Regarding the "Dirk Hartog Year" !
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia and the Consulate General in Sydney support a range of projects during the Dirk Hartog year. In order to have even more projects realised, we would like to include the private sector in the celebrations as well. We have lined up multiple projects that will enhance the Australian-Dutch connection and attribute to telling the Dirk Hartog story. With the private sector's support, these proposals will become reality and leave a long lasting legacy.
The Embassy can connect companies with potential project partners by providing a list of activities that are to be organized in Australia or in the Netherlands as part of the Dirk Hartog year and require additional funding or other kinds of support. In return, supporting companies are offered one or more privileges such as logo inclusion, naming rights, invitations, membership, or private use of the outcome of the project. They will furthermore be mentioned as a project sponsor on the official Dirk Hartog website. The list of projects is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visittThe Dirk Hartog 2016 website hwhichl/
which was launched on Monday 11 May.
This website is an initiative by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia. Our mission is to provide a platform for anyone interested in the commemoration and celebration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Dirk Hartog in Western Australia.
Find Dirk on Twitter| @DirkHartog2016
The Dirk Hartog 2016 Twitter account was launched by the Embassy on 23 January 2015.
#DirkHartog2016 | #DH2016 | #Sharedheritage
For more information about the anniversary in 2016, please contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra,
via the cultural affairs and public diplomacy section,
tel: + 61 (0)2 6220 9400 or email@example.com
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia kindly asks your attention for a press release about the launch of 'Early Encounters with Australian Shores' by Rupert Gerritsen (1953-2013).
Early Encounters with Australian Shores is a collection of short stories written by the late Rupert Gerritsen. This booklet was published by Australia On The Map with the support of the Netherlands Embassy. The first copy was officially presented to Rupert's sister-in-law Patricia during a reception on Thursday 16 July 2015 at the residence of Ambassador Annemieke Ruigrok.
The booklet brings together a selection of stories about Australia's early, and neglected, maritime history. It highlights the multicultural dimension of the explorations of the continent's shore: Captain Cook was not the first to arrive in Australia, but followed in the footsteps of seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Swedish seafarers. Rupert Gerritsen elaborates on already well known subjects such as the arrival of the Duyfken and the tragedy of the Batavia – but also presents lesser known stories such as the miraculous survival of the Dutch party searching for the crew of the Vergulde Draeck.
According to Ambassador Annemieke Ruigrok, "Rupert's stories are a wonderful addition to the many different stories Australia has shared with the Netherlands over more than 400 years".
Born into a Dutch migrant family in 1953 in Geraldton, Western Australia, Rupert Gerritsen was a social activist and historian. He became a noted authority in indigenous Australian prehistory and in Australia's European maritime contact history from 1606 until the early years of British colonisation. He wrote a number of books and many papers in these and related fields. In 2002, Rupert co-founded 'Australia On The Map 1606-2006' (AOTM) and later became Chair of its successor organisation, the AOTM history and heritage division of the Australasian Hydrographic Society.
Copies of 'Early Encounters with Australian Shores' are available for free from tomorrow and can be ordered with Australia On The Map.
For more information about the booklet or questions about the distribution procedure, please contact Australia On The Map: www.australiaonthemap.org.au
END OF PRESS RELEASE
With kind regards,
Meanwhile, in Adelaide.......... a wonderful exhibition currently on at the Adelaide Art Gallery titled
"Treasure Ships Art in the Age of Spices".
New books in DACC
The DACC encourages the sale of books written by Dutch migrants about their experiences as migrants or on topics of importance to Australia. We also take books written by others about events in which the Dutch play a significant role.
We either buy a small quantity or taken them on consignment. We charge 20% commission. It is not a particularly lucrative activity because the quantity of sales is small but we believe that the DACC is the very place where such books should be available.
Recently two such books have been offered to us. The first one is Stand Up and Cheer (2015), written by Loretta Re. It is the remarkable story of the KLM plane De Uyver which narrowly won the race from London to Melbourne in the passenger type aircraft catagorie, in 1934. It is a gripping story suitable for kids 8 - 12 years old, recommended by well-known aviator and businessman Dick Smith.
The story is particularly interesting because the plane had to make an emergency landing in Albany due to atrocious weather circumstances.
