Eighty Years of full diplomatic relations

Both the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Huygens ING  have published large series of historical documents on the foreign policy and international relations of both countries.

The start of 80 years of full diplomatic relations  between Australia and the Netherlands is documented in these online publications. Political considerations on the exchange of envoys can be found in Australian DFAT-series on 17-1-1942 and in the Dutch DBPN-series on 5-2-1942. From the documents it also appears that there were tensions on the issue of the future of the Netherlands East Indies.

The start of the migration stimulation policy is documented in the DFAT-series as well. In the document of 13-12-1946 the Australian and the Dutch governments reaffirmed their informal migration agreement of 1939. It formed the basis of the agreement that became known as the Netherlands Australian Migration Agreement (NAMA)

Both the National Archives in the Hague and Canberra are digitizing migrant heritage in the Dutch Australian Shared Cultural Heritage Project. It comprises photographs, personal and policy files. An example of the earliest implementation of the agreement of 1946 can be found here.  It provides context to the personal stories of the migrants.


After the informal agreements of government assisted passages of 1939 and 1946 the migration agreements between Australia and the Netherlands were drawn up in so-called migration schemes that were in effect in different periods. An overview of all schemes is in the the Huygens Dutch Emigration 1945-1967 research guide.

We have documented them more extensively separately:

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