His Excellency, The Polish President Mr Andrzej Duda and his wife Mrs Agata Kornhauser-Duda, slipped into Australia largely unannounced on the 17th of August, last week and left on 21st of August. I find this rather surprising. Considering his presence in the USA recently, was met with considerable pomp and ceremony, yet we hear almost nothing. Is this because Australian politics is just not on the same page as Poland who hold to Christian, conservative, patriotic views, putting family values high on their list of priorities and as the building blocks of a nation? The couple visited Melbourne then Canberra and Sydney.
Their visit comes at a significant time for Polish nationals as 2018 marks the year Poland celebrates its 100th anniversary of regaining independence. It certainly was a proud moment for the 2000 odd Polish people who attended the Devine Mercy Church in Keysborough last Sunday afternoon to hear an inspiring word from their leading kinsmen.
Although I am not Polish or Catholic (but I have been to a Mass or two) and I could not understand a word of what was being said, I was honoured to be invited to the ceremony and thoroughly enjoyed meeting with His Excellency. I found him to be a humble man having a real heart for his people.
Our Government says, “Australia strongly values its warm relationship with Poland as an important member state of the European Union that shares Australia’s commitment to international security and open trade. President Duda’s visit will be an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest, including progress on a comprehensive and ambitious Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement and expanding bilateral trade links”. (1)
There are more than 180,000 people with Polish ancestry living in Australia, and we salute Polish Australians for the contribution they have given to Australia’s multi ethnic society”. And Melbourne, Victoria with 36.4 per cent of Australia’s Polish-born population, proudly has the largest Polish population in Australia, contributing to a large part of the city’s varied and lively multiethnic community. (2)
Left:The President addresses the congregation Centre: Yvonne Gentle talks with president Duda
Right: 2000 odd Polish people who attended the Devine Mercy Church in Keysborough
From my short encounter with this humble, approachable man with a warm open smile, I felt compelled to do more research on Poland. My investigation led me to recent newspaper articles depicting him and his party’s policies as homophobic, xenophobic, and nationalistic, a tad contradictory to say the least! It is common knowledge that Mr Duda’s party, the Law and Justice Party, have put a blanket ban on abortion, have vowed to never allow same sex marriage, and have refused to accept refugees from Muslim countries/ nations.
Furthermore, Poland, under his government has declared that Sunday is a day of rest and for the family, backing away from commercialism on that day. By 2020 most retail outlets will not do business on Sunday.
These policies consolidate to emphasise the Polish government’s focus on the family and the individual.
What external media agencies neglect to report is that Poland’s World Happiness ranking has gone up from being 60th in 2015 to 42nd in 2018) The World Happiness Index is a United Nations initiative and is a measurement of wellbeing. (3) As well as having happy citizens, the Polish economy is thriving! According to Eurostat, their unemployment is 4.6% (4), and inflation is 2.5% (5), compared to -0.93% and 7.5% respectively in 2015 (6). According to the FTSE Russell index, the Polish market has been upgraded from an emerging market to a developed market status. (7) Polish law also is favourable to foreign entrepreneurs, which further stimulates their economy. Ernst and Young report that Poland ranked 7th in the world in terms of investment attractiveness. (8)
With an approval rating of 65% (9), a thriving, growing economy, and a positive foreign investment environment, Poland appears to be winning on all fronts. The left liberal political parties have rated so low with the public that they have no representation in Parliament (10). So, we must ask ourselves… what can we learn from Poland?
We can’t ignore that in the three years since President Duda took office and has brought back into his nation Christian values, Godly principles and precepts, that the nation has gone ahead in leaps and bounds. There is a good reason for that …. Because God Honours his word to people, Christians or not – those who align themselves with his promises and follow His system for living, whether it be in our home, communities or nations. Just to prove my point I would like to share what the Bible say on this subject. ….
1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says, [to Israel] I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD says, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
Rise up Australia party is in agreement with Poland on their stand for Christian values in their nation and ours, as we know that Christian values benefit all people.