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Seweryn Ozdowski

Seweryn Ozdowski
 

Seweryn Ozdowski was born on 24th June 1949 in Poznań. His family was from Roszków in the Jarociński poviat. In October 1939 the Ozdowski family was displaced and moved to Opoczno.
Seweryn Ozdowski graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, faculty of law and sociology. He worked at the Polish Academy of Sciences, in the Jurisprudence Institute. He conducted pioneer study on the awareness of the Polish workers whose results anticipated the establishment of the Solidarity labour union. Back then Ozdowski did not manage to publish the results of the study in Poland. Later it was printed in the US. Seweryn Ozdowski frequently took part in anti-government demonstrations. He was arrested for having such books as “1984” by George Orwell.

At the beginning of the 1970s Seweryn Ozdowski and his wife decided to leave Poland. At first, they were to depart only for a few years to see the world. Their first stop was Germany, where between 1974 and 1975 Seweryn Ozdowski was studying at the Hamburg University. Their next stop was Australia. In 1982, at the University of New England in Armidale Seweryn Ozdowski received his doctoral degree.

Due to his experiences as an emigrant and immigrant, as well as his knowledge obtained during his studies, he worked as a senior consultant in the prime minister’s cabinet back in the 1980s and 1990s. Between 1996 and 2000 he was the chairman of the Multicultural Office in Adelaide and between 200 and 2005 he worked as the commissioner for inequalities and human rights in the Australian government.

In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and in 2005 the Solidarity Medal.


Interview by Edi Pyrek in May 2011 in Australia.

interview excerpts
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The roots of Seweryn and the Ozdowski family
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Curiosity about the world and disillusion about the system
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Initial dislike
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The portrait of Saint Severinus and the letters from parents in the suitcase
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The high cost of the emigrant’s chance
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Poland is...
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Values brought from Poland
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Refugee problem in Australia
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