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.

Search
Generic filters

The Night Ship – Novel about the Batavia

A new book has been published about the doomed fate of the VOC ship the Batavia in 1629. In this case the historical story forms the background to fiction through the eyes of 9 year old Dutch girl Mayken. Read the review of ”The Night Ship” by Jess Kidd as

Read More »

Abel Tasman Museum Lutjegast, Netherlands

The DACC has special relationship with the Abel Tasman Museum in Lutjegast, a town in Groningen, where Abel Tasman was born. There have been visits from Australian to Lutjegast and the other way around. There is more information on their website. The images below are displays from the Abel Tasman

Read More »

History of the Dutch in South Australia

Dutch settlers in South Australia. Although the Dutch seem to be the first to have discovered Australia, including parts of Tasmania and South Australia, they have never made a great impact as a group of settlers. As there was never any real religious persecution or high unemployment in Holland, there

Read More »

VOC Historical Society, Perth (VOCHS)

The Society was formed in 2000 by a group of history enthusiasts that were: Concerned at the lack of general knowledge about maritime events that took place in the 17th and 18th centuries off and on Western Australia’s (WA) coastline hundreds of years before the settlement of WA in 1829

Read More »

Merchant Man Derk Johannes Kippers

Derk Johannes Kippers was born in The Hague, Netherlands, 9th November, 1909.Graduated with First Class Wireless Operators Licence, about 1928. Partly because of the Great Depression, he did not enter the Dutch Merchant Navy until a few years later. The Merchant Navy ships he served on sailed the Atlantic, Pacific and

Read More »

Dutch Explorers in the Gulf of Carpentaria

In 2022 I explored the south western part of the Gulf of Carpentaria. We were at the mouth of the Norman River at Karumba. The Dutch explores didn’t come that far south in the Gulf. Nevertheless we got an idea of the landscape and in particular the endless savanna along

Read More »

The Tasman Map – The Biography of a Map Sydney 9 July

Was Captain Cook was the first European to map Australia and was Matthew Flinders the first to circumnavigate? No way! Abel Tasman, the Dutch East India Company and the first Dutch discoveries. Everyone who passes through the vestibule of the Mitchell Library stops to admire the magnificent marble mosaic of

Read More »

Henk Paardekooper- Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies

At the time of the Japanese invasion in the Dutch Indies Hendrik (Henk) Paardekooper was employed – since 1938 – by the Droogdok Maatschappij Surabaya (DSM) being responsible e.g. for the floating docks and cranes used for the maintenance and repair of larger sea-going vessels, including those of the Dutch

Read More »

Stories of the Dutch WWII submarines in Australia

There are several memorials in Australia that mention the activities of Dutch submarines in the Australian waters. These submarines played an import role during the Battles of Singapore and Malaya. In the first few weeks of the was in the East they sank more Japanese boats that the Brits and

Read More »

Sailing on the Duyfken

The first documented and undisputed European sighting of and landing in Australia was in late February 1606, by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon aboard the Duyfken. Janszoon charted the Australian coast and met with Aboriginal people. Janszoon followed the coast of New Guinea, missed Torres Strait, and explored and then

Read More »

Exhibition Maps of the Pacific

Roland Spuij attended a guided tour by conservator Maggie Patton of the “Maps of the Pacific” in the Mitchell Library in Sydney.  A brilliant exhibition of original maps going back to 1490, including the famous Tasman map of 1644 and other beautiful maps of Dutch cartographers and wonderful globes. And

Read More »

Abel Tasman Map restored at NSW State Library

In October 2019 Dutch Premier Mark Rutte paid a three day working visit to Sydney. There was an official reception at the State Library of NSW where Premier Rutte received a tour along the various Dutch artifact. For this special occasion the Library put the famous Abel Tasman on display

Read More »

80th Anniversary – Battle of the Java Sea

Updated with newspaper article from 1945 below It is 80 years ago this month that this heroic, but at the same time disastrous Battle took place. By that time the Dutch Allied Forces had already been involved in the war in SE Asia for three months. Here they had occurred

Read More »

Algemene Vereniging Oud-personeel van de Koninklijke Marine

AVOM’ is known in Australia as the Association of Ex-Royal Dutch Navy personnel. The Australian branch has been established in 1996 and was recognised by the Chief Directorate in the Netherlands in 1997. In 2000 the association has approximately 4000 members, mostly in the Netherlands with a small portion all

Read More »

New Holland Bulletin

Thomas Vanderveldt, VOC historian in West Australia writes a monthly newsletter.  Facebook page Member of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society

Read More »

Dirk Hartog – images and videos

Dirk Hartog (baptised 30 October 1580 – buried 11 October 1621) was a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog’s expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artefact to record his visit, the Hartog Plate. His name is sometimes alternatively

Read More »

Historic Maps of the explorers

Historical maps relevant to the mapping of Australia from 1521 onwards to 1814 by a great variety of European mapmakers. Most of these maps are digitally available from the National Library, Canberra.  The final maps in this series are based on the map (s) by Nicholas Vallard (“Atlas”, 1547), based

Read More »

Abel Tasman – images, maps

Abel Abel Tasman did more than mapping the south coast of Tasmania. The original plan in 1642 was to find a fast route to Chilli, South America. However, he landed in New Zealand instead and mapped important parts of the West coast of Zealand in 1643, thinking initially that this

Read More »

Early encounters with Australian Shores

Book by Rupert Gerritsen, 2015 Introduction This book brings together a selection of stories about Australia’s early, and neglected, maritime history. They were written by Rupert Gerritsen R.O.N. for a general audience, and their publication here celebrates his life and achievements before his untimely death in 2013. Rupert’s mission was

Read More »

Canberra Dutch Club

The origin from the current club lay with the Wilhelmina Club and the Football Club Hollandia, who shared resources. They split in 1960 and it looks like the club slowly disappeared. Together with a friend I started the current Canberra Dutch club in 1970, It grew exponential and after many

Read More »

Batavia research at Flinders University Archaeology

Research by Domínguez-Delmás Daly and Flinders Associate Professor Wendy van Duivenvoorde, is carried out on Batavia’s wreck timbers, currently on display at the Western Australian Shipwrecks Museum in Fremantle. Built in Amsterdam in 1628 CE and wrecked on its maiden voyage in June 1629 CE in Western Australian waters, Batavia epitomises Dutch East India

Read More »

Dutch-build Icebreaker Nuyina arrives in Tasmania

The arrival of the Nuyina has been a true connector between the Netherlands and Australia. Our Honorary Consul in Tasmania, Peter Sypkes, celebrated the opening of the Antarctic season in Hobart. Construction of the ship at Damen Shipyards in Romania commenced in May 2017, with a steel cutting ceremony. Our Ambassador

Read More »

Wooden Boat Building Exhibition in the Shipwrecks Museum in WA

At the Shipwrecks Museum in WA  a wooden boat building exhibition has opened. The Dutch Australian Foundation highlights the importance of wooden boat building in Western Australia and with it, marks the 25th anniversary of the construction of the Duyfken replica which is now in Sydney. This exhibition has been supported

Read More »

Scheepswrak ‘Batavia’ onthult geheimen van 17de-eeuwse scheepsbouw.

Onderzoek naar het scheepswrak van het 17de-eeuwse VOC-schip de Batavia werpt nieuw licht op de scheepsbouw van de Republiek der Nederlanden. Het wrak is in 1970 in Australië opgegraven en wordt momenteel tentoongesteld in het Western Australian Shipwrecks Museum in Fremantle. Een internationaal team van archeologen en dendrochnologen (specialisten in

Read More »

Joris Ivens – Doco Indonesia Calling

Ivens came to Australia in early 1945 as the Netherlands East Indies(NEI) Film Commissioner, to document the re-colonisation effort of the Dutch Indies from Australia.  He was employed by the NEI Government Information Service (NIGIS) in Melbourne they had 128 staff—25 of these ‘Indonesians’—(a branch office of three in Sydney),

Read More »

Duyfken attacked by Aboriginals at “Keer Weer”

 ‘Murriland! #1”  2015-2017 – an oil on canvass painting by Gordon Hookey about the colonialisation of Australia at the HOA Gallery at the Gold Coast. The painting directly speaks to the British cocolonisation of Queensland. ‘Murri’ is a broad term used to encapsulate all Aboriginal people of Queensland. Gordon Hookey’s

Read More »

DACC Paper-based ARCHIVES

The Dutch Australian Cultural Centre was founded in 1983 and gives as its aims and objectives in its mission statement, the collection, preservation, promotion and dissemination of Dutch culture and heritage in Australia. The Centre immediately started the collection of material for the archives and Library and now, after almost

Read More »

Following the Dutch Seafarers

Most of Dutch history in Australia is linked to its explorers charting the country to the north, west and south. Shipwrecks from the Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC- Dutch East Indie Company) along the West Australian Coast adds another level to the story. The drama of the Batavia is an

Read More »