communication to members, I would like to say a few words about what “Polonia” is, what is its vision and mission, and what are its goals and priorities. I believe this is important so that members can understand what our common purpose is and what drives our actions.

A shared vision for the future is vital for “Polonia” because it will provide focus and energy. In fact, the whole idea of a shared vision will seem abstract and meaningless until people become excited about some vision they truly want to accomplish together.

A culture of collaboration, in which all members of “Polonia” contribute to the achievement of shared goals, has the potential to lead to more effective decision-making processes and improved outcomes. As the Association’s leader, I believe that I have a major role to play in the development of a collaborative culture as a genuine commitment to collaborate is a necessary condition for the establishment of a thriving community.

In building a community, what matters most is what the community together believes in as well as what the community wants to accomplish together. This “community of mind” becomes the primary source of authority for how “Polonia” conducts its affairs and must become the heart of any ongoing improvement effort.

What is “Polonia”?

“Polonia” is a home for every Pole who seeks to preserve their cultural identity. 

“Polonia” caters predominantly to the needs of the local Polish community but also serves the general public without prejudice. Through our restaurant, bar, events and venue hire, “Polonia” serves the broader community. 

Vision

Our vision for “Polonia” focusses on creating a warm and welcoming Polish community hub that is reciprocally respectful, mutually tolerant and supportive of everyone whose intentions are genuinely centred on the continued growth and prosperity of the Association and achievement of its objectives.

Mission

Our current mission at “Polonia” is to promote our Polish cultural heritage by fostering the Polish language, Polish traditions, values and ethical behaviours.

Goals

  • to build awareness of what “Polonia” has to offer as an association promoting and celebrating Polish culture, history and language,
  • to use publicity and promotion to align “Polonia” events with the vibrancy of Brisbane’s community and visitors, and inspire people to attend the association for a unique Polish experience,
  • to share “Polonia” with a broad demographic keen to experience more cultural diversity,
  • to generate engagement with “Polonia” through the use of social, community and other media,
  • to motivate and inspire the broader Australian community including people of Polish descent who do not actively participate in the Polish community,
  • to evaluate succession planning and its implications for the future of “Polonia”
  • to develop future leaders among our Polish youth
  • to integrate Polish youth leaders into the Management Committee of “Polonia”

Priorities

  • to build confidence in the current Management Committee by consistently demonstrating transparent governance and always acting selflessly in the best interests of “Polonia”
  • to create an inclusive environment that is effective first and efficient second
  • financial stability
  • administrative systems that organise internal files and documentation
  • uniformity in our communication to the Polish community and the general public
  • maintain and grow membership
  • greater engagement with the Polish community and the general public
  • development and engagement of sub-committees delegated to work on key areas of critical concern

This is our Polish House, where every Polish person, and friends of the Polish nation, will find a safe haven. Walking over this threshold, you will experience a warm and welcoming Polish community hub that is reciprocally respectful, mutually tolerant and supportive of everyone whose intentions are genuinely centred on the continued growth and prosperity of the Association and achievement of its objectives.

 

Henry Kurylewski

President

30.09.2021

 

To stay fully informed about what is happening at “Polonia”, I encourage you to regularly look at our website: www.polonia.org.au

and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/polishclubmilton