The plane got bogged down at the airstrip and then the population came out in large numbers to pull them out and send them on their way to victory. The price of the book is $17.50
The second book was written by Keith Paulusse, entitled VERTREK, also published very recently. It is the story of a Dutch migrant family departing from the Netherlands and of their experiences in Australia. It is very substantial book for all ages, a well written, interesting addition to our small collection of new books. The price is $25. The book is also available as an eBook in which case people can buy a "stump" at a lower price still to be determined.
Just for those not familiar with our new books holdings. Here is the list:
Australia on the Map (W. A.) (2006) –
Maritime Explorers of the West, Self published (few left) $ 3
Blom, Mien (2002) - Father Forgive Us $ 15
Blom, Mien (2002) - Red Hot Soup - Alice Springs in the Seventies, $ 15
BROOME, 1942 (Dutch Embassy) (few left) FREE
Fikkers, Bill (2010) - Dutchies in the Illawarra,
The Migration Heritage Project $ 25
Jones, Nell (2010) - The Lost Sister of Groningen, (few left) $ 20
Louis, Yvonne (2010) - A Brush with Mondriaan, $ 20
Mulders, John. (2010) - 1606 - 1770 A Tale of Two Discoveries, DVD $ 30
Paulusse, Keith – VERTREK $ 25
Re, Loretta – Stand Up and Cheer $ 17.50
Robberechts, Wim (2008) - Holland, the Movie - Enjoy your flight,
Self published (Sold out) $ 20
Smith, Joan (2013) - The Duyfken – Its Master Willem Janz $ 20
Ten Brummelaar, Eef (1994) - From Clogs to Thongs $ 1
Ten Brummelaar, Eef (1995) - The Other Dutch $ 1
Ten Brummelaar, Eef (1998) – Klets Kruimels $
- Unveiling of the First Contact Memorial,
Dutch Embassy /Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council (2013) FREE
Turner, Harry (2013) - The Gift Dragon Incident $ 20
Van den Bos, Alida (2007) - The Story of Prisoner 329, $ 15
Van den Bos, Alida (2012) – The Dutch Migrants, $ 15
Van Leer, Dick (2010) - The Incredible Life of Dick van Leer,
(with Aubrey Cohen), Self published $ 15
Van Ravensteyn, Willem (2010) All Australians Now, $ 20
Van Rooy, Johanna (2010) - Anah's War, Self published $ 20
Van Zanden, Henry (2013) - Lost White Tribes of Australia,1656 $ 30
Vanderlist, John (2013) - Journey to the East – 1653 $ 20
Veerhuis, Fred (2006) - Shit happens - Grace Surprises $ 15
DIMEX Project results – in DVD format
(being readjusted to comply with privacy requirements) $ 5
Klaas Woldring, on behalf of the DACC, received the following message, fron the Consul-General of the Netherlands, Evert Bongers:
Geachte mevrouw, heer,
Bijgaand stuur ik u een communiqué over de komende wijzigingen op het gebied van paspoortaanvragen. Ik stuur het aan u omdat u bij dit Consulaat-Generaal bekend bent als vertegenwoordiger van een groep Nederlanders, bijvoorbeeld een club, vereniging, tijdschrift, radio of anderszins. Ik verzoek u vriendelijk bijgaand communiqué te verspreiden onder de Nederlanders met wie u in contact staat. Bijvoorbeeld door het aan het prikbord te hangen in uw clubhuis, het vermelden in uw verenigingsblad of op uw website.
Dit is een herhaling van berichtgeving in 2014. Het is echter goed om de Nederlanders nogmaals hierop te attenderen. Ik kan de Nederlanders in Australië helaas niet allemaal rechtstreeks bereiken dus ik ben u dankbaar als u daarbij behulpzaam kunt zijn.
Dear Madam, Sir,
I have the pleasure to send you the enclosed message about the upcoming changes in the passport application process. I send this to you because at this Consulate-General you are known as a representative of a group of Dutch citizens, either a club, association, a magazine, radio or something else. I kindly request you to distribute the enclosed message among the Dutch with whom you are in contact. Can you put it on the billboard in your clubhouse, your magazine or website?
This message is a reminder of the one in 2014. Nevertheless I think it good to inform Dutch citizens again. Unfortunately I myself cannot reach all the Dutch in Australia directly so I highly appreciate it if you can be helpful.
