Home' The Southern Cross : February 2015 Contents February 2015 Page 19
A practical tool for assisting parishes in the
provision of ‘safe environments for all’ has
been developed by the Child Protection
Unit in the Adelaide Archdiocese.
The unit will this month distribute a
desktop checklist tool for parish staff and
volunteers as a way of helping them to
meet their responsibilities in the area of
the protection of children and vulnerable
people in their communities.
The check list tool sets out five clear goals:
• Empowering children and young people
• Organisational structure – built
environments, governance and leadership,
and human resources
• Procedures – responding to child
• Information and communication
• Education and training.
The goals are accompanied by
benchmarks such as the appointment of
child safe contact persons, displaying child
protection promotional material in church
foyers and provision of information relating
to mandatory reporting, police checks
and child safe environments training
The Child Protection Unit will conduct a
review of the implementation of the SEFA
Program on a rotating 15 month cycle.
Child Protection Unit project officers Maree
Cutler-Naroba and Maria Keech praised
Archbishop Philip Wilson for his active
support of the Archdiocese’s commitment
to the care, wellbeing and protection of
children and young people, in both its
parishes and schools.
They said the Archdiocese’s message was
that “child protection is the responsibility
of every adult”.
“As demonstrated by the goals, SEFA is
both a community development and a risk
management program,” Maree said.
All parish staff and those volunteers
working directly with children and young
people within the parish must have current
government-mandated training (initial
seven-hour training and then three hours
every three years).
All other parish volunteers must attend a
90-minute “In a Nutshell” briefing (every
three years) which includes an overview
of the indicators of child abuse and
neglect, the reporting requirements and
the implementation of the SEFA Program
“In a Nutshell” volunteer briefings will
be provided next month at two venues –
Adelaide Cathedral Parish Hall, Wakefield
Street on Wednesday February 4 at 7pm
and Norwood Parish, 137 William Street,
(three sessions – 11am, 5pm and 7pm).
A child safe contact person forum will be
held on Thursday February 26 from 1pm to
4pm (venue to be advised).
For more information, contact the unit
on 8210 8159 or email childprotection@
Ukrainian migrant Ostap Gorgula
shares his migration story with
Ostap Gorgula was born more than 100
years ago on October 18, 1914, in the
village of Ostriw in western Ukraine.
He was brought up with his brother and
sister on a farm with “lots of potatoes and
fruit trees”. Two of his brothers died in
childhood and Ostap himself was a sickly
It was difficult times, particularly after his
father died when he was just a boy. Ostap
broke down in tears as he recalled his
grandfather carrying him around the place:
“I was skin and bones,” he said, adding
“you had to sell your cow to pay for the
doctor who was in the next village”.
His grandfather, who lived to 102,
encouraged him to fight for freedom
for his country, which was subjected to
Polish, Russian and Austrian intervention.
At the age of eight, when he was finally
well enough to attend school, Ostap’s
rebellious nature got him into strife for
damaging photos of Polish national heroes.
So less than a year after starting school,
and barely able to write his own name, he
was expelled. His teacher would visit at
night and secretly give him some lessons
and left him an alphabet book to help
Ostap teach himself to read and write.
Ostap said he would go to the “beautiful”
Catholic church in his village and stand by
the gospel reader, listening and mimicking,
and he learnt the responses off by heart.
At Easter he would stand guard over the
replica of Christ’s shroud from Good Friday
to Easter Sunday. The deacons could see
he had an interest in Church activities and
took him under their wings: “I learnt a lot
from them,” he said. While the words of the
liturgy may have changed, Ostap has never
forgotten the way he learnt to pray as a
By 12 years of age he was “walking
behind a plough” and doing jobs for other
people but he was still getting into trouble
with the police. When he was 16 he was
interrogated, physically mistreated and
even locked up once. With his son Peter
interpreting, Ostap said: “I refused to
stand up for the police officer and when he
insisted, I picked up the urinal bucket and
threw it over his head.”
He was called up to the Polish army when
he was 21 but was rejected because he
had flat feet and was sent with the reserves
to work in a bakery. Once again he found
himself in trouble with the authorities and
even faced a firing squad at one stage after
being falsely accused of a mishap. But his
co-workers intervened and shortly after,
the captain in charge fled in fear of the
The country was in turmoil during the late
30s and Ostap recalled, with tears welling
in his eyes, that he spent a lot of time
praying – from loading bread each day to
escaping into the forest as the German
army invaded the country.
Ostap ended up in Germany as a forced
labourer and worked on a farm in
Poggenhagen. He was proud of his efforts
on the farm, particularly his work with
horses. He remembered being on a railway
siding when Adolf Hitler passed by in a
wagon – just 50 metres away.
When the war ended he was sent to a
displaced persons camp in Munster for two
years and while working in administration
he met his future wife, Pawlina.
“She was a quiet, calm lady, always busy
sewing and mending,” he said.
After leaving Munster, Ostap was fearful of
ending up in Russian-occupied Germany
and so he and Pawlina fled to the British
sector and were married in a civil service.
After two years working as a driver for the
British Army, they nominated to migrate to
Australia and in 1949 they arrived in Port
Adelaide aboard the Wooster Victory .
They were taken to Woodside migrants’
camp but after a few days Ostap was
separated from Pawlina and went to live
in Smithfield, taking the train each day to
Keswick Barracks to do store work.
In 1950 the couple bought a block of land
in Ottoway and built a small wrought iron
house which still remains today at the
back of the house in which Ostap lives
with his son Peter. He worked in various
manufacturing enterprises, including
Kelvinators and Chryslers/Mitsubishi, and
they had three children (Maria, Peter and
Wasyl) who all attended local Catholic
primary schools and then Woodville High.
Peter and Maria said there were many
Europeans in the area and their lives
revolved around the Ukrainian community.
They would walk to the tram in Cheltenham
or the train at Port Adelaide and travel to
the city to attend the Ukrainian Mass at
St Patrick’s Church. Traditions such as
basket blessings on Easter Saturday were
maintained and there were dances every
Saturday night. Ostap was heavily involved
in the local community, helping with youth
camps at Hindmarsh Island, running
church barbecues and fundraisers, and
helping establish the Ukrainian School.
When Ostap turned 100 there was much
celebration at home with his family as well
as at the Catholic Church in Woodville,
the Ukrainian Senior Citizens Club, the
Ukrainian Association and the Ukrainian
Youth Association. The latter even
organised a Papal Blessing.
Ostap has returned to Ukraine once, in
1994, five years after his wife died, and
was reunited with his brother and sister. It
was an emotional experience, according
to his daughter Maria, and he was nervous
about going back, fearing for his safety
despite the fact that the Russians had
departed Ukraine by then.
In his retirement Ostap has continued to
read Ukrainian books and publications,
church and community newsletters and
recently the Ukrainian translation of the life
of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
When the Ukrainian patriarch visited
Adelaide last year, he met Ostap and
congratulated him on turning 100.
The children still take their father to Mass
every Sunday and his faith is as important
to him as it was during those difficult early
years. “It is prayer that has kept me going,”
New checklist tool to assist parishes
From ‘skin and bones’ to centenarian
LONG LIFE: Ostap in his home at Ottoway next to his papal blessing and, right, with his wife Pawlina in Germany.
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