Like everywhere else in Australia there is also a rich history of the Dutch in Queensland. Many Dutch people settled here after WWII. The Netherlands East Indies Government-in-Exile was based in Wacol, Brisbane and that also resulted in Dutch people staying or coming to Brisbane immediately after the war. In the following decade other Dutch people also migrated from Indonesia to Queensland.

Dutch organisations were established in the 1950s and 1960s. The Federation of Netherlands Organisations in Queensland (FNOQ) became the umbrella organisations for these clubs.

A serious problem that arrived in the following decades was the care for elderly Dutch migrants. A massive undertaking took place by the Dutch community to address this problem, led by FNOQ with as the end result the building of the Prins Willem Alexander Retirement Village in Birkdale.

DACA – 1996 – 2015

The beginnings of these activities date back to the 1973 floods in Brisbane. At that time Jan and Titia van Riel, where active at the Prinses Marijke Fonds, with the aim of distributing financial and other support to affected Dutch immigrants. This ‘fonds’ was later changed into the Dutch Australian Welfare Association (DAWA), to maintain charity status. Within a year it was eventually restructured into the Dutch-Australian Community Action Federation Qld Inc. (DACA).

They focusing on a broader range of social services for the Dutch community. When the issue of elderly care became more prominent It was decided that in order to address the issues for these people more effectively it would be better if the organisation would be an umbrella organisation, representing the Dutch Australian community in Queensland. At that point DAWA was renamed DACA. Over time most of the Dutch organisations in Queensland became members of DACA.

Annelies Zeissink, who was doing her Honours degree in Nursing at that time, decided to do her thesis on the elderly Dutch in Brisbane and this provided excellent information to DACA on the needs of this community and on how to best address these issues. The initiative was also supported by FNOQ.

Together the two umbrella organisation organised the Dutch Australian Community Care Conference held in Brisbane in 1996 of which Annelies Zeissink (both see below) became the convener.

While it was tried to merge the two umbrella organisations this didn’t eventuate.

Overtime DACA incorporated sixteen Dutch clubs and associations. This “umbrella’ body also brought together volunteers from its member organisations to help with key issues concerning elderly Dutch people in Queensland and to raise funding for its projects.

The DACA’s three main programmes included:

  • Friendly Visiting Network
  • Dutch Helpline
  • Resource Centre
DACA -2001

The ‘Dutch Helpline’ was operated by volunteers twenty- four hours a day, to provide immediate help should the need arise. This initiative especially targeted the elderly living by themselves, and who were socially isolated from the rest of the society, a situation   exacerbated   by language restrictions.  The ‘help line’ also functioned as a community service disseminating Dutch-specific information.

The ‘Friendly Visiting Network matched volunteers with elderly people who required visits.

Yungaba as it stands in 2023

DACA was instrumental in making large letter books in the Dutch language available for those interested. The Federation also established at Yungaba in Kangaroo Point, a Resource Centre with Dutch-specific material. In 2002, the centre was moved to the Prins Willem Alexander Village.

Finance was another key issue and to assist the financially less fortunate, DACA provided funds, for instance, to help with the purchase of wheelchairs. Thus, to keep the running of the organisation viable, time-consuming funding applications had to be made on a regular basis.

DACA was also the representative organisation for Queensland in the Netherlands Benevolent Trust Fund.

As the aim of DACA had been achieved, the care activities became more mainstream and the DACA members themselves became older the organisation was discontinued in 2015.

The 16 groups associated with DACCA (2001):

(many of these organisations do no longer exist)

Australian Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (ANCOC) – Queensland Branch


Borrelclub – Brisbane

Catholic Dutch Migrant Association

Dutch Alumni group

Dutch Australian Social Club of Townsville

Dutch Care Supporters

Jongeren Borrel – Brisbane

Gold Coast Dutch Community Association

Holland House Dutch Bridge Club

Nederlandse Gemeente in the Uniting Church

Netherlands Ex-Servicemen and Women’s Association – Queensland Branch (NESWA-Qld)

Netherlands Retirement Village Association of Queensland (NRVAQ)

Netherlands Sunshine Club

Queensland Community Credit Union

The Stirrers; Limburger Karnavals Club

Some other Dutch community-groups and organisations (2001):

Algemene Vereniging Oud Marine-personeel (AVOM)

Contact Oud Mariniers (COM)

De Instuif

Dutch Friends Group (Wide Bay)

Dutch Language-group of Radio-station 4EB

Dutch-Ossy Friendship Association (Bundaberg)

Dutch Over Fifty groups (Birkdale, Brisbane North, Brisbane West, Redcliffe Peninsula)

Federation of Netherlands Organisations in Queensland

Netherlands Association of Queensland (NAQ)

Netherlands Folkloric Dance Group

Queensland Holland Festival Association

Our Story – Experiences of the Dutch in Queensland

Brisbane, April 2001

To ensure that the stories of Dutch migrants would be preserved for future generations, DACA published a 208 page book ‘Our Story — Experiences of the Dutch in Queensland’ in 2001. For further research, the book itself is available from the following libraries: DACC, Sydney, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag, National Library of Australia, Canberra and the Prins Willem Alexander Village in Birkdale, Qld.

Table of content




Via Iceland to QueenslandHenk Kylstra
Moving to Queensland across three continentsDimmen de Graaff
From Rotterdam to QueenslandPiet & Grada Korevaar
Some of our experiencesNelly Boerdam
Anne’s StoryAnne van Riel (Sauer)
Man proposes — God disposesLouise Green in ‘t Woud
We came here by choiceSabina van Baarskamp
Minke’s storyMinke Koch
Paula’s storyPaula Knudsen
Henriette’s storyHenriette Kinnane
We had a good runNinette Floris
A life in three countriesWilly Hoog Antink
Starting a new lifeLisa de Graaf
Don’t look back-go forwardCor Frederiks
Wilhelmina’s storyHanny van der Mark
Migration as Hanny remembersHanny van der Mark
A cameo story of our emigrationJohanna Bumet
Getting to know QueenslandJohn van Riel
My reason for coming hereBob van der Zijpp
Proud to be Dutch and AustralianLenie van Wijk
Going abroadDorothy Philipoom
Doortje’s storyWilma Philipoom
Au revoir ParisTrudy Peterse
Captives, coffee, cakes and carpe diemJacobien & Anneke van Kammen
From Dutchies to AussiesJean van Eyk
From windmills to ‘neat tool sheds’Elsa Hansen
A difficult decision to relocateAafke van Klaveren
About flowers, good friends dogs and Mr 3.8Betty Deen (Vischer)
Full circle — integration and fulfilmentJoseph Oudeman
Things were not always easyAnnie Vierveyzer
The singing carpenterMartha Fuchshuber
A life of service for social justiceBen Dokter
Another winnerJeanette Jilleson
Joy, hardship and blessingsHennina Dijk
Memories of a migrantBetsy Meulenbroek
Did we do the right thing?Theo Sloots .lnr
Our pastNel Bruyniks
Life beyond our expectationsHan Spykerboer
C’mon son we’re running late for the medicalRolf Bierman
The road ahead — a migrant’s taleToes and Hany Vullers
A place in the sunCorry de Haas
Dutch products find appreciation in QueenslandHerman Wichger
Searching for the sun in our lifeRob-Jan & Jacomien Mijnarends
Carried awayLiesje Grieve
No time to cryFrans Clemenkowff
The early yearsHans Bierenbroodspot
Our transition from the Netherlands to AustraliaKitty Cillekens
The lure of the tropicslet Haites
The best of both worldsAnnelies Zeissink
Emigration – never!Hans Geissler
Old friends meet againJohn Gyzemyter
Immigration 1, II & 111Harry Rynenberg
Our blessed decisionAnna Kuiper
Snow to fireLily Podger
Selarnat tingal Indonesia Selamat datang AustraliaTes Eeltink
About Languages and sailing around the worldCarel Vogelsang
I followed my heartMarleen Hengeveld 
The Australian aunt with the Dutch accentNelly Smets
Why Australia?Andreas Flach
Migrant or reincarnated aboriginal?Hendrika Johnson
Twenty years here and still not sureHette Kingma
The UnknownHenny Kingma
Cherished memoriesJettie Zigas
Back homeRinus Lagerwaard
Far away from everythingHein & Erica Bouwknecht
Not as difficultIngeborg Kuiper
Retirement in QueenslandNel de Bruyn
Say it with flowers – a love affairBas Kamp


Historical overview of Dutch Consular Services in Queensland 

Some names of ships on which many of us came                                        

The Federation of Netherlands Organisations 

Dutch Specific Aged Care Services     

The Dutch Australian Community Action Federation and DACA activities                                                  

Birds of a Feather flock together’

February 2001 – Editors: Annelies Zeissink, DACA-President and Rob-Jan Mynarends,

Some of the stories listed above are fully published in ‘Wacol Remembered

Publications Multicultural Queensland

In 2001 and 2015 the Queensland Government published two books about Multicultural Queensland. Annelies Zeissing wrote the Dutch section for these books.

Annelies Zeissink

Annelies Zeissink last chairperson of DACA and co-editor of “Our Story”

Annelies Zeissink was born in Frederiksoord, in the Dutch province of ‘Drenthe. ln 1962, she migrated to Brisbane. In 1990 she commenced tertiary studies at Griffith University, Graduation leading to a B.Nurs (Honours) degree in 1995. Through her research project about the Dutch elderly in Brisbane, she became involved with the Dutch community and served as Convenor of the Dutch Australian Community Care Conference held in Brisbane in 1996.

This marked the start of her interest in community affairs. Annelies became the second President of DACA, in 1998, a position she held until the Federation was dissolved in 2015.

She also served for ten years as board-member of the Netherlands Retirement Village Association in Queensland (NRVAQ).  (NRVAQ operated the Prins Willem Alexander village and eventually merged  with Dutch Care Victoria into the current ‘Micare’). She also represented DACA in the Netherlands Benevolent Trust Fund.

Study of elderly people in Queensland with a Dutch background (Thesis Annelies Zeissink)

Thesis written by Annelies Zeissink. Copies of the thesis are available from the following libraries: DACC, Sydney, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag, National Library of Australia, Canberra and the Prins Willem Alexander Village in Birkdale, Qld

National Dutch Australian Community Care Conference in Brisbane

In 1996 the FNOQ and DACA organised the National Dutch Australian Community Care Conference in Brisbane

See also:

Prins Willem Alexander Village

The Brisbane Lions (football club Hollandia)