Aussie Oktober in Het Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam – 29/30 October 2016


Aussie Oktober weekend in Het Scheepvaartmuseum: Speedrondleiding ‘Australië op de kaart’ (scroll down for English)

Op 31 oktober begint een officieel staatsbezoek van Koning Willem Alexander aan Australië.

Vierhonderd jaar geleden, op 25 oktober 1616, zag de Nederlandse VOC-schipper Dirk Hartogs van het schip de ‘Eendracht’ onverwacht een onbekend land aan de horizon opdoemen. Hij ging aan land, plaatste er een paal met daaraan een tinnenschotel met inscriptie en voer verder naar zijn einddoel Java. Deze schotel zou het eerste Europese voorwerp zijn dat op het grondgebied van Nova Hollandia (later ook wel Australië genoemd) is achtergebleven.

In het weekend van 29 en 30 oktober toont Het Scheepvaartmuseum hoe Australië langzaam aan zijn vorm heeft gekregen op de wereldkaart van 1482 tot 1753. De kaarten- en atlassencollectie van Het Scheepvaartmuseum behoort tot de internationale wereldtop van de cartografie tot 1800 en naast een bezoek aan de tentoonstelling De Atlassen neemt de museumgids u mee naar de bibliotheek, die speciaal voor u geopend wordt, om Dirk Hartogs Eiland en Eendrachtsland op een facsimile te bewonderen.

De speedrondleidingen (in het Nederlands en Engels) vinden plaats tussen 12.00 en 16.00 uur en zijn gratis met een geldig museumentreebewijs

Aussie October weekend in Het Scheepvaartmuseum: ‘Australia on the map’ turbo tour

Monday 31 October marks the beginning of an official state visit to Australia by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Four hundred years ago, on 25 October 1616, Dirk Hartog, a master on the ship ‘Eendracht’ (‘Unity’) of the Dutch East India Company, unexpectedly sighted an uncharted land on the horizon. Once ashore, he left behind an inscribed pewter dish affixed to a post, and then set sail to his final destination of Java. This dish would be the first European object left on the territory of ‘Nova Hollandia,’ which would later also come to be known as ‘Australia’.

On the weekend of 29 and 30 October, Het Scheepvaartmuseum will be exhibiting how Australia gradually took on its shape on the world map between 1482 to 1753. Het Scheepvaartmuseum’s maps and atlases belong to the world’s top collections of cartographic artefacts up to 1800. In addition to a visit to the exhibition The Atlases, the museum guide will take you to the library – specially opened for visitors – where you will be able to admire a facsimile of Dirk Hartog Island and mainland Australia, named ‘Eendrachtsland’ after his ship, the ‘Eendracht’ (‘Unity’).

Available in Dutch and English, the turbo tours will take place between 12 noon and 4:00 PM and are free for holders of a valid museum entrance ticket.

AMSTERDAM - De nieuwe tentoonstelling 'De Atlassen' wordt geopend tijdens het afscheid van de directeur Willem Bijleveld.

AMSTERDAM – De nieuwe tentoonstelling ‘De Atlassen’ wordt geopend tijdens het afscheid van de directeur Willem Bijleveld.

King Willem-Alexander Speech from the Throne 2016

2016-09-20 12:27:59 DEN HAAG - Koning Willem-Alexander leest, met aan zijn zijde koningin Maxima, de troonrede voor op Prinsjesdag aan leden van de Eerste en Tweede Kamer in de Ridderzaal. ANP ROYAL IMAGES SANDER KONING

2016-09-20 12:27:59 DEN HAAG – Koning Willem-Alexander leest, met aan zijn zijde koningin Maxima, de troonrede voor op Prinsjesdag aan leden van de Eerste en Tweede Kamer in de Ridderzaal. ANP ROYAL IMAGES SANDER KONING

On 20 September 2016, the King delivered the Speech from the Throne. The speech sets out the government plans for the coming year.

Here is the link to the Dutch version of the text and you can watch the YouTube version here:

Below is the English translation from

Members of the States General,

Over the past few years the Netherlands has got back on firmer ground. The financial and economic crisis is behind us. We live in a prosperous and attractive country, which compares favourably with other countries. We have good public services and good infrastructure, and the rule of law is strong. There is a lot to be proud of and to build on.

Yet in the maelstrom of daily life, we feel a sense of disquiet and unease that is symptomatic of our times. With everything that is going on in the world, it’s understandable for us as a society to feel anxiety and cling to what we know. After all, the international terrorist threat, instability on Europe’s external borders, the refugee issue and economic uncertainty on the global markets are real problems with a big impact on daily life.

