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Belarusian organisations in Australia

BNR – Belarusian Narodnaya Rada
Belarusian Democratic Republic  movement existed under white-red-flag in exile for a long time, since 1920, when Bolsheviks managed to destroy achieved by Belarusian National Movement in 1918 success and killed, imprisoned or exiled most of its members. However the BNR committee managed to work in Prague for a while, didn’t cooperate with Nazis during WW2, re-established itself after the war and amalgamated after WW2 migrants in different countries into a different ‘presentative committees’. Pro-BNR Belarusians in Australia worked in Melbourne and Sydney, opposing actively policies of so called ‘bcr-group’ under the leadership of Michael Zuj (Sydney).

BCR – Belarusian Central Rada
Organised in Nazi occupied Belarus in 1944 the movement supported the Belarusian Nationals under white-red-flag and managed by Radaslaw Astrowski. BCR created Belarusian Youth Movements, Belarusian Army, officer’s school and other divisions. BCR disappeared after the WW2 for a while and appeared in different countries as ‘presentative committees’.  Michael Zuj was the leader of pro-BCR movement in Australia and the last President of BCR. However the active political fight practically weakened by middle of 70s and ceased by the middle of 80s.

Belarusian Association in Australia
Organised in Sydney by Klunitski in 1950.  Second President was Mr. Zuj, who managed the organisations as the branch of BCR political movement in Australia. The organisations had limited number of supporters and lost its popularity in Sydney after establishing the Belarusian Cultural Club. Some Belarusians in Melbourne did support Mr. Zuj until death; however the Belarusian Association in Australia was not successful due to very administrative and centralised structure. Ambitions of Mr. Zuj to create Federal Central Belarusian organisation in Australia wasn’t real and Belarusian Association in Australia died with it president.

Belarusian Liberation Front (BVF)
Half military organisation worked under umbrella of BCR. First known as Belarusian Vyzvolny Ruch. Founded in 1950s in Germany by Dzimitry Kasmovich. After resignation of captain Bulawski, Rozmysl was elected as the chief of BVF. After his death the office moved to Sydney (Ales Alechnik as the leader), but went back to Melbourne in 1983 (Wladimir Shnek in charge). Organisation continuously sends their representatives to Anti- Communist conferences in Pacific region. The organisations ceased to exist in 2005.

Federal Council of Belarusians in Australia – Federal Rada
Created in 1977 by Belarusians in Australia, Federal Rada became the most important central Belarusian organisation in Australia with main task of coordination of implementation of major Belarusian projects,  for example – Belarusian Reunions in Australia (13 all known), help to Belarusian people in Belarus after the Chernobyl nuclear station catastrophe by organising the Belarusian Chernobyl Fund in Australia and others. Federal Rada actively worked until 2009.

Belarusian Association in New South Wales (Sydney)
Founded in 1951, when some members of Belarusian Association in Australia followed Mr. Klunitski, who refused to work under Mr. Zuj leadership in Belarusian Association in Australia. Organisation worked until end of 60s.

Belarusian Independent Association in NSW (Sydney)
Practically non-political Belarusian organisation, founded in 1955 by Mr. Dzyadula (as the first president of B.I.A). Organisation did actively support the foundation of Belarusian Radio Program in Sydney. However after creation of Belarusian Club in Sydney all of its members joined the club.

Belarusian Cultural and Social Club in Sydney
Official registered in 1973, but existed long before it. Club was the centre of political, social and cultural life of Belarusian in Sydney. The most known leader – Michael Luzynski.

Belarusian Women Committees in Australia
Belarusian Women Committee in Victoria. Founded in 1975 (Melbourne). President - Volga Slesarevich. Belarusian Women Committee in Sydney worked under umbrella of Belarusian Association in New South Wales. In Perth this organisation worked under Belarusian Association in Western Australia protection. Belarusians in Adelaide didn’t have such an organisation.

Belarusian Association in Victoria
Belarusian Association in Victoria – organised by Belarusians in Melbourne in 1951 and existed till 1963, ceased by an establishment of its successor - Belarusian Central Committee in Melbourne. Organisation has 5-10 members (Pavel Huz, Wladimir Sidlarewicz, Jurawlewicz, Rozmysl) and printed several issues of magazine ‘The New Life’. The organisation managed to create Belarusian School in Melbourne, prepared the grounds for Cooperative of Belarusian House in Melbourne, did organise the celebration of Belarusian National Day, Slutsk Uprising Day and 2nd Congress Day (pro-BCR celebration).

