We are writing to the Productivity Commission to request that the below plaque be returned atop Mount Kosciuszko.
From the valley of the Murray River the Polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzelecki ascended these Australian Alps on 15th February 1840.
A „pinnacle, rocky and naked, predominant over several others” was chosen by Strzelecki for a point of trigonometrical survey.
„The particular configuration of this eminence”,
„struck me so forcibly by the similarity it bears to a tumulus elevated in Krakow over the tomb of the patriot Kosciusko, that, although in a foreign country, on foreign ground, but amongst a free people, who appreciate freedom and its votaries, I could not refrain from giving it the name of Mount Kosciusko.”.
This commemorative plaque was unveiled by the Consul General of the Republic of Poland for Australia, New Zealand and Western Samoa, Ladislas Adam de Noskowski Esq.; on the 17th February 1940.
This plaque was removed in the late 90's following the formation of the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management Review.
This review concluded that all previous historical traces will be removed from Mt Kosciuszko, including walking tracks, plaques and wooden huts.
The commomerative plaque was found after much effort by a worker from the Polish Embassy, with the help of Tim Greville, a ranger from the park.
It was found in storage at Jindabyne National Park and is now on display in the Polish Embassy.
The man who discovered and named Mount Kosciusko, Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki was a traveller and researcher, charming, cultured, learned, Polish „émigré”, British knight, explorer, scientist and great humanitarian.
He strongly believed in the power of the human mind and the technical advancement of civilizations. He believed in social justice and also in equal rights for all people, including Indians, Aborigines and Polynesians.
Strzelecki's discovery of gold in New South Wales in 1840 was kept secret at the request of Governor Gipps, who feared that the news would be likely to bring about anarchy. Someone else was given the reward for discovering gold in Australia in 1851, despite the protests of Strzelecki’s friends.
Surely such a plaque of historical importance, honouring the man who discovered and named Mount Kosciuszko would be more appropriate atop this very mountain.
We are asking the Productivity Commission to review the actions of the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management Review and restore the historical value of Mount Kosciusko for all Australians to enjoy for generations to come.