Dutch Royal Decoration for Mr Michael A.J. Gijsberts

Mr Michael Gijsberts, resident of Ferntree Gully and President of the Dutch Club Abel Tasman in Melbourne, has been named Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his longstanding and dedicated work for the Dutch community in Victoria.

During a special ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Dutch club Abel Tasman in Carnegie VIC, Mr Gijsberts, a former consular officer of the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Melbourne, received the award from the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mrs Marion Derckx, who had travelled to Melbourne especially for this occasion. The ceremony was attended by Mr Gijsbert’s family, representatives and members from various Dutch associations in Victoria and Honorary Consul Richard Mendelsohn.

In her speech, the Ambassador said to Mr Gijsberts: "you dedicated a considerable share of your time and effort to the Dutch community in Victoria." Among many of the voluntary roles Mr Gijsberts has taken upon him over the past decades are; board member of the Ringwood Wilhelmina football; chair of the Association of Netherlands Societies in Victoria; involvement with the (founding of the) Dutch Australian Heritage Centre; publication of the Dutch Courier; board member of DutchCare; vice president and now President of the Dutch Club Abel Tasman. "Many of the people you work with and have worked with greatly admire and appreciate what you have done and what you are doing. They felt it was time for you to be rewarded. To be more precise, they felt you earned an award. And I am glad to say that King Willem Alexander shares their opinion. And that is why we are here today,” Ambassador Derckx told Mr Gijsberts.

The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House. The first five of the six classes are: Knight Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Knight. Recipients of an award in the sixth class become members of the Order. Mr Gijsberts received the award in the fifth class; Knight.

More information on Dutch decorations and orders can be found here: https://www.royal-house.nl/topics/decorations-and-honours/personal-decorations

Press contact Embassy: Femke Withag 02 6220 9408 / 0429 615 674

Royal Decoration Mr Gijsberts