Belarusian Central Committee
This successful Belarusian organisation was founded in 1963 in Melbourne with the main task to unite Belarusians of different political movements in this city. On one of the BCK meetings in 1975 somebody proposed to create the Federal Rada of Belarusians in Australia. The leaders: Skabej, Jatskevicz, Sidlarewicz, Huz, Shnek. This organisation is survived until the end of 2009.

Belarusian Association in South Australia
Founded by Yanka Rollson in 1977. First President -Rollson (1977- 1987). Second President - Mikola Koles (1988-1999). Third President: Viktor Kovalevski (1999-present). BA in SA organised community projects, political and social functions for its members, have had a constant link with committee of Federal Council of Belarusians in Australia. In 1976 Belarusians in Adelaide build up the community hall next to a church. This community hall became a social, cultural and political centre for local Belarusians. The most important project was the foundation and finance of Belarusian Chernobyl Fund in Australia.

Belarusian Association in Western Australia
Organised in 1958 in Perth on the grounds of Belarusian Veterans Association in Western Australia.  The leaders: Michael Maroz, Michael Rajetski.

Belarusian Houses in Australia
Were build or purchased on cooperative grounds and served to its members as the social Belarusian centres. Belarusian House in Melbourne was bought in 1972 and sold in 1997. For more than 20 years this Belarusian Centre in Melbourne played a major role for local Belarusians as the main cultural, social and political hub. Smaller community in Perth did manage to create its own Belarusian Centre, however for a shorter time as well. Belarusians in Adelaide didn’t have the Belarusian House, however they used for its purpose the community hall.

Belarusian Youth organisations in Australia

Belarusian schools in Australia
Organised only in Melbourne and Adelaide in 60x-70x. Known teachers: Mr. Jurawlewicz, Mr. Burnos, Mrs. Jatskevicz and others.

Belarusian Historical Society in Australia
Organised by V.Rev. M. Burnos and Viktor Kovalevski in Adelaide in 1999. Incorporated on 2nd August 2000. The printed publication of society is the magazine ‘The New Life’. Society printed in Belarusian language the next publications: Belarusians in Adelaide, Belarusian Association in South Australia, Yanka Rollson and his publications. This book is the publication of Belarusian Historical Society in Australia.

Belarusian Authocephalic Orthodox Churches in Australia
Belarusians did try hard for a long time to create an independent from Poland and Russia own church institution. For a long time Poland spread on occupied Belarusian land the Catholicism in Polish language and Russia – the Russian Orthodox institution on Russian language as well. Belarusians couldn’t prey on own language for a very long time. However, as orthodox Poles managed to create their own independent church, then Ukrainians followed and Belarusians managed to get several priests blessed by Ukrainian bishops as well. During the WW2 Belarusian Authocephalic Orthodox Church was re-established and several priests were blessed in after WW2 Germany. Belarusians in Adelaide were organised by one of them: Father Michael Szczurko. Ukrainian bishop Sergey (Ochotenko) blessed in Australia later more Belarusian priests, as well as did Belarusian Bishop Michael from USA. It helped to create Belarusian Churches in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne. But only Belarusians in Melbourne and Adelaide managed to build their own church buildings. Other communities hired the buildings of Greek, Ukrainian and other church institutions for that purpose during their life span.

Radio programs of Belarusians in Australia
Brisbane. Belarusian music, news and songs were transmitted on station 4KQ from 1953.
Geelong. Belarusians in Melbourne used 3EA station in 1954. From 1976 Belarusian radio worked for one year on station 3ZZ under coordination of Mrs. Jatskevicz, Mr. Kalodka, and Mr. Salavej.
Sydney. From 1976 on station 2EA (SBS) under coordination of Mr. Luzynski, Mr. Katchan, Mrs. Karanewski, Mrs. Katchan.
Perth. From 1984 on station 6NR. Under coordination of Mr. Rajetski. Closed in 1994?
Adelaide. Several radio programs were prepared in 1985 (by local university station), later several news were transmitted via Ukrainian station (2002).
By 2005 all Belarusian radio programs ceased to exist.