Over the last half year Dutchlink Brisbane has organised three Dutch-Australian history events.
In May we organised a seminar on the Dutch history of WWII Camp Columbia. This event was attended by the Dutch Ambassador H.E. Mrs Marion Derckx, the Honorary Netherlands Consul for Queensland Mrs Marjon Wind and other dignitaries from the Dutch Government, Brisbane City Councill, the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and local history organisations..
The event was hosted by the Pooh Corner Environmental Centre in Wacol, which is situated on the grounds of the former military camp. During WWII the camp hosted the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) Government in Exile. After the war it hosted refugees from the Japanese concentration camps and a few years later many Dutch Migrants started their life in Australia in the Wacol Migration Camp, situated on the same grounds.
At the end of the event a plan was launched to create a Heritage Park at Pooh’s Corner to commemorate the important role of Camp Columbia played in the Allied history of the liberation of the South West Pacific, including NEI.
In all over 70 delegates attended this event, equally split between people from Dutch descent and Australians interested in this history.
The other two events had a similar mix of delegates. They were held at Archerfield Airport. This Airport played a key role in Dutch Aviation history. It received the first postal flight from the Netherlands in 1931. The famous DC3 De Uiver landed here in 1934 and the airport received the first military planes from Netherlands East Indies after Japan invaded this country in 1942. From here the Dutch and NEI Airforce regrouped and took part in the liberation of the South West Pacific under US Commander General MacArthur.
The high-quality venue – the 1941 arrivals hall of the airport- could only host 35 delegates, so a second event was organised in September and both events were sold out.
All together close to $1000 was raised for DCCQ/DutchLink as the venue and the guest speakers were offered to us free of charge.