Met vriendelijke groeten,
EMAIL: Consul-Generaal: SYD-CA@minbuza.nl
THE DUTCH AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL CENTRE LTD.
85 Market Street, Smithfield.
2014 Cleveringa Lecture: Marlene Veldhuis
This year’s Cleveringa lecture was delivered at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, organized by Dutch Link and the Dutch Consulate-General. The Cleveringa lectures are held annually in a large number of countries where the Dutch Government is represented. It is held in honour of the Leiden University Professor who, during WWII, delivered a protest speech against the Nazis following the forced resignation of Jewish Professors. It is usually held by a Leiden University Alumnus, on this occasion by Marleen Veldhuis, a top swimming champion who also holds two Masters degrees, one in Engineering & Management and one in Economics.
Consul-General Willem Cosijn introduced Marleen in a lively and engaging manner stating that the hard work and innovation demonstrated by this swimmer are ingredients required for success in many pursuits.
Magdalena Johanna Maria Veldhuis (born 29 June 1979 in Borne, Overijssel) is a retired champion swimmer from the Netherlands. She is world record holder in four events (one individual event and three relay events). Marleen has won eight world championships gold medals and 20 European championships gold medals. In the Olympics, she won a bronze medal in London 2012 at the 50m freestyle, as well as three relay medals: bronze in Athens 2004, gold in Beijing 2008, and silver in London 2012.
Much of Marleen’s talk was devoted to an explanation of the details of the innovative training techniques, such as the angle of entering the pool, the exact position of the arms and hands, the strokes required to cover the distance, the hours of sleep required, etc. Her favourite distance was the 50 meter events. The importance of nano seconds of improvement was stressed. Training videos illustrated the talk.
For me there were flashbacks to Fanny Blankers Coen who smashed world records as a Mum in Melbourne in 1956. After her daughter Hannah was born in 2010, Marleen became the fastest swimming mom at the London 2012 Olympics by winning a silver and a bronze medal.
Marleen is a former water polo player which she combined with swimming. After she decided to focus completely on swimming, she made her international debut during the 2002 European Aquatics Championships in Berlin, at the relatively late age of 23, where she won a bronze medal in the 4×100 m freestyle.
In April 2003 she joined Topzwemmen Amsterdam (TZA) to train as a full-time professional under the guidance of Fedor Hes.. At the 2004 Summer Olympics Marleen made her Olympic debut at the age of 25 and won the bronze medal in the 4×100 m freestyle, together with Inge de Bruijn, Inge Dekker and Chantal Groot. At the end of 2004 she became Amsterdam Sportswoman of the year.
In October 2004 she avenged her failed individual Olympic campaign by winning the gold medal in the 50 m freestyle at the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships in Indianapolis by beating Libby Lenton from Australia and Therese Alshammar from Sweden.
In April 2006 alongside Chantal Groot, Hinkelien Schreuder and Inge Dekker, Veldhuis set a world record and won the gold medal in the 4×100 m freestyle relay at the 2006 FINA Short Course World Championships.
During the Amsterdam Swim Cup (2009) Marleen broke the 50 metre butterfly world record and 50 metre freestyle world record on the same day.
In 2011 she won a gold medal at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships as part of the 4×100m freestyle relay alongside Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk in a time of 3:33.96.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics she won a bronze medal in the 50 m freestyle (her first Olympic medal in an individual event, in a time of 24.39) and a silver medal in the 4×100 m freestyle.
Marleen Veldhuis, now 35 and pregnant again, is one of the most successful swimmers of the Netherlands. She's a world record holder, participated in three Olympic Games and won four Olympic medals of which gold in Beijing in 2008.
Klaas Woldring, DACC
Please CLICK: Marleen Veldhuis
NOTE: Message from Willem Cosijn, Consul- Generaal van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
The application process for Netherlands travel documents is changing worldwide. You may have heard about it already.
As of 1 October 2015, in about one year, the honorary consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and the Embassy in Canberra will no longer be able to accept Dutch passport- and visa applications.
Dear Sir, Madam,
The application process for Netherlands travel documents is changing worldwide. You may have heard about it already. As of 1 October 2015, in about one year, the honorary consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and the Embassy in Canberra will no longer be able to accept Dutch passport- and visa applications.
I am writing you this letter with the request if you would be so kind to inform your members about these changes and the additional measures that have already been taken.
