"I chose Australia in search of opportunities and a new life in a democratic society. I wanted to use my skills and my drive to join Australia as a fully engaged citizen able to advance her wellbeing without turning my back on my Polish heritage. I cherish both my contributions to advancing civil liberties in multicultural Australia and to the success of the "Solidarity" movement in the 1980s.
I hope, I contributed to creating a much better world."
Professor at the Western Sydney University
Professor Ozdowski is an academic, human rights advocate and former senior public servant. He has been celebrated for his work investigating the issue of children in immigration detention. His report, tabled in Federal Parliament in 2004, helped protect this group of vulnerable children by influencing public perceptions and forcing political action leading to their release, with families, from mandatory detention.
In his career and life, he has been dedicated to the fight for social justice. His promotion of civil rights and democracy saw him arrested twice in Poland and after arrival in Australia in 1975 rise to become the Australian Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner between 2000 and 2005. He also represented Australia at the United Nations in the development of the UN Convention to better protect the rights of those living with disabilities and continued to support the Polish Solidarity movement from his new home.
His work in driving multicultural agenda within Australia was achieved through the development of a range of policies and programs while being a senior member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra from 1987 to 1996. During this time, he worked on the “National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia”, “Access and Equity Strategy” and “2001. A report from Australia” documents and helped establish the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs and Australia-Indonesia Institute.
As CEO of the South Australian Office of Multicultural and International Affairs from 1996 to 2000, he established a range of new programs including a regional migration program. His focus in this area led him to later in academia to convene three national conferences for advancing social cohesion and nine International Human Rights Education conferences.
Sev is the longest serving Chair of the Australian Multicultural Council (2014-21).
Unity | Stories about Us brings us together to share what we have in common through storytelling. By collecting stories from around the world across the greatest diversity, we can rise above the daily challenges to feel more connected to each other and find a way back to our deeper meaning and purpose.
UNITY | STORIES ABOUT US IS PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY: