The history of the WWII is reflected in the role of the Dutch as the “Fourth Ally” in the South Pacific and the formation of the Dutch East Indies Government in exile in Australia, soon after the surrender of the Dutch colony to the Japanese. This brought an influx of perhaps as much 20,000 people from Dutch East Indies.
This episode was followed by the turbulent developments in relation to the independence of Indonesia where Australia and the Netherlands often found themselves on opposite sides. This situation reoccurred when Indonesia annexed Dutch Papua New Guinea in the early 1960s.

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Dutch Camp Casino WWII – Archive Jan de Wit

This post contains a unique collection of archives kept by Jan (John) de Wit. Jan joined the Dutch Airforce and became a guard at the Dutch Camp in Casino NSW. There were uprisings in the camp and people were killed. This became an embarrassment for Australia. The Australian Unions played a key role here as well.

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Black Armada: Australian Boycott of Dutch shipping WWII

After the Japanese invasion of Netherlands East Indies, some 20,000 Dutch people fled to Australia, the majority were Indos. They were not well treated and the Australian Unions started to fight for their rights. As they became involved they understood these people wanted independence from the Netherlands. When, after the War, the Dutch wanted to recolonise NEI the Unions blocked all Dutch transport from Australia.

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Hans de Vries Flight Lieutenant No. 18 Squadron NEI / RAAF

When the war reached Java, he fled on the merchant ship the KPM SS Boissevain to Freemantle. He was despatched to the RAAF training camp near Lake Macquarie and from here he was send to the Jackson, Mississippi to be trained on the B25 bombers. He was assigned to the No. 18 Squadron NEI / RAAF operating from the Batchelor Airfield, Northern Territory. He flew bombing missions against Japanese military strongholds and shipping. He was highly decorated.

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Dutch internees from Japanese camps and POWs received medical recuperation in Australia

There were some of 42 000 Dutch military and naval personnel and 100 000 Dutch civilians who were captured when the Japanese conquered the Netherlands East Indies in early 1942. After the War around 6,000 internees and Dutch POWs who needed immediate medical assistance were brought to Australia where they were allowed to recuperate for between 3 to 6 months, after which they were either repatriated to the Netherlands or went back to Netherlands East Indies.

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Abraham Crijnssen – Dutch minesweeper in the service of the Australian Navy (WWII)

The ship was built during the 1930s, she was based in the Netherlands East Indies when Japan attacked at the end of 1941. After the Japanese invasion the ship left for Australia. For its escape the ship was painted in camouflage colours and the ship was disguised as a tropical island with the help of nets, branches, and other greenery. It arrived in Geraldton. Here the ship served as a patrol vessel until 16 August 1942. After that the ship was in service with the Australian Navy.

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Dutch Steamer Curaçao visits Australia in 1871

Reports concerning New South Wales, Queensland, the northern territory of South Australia (which then incorporated the Northern Territory), New Guinea and the Torres Strait by J.W. Ploos van Amstel, Consul-General of the Netherlands for Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. Ploos van Amstel’s accounts are signed Cardwell [North Queensland]; Sweers Island

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Consul General Bosschart promotes trade with Queensland – 1908

The Week Brisbane 16 October 1908 Java and Australia. Fostering Relations. Netherlands Consul-General. As stated in our first edition, Mr. W. L. Bosschart, Netherlands Consul-General for Australia and Polynesia, whose legation is situated at Melbourne, is returning from a visit to the Dutch East Indies by the steamer Van Spilbergen

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Willem Frans Theodoor Brijl – merchant captain WWII

Willem Frans Theodoor Brijl was born May 17th, 1897 in Surabaya in the Dutch East-Indies, the son of Frans Hendrik Brijl. In 1910 he left for the Netherlands in order to have his HBS education. September 21st, 1914 he enrolled in the Merchant Navy Academy on the island of Texel.

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Some members of the18 Squadron NEI RAAF

See the profiles and stories of Joop van Doorn and Hans de Vries and Max Horstink. Click here for more information on the 18 Squadron Nederlands East Indies Royal Australia Air Force The following information with thanks to TracesOfWar. Sidney Rudi de Kadt evaded from occupied country the Netherlands to

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Sparrow Force – Allied guerrilla force in Timor WWII

Sparrow Force was a detachment based on the 2/40th Australian Infantry Battalion and other Dutch, British, US and Australian 8th Division units during World War II. The force was formed to defend the island of Timor from invasion by the Empire of Japan. It formed the main part of the

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Major Jan Willem Zijlstra – Sparrow Force Timor WWII

Military record Born in Malang, Java, on 27 December 1910. Died at “Ladang” House, near Berry, New South Wales, Australia, on October 6, 1965. Army number 102417002 Second lieutenant KNIL Army (31-07-1932),  First Lieutenant (31-07-1935),  Captain. (27-05-1943), Major (17-12-1949).   Well-known decorations: ·         Ereteken Belangrijke/Bijzondere Krijgsbedrijven/-verrichtingen BK,E.1,OHK.3,OV.1,XV,KLO·         Bronze Cross K.B.

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The Battle of Timor – 1942-1943

The Battle of Timor – the Dutch and Australians kept fighting after the surrender of Netherlands East Indies. The bombing of Darwin did bring WWII directly onto the shores of Australia. However, what is less well known is that the reason for the Japanese attack on Darwin and Broome was

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Netherlands – Australia Memorial – Canberra

The monument commemorates the servicemen and women of the Dutch forces which operated from Australia between 1941 and 1945. The Dutch, along with the Americans, were the only non-Commonwealth countries to establish bases in Australia during World War Two. The original memorial was unveiled on the 7th December 1991 and

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Dutch and Australian Relics from Camp Columbia Brisbane

Camp Columbia in the suburb of Wacol in Brisbane was a United States Army military camp. It was built in 1942 to accommodate American troops. The Sixth US Army Headquarters was formed and stationed here. It also hosted two hospitals and an Officer Candidate School till 1945.  This was the

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Merchant ship SS Van Heemskerk tragically lost in 1943

(Source: Wikipedia) SS Van Heemskerk was a freighter built by N.V. Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw-Maatschappij. The ship of 2,996 Gross register tonnage (GRT) was launched 31 August 1909 and delivered for operation by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) in the Dutch East Indies trade. Van Heemskerk was one of twenty-one KPM vessels that took

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When the Dutch in Bundaberg faced Communist threat

By  Michael Gorey  22 April 2019 In Anzac week we reflect on the contribution our allies made to restoring peace in our region. No. 19 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF was a transport and communications unit of the Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger. The Netherlands East Indies Government

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The Drama of Broome 3-3-1942 – Plane wrecks recovered

On 3 March 1942 Japanese Zero bombers arrived and within 15 minutes bombed 23 Alied aircrafts that were either laying in the Roebuck bay or which were parked on the aerodrome. Approx half of them were NEI airplanes,  between 35 and 40 Dutch people were killed in the raid and some 60+ were badly injured.

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Patricia Metcalfe and Wim van Wely met at Camp Columbia.

Patricia (Pat) Metcalfe (born 1929 in Cairns) moved to Brisbane when she was 4 years old and after she finished the St Columba school at Wilson, was employed at Camp Columbia as a typist and secretary, first with the Americans and since 1945 with the Netherlands-East-Indies Government. Here she worked

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New Netherlands Consul General and Deputy Consul General

The team at the Netherlands Consulate General in Sydney welcomed the new Consul General, Hugo Klijn, and new Deputy Consul-General, Meike de Jong. Consul-General Hugo Klijn is also Head of Economic affairs, Trade and Investment in Australia. Mr Klijn has been working for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs since

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Dutch-Australian ballerinas performing for WWII Allied troops

Born as Maria Louisa Frederika, “Darja” Collin (November 19, 1902 – May 6, 1967) was a Dutch ballet dancer and classical ballet teacher. She had been trained in classical ballet (studying under Preobrajenska and Trefilova), and also in Mary Wigman’s school. Collin was a famous dancer in the 1920s and

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Professor Klaas Woldring – reflecting on Australian politics

Biography This is a personal story from Associate Professor Klaas Woldring the author of six short books on democracy and political changes that are needed in Australia to move forward. Klaas was born on 2nd July 1934 in Groningen He went to Highschool there, completed two years compulsory military service, worked

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Dutch participation in Battle of Milne Bay 1942

Most of the vital reinforcement of New Guinea in 1942 and 1943 –  during the War in the South West Pacific – including troops, vehicles, weapons and supplies for the Milne Bay, Buna and Gona operations, was undertaken by Dutch vessels. The operation collectively known as Operation Lilliput, used the

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A very personal WWII story from Ruth Leah

Our mother met a Dutch pilot during the war.  His name was Fredrik (Pulk) Pelder and there are many mentions of his heroics on the World Wide web.  One instance in particular that was widely publicised, was an escape from Java where Fred and Mendizabal (Canadian), Sgt Stuart Munroe (Australian), Alan

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120 Netherlands East Indies Squadron RAAF – WWII

The No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF was formed at RAAF base Fairbairn in Canberra on 10 December 1943. As a joint Australian-Dutch unit, the Dutch authorities provided all the squadron’s aircrew and aircraft while the RAAF provided its ground crew. This arrangement had been previously used for No.

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The Merauke Force in Dutch New Guinea – WWII

Merauke remained unoccupied during WWII In mid-1942, Merauke, on the south coast of Dutch New Guinea (DNG) was one of only a few parts of the Netherlands East Indies ( NEI) that had not been occupied by Japanese forces. It was garrisoned by a company of infantry from the KNIL,

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ML-KNIL Dakota crashed in Moreton Bay – 1947

On 26 February, a ML-KNIL Douglas Dakota caught fire and crashed into the ocean about 23 minutes into a test flight from Archerfield, killing all six people – three Dutch servicemen and three Australian crew members – onboard. ML-KNIL = Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger – Royal Netherlands

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Dutch WWII pilot Gus Winckel celebrated in Moruya

The following information comes from the book Allies in a Bind from Dr Jack Ford. Japanese attack on Sydney Harbour On 28 May 1942, Japanese submarine I-21 launched a floatplane. It flew over Sydney Harbour spotting 13 Allied warships including Dutch submarine K-IX. On 31 May, Japanese submarines I-22, I-24

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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

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Joop Gijzemijter at NEI-TS in Archerfield

Johannes (Joop) Gijzemijter Born 24 Feb, 1915, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Died 30 April, 1999, Brisbane, Australia. Written by his son John Gyzemyter. “What did you do during the war Daddy?” As children Dad often told us stories about his career in aviation which started on the 3rd of March 1930 as

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Netherlands East Indies Air Force in Australia during WWII

The Japanese occupied the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) in early 1942. A number of Dutch airmen escaped to Australia after surviving the fierce fight with the Japanese. They mostly ended up at either Archerfield airfield in Brisbane or Melbourne. These airmen were formed into a number of operational groups under RAAF control.

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Annual reunions of the 18 NEI RAAF Squadron

The preparation of the formation of the 18 NEI Squadron RAAF started in Archerfield, Brisbane and was formalised in Canberra on 4 April 1942. There is an annual reunion of the children of the 18th squadron (For enquiries:  Leonie Killeen 18sqnei.aust@gmail.com). The world-wide reunion takes place in Arnhem , also

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Launch Heritage Plan Camp Columbia

In the presence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Australia, H.E. Mrs Marion Derckx, at an event hosted by the Pooh Corner Environment Centre and Dutchlink Brisbane a plan was launched to preserve the last remaining heritage items of Camp Columbia (which are situated in the

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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

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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

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80 years of diplomatic relations Netherlands-Australia

This year the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Australia celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations. Today we unveil our exclusive logo. The Netherlands established formal diplomatic representation in Australia with the appointment of Envoy François Cornelius van Aerssen van Voshol on 16 April 1942. “Throughout this year, the Dutch Diplomatic

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The Fall of Netherlands East Indies March1942

After the heavy losses during the Battle of the Java Sea the British and American forced started to withdraw and the Dutch and Australians were left on their own. On Sunday, 8 March, Lt. Gen. Hitoshi Imamura met with the Governor-General of the NEI, Jonkheer (Lord) Alidius Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and set a deadline for the next day for an unconditional surrender.

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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

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Kroonprinselijk bezoek aan Sydney – 2006

Persoonlijk verslag van Paul Budde mbt zijn deelname aan het bezoek van Kroonprins Willem Alexander en Prinses Maxima aan Australia In mijn geval zijn er weken van voorbereidingen aan voorafgegaan met allerlei telefoontjes van en naar de Nederlandse ambassade maar voor de organisatoren zelf zijn er maanden aan hard werk

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Royal Visit Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus – 1988

Press release Prime Minister Bob Hawke 27 September 1988 Her Majesty Queen Beatrix and His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands will make an official visit to Australia from Monday October 24 to Saturday November 5. It will be the first time a reigning Dutch monarch will have visited

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The Fourth Ally – the Dutch forces in Australia during WWII

by Doug Hurst – 2001 The Fourth Ally tells of the Dutch forces who fought from Australia against the Japanese during WW II. Driven by the Japanese from Indonesia (then the Netherlands East Indies), they relocated ships, aircraft and personnel to Australia. They joined with United States, British and Australian

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80th commemoration – Darwin bombing, part of the Japanese invasion of Netherlands East Indies.

A little-known fact is that the bombing of Darwin (19-2-1942) was part of the battle of Netherlands East Indies (NEI – now Indonesia). The Japanese wanted to get control of the rich oil fields of this country that counted for 25% of the global oil production. At this point in time the war against the Japanese invasions was undertaken by the ABDA Allied Forces (Americans, British, Dutch and Australians).

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Joop van Doorn 18 NEI Squadron RAAF

Joop van Doorn was posted to Java in 1937 and flew Glen Martins, Lockheed Lodestars and Mitchell B-25.  Joop and pilot Yves Henri Mulder (nickname Bels as he came from Belgium – he was killed in action in 1944) ferried British Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell to Singapore for the ABDA

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Fall of Singapore – Dutch fighting alongside its Allies

The American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, or ABDACOM, was a short-lived, supreme command for all Allied forces in Southeast Asia in early 1942, it had been established on 7 December 1941. ABDA became operational following the declaration of war by the four nations on 1 January 1942.

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50 Anniversary of the liberation of Netherlands East Indies

In 1995 the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre organised a 50 year liberation in the Dutch East Indies commemoration at their premises in the Abel Tasman Village (ATV) at Chester Hill. Several weeks later the DAW published a double page spread review of several commemorations around the country including the one

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Dutch in WWII Battle of Milne Bay – 1942

Operation Lilliput also known the Battle of Milne Bay was the first time that Allied Forces were able to stop the Japanese advance in the Pacific. While the Battle is well recognised, the Dutch participation in the battle is not very well known. Also important to mention here is that

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Netherlands Australia Migration Agreement – 1951

The economic and social situation of the Netherlands following World War II generated mass emigration to Australia and Canada. In 1951, the Netherlands Australia Migration Agreement (NAMA) came into effect, under which both the Dutch and Australian governments subsidised migration of the Dutch to Australia. Many immigrants were housed by

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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

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Engelandvaarder Kees van Brink (1915-2004)

Cornelis Hendrik ‘Kees’ van Brink (Schiedam, 20 maart 1915 – Sydney (Australië), 11 december 2004) Kees was een geheim agent van MI6 tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Voor het uitbreken woonde hij in Australië, maar vertrok in juli 1940 naar Engeland en werd in de nacht van 18 op 19 november

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Historical overview of Dutch consular service in Queensland

The Dutch Republic has sent representatives to foreign lands since 1584 and it was the first country to regulate consular services by statute. After the restoration of Dutch independence in 1813, consular services were revived in 1814 (with additional regulations in 1846 and 1874). The Netherlands was among the many

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Archaeological research NEI Camp Columbia Wacol Brisbane

When the Japanese invaded Netherlands East Indie (NEI) in 1942, most members of the NEI Government had been able to flee to Australia and organised themselves in Melbourne. Following hastily established diplomatic relationships in January 1942, the Australian Labor Government offered the Dutch almost unlimited support in relation to facilities

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Dutch TV

Dutch TV is a weekly television program on community TV Channel 31 in Melbourne and Geelong (Australia) and Foxtel Aurora. (Australia wide) They have been broadcasting for 6 years. The program is about Dutch people living in Australia and is presented mostly in Dutch with English subtitles so that we

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Is Australia facing a bout of the Dutch Disease?

Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the Australian press has regularly been referring to the Dutch Disease. So, it interesting to see what this means and where the expression comes from It is a way of describing the paradox which occurs when good news, such as the discovery of

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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),

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Navigating the 6.6 trillion Foreign Exchange Market

September 23 | 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM Is your business trading internationally? Are you selling in one country and subsequently needing the money in another country? Every day, 6.6 trillion is traded internationally in foreign currencies and we all play our part in it. We are thrilled to have Axel van

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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

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Dutch warship participates in Australian naval exercise Sept. 2021

HNLMS Evertsen (F805) (Dutch: Zr.Ms. Evertsen) is the fourth De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy. It together with 5 other nations is particiapting in naval excercise to the north of Australia. The four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates are highly advanced air-defence and command frigates in service with

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SBS Video – Dutch PM Mark Rutte visits Australia 8-11-2014

Exclusive interview in DUTCH with Dutch PM Mark Rutte recorded November 2104 in Canberra during his 2 day visit to Australia. He talks about a possible royal visit in 2016 to coincide with celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Dutch sailor and explorer, Dirk Hartog landing on Australian soil.The

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Misprint in Indonesian independence and KLM stamps

This is an interesting Indonesian stamp album. It is commemorating the first anniversary of the Indonesian revolutionaries declaration of independence in 1945 on the 17th of august. The album is more a public relations and propaganda exercise than a philatelic one. There is an interesting angle in that there is

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Prison management in the Netherlands. Example for Australia?

As previously reported, the Dutch prison system is suffering a curious problem: they don’t have enough inmates, so they’re closing down prisons. In 2014, the government shutdown 19 facilities, while in 2009, they closed the doors on eight. And in March this year, the Dutch government announced that five more

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Netherlands Political System of Proportional Representation

Proportional Representation – Party List The Westminster legacy: Single Member Districts. What that means currently: In many seats the Member does NOT represent the majority – and the minority is often NOT represented by the Opposite party either. It is also incorrect to claim that a local MP represents all

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The Dutch at Archerfield Airport, Brisbane

Australian and Dutch history meet at Archerfield Airport in Brisbane. During WWII this airfield played a critical role for the Dutch military who, after the Japanese armed forces occupied the Dutch colony of Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) to neighboring Australia. Over 20.000 people from NEI evacuated to Australia. Poor

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50 Anniversary of the liberation of Netherlands East Indies

In 1995 the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre organised a 50 year liberation in the Dutch East Indies commemoration at their premises in the Abel Tasman Village (ATV) at Chester Hill. Several weeks later the DAW published a double page spread review of several commemorations around the country including the one

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