The Dutch were 350 years in Indonesia, which achieved independence in 1949. In 1602 the Vereenigde Oost Indische Company( VOC ) was formed to start the spice trade which the Portuguese had maintained for 100 years already. It was the first multi-national company and the first company financed by shares, in the world. The Dutch were the middlemen in that period who distributed the spices throughout Europe, from Lisbon. The 80-years war between the Netherlands and Spain (1568 – 1648) made the continuation of that role impossible and the Dutch then decided to venture out to the Indies themselves. The VOC lasted until around 1800 when the Dutch Government took over the colonial administration until after WWII. The history of that Dutch involvement is contained in the story the Duyfken’s landing in 1606 on the West Coast of Cape York; Dirk Hartog’s landing in Shark Bay where he left the famous pewter plate in 1616; and the horrific story of the sinking of and the mutiny on the Batavia in 1629.