On May 19, 2020, at the initiative of the International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations of Lviv Polytechnic, there was an online meeting of IECDR team with Regional Vice President of Eastern, South, South-Eastern Asia, Oceania and Africa Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler from the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
«We are interested in this region – the southern hemisphere. We have many ideas and projects that we are ready to offer you. Today this is only the first stage. We would like to get more acquainted with the Ukrainian communities under your jurisdiction and discuss areas for cooperation,» stressed Iryna Kliuchkovska, IECDR Director, at the beginning of the meeting.
Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler said that she works with representatives of 27 Ukrainian communities from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, China, India, Mongolia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Mozambique, South Africa and other countries, of which only Australia is a member of the UWC. The rest are representatives of organizations that function as associate members and those who liaise with the UWC.
Vice President presented the developed strategy of cooperation within the region, told about peculiarities of internal communication, priority areas of activity, political activity, cultural diplomacy, as well as mentoring ideas for new communities and development of Ukrainian schooling abroad.
«The old diaspora are marathoners, young communities – sprinters, who have great zest, but do not have such endurance yet. It is important for us to unite them, so that the Ukrainian case continues with longevity and recruitment,» said Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler.
In response to the proposed priority areas of activity, IECDR staff briefly presented the achievements of the Institute, which can be useful for communities in Asia, Africa and Oceania, especially in the field of learning Ukrainian as a foreign language. Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler got very interested in the new IECDR project «Ukrainian Educational Universe Portal». «This is very important project. I have missed it very much, emphasized Mz. Poshyvaylo-Towler, for some reason I was convinced that such a map of Ukrainian schools in the world had already existed. But I was wrong.»
IECDR researchers shared their first achievements in the ongoing cooperation with the Association of Ukrainians in South Africa and told about further planned research steps.
At the end of the meeting, the participants discussed the plan, topics and format of future joint events, including video conferences, webinars, etc.
Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler was elected Vice President of Eastern, South, South-Eastern Asia, Oceania and Africa from the Ukrainian World Congress following the reorganization of the UWC in 2018.
She was born in Poltava, Ukraine. From 1997 to 2013 Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler lived in New Zealand and since 2013 she has been living in Melbourne, Australia. She has held various leadership roles and maintains strong engagement with Ukrainian community in Australia and New Zealand. Including being a Chairperson of the Ukrainian Association of New Zealand (Northern Regions) from 2010 to 2013, Head Educator of the CYM Melbourne branch from 2016 and is currently chairing a branch of the Ukrainian Women’s Association in Melbourne.
Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler is working as a Bid Manager at Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, which was recognized as the best educational institution in Australia in 2016.