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Jerzy (George) Zubrzycki

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Jerzy (George) Zubrzycki was born on 12th January 1920 in Krakow, Poland. After completing a year’s compulsory military training in 1938, Zubrzycki was sent the following year to the front lines where he was taken prisoner by the invading German army. Zubrzycki escaped from POW transport before joining the Polish underground movement and later, from Britain, serving with the famed Polish Parachute Brigade. Following the war, Zubrzycki took up studies at the London School of Economics (1945-52), completing an MScEcon in Population Studies, and subsequently a PhD at the Free Polish University in London (1954). A year later, Zubrzycki accepted a post as Research Fellow in the Department of Demography, Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University where he progressed through the roles as Senior Fellow (1959), Professorial Fellow (1965) and finally Founding Professor of the Department of Sociology in 1970. Considered one of the early architects of Australian multicultural policy, Zubrzycki was a prolific writer on immigration, ethnicity and population and was an adviser to the Whitlam, Fraser and Howard governments. His key academic publications include Immigrants in Australia: A Demographic Survey Based Upon the 1954 Census (1960) and Opportunity and Attainment in Australia (1976), co-authored with Leonard Broom. As the foundation editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, and the President of SAANZ (1971-1972), Zubrzycki remained a pioneering figure in Australian sociology. For his extensive contributions both in and outside the university, Zubrzycki was awarded an Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1978, and made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1984. He was also a Fellow of The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Zubrzycki retired from the ANU in 1986 and passed away in Canberra on 20th May 2009.