Dutchies in Wollongong

Cities such as Wollongong, within the Illawarra region of New South Wales, owe their depth of character to the ambitious migration scheme of post war Australia. Between 1947 and 1961 the population of Wollongong nearly doubled.

Industry such as The Illawarra Steelworks provided employment opportunities for new arrivals. During the 1950's the Dutch became the second largest migrant group to settle in Australia (1), significant numbers of which also added to the cultural complexity of the Illawarra region.
Wollongong, New South Wales. Industry such as the Illawarra Steelworks provided employment for many migrants and attracted them to the region. Image by Wollongong Tourist Information, 2010

Evidence of the positive effect that Dutch migrants have had on the community, from the time of their arrival to the present day, are reflected in local cultural projects and exhibitions. Many Dutch migrants feature in the photographic exhibition displayed on the exterior of Wollongong City Gallery. Photographs taken by Mayu Kanamori communicate the pioneering story of migrants, and where they first lived when they came to Wollongong after World War II.

Geraldine van Duin in front of the original garage, which housed her family at Corrimal. Migrated from Netherlands in 1954. (2)

Nell and Marie Schelle on their sister’s wedding day at their home in Bulli. Circa 1960. Migrated from Netherlands in 1954. (2)

Pamela and Peter van Duin's original passport used to migrate from the Netherlands in 1966. (2)
These photographs, displayed outwardly on one of the cities most central buildings, a space that is integral to the cultural place-making of Wollongong, strongly communicate the important role that Dutch migrants have within the Illawarra community.