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Our History

Migration in the 1800's 

We know that Ukrainians had started coming to Australia as far back as the 1860's but the numbers were few.


Of notable concern was Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay (Микола Миколайович Миклухо-Маклай) who visited for the first time in 1878. Maclay was responsible for the building of Australia’s first biological field station at Watson’s Bay in NSW and later married the daughter of the Premier of  New South Wales. His grandsons have all contributed to the public life of Australia.  (


Post World War II Immigration tо Western Australia

The first Ukrainians emigrants arrived at the port of Fremantle on October 11, 1948 on the boat "Kanimbla".  The group of 60 men from Germany were politely welcomed by the WA authorities. They formed a dancing group and a choir and held a concert for West Australians. This was the first ever Ukrainian concert in Western Australia.


The men were split into 3 work parties - 20 of them went to work in the gold mines in Kalgoorlie.  Others went to work on the railway lines whilst another group went to work on the construction of the Mundaring Weir. After a time some of the men who went to Kalgoorlie returned to work at Mundaring Weir and Mundaring Weir became the largest populationof Ukrainians in WA.  More people started arriving and they were settled in hostels and camps, namely Graylands, Northam and Cunderdin. 

The first meeting was held in October 1949, 36 people attended and the first ever committee was comprised of P Lytwyn - President, P Dobrosko - secretary, Mr Burbello - social coordinator, P Kardash -  organisational coordinator.  This committee organised the first ever functions and commenced to develop the first constitution of the Ukrainian Association in Perth. 

By consent with the Catholic Church of Perth the Association was permitted to conduct meetings at St Patrick's Church, cnr of Havelock & Murray St, Perth. This period had a major influx of Ukrainians to Perth and the first AGM was held on February 25, 1950 at St Patrick's Church with 78 people in attendance. M. V. Boliukh chaired the AGM and the first elected president was V. Mryczko . Unfortunately several months later V. Mryczko was sent up north of WA for work and was forced to resign. April 28, 1950 P. Kuzmycz took over in the role of President. The following AGM was held in March 18, 1951 and Dr O Mencinsky was elected.  

On June 6, 1951 the Ukrainian Association Choir was formed and the first rehearsal was in the Anglican Church Hall (in Aberdeen St. Perth). The choir's first conductor was Y. Tamarchenko but from February 1952 the choir-master became Dr O Mencinsky. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the time used the Anglican Church for Sunday liturgy.

1951 Sept 1 - The Ukrainian Association of Western Australia was incorporated. 
1952 - Formation of the Kyiv Soccer Team.
1953 - Fr Y. Spolitikewycz, first UGCC priest arrives in W.A.

1958 Sept 9 - Mr. P. Gutej elected as president due to ill health of Dr O. Mencinsky.  The elected Executive were Secretary, M. Butkewitsch and Treasurer, I. Mowczan.  One of the main projects that Pavlo Gutej commenced shortly after was the construction of the first Ukrainian Hall. 
1958 Sept - First Ukrainian Association newsletter started by M Butkewitsch
1960 June - First visit to WA by the secretary of the CYOA, R Hizhowsky. First delegate from the UAWA elected to represent WA was I. Mowczan.

The committee of the UAWA has always tried to ignore religious beliefs or the territorial affiliation of community members and tried to work for Ukraine and national affairs.


The following is a list of the  committee members from the beginning of the UAWA. Some departed overseas and some to interstate but wherever they are their families can be proud of them that they were the pioneers of the Ukrainian Association of Western Australia. 
M. Baranowsky, T. Bershchak, M. V. Boliukh, T. Boyko, M. Boychuk, P. Buniak, D. Butenko, M. Butkewitsch, P. Cherkasow,  P. Dobrosko, M.Drozdowsky, engr. M. Dudarec, Mrs L Dudarec, Very Rev Fr. H. Fomyczewsky,  P. Gutej, D. Hawrycz, E. Hlyva, engr. Hlibovytsky, Mrs L. Hlibovytska, H. Hloniuk, I. Hohol, S. Homiak, V. Honczarenko, V. Horvat, M. Ikashenko, M. Jakowyna, I. Jatsenko, V. Kania, P. Kardash, P. Kotsiumbas, Mrs. Kotsiumbas, P. Kuzmycz, Mrs. Kulynycz, M. Lieber, Mrs. M Lieber, P. Lytwyn, O. Lytwyn, I. Lubczenko, K. Medwid, F. Melnyczuk, Dr. O Mencinsky, F. Mykolaienko, A. Minko, I. Mowczan, H. Mochon, Dr. V. Mryczko, B. Nahernyak, A. Ohariw, V. Perzhylo, V. Petriw, V. Popowsky,  A. Redko, M. Riznyk, J. Riznyk, S. Rostyk, T. Sawka, Prof. Sadowsky, V. Shneider, I. Shorsh, T. Shtonyk, Dr Swiczar, M. Sirko, Mrs N. Sirko, V. Slobodian, V. Sofienko, Rev. Fr. Y Spolitikewycz, V. Stasiw, E. Temnyk, E. Tomiuk, O. Zhelihivsky, V. Zen.

Timeline of the Ukrainian Hall in Hann Street Leederville. 

1955 Sept 29 - UAWA decides to buy a parcel of land in Hann Street Leederville 

1957 August 3-4 foundation laid

1958 Feb 7 - building of the Hall started  

1962    - The Ukrainian hall was completed 

1961 Mar 25 - The Ukrainian Hall (in Leederville) was officially opened.

1975 Jan  - Land Resumption Office (LRO) approached the UAWA regarding buying the Ukrainian Hall due to expansion of Freeway

1991 Jan- first payment from LRO was made 

1998 Jun 20  - 2nd and final payment was made 

From 1991 to 1998 the Hall was rented to the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. However, due to lack of maintenance the final 2 years, the pride and joy of the Ukrainian Community was rented out as a warehouse before it was finally demolished to make way for Southport Street (the off-ramp to Lake Monger Drive from the Mitchell Freeway. 


Kornylo Medwid who filmed the construction of the original West Leederville Ukrainian Hall, 

Mirko Gutej who was bequeathed this historic footage and

Mark Whitehouse, Procopy for digitising and repairing the film.

Included in the clip is the first bazaar in the uncompleted hall, a snippet of the Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian School in Mt Lawley, a snippet of a soccer game between our KYIV and MACEDONIA (Kyiv wins the game 4-0) and a picnic at Lake Monger Leederville,  click on link below.....


ukrainian hall.jpg
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© 2022  by Ukrainian Association of WA  Inc.

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