Introduction and background

While Poles were arriving in Australia since the mid-XIX century (for example: a group arrival to South Australia in 1856, see the plaque below), the most famous Pole recognised in Australia is Paul Edmund de Strzelecki (Sir Paweł Edmund Strzelecki) – a Polish explorer, geologist and philanthropist in the British Service, who arrived in Sydney in 1839 to explore the Eastern Australia.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawel_Strzelecki#Australia

Polish Hill River Museum (SA) commemorative plaque
Polish Hill River Museum (SA) commemorative plaque

The Polish community in Australia swelled in 1950’s, after the arrival of several thousands of Displaced Persons (mainly Polish war veterans with their families), who didn’t want to return East past the “Iron Curtain” to their communist Homeland fearing persecutions, and therefore were stranded and abandoned in Western Europe at the conclusion of the WWII.

The second large Polish immigration influx (25 thousands) – so called “Solidarity wave” – arrived in the 1980’s, as a result of the imposition of martial law in then communist Poland.

The 2016 Australian Census recorded 45 thousands of Poland-born people in Australia. Currently, about 120 thousand of Australian residents claim Polish heritage.

The Polish community in Melbourne, with well over 20,000 Polish speakers scattered throughout Victoria, is one of the initial European ethnic groups that formed – in the 1980s – a multicultural local radio 3ZZ, and then 3ZZZ (the Ethnic Public Broadcasting Association of Victoria) – the largest multicultural community radio station in Australia (see: Fig. 2), broadcasting in more than 60 languages.

A detailed history of the 3ZZZ ethnic community radio in Melbourne can be found in the book “From 3ZZ to 3ZZZ”. While the history of the Polish 3ZZZ Radio Group on the background of Australian multiculturalism is in “Rola radia w społeczeństwie wielokulturowym” (“The role of radio in a multicultural society”) recently published by dr Leszek Gęsiak in Poland (in the Polish language).

From 3ZZ to 3ZZZ
From 3ZZ to 3ZZZ
Rola radia w spoleczenstwie wielokulturowym
Rola radia w spoleczenstwie wielokulturowym

The Polish 3ZZZ Broadcasting Group

The Polish Group of 3ZZZ Melbourne Ethnic Community Radio 92.3 FM, run by the volunteers, broadcasts three hours per week in the Polish language – Tuesday mornings from 11:00 am till 12:00 noon, Wednesday nights from 10:00 pm till 11:00 pm, and Saturday evenings from 7:00 pm till 8:00 pm.

Polish 3ZZZ programs can also be heard or be replayed on-line, via the Internet. The trend of listening to 3ZZZ via this method is growing; we have listeners even from overseas.

Polish 3ZZZ Broadcasting Group contacts:
E: polishradio3zzz@hotmail.com M: 0490 974 082

Anyone can join 3ZZZ, and help us financially to stay on-air with a small contribution of less than $20 in annual membership fees (see: www.3zzz.com.au/get-involved/membership/).

Our aims

To serve the cultural, social, religious and information needs of the Polish community in Victoria – in the Polish language.

Volunteers of the Polish Broadcasting Group

Over the last 30+ years, we have had hundreds of volunteers preparing our programs and/or participating in them. Some of them were broadcasters; some were helpers and/or subject-matter experts; while others provided technical assistance. All of them were obliged to complete professional training provided by the 3ZZZ management. Over the 30+ years they produced nearly 5,000 hours of local radio content. Also, they collected almost $100,000 in listeners’ pledges for 3ZZZ during the annual Radiothons, helping the station’s finances.
This constant flux of different voices, minds, views, and variety of interests created a lively experience for our listeners.

It would be difficult to list the names of all the volunteers. The photo-collage below presents the Polish 3ZZZ team in the early 2000’s.

We are proud to still have members in the Polish broadcasting group which have a continuous voluntary service of more than 30 years (in a variety of roles) – Fr. Wiesław Słowik, Zofia Kemp and Włodzimierz Wnuk.