As of 1 October 2015, passport applications can only be submitted at the Consulate-General in Sydney. This location has been chosen on the basis that it receives by far the most passport applications in Australia.
I understand that these changes will affect Dutch nationals living outside of Sydney. In order to meet the needs these people, the following measures have been taken:
· Passport validity of 10 years:
New passports are now valid for 10 years for Dutch citizens who are 18 years and older when they submit their application.
· Passport applications outside of Australia:
It is also possible to apply for a passport outside Australia, such as at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where you will be assisted 7 days a week from 07.00 to 22.00 hours (by appointment only). In addition, you can apply for passports at the municipality of The Hague and multiple border municipalities such as Enschede and Maastricht. Furthermore, all embassies (with the exception of Australia) and some Consulate-General's will accept applications.
· Proof of Dutch Nationality:
If, for example, you are also in possession of an Australian passport, you can consider to use this for traveling. In order to confirm that you still possess the Dutch nationality, you can apply for a 'Proof of Netherlands Nationality' (Bewijs van Nederlanderschap). This document is valid for 10 years and costs €30. An advantage of this is that you do not have to travel to Sydney to request a 'Proof of Dutch Nationality'. An e-mail or letter to the Consulate-General is sufficient to start the application process.
· Mobile application station:
The Consulate-General in Sydney is in possession of a mobile application station, which is used to take the required fingerprints for passports. In certain cases, and when an employee of the Consulate-General visits the region, this station can be used.
The decision to end the capacity of the honorary consulates and the Embassy in Canberra to facilitate passport applications is a case that is not unique to Australia. This measure has been taken worldwide, which means that other big countries such as the United States and Canada, but also smaller countries such as New Zealand and South Africa, have been affected too. This measure is part of a large-scale cut in government expenses. These cuts are spread across ministries, which the House of Representatives in the Netherlands has previously approved. In general sense, it can be noted that the government in the Netherlands is getting smaller, which correspondingly affects the Dutch government abroad.
I am using this occasion to correct a wide-spread misconception. It is not the case that the honorary consulates are closing. You will still be able to go there for consular assistance and to apply for a 'laissez-passer'. Moreover, they remain the Dutch contact with local governments and will still function as point of trade and culture.
I trust to have sufficiently informed you, but if you have any remaining questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Consulate-General in Sydney (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Check out the CURRENT number of visitors to this site - down below!!
2016 will be an important year.
since the Dutch
came and 'checked out' Australia!!
Please check the update
~bottom of page~
and boost our number of visitors.
We are NOT
'the invisible Dutch' !!!!! :)
Regarding the DUTCH AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL CENTRE LOCATION,
Associate Professor (Government & Management) (ret) WRITES:
What are the options? The Dutch Australian Cultural Centre (established in 1984), currently located in Holland House, Smithfield has received support from the Neerlandia Club, in FrenchsForest, to build an Annex adjacent to that Club. DACC had approached Neerlandia earlier, in 2006, but at the time the Club was in two minds about a merger and the joint venture didn’t get off the ground then. Neerlandia has functioned as a very successful recreation club that has organised many typically Dutch festivities, since 1975. There is room for a single or double story Annex with a floor space of approx. up to 190 square meters each. We are looking for financial support from the Dutch Australian community. It is therefore important to reflect on the existing functions and possible expansion of the DACC ’s activities. A target of up to $650,000 is envisaged. An investor connected with the Dutch community could acquire equity in valuable real estate. Neerlandia is built on a spacious corner block of land. While the two organisations are both non-profit in character (public companies limited by guarantee) an additional income stream could be achieved.
Neerlandia (est. 1954) has operated their club profitably since its inception in 1975. However, its contribution would be limited to the generous provision of the land to build on. The DACC has been self-sufficient since its inception in 1984 (relying mostly on membership subscriptions, donations and some book sales) and can contribute $30,000 to construction. Recent informal discussions with a Dutch Australian Benevolent Fund representative indicated that around $150,000 could be made available as a donation IF an investor or investors could raise amore substantial amount for the Annex. The income stream could be increased significantly with a new Annex. The restaurant function could also be improved, made attractive for a younger cohort, and sub-contracted out to a (probably part time) caterer. One floor of the Annex could be reserved for DACC and another for a variety of non-heritage purposes at suitable rental rates. The growing Dutch Australian community in Sydney does not have such a venue that combines a variety of functions. We are thinking here of a multi-function Dutch Hub, which could include renting out floor space for Dutch businesses or conference functions. Considerably synergy should result. We find that younger Australians of Dutch origin, and Dutch expatriates, are often not very aware of the important work involved in preserving the Dutch Heritage.
