The Dutch Australian Heritage Centre (DAHC) gives the general community an opportunity to learn about Dutch and former Dutch East Indies culture and language and shows how families moved to Victoria and lived and worked in the post World War II migration period.
The Dutch and Dutch East Indies migration began with the arrival and settlement of migrants throughout Victoria. Various Dutch social clubs and organisations were soon formed and the Associated Netherlands Societies in Victoria was created as their umbrella organisation. Setting up a Heritage Centre was a logical step undertaken by the Association and that is why in October 2000 the DAHC became a sub-committee of the Association.
The DAHC compiles and displays the history of that post- war migration. At festivals the DAHC exhibits items from the culture and traditions that the migrants brought with them.
The younger generations can learn about the country of origin of their parents and grandparents. Australia’s cultural treasure is enriched by Dutch traditions.
The DAHC basically collects everything that the migrants felt was needed in their new country. These artefacts give an insight into the migrants’ backgrounds and interests. It is not only descendants of the immigrants from The Netherlands and Dutch East Indies, who will be interested. The DAHC committee included the word ‘Australian’ in its name because the Dutch are very much a part of Australia’s multiculturalism.
The DAHC has plans to have its own website for cultural and heritage information and at present are on Museums Australia’s Victorian collections website.
The challenge ahead is to keep building the bridge between the generations which has left such a rich heritage and the new Dutch-Australian generations.
You can find the DAHC in a 2-storey building next to and at the back of the Dutch Club Abel Tasman.
By appointment – call Mr Michael Gijsberts on 0419 549 376.
Free entry. Donations are welcome.