Informatie over het Referendum van 21 maart 2018

Beste Nederlanders in Australië,

Dit bericht bevat belangrijke informatie over het referendum van 21 maart a.s. omtrent de Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten (Wiv). Wij verzoeken deze informatie waar mogelijk te verspreiden onder Nederlanders in uw netwerk. Meer informatie volgt zo spoedig mogelijk.

Wij adviseren u de social media-kanalen van de Nederlandse ambassade te Canberra en het Consulaat-Generaal te Sydney eveneens oplettend te volgen.

Op 21 maart 2018 kunt u als kiezer buiten Nederland weer stemmen. U brengt uw stem uit tijdens het raadgevend referendum over de nieuwe Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten (Wiv). U stemt met een briefstembewijs of een kiezerspas. U kunt ook iemand machtigen om voor u te stemmen.

Om te kunnen stemmen, moet u zich registeren als kiezer buiten Nederland. Wilt u stemmen voor het raadgevend referendum op 21 maart 2018? Registreer u dan uiterlijk op 7 februari 2018. U hoeft dit maar 1 keer te doen. Bij iedere verkiezing krijgt u de documenten die u nodig heeft om te stemmen per post toegestuurd.

U kunt uw briefstem aan het op de retourenvelop aangegeven adres sturen. Zorg ervoor dat u uw briefstembiljet tijdig verstuurt om te garanderen dat uw stem op tijd aankomt!



Informatie over het registreren en de werkwijze van de Gemeente Den Haag treft u onder:


Voor verdere vragen kunt u contact opnemen met de Gemeente Den Haag via +31 (0) 70 353 4400 of met Buitenlandse Zaken via +31 247 247 247.


Tips from a mother of trilingual children in Australia

One of our readers of Dutch Australian has some great tips to share about raising bi/trilingual children.  Though Dutch is not one of these languages, the tips she gives are applicable as well, and her websites and facebook page (scroll to bottom) are a great resource for those raising bilingual Dutch/English speaking children.  Are you raising bi/trilingual children?  Feel free to share resources in a comment.  Renee


I am the mother of two gorgeous trilingual children. Tiago is 5 and Elisa is nearly 4. Since the day they were born I spoke French to them and my husband Spanish. We are lucky that my husband and I are fluent in each other’s language so we never need to switch to English. This is one of our golden rules: no English at home. My children learn English at the childcare and at school. So far so good. They have never been confused with the languages and both spoke early.

I wanted to share a few tips that we apply every day:

Do not compare your children with your friends’

Each child will develop his various skills at different rates. Some children will speak early, some are better with their gross/fine motor skills.

Be honest with yourself and manage your expectations.

It will save you headaches. I want my children to be fully proficient in their three languages (speaking, reading, writing). I am aware that the resources (time, books/CDs…, effort) required will depend on what my objective is. If you are happy with a passive bilingual. This is fine and it is your choice. If you want more proficiency, you have to be prepared to overcome hurdles and produce more effort.

Strategies do not last forever.

We currently use One Person One Language (OPOL). This works for us at the moment. However, we might have to change in the future as our situation changes. My children might ask me to speak English when we are outside or with their friends. You can try strategies out for a little while and if they do not work, find another one.

Minority language always used when addressing the children.

It does not matter where we are we always speak to our children in our minority languages.
I am aware that some people might find it challenging because they do not want to pass for a rude person.
I usually give the heads up if I am having a conversation and it is usually well received.

We play a lot.

Play-based activities are a wonderful way to provide exposure to children. It can be attending a language playgroup, it can be at the playground, it can be at home with all sort of games.

We read every day in our minority languages.

We read several books a day. This is part of the bedtime routine but we read throughout the day too. Books are accessible and now that my children are old enough to tell stories, we encourage them to ‘read’ to us.

We like to make up stories.

Let their imagination flow. The sillier, the more fun, the better. We have many books in Spanish and French at home but we still go to our local library to borrow books every three weeks. It also gives them more exposure to different authors and stories. Remember that there is no English at home so we always translate into our languages. Sometimes if you are too tired using bilingual books can make the task easy.

We try to give them as much exposure as possible.

I organize playdates, we regularly catch up with friends who speak either of our languages. We skype with our parents at least once a week. I am not too fond of screen time but I must admit I work from home and sometimes I need some quiet time. If they ask for it, I will play shows in French or in Spanish either on Netflix or You tube.

Finally, be persistent, consistent and disciplined but most of all make it fun!

My children were my inspiration. I could not find books that I liked in Spanish and in French in Australia, so I decided to create Le toboggan. It is an online bookshop specialised in language books for children and young adults. We carry gorgeous books and other resources in a variety of languages including Dutch.
We are always happy to look into specific requests, just let us know if you are after anything special.

We promote multiculturalism and bilingualism through our various activities, such as our language workshops (French and Spanish), visits to playgroups, community health nurses to speak about myths/truths and strategies to raise bilingual children, I run language story times at the local library, our facebook page is full of great articles and blog posts on bilingual children. I also volunteer with the NFP Bilingual Families Perth to assist parents with finding resources and language groups in Perth, I have created monthly Spanish meet ups, …

You will find more information on our activities on our website and on our page

Doei voor nu!

2017 IamExpat Fair The Hague

Pitched at “global citizens with local needs”, the 2017 IamExpat Fair was the 2nd annual edition held in The Hague.  Held today, 4 November 2017, in the beautiful Grote Kerk in The Hague, this was the first time I’d been inside this building, though I’ve walked past it many times.