The history of post-WWII immigrants is a significant part of our work but there is much more to Dutch Heritage than that. The recent outstanding Mapping Australia exhibition in the National Library, Canberra made that perfectly clear. About half of the old maps displayed there were of Dutch 17th century origin, the products of VOC cartographers and seafarers who circumnavigated the Australian continent and mapped most of it.
We recently purchased 16 replicas of these maps, and framed them, adding significantly to our collection. They will be displayed by rotation. Moves are afoot to also start a collection of Dutch East Indies photographs prior to 1949, funds permitting of course. The excellent recent exhibition in the National Gallery in Canberra prompted this new interest. Undoubtedly that colonial period is very much part of the Dutch history in South East Asia.
The Dutch arrived in Austral.... in 1606 shortly after they started the spice trade with the Indies. The mapping of 300 kms of the West Coast
The history of the WWII itself is also reflected in the role of the Dutch as the Fourth Ally and in important tales of those who came as refugees in 1942 from the Dutch East Indies.
It is also the story of several significant individuals prior to WWII such as the Broken Hill Pty Ltd General Manager and pioneer Guillaume Delprat. Another example is the music shop operator Paling who started his business on the Victorian Gold Fields in the mid-1850s.
The Dutch contribution to the history of this continent is early, unique and significant. However, unless we display it ourselves it may well be lost OR a small part only may be found back in the occasional multi-cultural museum - among very many other migrant nationalities. Thankfully, the Dutch Government has become well aware of the importance of Shared Culture for the further promotion of Dutch Australian relations in every field.
This sensible approach is expected to get additional mileage in the run up to the commemoration of the landing of Dirck Hartogh in Shark Bay in 2016, then 400 years ago.
There are pros and cons, one being that a combination with a Retirement Village has proven to be of limited use to the DACC in that a limited number people visit such places. A third option may be to stay at Holland House, Smithfield, perhaps enlarge the area somewhat, and only move the archives to ATV, Chester Hill.
The DACC board prefers to grow and expand its functions and interest, already in recent months President Paulus has created short exhibitions of all kinds of historical as well as present day events in the Netherlands. Copies of recent Dutch newspapers are appearing.
We show DVDs of recent developments in the Netherlands. We have a small display of books written by migrants about their experiences which are for sale.
Donations of books and artefacts are being received regularly, in growing quantities. However, the space is very small and some materials are farmed out, with board members and in other places. We have approached the Dutch Government for support especially within the context of its new Shared Cultural Heritage policies, as well as a well known Dutch Bank. Thus far the outcomes have been disappointing.
Frenchs Forest is a very suitable location for an enlarged venue from many points of view. It is 11 kms from CBD Sydney with good transport connections. It is a garden like, quiet, mostly residential and office space area suitable for the purposes we have outlined. The venue already has the use of a common sports ground as well. It has views over that area.
A double story building would, in addition, have magnificent, uninterrupted views towards the city. The second option is a return to the original place at the Chester Hill Abel Tasman Retirement Village.
A substantial recent enlargement of the ATV has taken place and DACC has been offered wall space, some office space and storage space for the archives. Valuable as this is no firm decision has been made by the board.
FROM THE CHAIR
We are often asked about the relevance of the DACC for future generations. There is no simple answer to this, but I will try and explain why I think it is important for the DACC to continue to exist and obtain your support.
As we all know, there are only two things certain in life and they are death and taxes.
Most people will have other certainties to add to these. The one I have in mind is anniversaries. Every year we have anniversaries. Some are obvious, some are obscure, some are bizarre and others banal. This year, for instance, the First World War will feature prominently because it is 100 years ago in April that this calamitous event started.
Commemorations of all these anniversaries, espe- cially ones that will feature prominently in the media through newspaper articles, TV documen- taries, movies, exhibitions, etc., do not just mate- rialise out of thin air.
The information required to make these possible will come from archives, libraries, oral histories and people’s own records and recollections.
