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Australia's father of multiculturalism Jerzy -

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PETER CAVE: The father of multiculturalism in Australia, Jerzy Zubrzycki has died. He was 89.

The polish intellectual moved to Australia in 1956 to take up a position with the ANU. He later
became an advisor to the Whitlam, Fraser and then Howard governments and helped develop Australia's
multicultural policies.

Rather than a melting pot, he believed that immigration policies should reflect people from
different cultures, sharing one political structure.

Jennifer Macey reports.

JENNIFER MACEY: Jerzy Zubrzycki was born in Krakow Poland in 1920. He went to school with Karol
Wojtyla who later became Pope John Paul the second.

He told ABC radio in 2003 how the two men were deeply affected by the Nazi occupation of Poland.

JERZY ZUBRZYCKI: I joined the underground. It was a great tradition in generations of Poles that
whenever we are under some domination, be it Russian or German, we join the underground and try and
do something about it.

JENNIFER MACEY: At the end of the war he studied at the London School of Economics and in 1956
migrated to Australia to take up a post with the Australian National University. He said 1950s
Canberra was a shock in more ways than one.

JERZY ZUBRZYCKI: A very dry place, dusty place, unsealed roads. It took some time to get used to
it!

JENNIFER MACEY: Post-war Australia saw a massive influx of migrants from Eastern and southern
European countries for the first time. But it was the prejudice they faced that informed his later
work.

JERZY ZUBRZYCKI: But there was no equality of opportunity in Australia and therefore my first
unwritten, unstated plan was to work on that.

JENNIFER MACEY: Jerzy Zubrzycki became an advisor to the Whitlam, Fraser and Howard governments.
Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has led the tributes for Professor Zubrzycki.

MALCOLM FRASER: He was forward looking and far sighted and he contributed enormously to the social
development of Australia. Now we are a much broader-based community. You've only got to walk down
any street in Melbourne or Sydney to know that we are indeed a multicultural country.

JENNIFER MACEY: Jerzy Zubrzycki proposed a new type of thinking about immigration that recognised
cultural diversity rather than forcing migrants to assimilate. The president of the New South Wales
anti-discrimination council Stepan Kerkyasharian says Professor Zubrzycki deserves to be known as
the father of multiculturalism.

STEPAN KERKYASHARIAN: He gave an intellectual rigour and put into an intellectual, academic format
what Australia was looking for and what Australia was becoming. So in that context he was the
founder of multiculturalism.

JENNIFER MACEY: But fellow ANU immigration academic Dr James Jupp says he didn't even like the word
multiculturalism.

JAMES JUPP: His particular concern was what he called cultural pluralism, that is the retaining the
languages particularly of Europeans. So he didn't actually like the word multiculturalism himself.
He blamed that on Al Grassby.

JENNIFER MACEY: Yet Jerzy Zubrzycki vigorously defended the policy when it came under attack by the
Howard government. Malcolm Fraser says this greatly worried him at the time.

MALCOLM FRASER: Thought he regretted as much as I did the fact that we had a government that seemed
to want to turn the clock back to the 1950s. We very nearly for the first time in the post-war
years, used race or religion for political purposes.

JENNIFER MACEY: Another setback to pluralism and tolerance were the Cronulla riots in 2006. He told
ABC's Phillip Adams that this shook the whole community:

JERZY ZUBRZYCKI: The fact that there is no single racial or religious group that can call itself
Australian to the exclusion of all others - in other words, inclusiveness is the word -
inclusiveness of all Australians within one community.

JENNIFER MACEY: Federal Liberal MP Petro Georgiou who worked together with Professor Zubrzycki at
the Institute of Multicultural Affairs says he's left behind a great legacy.

PETRO GEORGIOU: He was very sensitive about diversity being turned into division and he was very
committed to the notion of core values that allowed multiculturalism to operate effectively. He was
concerned about disadvantage and he was concerned about equality of opportunity.

JENNIFER MACEY: But Jerzy Zubrzycki told ABC radio his greatest passion was his family.

JERZY ZUBRZYCKI: I think the most wonderful experience in my life was when I first met Alexandra,
my future wife. This was the greatest thing that's happened to me.

JENNIFER MACEY: Professor Zubrzycki died in a Canberra hospital yesterday and is survived by his
wife Alexandra, his four children and eight grandchildren.

PETER CAVE: Jennifer Macey with that report.