About Renee Veldman-Tentori

Connect. Communicate. Educate.

Australian Author Andy Griffiths coming to the Netherlands

Australian author Andy Griffiths is touring the Netherlands later this month to share his new book, the 104-Storey Treehouse.


My daughters are 9 & 11 and have read a few of his books in Dutch already – here they are called the “Waanzinnige Boomhut”.


We are raising our children bilingually here in the Netherlands, so it’s a great excuse to encourage them to read more – and am very pleased that bol.com offer both the Dutch and English language versions.   I’ve just ordered a few English versions for them – and I’m going to have a read too!

Andy Griffiths will be at several locations throughout the Netherlands, including Assen, Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam check here for the list:


We will be going to meet him in Delft!

It seems he’s a regular in the Netherlands, I found a video promoting a visit last year:


Have your children (or you?) read any of Andy’s books?  Please share your thoughts in a comment below, or come and discuss in the Dutch Australian Community Facebook group. 

Renee 🙂



New Dutch Australian Facebook Group


For around 10 years now, I’ve been building the Dutch Australian community via a Facebook Page.  I am now also starting a Dutch Australian group so that this community can interact even more with each other.

So there will now be two Dutch Australian locations on Facebook:

Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dutchaustralian/
For discussion amongst the community (in Nederlands or English)
I will also post articles and information and participate in discussions, either as Dutch Australian, or under my own name (Renee Veldman-Tentori)

Page: https://www.facebook.com/dutchaustralian/
I will continue to post articles and informations and respond to messages

It would be great if you follow/join both, and please invite any other Dutch Australians you know to do the same.

Why? On Saturday I attended the Community Leadership Circles from Facebook event in Amsterdam. One thing I learned is that there will be additional support and features being added to Facebook groups, and it also gives you an opportunity to talk more TO each other, instead of just reacting to my own posts.

Hope this makes us an even closer community! Thanks for being a part of it.

Renee 🙂

Read more here about the event if you’re interested:



Invictus Games 2020 heading to The Hague, The Netherlands

Screenshot 2019-02-11 10.58.23

The fifth Invictus Games will be hosted in The Hague, The Netherlands in May 2020. The fourth Invictus Games took place in Sydney, Australia last October. The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, both serving and veteran. The Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country.

Invictus Games Foundation Patron, HRH The Duke of Sussex said: “I am delighted to announce that The Hague is taking up the challenge of hosting the fifth Invictus Games in 2020. The city will soon become the motivation for hundreds of servicemen and women using the Invictus Games to inspire their recovery from physical and mental injuries. The Netherlands has supported the Games from the very beginning, and I know that everyone there will fully get behind and support the soldiers and veterans who have served their countries so bravely. We have already seen in London, Orlando, and Toronto just how exciting hosting the Invictus Games can be, and I know this will be an incredible experience for everyone in the Hague as they embrace the Invictus spirit in 2020.”

Edwin de Wolf, veteran, former team captain of the Dutch Invictus Games team and competitor in the Sydney 2018 Games said: ”The Games are a lifechanging event. I was able to gain so much strength from the pain I felt in the past but sometimes still feel today. The journey towards the Games as part of my rehabilitation process was invaluable to me and my family. I am proud the Games are coming to The Hague in 2020 and I hope I can show and share some of the enormous strength that the Games can provoke. IAM gonna make the rest of my life, the best of my life, we are INVICTUS!”

The inaugural Invictus Games was held in London in September 2014. The Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, and the organising committee of the London 2014 Games always hoped that this event would be the beginning of the ‘Invictus’ story and that other cities and countries around the world would take up the challenge. Since then, the Invictus Games have been held in Orlando, USA in 2016 and Toronto, Canada in 2017.

“The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 Chairman, Lt Gen (ret) Mart de Kruif said: “We are very honoured that the Invictus Games is coming to The Hague. 2020 is an important milestone for The Netherlands, marking 75 years since liberation. The Invictus Games provides the perfect opportunity for us to link the past to the present by paying a tribute to wounded, injured and sick service personnel who served, and are serving, the military. These role models have shown that the strength of the human spirit is unbeatable.”