The library and archives of the DACC are essential tools for researchers, historians, writers, journalists, genealogists and future generations wishing to discover about Dutch-Australian culture and history. For these reasons the DACC de- serves your material as well as financial support. ....Paulus Breedveld
If you would like to get actively involved with the DACC or contribute in other ways, please contact any of our board members by phone or by email. Board members’ details are on the back page.
CURRENTLY on EXHIBITION at THE DACC Langs Leidse Stegen – Along the alleys of Leiden. The origin of the alley’s name often sheds light on its history. SEE ‘What’s on that is Dutch in Sydney”, p 3.
DACC Board member, Ellie Zinsmeester, contributes HER STORY:
Exhibition and Book/DVD Launch Thursday, 18th September 2014 at 7:00pm
Bowen Library, Maroubra.
This project is a multi-media collaboration between Randwick TAFE College media students and Randwick City Library. The project for 2014 includes a short film, an exhibition and a book featuring a number of local migrants and their personal journey, as revealed through a treasured memento brought with them to Australia.
DACC Board member, Ellie Zinsmeester, contributes HER STORY:
This old oak box was made by my father, Willem Zinsmeester (1914-2006), in Delft, the Netherlands when he was 15. He made it for his father, Johannes, which is why there is a “J” carved inside the lid.
Our family, consisting of my father, mother Elisabeth (Bep), brother Johannes (Jan/John), sister Johanna (Anneke) and myself, Petronella (Ellie), came to Australia on the ship M.S. Sibajak in 1953. The box was packed inside one of two large wooden crates which contained everything imaginable and included household goods as well as many mementoes.
Due to a severe housing shortage in Australia at that time, many immigrants ended up living in old army camps for long periods. Our first Australian home was at Scheyville Holding Centre, Windsor. After a few months we moved to Bunnerong Hostel at Matraville and then to the house our father was building at Malabar.
Our family used the box for many years to store photographs and postcards considered not good enough to be put in albums.
When in his 80s, my father decided to give it to his grandson who is also called Willem. The name was given in spite of what nurses at the hospital had said. They thought this was all right for the Greek and Italian parents, but not Dutch ones. This custom of naming children after grandparents was already in decline in many countries, including the Netherlands, but it made my father happy and the two Willems were always very close..
When the box came up for discussion, old Willem made sure we knew that he had placed something inside the lid, which of course made us all curious. After he died, his grandson Willem brought the box over so we could all be there when the contents were revealed.
These turned out to be an envelope containing a handwritten record of the various components of the box as well as a photograph of old Willem in 1929 holding his pet rabbit. This made everybody laugh because it was just as meticulous as his handwritten record of the house he had built at Malabar during the 1960s and 70s.
Items listed included the cost of nails and light bulbs, as well as major jobs such as pouring concrete and even the total number of bricks.
The box once again holds memorabilia. Its main contents now are unusual objects given by the grandfather to the grandson. It is a reminder of a dear father, grandfather and great grandfather. It represents the practical skills Dutch boys were taught to stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
It is also a reminder of what people brought with them when they travelled to far-away countries, knowing that they might never see their relatives, friends or homeland again.
It is symbolic of people who, like my parents, had a strong need to be surrounded by tangible objects from their Dutch past and heritage and the memories associated with these objects.
Petronella (Ellie) Zinsmeester
Message from Klaas Woldring, Hon. Sec. DACC.
The Dutch Australian Cultural Centre in Sydney – The Dutch Heritage and Future in Australia.
The Centre was established in 1983 by the Federation of Dutch Associations and formed as a company limited by guarantee in 1984.
The Centre was formed to establish a central organization with the following two main aims:
1. To preserve the rich history of Dutch contact with, and immigration to, Australia;
2. To set up a resources facility for anyone wanting information regarding the Netherlands, its people and their traditions.
Initially the DACC was housed in an Annex of the Abel Tasman Village, a retirement centre in Chester Hill.
In 2006 the DACC moved to ‘t Winkeltje, Holland House, Smithfield (Sydney). The DACC was involved in the formation of Dutch Link, an organization set up by
representatives of Dutch multinational companies to accommodate business and social interests of all people with a Dutch background, migrants and expatriates.
