International Heritage Co-operation Program 2022: Call for proposals

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra, Australia
welcomes project proposals for initiatives focusing on Dutch-Australian Cultural Heritage.


The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra, Australia, actively promotes Dutch-Australian cultural heritage; a material and immaterial legacy from the past, shared by our two countries. The embassy’s shared cultural heritage program identifies four themes the so-called Maritime, Military, Migrant and Mercantile heritage. Over the next years we will increasingly focus on the sustainable preservation of this heritage, particularly through digitization and the Dutch encounters with the Indigenous peoples of Australia. Further, we look forward to proposals that seek a public outcome of cultural heritage research, develop ideas and projects on society, and look towards the 400th Anniversary of the wrecking of the Batavia in 2029.

The 4 Ms | Maritime, Military, Migrant & Mercantile heritage Maritime

The historical connection between Australia and the Netherlands dates back to the 17th century, when Dutch VOC ships mapped and charted the Australian continent. In 1606, Dutchman Willem Janszoon and his crew on the Duyfken made the first European landing on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Many Dutch explorers followed Janszoon. These include Dirk Hartog (1616), Abel Tasman (1642) and Willem de Vlaminck (1697). The Dirk Hartog plate is the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil and Abel Tasman was the first to circumnavigate Australia. 

2029 celebrates 400 years ago since the Batavia shipwrecked off the coast of Western Australia. Whilst four Dutch shipwrecks, including the Batavia, have been found in Australian waters, others are still missing.


During World War II, the Netherlands and Australia were close allies. As part of the allied opposition to Japan, the Royal Netherlands and East Indies Forces operated from Australia. After the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) fell to the Japanese, both soldiers and refugees fled to Australia.

On 3 March 1942, a number of flying boats carrying Dutch civilian evacuees to the port of Broome, Western Australia, were attacked by Japanese naval forces causing numerous casualties among the crew and passengers aboard the aircraft. The remains of the flying boats are still visible at low tide.


The connections between the Netherlands and Australia were fortified in the aftermath of WW II with the influx of Dutch migrants. Between 1947 and 1970, around 160,000 Dutch migrants came to Australia prefacing the long list of contributions to Australian society, culture, and prosperity.  The Dutch immigrants contributed to the Australian economy as entrepreneurs and manufacturers, setting up businesses and consequently leaving traces of mercantile heritage. The Dutch were called the invisible migrants as they assimilated so well into the Australian society.

The 2016 Australian Census recorded 70,165 Netherlands-born people in Australia, whilst 339,549 of the respondents claimed Dutch ancestry.

Digital Heritage

Australian galleries, libraries, archives, and museums are actively digitising their heritage collections for future generations. As our shared heritage is often part of these collections, the embassy encourages initiatives that assist the digitization of this heritage.

For example, the National Archives of Australia is currently working with the Dutch Nationaal Archief in a 4-year partnership to scope their collection and identify records related to the Dutch-Australian relationship. So far, more than 500 records relating to Dutch migration and government documents have been digitised and have laid the foundations of a pilot with the Dutch research institute Huygens to link metadata and records from the collections of both archives.

The National Film and Sound Archives of Australia has been working together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Beeld en Geluid) across four years to digitize Dutch-Australian AV-heritage and make it accessible to the public.

Your application | Project criteria

  1. The project commences after 1 October 2022 but before 1 December 2022 and will run for a period not exceeding three years
  2. The project promotes the sustainable preservation of Australian-Dutch cultural heritage
  3. The project focusses on one (or several) of the four themes
  4. The project has a long-term impact
  5. The project promotes cooperation between Australian and Dutch counterparts
  6. The project creates awareness and knowledge about Australian-Dutch cultural heritage primarily among an Australian audience
  7. A strong communication strategy, as part of the project planning will be favourably received
  8. If applicable: involvement from key stakeholders and the community to ensure the project can continue after Embassy funding ceases.

Optional criteria

  • The project presents opportunities for multilateral cooperation with other countries that have a strong cultural heritage connection with the Netherlands: Indonesia, Japan, India, China, Suriname, South-Africa, Brazil, Russia, and the Unites States of America
  • The project creates opportunities for subsequent developments initiated by the applicant or third parties
  • The project thematically connects Australian-Dutch cultural heritage with contemporary Dutch key sectors, involving Dutch companies in Australia
  • Public-private partnerships and private sector involvement, e.g., through sponsoring or advertising.

Mandatory Requirements

  1. Grant applications may only be submitted by a professional, not for profit Australian organization with an ABN, that is not dependent on the financial contribution from the Netherlands Embassy for its core funding
  2. The applicant uses the application form for 2022, provided by the Embassy (request by e-mail)
  3. The applicant identifies and collaborates with a Dutch project partner based in the Netherlands
  4. The cooperation is based on equality, reciprocity, and respect for ownership
  5. The application form must be accompanied by a written confirmation from the Dutch counterpart(s) confirming that the application has been drawn up in mutual agreement
  6. The contribution will in principle not exceed 60% of the total project budget. The financial value (or a fair estimate) of any in-kind contributions (such as expertise, equipment, office space and PR) may be included. Please note the Embassy does not sponsor overhead costs
  7. The requested financial contribution of the Embassy should be between 3.000 and 25.000 EURO

Deadline and Application procedure

  • Applications must be submitted by completing the embassy application form for SCH projects which is available upon request via
  • The final deadline to for applications is 15 August 2022
  •  It is strongly advised that you contact 
  • The Embassy aims to decide on your application within 6 weeks of your application
  • The applications must include a 250-word precis of the projects with a photograph for publicity purposes.
  • Please note application forms have to be signed and the original application form sent to the Embassy by post:

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Attn. Dr Xenia Hanusiak

120 Empire Circuit

Yarralumla ACT 2600

Further information

  • If you have any questions, please contact us on or call +61 2 6220 9400 and ask for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Public Diplomacy.