Centre for International Heritage Activities

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely lady, Koosje Spitz, who is the representative of the Australian Dutch Heritage Cooperation Project at the Brisbane Aprilfest.

(Koosje Spitz photographed here with Captain Kasper Kuiper, Honorary Consul at the Brisbane Consulate of the Netherlands)

The Centre for International Heritage Activities (or Centrum Internationale Erfgoedactiviteiten) has the following mission (taken from their website):

The Centre for International Heritage Activities (CIE) is an independent, non-profit organization for international knowledge exchange about the heritage of the European expansion and international heritage cooperation. The CIE is involved in the management of international heritage programmes and stimulates academic research on the heritage of the European expansion.

You can visit their website, www.heritage-activites.org to find out more about this great project, which essentially is collecting, collating and sharing information of projects and people who share mutual heritage between The Netherlands and Australia.  They do not only focus on Australia, but have also captured this knowledge in many places around the world, showing how far and wide Dutch immigrants have settled internationally.

The following is taken from their website, and you can read the remainder of it by clicking the link above, then selecting “Australia” to be taken to the relevant page:

The connection between The Netherlands and Australia goes back more than 400 years. In 1606 the Dutch East India Company vessel Duyfken went to explore the northeast coast of the then unfamiliar continent Australia. In the years after the expedition of the Duyfken many other visits followed. Most of them were unvolontary confrontations with the Australian westcoast of VOC ships traveling along the so-called Brouwer-route from the Cape to Batavia. This resulted in at least four shipwrecks. The sites of these shipwrecks have been explored in the 20th century which has resulted in a large collection of artefacts. 

I look forward to following more about their projects and think this is a great initiative to have a central collection of knowledge on the Dutch connections with the rest of the world.

2 thoughts on “Centre for International Heritage Activities

  1. The concept is very pleasing. I am not sure why this report/ article came across my screen tonight, Saturday 5 November, 2011.
    If nothing else Koosje Spitz’ visit made us all more aware of each other’s presence in Australia, all wanting the Dutch ‘presence’ and input to be more appreciated. (We’re all aware of the description: “The invisible Dutch.”)
    I have to admit to also wishing for a little more!!! Something a little more visible, e.g., a “source” from which further in-roads into the consciousness of fellow- Australians can be made.
    I realise I am like a dog with a bone, but I was simply so disappointed that the 5 year project, called “Echoes from the Past”, worked on by 30+ volunteers, involving this mixture of people with very varying connections with Dutch heritage, in this project, was not given any more attention, during Koosje Spitz’s visit.
    It confuses me as to what type of projects the CIE wishes to support and promote.


    1. Thanks for your feedback…it came across your screen now as I was just going through some old posts and realised that this was saved as a draft and not published back in May when I wrote it, so made it visible. I’ve not heard much more about the project and also don’t have a chance for much input but your project sounds really interesting…if you have details online let me know and I’ll take a look, or if you have anything you’d like to share that isn’t yet online I’d be happy to do a blog post on it if you like?

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