The Dutch first discovered Australia in 1606, exactly 400 years ago. Since then, many Dutchmen have emigrated to Australia. Most of them left the Netherlands after World War II.
The age of exploration
In the 17th century, the Netherlands were an economical force to be reckoned with. The Dutch East Indies Company was trying to find new lucrative regions in the east to trade with.
One of these ships sent to explore the eastern waters was the Duyfken under the command of captain Willem Jansz. During this voyage, the ship came upon unknown territory. He had found an entire new continent: Australia.
After World War II
In the emigration history section of this site, an article can be found on post World War II emigration. Most of the emigrants to Australia left for economic reasons.
Several emigrants spent the first months or even years in reception camps set up by the Australian government. They could only find a house for themselves after they made enough money. Few of them returned to the Netherlands, however. Dutch communities still exist in many of the larger towns in Australia.
- The website Netherlands-Australia 1606-2006 celebrates 400 years of Dutch-Australian relationships. The website provides a lot of background information about the explorations, Australian allies and emigration.
- From the Netherlands to Australia: Emigrants 1946-1991
This website provides a searchable index to the Dutch people who emigrated to Australia after World War II. The website is created by the National Archives based on the emigration cards in their collection.
- Barren regions – Early Dutch Books on the Exploration of Australia
This website was created by the Dutch Royal Library and contains transcriptions and English translations of 17th century books about the exploration of Australia.
- Dutch Australian Genealogy Group