Records relating to Dutch migration held in Sydney – Fact sheet 156
The continuing tradition of Dutch association with Australia began with explorers such as Dirk Hartog and Abel Tasman. In spite of having the highest return rate of all Australian migrants, people from the Netherlands currently represent about 2.6 per cent of the overseas-born population in Australia. Approximately half of these migrants live in New South Wales.
Immigration and naturalisation records
Many Dutch people migrated to Australia in the wake of World War II. Many Dutch people lost their lives during the German occupation and Allied bombing and as Europe was facing economic and social devastation, survivors were encouraged by the Dutch and Australian governments to come to Australia. The Netherlands Australia Migration Agreement (NAMA) of 1951 facilitated the immigration of Dutch people to Australia, including those residing in the Netherlands East Indies.
Passenger lists for boats and aircraft arriving in Australia provide general personal information. Many ships, including the Groote Beer, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nelly, Sibajak, Skaubryn and Waterman, and some KLM flights, were specially chartered to carry migrants from the Netherlands. For more information see – Passenger records held in Sydney. Note that unless you know the name of the vessel and the approximate date of arrival, searching passenger records can be very time consuming.
Migrant selection documents and other relevant material
Many migrants applied for assisted passage to Australia during the post World War II migration boom. The forms they completed are known as migrant selection documents. A large number of Dutch migrant selection documents can be found in series A2478, which is held in Canberra. For more information see Fact Sheet 66 – Migrant selection documents held in Canberra.
Book 15 of series SP606/2, which is held in Sydney, contains schedules of Dutch migrants nominated for assisted passages by their families or fiancees for the period 1950 to 1957.
The Sydney office holds naturalisation files for persons naturalised in New South Wales after 1951. Naturalisation papers for all naturalisations between 1904 and 1951 (including those conducted in New South Wales) are held in our Canberra office.
General immigration correspondence
Series C3939 and SP1122/1 contain material relating to New South Wales immigration matters. Examples of items from these series relating to Dutch migration are listed below.