Allies in adversity, Australia and the Dutch in the Pacific War

2006 marked the 400th anniversary of the Dutch discovery of the Australian mainland by Captain Willem Jansz in March 1606. Allies in adversity commemorated this anniversary by focusing on the Dutch–Australian experience of the war in the Pacific, 1941–45.


Many people have made important contributions to the production of this website, and without their (in some cases unwitting!) assistance it could not have been made. They include the authors Dr Jack M. Ford, Doug Hurst and Mervyn W. Prime, whose works Allies in a bind, (1996) The fourth ally (2001) and WA’s Pearl Harbour (1985) provided essential background material.

The van Gelder family in Australia and overseas went to considerable effort to provide the most complete record possible of their experiences during the Japanese occupation of the NEI; their willingness to loan treasured original documents for copying was much appreciated. Max van Gelder, in particular, has provided much valuable assistance and advice, as well as subjecting himself to the ordeal of a recorded interview.

Mrs Joyce Miller (neé Avasia) was most helpful in supplying additional information on her internment, and on “Hansie” the Dutch doll.

Broome Historical Society kindly permitted the Memorial to reproduce an image of the toy aeroplane recovered from one of the wrecks in Roebuck Bay, and the National Library of Australia allowed the reproduction of a compass rose from one of its historic maps.

The Netherlands Embassy in Australia has produced a booklet on the 1942 air raid in Broome.