Visitor delves into Victoria Park’s wartime history

Jana Grabowsky with her daughter Emmy at the war memorial. Picture: Martin Kennealey d422122
Jana Grabowsky with her daughter Emmy at the war memorial. Picture: Martin Kennealey d422122

Jana Grabowsky (31) and her chemistry professor husband Simon have spent the past three years in Victoria Park after temporarily relocating from Germany.

To keep her academic skills finely tuned while caring for her children, Dr Grabowsky decided to research Victoria Park’s history during World War I.

Her work won the Original Research category of the Town of Victoria Park’s 2014 Local History Awards and now sits in the council’s archives for future generations. Dr Grabowsky, who will soon return to Germany, said she was fascinated by how the local community had upheld its memories of wartime with Remembrance and Anzac days, and community war memorials.

‘It was interesting to see how a community so far away from the battlefields was affected by World War I, over time and distance,’ she said.

‘When I came here in 2011 I had not heard about Gallipoli, the Turkish landings and the Anzac spirit.

‘During the war everyone got involved, it was like a fever in the community as people knitted and collected money. And now the community upholds the legacy of those fallen soldiers.’

Dr Grabowsky said even Aboriginal children at the local orphanage, who had been removed from their families as part of the stolen generation, were involved in knitting.