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Paul Edmund Strzelecki

Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki (July 20 1797 - October 6 1873) was a Polish nobleman, explorer and geologist.

Born in Gluszyn near Poznan in Poland as third child of a struggling landowner of nobility. Paul Strzelecki was educated in Warsaw and then he lived in Cracow. After the national uprising against the tsarist Russia in 1830 he was forced to emigrate to London. His explorations and voyages gained him great popularity abroad. He visited North and South America, Cuba, Tahiti and New Zealand.

In 1838 on the request of George Gipps, Governor of Australian New South Wales, he made a geological and mineralogical survey of the Gippsland of eastern Victoria. He was able to make many discoveries. Later, in 1839 he set out on an expedition into the Australian Alps and he explored the Snowy Mountains with James Macarthur. In 1840 he climed and named the highest peak in Australia Mount Kosciuszko, to honour Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Poland's national hero.

He moved back to London in 1849 where he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a member of the Royal Society. He gained widespread recognition as an explorer as well as a philanthropist. He helped impoverished Irish families to seek new life in Australia. He was also active in helping injured soldiers during the Crimean War (being personally acquainted with Florence Nightingale).

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