July 10, 2018

Australia: Boost for maritime heritage projects

In March, the renowned Dutch maritime archaeologist Martijn Manders visited Australia to strengthen cooperation in the field of maritime heritage.

Martijn Manders

A connection that dates back 400 years
Martijn Manders, Head of the Maritime Heritage Programme of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands, visited Australia last month for research and meetings. Australia and the Netherlands share a history that started in 1606, when Willem Janszoon arrived at Cape York Peninsula with De Duyfken, and in 1616 when Dirk Hartog landed on the west coast with De Eendracht. Manders held a lecture at the South Australian Maritime Museum on the shared maritime heritage that resulted from this. He specifically mentioned the Shipwreck Gallery in Fremantle, and the excavation of the wreck of the Dutch East India Company ship De Rooswijk. Manders also touched on migrant heritage, mentioning that his own aunt Ada and uncle Bernard van den Berg, like so many Dutch people, had moved to Australia after WWII. What turned out? Several members of the audience had also arrived in Australia in the 1950s.

Boost for new maritime heritage projects
Many joint projects have been developed over the last few decades. One of the most popular projects, Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties, is now coming to an end. And new initiatives are starting up, like the Ship Shapes project that focusses on reconstructing Dutch East India ships by 3D-printing, laser and CT scanning. The Dutch embassy has released a call to submit more projects on shared maritime heritage. This follows the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Netherlands and Australia on cooperation in the field of maritime heritage.

Tip: Have you seen the magazine that was made in celebration of the 400 years of shared Dutch-Australian history?