However, this is not the first time in our country’s history that we have had to look for solutions in the face of threatening and unpredictable developments. And it won’t be the last time that we join together to find those solutions. The recently deceased former Prime Minister Piet de Jong, who elevated his sensible approach to unrest and change almost to an art form, spoke often in his day of the need for ‘steady progress’. ‘It is the government’s job’, he once said, ‘to look ahead to what the future has in store and to make, without delay, the necessary changes to seize the opportunities it offers.’

This government took office in the firm belief that healthy public finances and a strong economy form the basis of a sound, compassionate welfare system, good healthcare, good education and high-quality public services for generations to come. With each major change that has occurred, the aim of government policy has remained the same: ensuring a future in which progress, innovation and economic growth can continue to go hand-in-hand with protection, solidarity and looking out for each other, in the best traditions of our country.

A few years ago, these achievements were under pressure. The economy was shrinking, the budget deficit was almost 4% and the number of people seeking work peaked at 700,000 – around 8% of the labour force. In addition, house prices had fallen substantially, the affordability of the state pension was under threat, and annual healthcare costs were rising much more quickly than national income.

The fact that our country is now in significantly better shape than it was a few years ago, and is back in Europe’s leading group, is a collective achievement. The Netherlands succeeded in bridging political differences and reconciling different social interests. Never before had so many major reforms been introduced at the same time, often with the support of opposition parties and civil society organisations. It happened in healthcare and education, in the labour market and the housing market, in the state pension system, the energy sector and the financial sector. In the process, a great deal was asked of people. Many had to make financial sacrifices, and great demands were made of people’s willingness to accept changes in their daily lives. Without the perseverance, hard work and enterprise of the Dutch people, the outcome would have been less positive.

For several years, the Dutch economy has been steadily growing again. And in spite of Brexit, it is forecast to grow by 1.7% in 2017. The housing market has rallied and increases in healthcare costs have been reined in. The budget deficit will fall to 0.5% next year and the national debt is also falling quickly towards 60% of our national income.

This is providing more room for manoeuvre. Fewer homeowners are in negative equity, making it easier for people to move. Tenants will enjoy greater financial leeway thanks to an increase in housing benefit. Entrepreneurs that have confidence in the future will be more prepared to invest in employees and renew their businesses. And families will have more money to spend.

More and more people are getting back into work. Since 2014, an additional 225,000 jobs have been created in the Netherlands. Unemployment has been gradually brought down to 5.8%. More jobseekers over the age of 45 have found a job – a welcome development. The number of young people in work is at its highest for seven years. Good progress is being made implementing agreements with employers on creating more jobs for people with a work disability. Labour participation is also growing because more and more Dutch people are willing and able to play an active part in the labour market. This does mean, however, that the number of people without work is declining less quickly than was hoped. Tackling unemployment – particularly long-tem employment – therefore remains a top priority.

The government has agreed a number of targeted measures with employer and employee representatives. For example, the rules on seasonal work are being relaxed and unemployed people over 50 will be given more intensive support in finding work. For people aged 21 and over, the young person’s minimum-wage rate will be abolished in two stages, because young people also deserve a full wage. Employers will be compensated to offset any negative impact on employment.

The risks and uncertainties facing our open and internationally oriented economy mainly come from abroad. We feel the impact of lower growth in emerging markets like China and Brazil. The prospect of Brexit is a new source of uncertainty in Europe that affects the Netherlands directly. The United Kingdom is an important trading partner and Brexit will cost jobs in our country too. The government’s aim is to maintain its strong economic ties with the UK.

Cooperation in Europe is essential for the Netherlands’ open economy. Within the European Union, the Netherlands will continue to focus on growth and jobs. The Netherlands has a direct interest in a stable euro, a robust and effective banking union, and a strong and fair single European market, with equal pay for the same work in the same place.

Positive financial and economic developments are slowly but surely providing renewed scope for growth in incomes and targeted investment in the future. It is extremely encouraging that purchasing power will grow again both this year and next for people in work, the elderly and people on benefits. This means the government will again ensure a balanced distribution of purchasing power. Healthcare benefit will be raised. A € 200 million stimulus will make it easier for young parents to arrange childcare, enabling them to combine work and family responsibilities. It is important that children who are at risk of growing up in poverty can take part in school trips, join a sports club and have the chance to take music lessons. € 100 million will be set aside for this purpose. Planned cutbacks in long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities totalling half a billion euros will be scrapped. In education, extra money will be made available to promote equal opportunities. The allowance for specific educational expenses in secondary vocational education, for example for work clothes, tools and software, will be increased.

The energy transition, sustainability, accessibility and education are all areas which require major investment. Besides the major players, small and medium-sized enterprises too need to be able to obtain finance for new growth. The government will submit proposals to better support investment of this kind where necessary.

Investing in the future also means tackling problems like those that have arisen in the earthquake-affected area of the province of Groningen. Their impact is far-reaching and the government intends to work with all concerned in Groningen to find solutions. Safety risks are being limited by halving gas production compared with 2012 and by reinforcing homes and other buildings.

The consequences of climate change necessitate substantial investment and innovations in renewable energy sources like wind, water and sunlight. Commitments on clean and affordable energy are laid down in the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth. Not only is this good for the environment, it also provides jobs and opportunities for Dutch businesses.

In view of the security situation, both close to home and in the wider world, in 2017 the government will again increase spending on the armed forces, the police, the administration of justice and the Public Prosecution Service. The defence budget has been gradually raised since 2014, rising to an additional € 870 million in 2020 on a structural basis.

The crime figures in the Netherlands are falling steadily and the government will continue to invest in improving safety and security. The 2016 budget already provided for a structural increase of € 250 million for this purpose, and from 2017 onwards an extra € 450 million will be made available on top of this. This will give the people who work day in, day out to ensure our safety – from neighbourhood police officers to special counterterrorism units, from public prosecutors to prison officers – more scope to carry out their tasks.

In the past year the world has again been shocked by appalling jihadist attacks, which have caused untold sorrow and human suffering. France, Belgium, Germany and Turkey are among the countries hardest hit.

We cannot and will not, in any way whatsoever, allow terrorists to threaten our freedom, security and democratic values. The plan of action ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’ combines preventive and reactive measures. The government aims to eliminate the conditions that breed radicalisation, partly by promoting active citizenship in schools. It is becoming more difficult for would-be jihadists to travel to conflict zones, and their benefits are being stopped. Criminal charges are being brought against them and they risk losing their Dutch nationality if convicted.

Cooperation within Europe is crucial in the fight against terrorism. In the European Union, the Netherlands is working hard to improve information-sharing between European intelligence and investigative agencies, strengthen joint border control, stem the flow of terrorist financing, and enhance cybersecurity.

Outside Europe, the Netherlands continues to contribute military, humanitarian and political resources to the fight against ISIS in the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Our military and aid personnel there and elsewhere in the world are doing important work in difficult circumstances for the sake of international stability and people suffering oppression.

Working in close cooperation with the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, the government conducted a successful campaign for non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. UN reform is an important theme for the government. In substantive terms its key priorities are combining peace, security and development in an integrated approach, preventing conflict and protecting civilians.

War and terrorism drive innocent people from their homes, condemning them to an uncertain future. During the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2016, many initiatives were launched to bring the flow of refugees from Syria and other vulnerable countries under control. This policy is based on three pillars: removing the reasons to flee by improving living conditions and countering violence in the area affected; reception in the region; and combating people smuggling via perilous sea routes. Dutch assistance includes € 260 million to enhance reception in the region.

Arrangements were agreed with the Turkish government in March this year to stem the flow of refugees and ensure it was better regulated. This has substantially reduced both the number of appalling deaths by drowning during improvised sea crossings between Turkey and Greece, and the number of asylum seekers coming to Europe. In the coming period attention will need to be paid to the further implementation of these arrangements.

The Netherlands is a country that offers everyone who is eligible the chance to integrate in our society and everyone who lives here the chance to feel at home. Asylum seekers who come to the Netherlands are offered decent but simple reception facilities. Last year we managed to do this thanks to the efforts of municipalities, support agencies and many volunteers. People who want to build a future in the Netherlands must be prepared to learn the language and make an active contribution. We expect everyone to make a conscious and positive commitment to our country and our way of life. The mandatory participation statement will enter into force in 2017. Allowing asylum seekers to do voluntary work is one way in which the government will promote participation and integration.

It is typical of our country’s character that private initiatives have arisen in many neighbourhoods and municipalities to encourage asylum seekers to interact with society. At the same time, it is understandable that there are concerns in society at large about the arrival of large groups of refugees. We wonder whether differences in our cultures and in our norms and values might be too great, and whether too great a strain might be placed on public services.

The Netherlands fought long and hard for numerous democratic values, including the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. In our country, men and women are equal before the law, and we do not discriminate on the grounds of race, belief or sexual orientation. Everyone who wishes to live in our country must respect these values and abide by them. Nobody is asked to repudiate their own background or culture, but constitutional norms are inviolable, and intimidation and violence will meet with a firm response.

Members of the States General,

The Netherlands is a strong country in an unstable world. The results we have achieved together in recent years enable us to look forward with confidence. It would be unwise to underestimate the problems and international uncertainties facing the Netherlands. But history teaches us that ‘steady progress’ is possible by working together towards solutions, both in our own country and with our international partners.

This also holds true for your work in the parliamentary year that begins today. In discharging your duties, you may feel supported in the knowledge that many are wishing you wisdom and join me in praying for strength and God’s blessing upon you.

Snack like the Dutch: video by Radical Orange

In this video, produced by Radical Orange TV for ANYDOKO,  local Dutchman Bob shows you the best of Dutch snack culture from raw herring to stroopwafels. It’s all in the latest episode of Hawker Style, an original videos series exploring street food from across the globe.

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What’s your favourite Dutch snack food?


A Successful 2016 Keukenhof Season


LISSE — Keukenhof ends a wonderful 2016 season with 1.1 million visitors. The visitors appreciated the flower show and rated it with an 8.9.

The most beautiful spring garden in the world is satisfied with this result. 2016 is the third consecutive year that Keukenhof has attracted over 1 million visitors. The beautiful, cool spring provided 8 weeks of flowers in full bloom.
The increasing number of visitors to Keukenhof is partly the result of a rise in the number of younger visitors. They experience Keukenhof more as a trendy park for a fun day out among the flowers.
Visitors came from more than 100 countries. Most notably, the number of visitors from France and America increased. China and Southeast Asia remain as emerging markets.

Despite the large number of visitors, the traffic flow around Keukenhof was good this season. In 2016, Keukenhof in cooperation with her partner Arriva, had more than 200,000 visitors who travelled using public transport.

The Keukenhof theme for 2017 is Dutch Design. Keukenhof expects Dutch Design to add inspiring events to the flower park, together with new partners.

Keukenhof is open in 2017 from 23 March to 21 May.


More Dirk Hartog 2016 initiatives around Australia

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra and the Consulate General in Sydney proudly announce their support to four new Dirk Hartog 2016 projects.

Art installation Spice Winds at VIVID 2016 | Sydney

In celebration of our Dirk Hartog year, Dutch-Australian art installation Spice Winds will light up Circular Quay during Vivid Sydney! This installation is the result of a collaboration between designer teams Studio Toer (NL) and mcdermottbaxter (AUS). Spice Winds uses way finding directional lights and the kinetic energy of wind to pay homage to the early Dutch sailors and their skills in traversing the treacherous seas along the so-called Roaring Forties; strong western winds in the Southern Hemisphere. Flags of orange direct the lights to illuminate the surroundings and the audience. Spice Winds is supported by Philips and the Dutch Diplomatic Missions in

Hartog Commemorative Voyage of the Duyfken | Various locations in Western Australia

The Duyfken replica will depart Fremantle Harbour in August 2016 to begin its Hartog Commemorative Voyage to Shark Bay. During the voyage Duyfken will visit several ports on the west coast of Australia to interact with the communities of Bunbury, Mandurah, Hillarys, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, and Denham, culminating with the official ceremony at Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island, on October 25, 2016.

Exhibition | The Dutch Are Coming | Hobart

In 2017 it will be 375 years ago since Dutch explorer Abel Tasman reached Van Diemen’s Land, nowadays Tasmania. To connect Dirk Hartog 2016 with the Abel Tasman commemorative year in 2017, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival (AWBF) and the Tasmania Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG) will present an exhibition entitled ‘The Dutch Are Coming’. The exhibition presents items connected with the early Dutch explorations in the Southern Ocean and Abel Tasman’s journey to Tasmania and New Zealand. ‘The Dutch Are Coming’ will debut in late 2016 and expand into a major exhibition on ‘The Early Dutch Explorers’, which will run through the period of the AWBF in February 2017.

Dirk Hartog booklet | Australia

In cooperation with senior lecturer in maritime archaeology at Flinders University Dr Wendy van Duivenvoorde and the Western Australian Museum, the Embassy will release a new publication about Dirk Hartog in October. This free booklet will shine a light on the life and seafaring adventures of Dirk Hartog as well as his ship, the plate he left behind at Cape Inscription, and other contemporary inscriptions.

More information about Dirk Hartog 2016

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the first Dutch contact with Western Australia. On 25 October 1616, Dirk Hartog made landfall with his ship the Eendracht at Cape Inscription, in the Shark Bay area. Visit the Dirk Hartog 2016 website for more information about the anniversary and an overview of upcoming events. For enquiries, please contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra, via the cultural affairs and public diplomacy section, tel: + 61 (0)2 6220 9400 or