We find that younger Dutch Australians, and Dutch expatriates, are often not very aware of the important work involved in preserving the Dutch Heritage. The history of post-WWII immigrants is a large chunk of our work but there is much more to Dutch Heritage than that. The magnificent recent Mapping Australia exhibition in the National Library, Canberra made that perfectly clear. About half of the old maps displayed there were of Dutch 17th century origin, the products of VOC cartographers and seafarers who circumnavigated the Australian continent and mapped most of it. The history of the WWII itself is also reflected in the role of the Dutch as the “Fourth Ally” and in important tales of those who came as refugees in 1942 from the Dutch East Indies. And it is the story of several important individual contributions prior to WWII such as the Broken Hill Pty Ltd General Manager and pioneer Guillaume Delprat. Another example is the music shop operator Paling who started his business on the Victorian Gold Fields in the mid-1850s. The Dutch contribution to the history of this continent is both unique and significant. This is often not realized widely in the Netherlands. However, unless we display it ourselves here it may well be lost OR just become a very small part only of history found back in the occasional multi-cultural museum - among many other nationalities in this vast multicultural country. This is definitely NOT our objective.
The Dutch Government claims it aims to intensify business and other links with Australia through Shared Heritage links. We welcome that idea! Australia has become a priority country for funding for this purpose. With the advent of the Dirk Hartog celebrations in the offing (2016) we are ready to demonstrate our very purpose. The desirability of that is particularly needed on the East Coast of Australia where many people still think that Captain James Cook discovered Australia (1770). The reality is that not even the grandparents of Cook were born by the time that the Groninger sea captain Abel Tasman had mapped some 70% of the Australian coastline in 1644. We rest our case but it has to be demonstrated.
Klaas Woldring, Hon. Secretary DACC. – email@example.com
The DACC is looking at its future – your input is welcomed.
After having been housed for nearly eight years in 't Winkeltje in Smithfield, and before that in an Annex of the Abel Tasman Retirement Village, Chester Hill, the DACC is considering some options for its future stated below.
There may still be other options that could be considered.
We certainly have seen many more visitors in Smithfield than in Chester Hill earlier but there are a number of reasons why we need to hear from the Dutch community, young and old.
The DACC's mission statement clearly suggests that we plan on-going activities so the young, in particular, may voice their opinions and suggestions. Current possibilities are:
The board of the DACC is interested in hearing from all people who have an interest in the future of the DACC what their preferences are – and how they can assist. We have kept it going strongly for the past 10 years but we are getting older.
We find that younger Dutch Australians, and Dutch expatriates, are often not very aware of the important work involved in preserving the Dutch Heritage. The history of post-WWII immigrants is a large chunk of our work but there is much more to Dutch Heritage than that. The recent Mapping Australia exhibition in the National Library, Canberra made that perfectly clear. About half of the old maps displayed there were of Dutch 17th century origin, the products of VOC cartographers and seafarers who circumnavigated the Australian continent and mapped most of it. The history of the WWII itself is reflected in the role of the Dutch as the Fourth Ally and in important tales of those who came as refugees in 1942 from the Dutch East Indies.
It is also the story of several important individuals prior to WWII such as the Broken Hill Pty Ltd General Manager and pioneer Guillaume Delprat. Another example is the music shop operator Paling who started his business on the Victorian Gold Fields in the mid-1850s. The Dutch contribution to the history of this continent is both unique and significant. However, unless we display it ourselves it may well be lost OR a small part only may be found back in the occasional multi-cultural museum - among very many other nationalities. The 17 million multi-cultural museum planned by the Keneally Government, if re-elected, did NOT even happen.
We need you as members, volunteers and financiers to grow, not to wind up as some Dutch Australian Recreation Clubs are contemplating, understandably, but to establish ourselves permanently. The DACC could expand its functions by providing accounts of events and trends in the Netherlands today - if we had the space and funding for that. We could make provision for function rooms to have meetings and conferences, educational sessions, exposure for Dutch MNCs using the Heritage Centre for that. The Dutch Government claims it aims to intensify business and other links with Australia through Shared Heritage links. We welcome that idea! Australia is now a also a priority country for funding for this purpose. With the advent of the Dirk Hartog celebrations in the offing one would think that a Centre as ours could be supported and expanded further, with their assistance, to illustrate the essence of the intentions. The desirability of that is particularly evident on the East Coast of Australia.
Klaas Woldring, Hon. Secretary DACC. – firstname.lastname@example.org