NESWA is an association of men and women in Australia who, at an earlier stage in life, served their country in the Dutch Armed Forces, be it Army, Navy or Air Force, korps Mariniers’ (Marines), or the KNIL (Royal Dutch East Indies Army). Also ex-personnel of the Merchant Navy, members of the Dutch Resistance movement, Prisoners of War and victims of the German and Japanese occupation who were interned in labour and or concentration camps. The association opted for this broad definition to enable reaching as many Dutch people or people of Dutch origin with the same or similar interests and concerns.
NESWA represents and advises its members regarding financial matters such as pensions, one-off payments and compensations that may or may not be claimed. Similarly, advice is given regarding medals of honour and other decorations.

NESWA is represented in several umbrella organisations, Dutch as well as Australian. In addition NESWA is a member of the World Veterans Federation, Veteranen Platform Nederland and the Australian Veterans and Defence Council.

Below: NESWA Committee Members 1978 – 1979

An important link between the organisation and its members is our monthly magazine Wapenbroeders' (Comrades-in-arms’); it has proven to be a valuable source of information with news from the appropriate Government departments, NESWA branches in Australia, other Veterans’ organisations here and overseas etc.

This article from 17 June 1994, mentions the people that took the initiative to form NESWA.
This article from 9 December 1996, mentions the illness of one of is founders Henk Rutgers.

The Queensland Branch, Inc. NESWA- Qld was founded in 1973 – incorporated in 1991. Their relatively large membership covered the whole of the state of Queensland. Therefore, only members in the Southeast corner of the state could regularly visit meetings, commemoration services and social events organised in Brisbane. Several times per year, they organised coffee mornings at the Sunshine Coast and the North Coast to reach people in a slightly larger area.

Some of their magazines can be found here.

ANZAC Day 2015 Sydney – Photo Paul Budde
Dutch Australian Weekly 22 July 1977

On December 11, 1999, the anniversary of the Korps Mariniers’ (Marines)and the 50th anniversary of the Australia section of the Contact Former Marines (COM) was celebrated in Australia. Picture taken in the garden of the Maritime Museum in Brisbane, ladies in Old Dutch costumes hand out snacks. Source Mariniers Museum Netherlands

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.