Conny Wenting, CEO Invictus Games 2020 said: “We are really excited that we were appointed to host this event in 2020, that will bring together over 500 competitors from 19 nations to compete in a series of adaptive sports. Later this year further details will be announced on dates, venues, possible partnerships and how you can support this amazing event. Let’s show the world our invincible spirit to welcome these brave men and women and honour them for sacrifices made.” 

More information:

For the latest information on the Invictus Games 2020 please visit:

Web : www.invictusgames2020.nl

Twitter: twitter.com/InvictusGamesNL

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Invictus-Games-2020-1868381396794838/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/invictusgames2020/

The Lost White Tribes of Australia Part Two: ‘Individuals of an Alien White Race.’

Henry van Zanden has recently published a new book of interest to Dutch Australians: The Lost White Tribes of Australia Part Two: ‘Individuals of an Alien White Race’.

An earlier book, ‘1629 Mutiny on the Batavia.’ was also featured on this website and Henry has published several other books, which you can find on his website:


Henry tells us more….

After writing ‘The Lost White Tribes of Australia Part One’, I realised that there were many more stories to tell of marooned Dutch survivors of shipwrecks not only along the Western Australian coast but also northern Australia, NSW and South-western Victoria.

New evidence was uncovered regarding the survivors of both the Vergulde Draeck and the Zuytdorp. Artifacts were found including two with dates: 1807 and 1829. These were discovered in the Kennedy Ranges in WA and were the result of the descendants of the Zuytdorp survivors some of whom travelled inland. The first English explorer to arrive in the Kennedy Ranges was Francis Gregory in 1858. The first English settlers arrived in 1829.

Below: the two artifacts discovered in the Kennedy Ranges. The left is dated 1829 and the right, 1807.

In northern Australia, I read Lieutenant George Grey’s journal of discovery of European looking rock art. He also came across natives whom he described as ‘Individuals of an Alien White race.’ I came across a large number of examples of rock art that resembled Dutch sailors and European women.
In Victoria, I explored the South-western districts especially Lake Condah and stared in wonderment at the stone houses, large dams and weirs, rock walls and canals all built before the arrival of the British. I wondered if there was a possibility that these structures could have been influenced by Dutch shipwrecked sailors.

At the insistent prompting and help of some of the Warrnambool and Port Fairy residents, I researched the well documented Dutch galliot that had sunk in 1767, three years before the arrival of Cook.

Although I had no doubt that two ships had anchored in Port Fairy Bay, I was in shock when I discovered the reason why the ships called in at Port Fairy. Some of the sailors had smallpox and those who were sick were sent ashore to recuperate. One ship left the bay leaving the second ship ready for when the sailors were well enough to resume their voyage. However, two tragedies occurred. The first: ships sunk in a storm. The second: curious Aboriginals investigating the marooned sailors, contracted smallpox. This led to approximately 40% of the entire Aboriginal populations in Victoria, NSW, and even Queensland contracting smallpox.

Meanwhile, the second ship sailed to NSW stopping at Georges River, Balmoral Beach, and Taree where a European skull was found that was dated before the arrival of the British.

Want to read more?  You can order the book via the website below.  The first edition of The Lost White Tribes quickly sold out. A second edition has been published with more discoveries including a Dutch shipwreck at Esperance and a record of a longboat coming ashore at Eyre.

Cost: $55 plus $15 postage.
Parts One and Two: $80 including postage.
1629 Mutiny on the Batavia: $50 plus $15 postage
All three books: $145 which includes postage.
1642 Abel Tasman will be available in February 2019.

For more information and to order:


TU Delft researchers going to the Great Barrier Reef


This week a team of researchers from TU Delft, Van Oord and CSIRO are travelling to the Great Barrier Reef to test a new method for the large-scale rehabilitation of coral.

In this rehabilitation method, coral eggs are collected from healthy parts of the reef and the larvae are placed in the location on the reef where they need to grow. Working with coral larvae has been tried and tested on a small scale and in special tanks. 

More information: http://bit.ly/2DYSW3c

The team will be posting about their progress on the TU Delft Instagram account this week, so check out Instagram for more footage on the research!


Republished with permission



New look website for dutchaustralian.com

I’ve been writing articles at Dutch Australian since 2001.  Today, 23 November 2018, I initiated the process to shift http://www.dutchaustralian.com from WordPress.org to WordPress.com. What does that mean for you?  Mostly that things will look a little different soon.  All of the content will move across and all going well, so will all the images etc.  The layout will change though, and I’m still working on this, so things may be a bit messy for a month or so.  Out of nostalgia mostly, I recorded a short version and longer version walkthrough of the site as it currently is (and has been for the last few years).

Shorter version video:

Longer version video:

When the actual transfer happens, around 23-25 November, things will be a bit messy for a while.  The content will all be there, but I will be working on finding a new layout.  Then, in December 2018 and beyond, I’ll be working on the site and making it even better.  Behind the scenes, things will be more robust, and in 2019 I’ll start accepting personal guest posts for anyone who would like to share their stories, and also will have a donate button and accept some advertising to cover the cost of hosting.

Thanks for sharing the Dutch Australian journey and I’m proud to be building a platform where we can connect and share stories and information about our connections to both countries.

Always happy to hear from you!  Let me know what you think – of the old site, the new site or anything else relating to (being a) Dutch Australian.  Click the contact button.

Renee 🙂




2018 Biesland Dagen

The Biesland Dagen festival has become an annual fixture in our family calendar.  Not only is it conveniently close, it’s always a fun day out.  The Hoeve Biesland is the centre of much of the action, but other nearby locations also have entertainment and activities.  Again in 2018, we were lucky with the weather and despite it raining throughout the week, we had lovely sunshine over the weekend.

The festival actually runs over two days, but the first day usually clashes with another annual event we love, so on Saturday we first went to the 2018 Embassy Festival.   On Sunday though, we had a great day enjoying day 2 of the Biesland Dagen.  This year was extra special, as my mum was visiting from Australia, so she of course came along too.  I grew up in a country area in Australia – in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Maleny, though my mum and dad now live closer to the beach.  What I love about where we now live, here near the Biesland area, is that you get the best of the country & city so nearby.  It’s right on the border between The Hague and Delft, and though you feel like you are on a remote farm, you’re really only minutes from the city centre.

It’s great to have such easy access to farm fresh produce. Not just at the festival, you can also visit the Weiland Winkle 6 days a week. 





This year was the first time I actually went into the “Half Molen” – I’ve cycled and run past it countless times, but until now, had never had the opportunity to explore the gorgeous gardens out the back, and get a sneak peek at the old waterworks underneath the windmill.

A number of local groups share information there, including one about “the value of hunting”.  The topic makes me both a little sad and squeamish but I know that’s most likely hypocritical as I do eat meat.  This beautiful bird of prey was on display, and we tasted some goose meat, both smoked and in a sort of croquette.  Not really my thing but I guess these days we are spoiled with our supermarket shopping.

There were plenty of activities off in different directions, with a fun farm tractor ride between them, though the queue was a little long so we walked.

An ice cream has become an annual tradition….

….so has painting a piece of wood.  Here are some kids’ creations drying in the sunshine before being taken home….

Something new that we discovered this year was clay creations, here is my daughter’s face on a tree (complete with blonde straw hair)…

After petting bunnies and hula hooping, we had just enough time and energy to build with blocks….

We went home tired but happy, and had a tasty afternoon tea of toast with some local honey we had bought.

There are two annual festivals held in this location, this is the 2 day September Biesland Dagen Festival, then there is also the Biesland Food Feest, a smaller, more food-focussed festival usually held on the Pinksteren public holiday in May.

You can find my Google photo album for the 2018 Biesland Festival here:


More information here:



My previous blog posts:

See you there next year?