Page 3993 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

a mental illness need it more than others. I met and talked to people there and I want to pay my respects to the people who keep that project going.

The Grow House is in Narrabundah. Grow is a 12-step program of mutual help, recovery and personal growth, and a number of people use that house. It provides residence for people over a longer term. Mr Berry was there at the time that I was there and I believe Ms MacDonald had been there the previous day, so this is a place known to people. I want to mention the sense of ownership that that community has around that house and to point out again that people seem to need places where they can meet other people with similar problems so that they can talk and do activities together. It has been identified by the mental health community, carers, consumers and their advocates that we need places where people can spend periods of time and which may keep them out of the more acute end of the psychiatric care and mental health care. These places have a very important function.


MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.01): I rise to mention an event that is going to occur on 11 November. That date is also Armistice Day, of course, but 11 November 1918 marked the beginning of modern Poland, which had been partitioned between Germany, Russia, Austria and Hungary in 1795 and came back on 11 November 1918. It survived between the wars. It was led by a very impressive man called Jozef Pilsudski, who was the father of modern Poland. He was instrumental in its founding on 11 November 1918 and managed to beat a Bolshevik invasion of western Europe in August 1920 led by two very experienced Russian generals, General Tukhachevsky and General Budenny.

Poland was, unfortunately, the first casualty of World War II. I was reading an interesting book the other day that made some mention of the defamation of the Poles. I know a lot of Poles are concerned to see reference made to Polish concentration camps. In fact, of course, they were Nazi concentration camps, where some three million Poles of Jewish extraction, and indeed about another 2½ million Poles of Roman Catholic extraction, were exterminated by the Nazis. Of course, the Soviet Union under Stalin had a bit of a go, too, and exterminated a further 1½ million Poles, most of whom were from eastern Poland and probably would have been of Roman Catholic extraction, although no doubt there were some Poles of Jewish extraction there too.

There were two historic events in World War II. Poland made a magnificent contribution, even though it was squashed flat in about a month. One was the ghetto uprising from March to May of 1943, when the remaining about 50,000 mainly Polish Jews in the ghetto rose up against their Nazi oppressors and held them at bay for some two months. That was an absolutely inspiring and epic struggle. It was closely followed only a year later, on 1 August, by another two-month heroic struggle when the Polish home army rose up and threw the Germans out. The Russians were on the banks of the Vistula and were going to encourage the Poles to rise up—to get rid of anti-Soviet elements as much as anything. The Russian troops sat back under Stalin’s orders; some of them bravely tried to cross to help the Poles but were either shot by the Germans or by the NKVD for their actions there. After two months of an incredibly brave but ultimately futile effort by the Poles, a number of German divisions and squadrons of Stukas managed to smash most of Warsaw flat and finally stopped that revolt.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .