Dutch-Australian Cultural Heritage Call for proposals 2018

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra welcomes project proposals for initiatives in the field of Dutch-Australian cultural heritage to be initiated in 2018.

The historical ties that bind the Netherlands and Australia date back to the early 17th century, when Dutch VOC ships were the first to map and chart the Australian continent, long before the arrival of Captain Cook. Dutchman Willem Janszoon and his crew on the Duyfken made the first European landing on the Australian continent in 1606 and many Dutch explorers, including Dirk Hartog (1616), Abel Tasman (1642) and Willem de Vlaminck (1697) followed. In 2016 we marked the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dutch captain Dirk Hartog on the west coast of Australia in 1616. Dirk Hartog ’s pewter plate is the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil and, so far, four Dutch shipwrecks have been found in Australian waters, including the Batavia and the Zuytdorp.


World War II strengthened the ties between our countries through our military alliance. After the Battle of the Java Sea was lost in 1942, Dutch forces and equipment relocated from the Netherlands East Indies, nowadays Indonesia, to Australia. Here they were quickly integrated with the allied forces of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, making the Netherlands the so-called fourth ally. The Dutch alliance with Australia has evolved and deepened ever since.


The connection between our countries became even stronger over time as Australia welcomed many Dutch migrants, especially in the aftermath of World War II. Between 1947 and 1970 around 160,000 Dutch migrants came to Australia, where they contributed to Australian society, culture and prosperity becoming an important factor in shaping the nation. Many of them contributed to the Australian economy as entrepreneurs and manufacturers,  setting up businesses and consequently leaving traces of mercantile heritage. The Dutch were called the invisible migrants as they integrated so well into the Australian society. Nowadays, there are still over 70,000 Australian residents who were born in the Netherlands and there are a further 339,549 Australians who claim Dutch ancestry.


The Dutch Diplomatic missions in Australia commit themselves to the sustainable preservation and promotion of this Dutch-Australian heritage, gathered together as the so-called 4 M’s: Maritime, Migrant, Military and Mercantile heritage. With this call for proposals, the Embassy in Canberra calls for initiatives that support this goal through cooperation between Dutch and Australian organisations, resulting in innovative projects that help preserve and raise the awareness of our shared tangible and intangible heritage in Australia.

Please click the link below to find the full Call for Proposals, including the project criteria and additional information.