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 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:

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)

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 :




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:

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


2018 Embassy Festival, The Hague

On 1 September 2018, we attended the colourful cultural Embassy Festival in The Hague.  This was the fourth year we have attended, and it didn’t disappoint.  To make it even more special, I was the lucky winner of their Facebook competition for an overnight stay in a suite at the Mecure Hotel Den Haag Central.  A huge thanks to them for our amazing view and the great opportunity to have a very rare night away, even if it was in our own city.  My mum was here for a visit from Australia, so she and the girls came to check out the festival and our suite, then she took them home.


The Embassy Festival really is an amazing example of what world harmony can really look like.  With around 50 stands showcasing the food, drinks, products, traditional dress and tourism of their countries, it is a truly unique experience.  Even just simply pointing out the names of each country to our children is a great learning experience.  The festival gives them a tiny taste the many, many sights, sounds and smells our world has to offer – without expensive airfares!  What I love most is that it is all in an atmosphere of interest of and respect for each other.  Whether you attended the festival or not, even a peek at the Embassy Festival website gives an impression of the variety of global culture that was there.

I had a lot of delicious food and drinks – I have to admit though that now I am sharing these photos, I don’t actually remember which stands/countries it was all from!  I know the first is my daughter enjoying Finnish food (a type of cinnamon bun).  The rest became a bit of a blur (and I don’t think the margarita and strawberry daiquiri  were to blame!)

Our only two complaints were that firstly, it was a very crowded. Great to see it so popular (I’ve been telling my friends, students and colleagues about it for years!) but when attending with two kids and my mother, it was a bit hard to keep track of everyone, move around and see what was at the stands.  Secondly, as an asthmatic, I also had the issue I often have in crowds – regularly breathing in cigarette smoke.

That said, it was still a fantastic festival and we enjoyed a few hours wandering around and literally exploring the world.  A huge thanks to the organisers for making the festival both free and such an amazing experience.

It finished at 8pm, and we stopped off at the Pathe to see some American culture on the way back to the hotel (Mission Impossible Freefall!) before enjoying this great view from the Mecure Hotel Den Haag Central.

See you next year?

My blog posts for previous years are here:

The festival website is here:

Their facebook page has plenty of photos:

My own photos are here:



Attention Australians divorcing in the Netherlands

This is one of a series of guest posts from GMW lawyers in The Hague, offering information on legal matters in English.

If you’re an Australian who got married in Australia, but now lives in The Netherlands, you may think that if you get divorced, it will be under Australian law. Actually Dutch law could still apply when you get divorced – and that has consequences for how you can divide your property. International divorce lawyer Marjet Groenleer highlights key considerations about the division of property for Australians divorcing in The Netherlands.

Which law will apply to your divorce?

Even though you were married in Australia, and even if you married an Australian, Dutch law could apply to your divorce, and to the division of your property when you get divorced in the Netherlands.

Does that really matter?

Yes. If Dutch law applies to you, then all assets or property that you and your ex own will automatically belong to a “matrimonial community” or “community of property”.  This means you will have to share those assets 50/50 when you get divorced.

Your assets are not just your houses, stocks or cars – they may include an inheritance you received, or even gifts from your parents.


If you were married after 1 January 2018, your inheritance and gifts will be automatically excluded from the community of property, as Dutch law changed on this date.

If you married before 1 January 2018, the only way to exclude your inheritance and gifts from the community of property is

  1. if you have a prenuptial agreement in which you exclude inheritances or gifts from the community of property.
  2. If your parents (or others from who you inherit or receive a gift) have a so-called exclusion clause in their will.

If you do not have a prenuptial agreement and there is no exclusion clause, you will have to share your inheritance with your ex.

What is an exclusion clause?

An exclusion clause is a clause in a will that expressly states that  an inheritance should not fall into any marital community of property.

If such a clause exists then, for instance, an inheritance received during the marriage will not become part of any community of assets and property into which the heir(ess) is married. Even if you get divorced under Dutch law.

An exclusion clause is typically Dutch, so you may not have heard this term used in other countries, but it could still work to your benefit.

For her own use and benefit absolutely

In countries like Australia, a sentence like “for her own use and benefit only” is frequently used in wills. Such a sentence could work to your advantage.

Under Dutch law, this could be considered an exclusion clause which could prevent your inheritance falling within a marital community of assets and property.

In a recent case, the courts of appeal in Arnhem-Leeuwarden had to decide whether this qualified as an exclusion clause when a wife received an inheritance from her Australian uncle during her marriage (ECLI:NL:GHARL:2018:3767). In this case, the uncle’s last will and testament contained the sentence mentioned above.

First, the courts of appeal considered that the will should be interpreted according to Australian law (referring to international private law legislation laid down in EU-regulations and international treaties).

Further, the court found that because the uncle had deliberately added this sentence to his will, even though in Australia inheritances by default stay out of any marital community, that the uncle had clearly expressed his wish to leave the inheritance solely to the wife.

The court therefore decided that this qualified as an exclusion clause. The result was that the wife did not need to share her inheritance with her ex.

How can you ensure you don’t need to share your inheritance?

There are two ways to protect any future inheritance. The first is to go to a notary and make a prenuptial agreement in which you exclude gifts and inheritances from any marital community, as mentioned above. The other option is to make sure that any future testators have an exclusion clause in their wills.

Dealing with the reality of divorce in The Netherlands

Getting divorced in another country and having to navigate the impact of a new legal system can add an extra pressure during to an already stressful situation.

When you face divorce in The Netherlands and you’re unsure about your rights, consider getting legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in international divorces. They can help you get a clear picture of your rights, advise you on the applicable law, and help you find a solution.

If you have a question about getting divorced in The Netherlands, or you’d like to discuss your situation, please contact Marjet Groenleer.

Marjet Groenleer is an attorney-at-law and associate partner at GMW lawyers in The Hague. She has been active in family law for more than 15 years, focused on international divorces and is a trained divorce mediator.

Marjet has particular expertise in the international aspects of family law, and is familiar with several foreign legal systems. She is an expert in dealing with complex financial and multi-jurisdictional cases of an international family breakdown. Many of her clients are expats in The Netherlands for the various international organisations and companies based in The Netherlands, specifically in the area of The Hague (such as EPO, Estec, OPCW, NATO, the tribunals, ICC, Shell, etc.)

Marjet worked as a lecturer in International Civil Law for several years and at the Court of Appeals in The Hague in the family law sector. Today, she is a deputy judge in the Court of Appeals in Amsterdam and publishes regularly in professional journals.

About GMW lawyers

GMW lawyers is a law firm based in The Hague that has one goal: to achieve the best result for you.

Since 1989, GMW lawyers has been helping international and local individuals, companies and organisations to solve their legal problems.

Having lawyers who have been expats themselves, GMW lawyers has a strong understanding of the issues expats can face. Their legal experts work together in teams, using their extensive personal and professional experience to deliver the best possible solutions. In this way, they can provide service and guidance in more than one field of expertise.

GMW lawyers can assist you with questions about family law and estate planning, employment and pensions, property and tenancy, liability and company law.

Learn more about GMW lawyers on their website: