Activities in Australia

Dutch evacuees in Australia felt strongly that they should contribute in some way to the war effort, and to the liberation of the Netherlands and the NEI. Most of the men were employed in the KNIL or in administrative roles for the Dutch authorities. Many women were also able to find work with the forces, or with the NEI administration, but others turned their attention to fund-raising, or to the provision of comforts for servicemen or other evacuees.

These largely unsung efforts helped to make life more bearable for many of the evacuees, particularly children, who were struggling to come to terms with a new culture and a new climate, and became one of the cornerstones of the Dutch community in Australia.

Women soldiers standing in a line A group of members of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps of the KNIL being inspected by the Dutch Commander-in-Chief in Melbourne, July 1944. 141462

Children making clothes Members of the Dutch and Indonesian Women’s Association in Melbourne making clothes for the children of evacuees. They are being “assisted” by several of the young evacuees. 141498

Crowd of children sitting Evacuee children in Melbourne enjoying a trip to the circus. 140296