The Polish 3ZZZ team at the beginning of the XXI century
The Polish 3ZZZ team at the beginning of the XXI century

Our programs

Polish Group broadcasters obtain material from various sources including internet pages and archival recordings.  However, we always try to be topical and include as much local content as possible. We interview members of our community and visitors (officials, artists, prominent persons) from Poland, Polish diplomatic corps, record and transmit local concerts, promote local festivals, and advertise events and what’s on, such as 3rd May Constitution, POLArt and/or Polish Festival at Federation Square (www.polishfestival.com.au).

3ZZZ patchwork, Polish Group's stall at the Polish Festival @ Federation Square
3ZZZ patchwork, Polish Group’s stall at the Polish Festival @ Federation Square

Once a month (the 4th Tuesday in any month) we retransmit the latest Sunday Mass for people who cannot attend the Church (sick, in hospital, away etc.), also religious segments prepared by Polish Bible Students (4th Saturday), and Polish Seventh-day Adventists (2nd and 4th Wednesday). 

This demonstrates that the Polish community is not solely Roman Catholic, it also encompasses other denominations.

Our programs are targeted at a mature, older population with a reasonable understanding of the Polish language and culture. For example: classical music and/or the “golden hits”, plus traditional music featuring nostalgia are played quite frequently.

Often we cover current, turbulent affairs in Poland, Europe, and Australia, but due to the duration of our broadcasts (1 hr thrice a week); we are unable to discuss the details, relying instead on external condensed opinions and comments.

As demonstrated by hospital experiences, older people tend to revert to using their mother tongue.

For some lone seniors, the only contact with the outside world is via ethnic radio and/or the ethnic YouTube content on a smartphone.

DayBroadcasterPhotoTypical contents
1st TuesdayFr. Tadeusz Rostworowski SJVariety of subjects and themes
2nd TuesdayZofia KempVariety of subjects and themes
3rd TuesdayKatarzyna BebejewskaPublicity programs presented by Krystyna Kisiel and Katarzyna Bebejewska. Technical support by Fr. W. Słowik SJ.
Reports on and discusses events, news and events organized by the Polish community in Victoria. The latest news from Vatican Radio and Polish Television, publish health advice, and present little-known, interesting profiles of Poles in Australia.
4th TuesdayFr. Wiesław  Słowik SJReligious program for listeners unable to participate in religious meetings of the Polish community in Melbourne. Edited by Fr. W. Słowik  SJ, presented by Krystyna Kisiel and Katarzyna Bebejewska.
The Sunday Mass recorded at the Polish Marian Sanctuary in Essendon has been broadcast for over 30 years.
1st WednesdayDaniel KowalskiVariety of subjects and themes
2nd WednesdayZofia KempVariety of subjects and themes
3rd WednesdayDaniel KowalskiVariety of subjects and themes
4th WednesdayMagdalena and Krzysztof KrakowscyMagdalena and Krzysztof present news from Poland with their own commentary.  They broadcast interviews with local Polish diaspora activists and guests from Poland. They relay materials prepared by independent polish media.  The literature corner is a regular part of the program.  The program is complemented by songs, often of their own authorship.
1st Saturday
2nd Saturday
3rd Saturday
Fr. Mariusz Han SJThe program includes local messages from the Polish community in Melbourne as well as news from Poland and around the world. The cultural section deals with historical, patriotic and local traditions and customs in Poland. The program also includes content from the religious, spiritual and inspirational sections. Past and current sporting events around the world are also presented and commented on. Polish and foreign music is a permanent part of this one-hour program.
4th SaturdayWłodzimierz Wnuk

Tadeusz Żurek
Latest world-wide news, current affairs, Polish Bible Students’ program/segment, podcasts from leading Polish media outlets – all interspersed by popular music.
5th TuesdayZofia KempVariety of subjects and themes
5th WednesdayZofia KempVariety of subjects and themes
5th SaturdayJerzy KrysiakJerzy Krysiak’s broadcasts are mostly devoted to theatre and stage performances. These performances are created/recorded by the Polish Radio Theatre.