On June 16th 2021 I received news that the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Australia, H.E. Mrs. Marion Derckx, announced Ms. Marjon Wind to be the new Honorary Consul for Queensland. Ms. Wind succeeds Dr. Frans Karel de Laat as the Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Queensland.
I was fortunate to be able to arrange a meeting with Ms Wind on 18 June, to congratulate her on the appointment and find out a bit about her.
Marjon Wind moved to Australia in 2017 with her Australian husband and daughter and settled in Brisbane. Prior to that, she had made frequent visits to various parts of Australia, starting with a visit to Uluru for the Millennium celebrations. She also spent annual Christmas holidays here and has many friends she visited.
Settling in Australia did not require as much of an adjustment as for most migrants. For her work, Ms Wind has already lived in a variety of world cities, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, London and of course in Netherlands and she made many visits to Australia over the past 15 years.
Marjon Wind was born in Soest and grew up a stone’s throw from Paleis Soestdijk. Her parents originate from Twente, where her great, great grandfather was a (wind) miller. She studied Economics and Business Administration in Maastricht and Ireland, and worked for 13 years in banking and business consulting in Utrecht (Rabobank) and overseas. While in London she studied Company Direction at the UK Institute of Directors.
When attending a wedding in Noosa, Ms Wind met her future husband, who originates from Toowoomba, but was also living in London.
In 2014 Ms Wind returned to the Netherlands for three and a half years to develop her expertise of the circular economy. (Netherlands is a hot spot in the reusing of waste materials as new resources). Subsequently, she moved to Brisbane and worked there for Business Models Inc.
In 2018 Marjon Wind went to work for Coreo, a specialised circular economy consultancy, where she supports businesses in their transition from a linear to a circular business model to create economic, social and environmental benefits. She focuses on action-oriented projects that will demonstrate the value of applying circular economy principles to business.
An example of this is a trial by Cotton Australia to see if old cotton textiles can improve the soils on a farm in Goondiwindi, Queensland. Recently, two tonnes of shredded cotton from old clothes were spread out and mixed with the soil on a paddock before the next cotton-growing season. Ms Wind is involved with this project.
Other interests are supporting women in their careers, diversity, and creating a healthy life-work balance. The more laid back and friendly Queensland society is something she very much values. She also likes the Queensland climate.
Marjon Wind is looking forward to her role as Honorary Consul. The Honorary Consul represents general and economic interests of the Netherlands across Queensland, and she is looking forward to deepening cross-cultural collaborations. The Honorary Consul does not administer travel documents, visas, passports, official documents or statements. These services are administered by the Consulate-General in Sydney. She has a special interest in supporting collaboration in the circular economy. The Netherlands Embassy in Canberra is also promoting the Dutch examples of a circular economy.
I asked Ms Wind what she finds different about Australia as compared to the Netherlands and she responded that society here is very much about outdoor lifestyle and sports is an important part of life! What she misses about Netherlands are of course her family, but also the typical Dutch foods, and coziness (gezelligheid).
A public ceremonial hand over from Dr. Karel de Laat to Ms. Marjon Wind in the presence of Ambassador Derckx and Consul General van Beuningen (Sydney) will take place in Brisbane later in 2021.