September 11, 2018

Australia: Preserving migrant histories for future generations

Launch of joint Shared Cultural Heritage project at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

In August, the National Archives of Australia and of the Netherlands launched a joint Shared Cultural Heritage Project at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Personal stories
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) collaborated with the National Archives of the Netherlands to analyse both collections and create five video interviews in which Dutch migrants tell about why they or their parents migrated to Australia. Short versions of these videos can be found on the website Destination Australia. During the launch on 16 August, Erica Schouten, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Australia, emphasised the need for oral history projects like this: “Since this group of migrants is ageing, it makes it even more important to preserve their stories for future generations.” David Fricker, Director General of the NAA, also proclaimed his enthusiasm for this Dutch-Australian Shared Cultural Heritage project. Jan Müller, the Dutch-born CEO of the National Film and Sound Archive in Australia, announced that they will be involved in the second phase of the project.

Dutch migration to Australia
Approximately 160,000 Dutch nationals migrated to Australia between 1947 and 1970. These Dutch migrants helped shape Australia, working in the building and construction industries and contributing to scientific, artistic and economic developments.

This multiannual project is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Canberra.