The following text is from a booklet published by the Federation of Netherlands Societies Ltd. in February 1985. The research for this booklet was done by Mijntje Hagen. 

The P.D.B.S. started its work in Australia in 1948. It began as a social committee of the Dutch congregation of the Presbyterian Church and was called “Diakonie”, which, in 1970, became the P.D.M.A. (Protestant Dutch Migrant Association). Elders and Deacons of the Dutch congregation gave moral and often social support to newly arrived immigrants. Over the years the work of the P.D.B.S. has shifted from religious to social and welfare work. More and more emphasis is placed on assisting the aged immigrant – not only in moral support, but in a very practical way too, by organising coffee mornings (“instuiven”) and other self-help programmes, often in cooperation with the C.D.M.A. and other welfare organisations.

Uniting Church Ultimo

On those coffee mornings, which are well attended, the older immigrant can talk with people of the same age and background and quite often starts organising things for others. The P.D.B.S. also organises outings for the aged, in the way of bus tours, lunches and so on. Money for these activities is raised through donations, stalls in various shopping centres, selling of arts and crafts and of course the yearly “Wooden Shoe Bazaar” held in October in the hall of the Uniting Church in Ultimo.

The P.D.M.A. as such could not become a member of the Federation of Netherlands Societies, therefore some structural changes were necessary. This happened in 1977 when the P.D.B.S. was formed, which is basically a continuation of the P.D.M.A. If you want to go to an “Instuif”, please contact the person named in the list at the end of this booklet. Information is also available regarding Dutch Church Services, and/or Indonesian-Dutch Services.