Even on a grey, rainy day, the stained glass window shone brightly and caught my our attention.

I’m a veteran of expat fairs in The Netherlands, I’ve been to more than I can count over the last 10 years or more. I’ve worked in the past for both Expatica (who host the annual I am Not a Tourist Fair in Amsterdam as well as a dedicated Job Fair there, and have recently launched a fair in Eindhoven) and TheHagueOnLine who has hosted expat fairs in The Hague for over a decade.

I found the IamExpat Fair in The Hague professional and pleasant, with a focus on career and services such as legal and tax.  It was smaller than the other fairs I’ve been to but still plenty of information available. Overall, the main attraction for me at expat fairs are to gather relevant up-to-date information in English about living in the Netherlands.  After a total of 10 years now living in NL (though this has been broken up into two time periods with a few years in Australia in between), I already have a lot of contacts and experience, but usually also discover new connections and organisations, and catch up with a few favourites, including: ACCESS (a non profit who has provided english language information and support in NL for 30 years), DutchNews (daily news for NL in english)  and XPat Media (a range of publications for expats).  The Hague Tourist Information was also there, showcasing the best of this great city.

I’ve found that my needs are changing over the years, so this time I spoke to representatives for services that didn’t really interest me in the past, such as S&S Pension Consultancy to start thinking about what I should do about having pension funds in two countries, Van Buttingha Wichers Notarissen (Lawyers) about updating my will, and Blue Umbrella about my personal and freelance business tax.

My two girls, aged 8 & 10, came along with me and I told them that if they were lucky, some of the stands would be giving away things.  They sure weren’t disappointed.  Within a minute of walking in, MyGym, a new children’s fitness centre in The Hague, approached them both with a ball.  Not long after, Big Ben Kids gave them a balloon.  Several other stands also offered balloons but they couldn’t carry another and this mama refused to become a walking balloon holder!  They added a stress ball and several “snoepjes” (sweets) to their stash along the way, and then they went on the hunt for the rubber ducks they had seen others with and found them at the In2Motivation stand.

My youngest also had her face painted by Zein International Childcare in the kids corner.

There were several seminars and workshops I had checked out in advance, but with the kids I didn’t attempt to join as they were about 40 minutes each.  I saw eager queues ready to take part though.  The job section was also popular with a queue to talk to organisations such as UnDutchables.

Being an expat is an amazing experience but can sometimes be tough.  So it was great to see personal development, coaching and mental health services represented such as PsyQ International, Anti-Loneliness, and Kuhler en Trooster International Mental Health.

My own employer was there, The Hague University of Applied Sciences (where I work part time as a lecturer), promoting their english-language Masters programmes (MICM, MBA, MFMC).  I can recommend these with personal experience as I recently graduated from there with an MA for a Masters in International Communication Management (MICM) – you can read more about my studies and research over on my Zestee blog, where I wrote my thesis on “How can elearning enhance study success at THUAS?“.

I wasn’t able to stay long, even with all the distractions and give aways, my kid’s attention span is short, and it was quite busy.  But we enjoyed the hour or so we were there, so thank you to IamExpat for bringing together internationals in The Hague to share experiences, information and services.   Hope to see you next year!  For further details and to keep up to date on upcoming Fairs but also for general information about living in the Netherlands, visit 


2017 Museum Night The Hague

A highlight of every year that I have lived here in The Hague is the Museumnacht Den Haag (Museum Night The Hague).  At any time of the year, the cultural offering here in The Hague is world class, including the famous Mauritshuis (well known as the home of the “Girl with a Pearl”).  However it’s extra special on Museum Night as there is a programme of fun events from 8pm-1am.

I wrote about this event over on TheHagueOnline, where you can read my article and see some clips of my Facebook live broadcasts.

My favourite part was rollerskating in The Hague City Hall!  I was there for over an hour and though I started out quite nervous on the skates, I ended up having a fantastic time with a few friends:

I know there are a few MuseumNacht events each year, in the Netherlands:

Do you know of others?  Post them in a comment below!  I haven’t yet been to the Amsterdam & Rotterdam Museum Night events but plan to in the future.

There is also a kids edition in The Hague & Delft.  Both cities used to hold the kids & regular edition on the same night but have now split them into 2 seperate events.  Unfortunately the Delft kids one was on the same night at The Hague one this year so I missed it.  The Hague Kids Museumnacht will be held on 17 March 2018 and I hope to attend with my girls.   Here’s a post I wrote over on my Culture and Kids blog, when we attended The Hague Kids Museumnacht 2015.

Here are a few of my own favourite photos of the 2017 Den Haag Museumnacht:

Win tickets for meet and greet with Amy Shark: Australian singer songwriter in Amsterdam

One of Australias hottest newcomers is singer-songwriter Amy Shark. She scored a monster hit with her dreamy, electronic single ‘Adore’ on Soundcloud and Spotify and has been touring non-stop ever since. Her style is dreamy and personal, and she sings as if she’s sharing her deepest secrets.

The 30th of October 2017 she will play at the Melkweg in Amsterdam and she would love to meet some fellow Aussies! She’s giving away 2×2 Meet & Greet tickets.  Contact me  before Friday 27th October 2017 and let me know why you’d like to attend the show and meet Amy.  Winners will be notified by email.  This prize is organised and offered by the Melkweg.

For more information and to book tickets if you aren’t a lucky winner, visit: