The Erasmus Foundation has been active in the publication of two books.
Where Waters Meet
As part of the Bonegilla exhibition Dirk and Marijke Eysbertse wrote the book “Where Waters Meet”. We funded the publication and provided the sales services. The first issue of 1,000 copies in April 1997 was sold out in August 1997 and a second print of 1,000 was decided in September 1997. By February 2000 we had 359 books left, of which 150 went to The Hague for the exhibition there. Various museums and libraries obtained copies of the book.
In January 2006, we obtained a grant of $2,000 from the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) to support the printing of the third edition of the book “Where Waters meet”. The Australian Ambassador presented the book to guests at a gala dinner in 2006 commemorating 400 years of contact between the Netherlands and Australia in the Dutch House of Parliament in The Hague. (See Article in Dutch)
The Move Downunder
The second book the Erasmus Foundation was actively involved in was a proposal in January 1996 to publish a book that compiled essays by scholars on migrant stories “The Move Downunder”. It was to be edited by Des Cahil Prof Intercultural and Language Studies RMIT and Benoît Grüter Vice President DACA (Dutch Australian Community Action Group).
The book was to contain a number of essays by various authors including:
Dr Bruce Donaldson (Melb Uni), Prof W. Blaauw (Uni Rotterdam), Dr Wim Wiliams (Uni Amsterdam), Dr Christobel Young (ANU), Prod Desmond Cahill (RMIT), Dr Wendy Walker-Birckhead (La Trobe Uni), H.Overberg (Deakin Uni), Prof G. Bouma, (Monash Uni), Bert van Bedaf, Dr E Duiker, Dr Nonja Peters, Prof Michael Clyne (Monash Uni), Dr D.T.Rowland (ANU).
In April 1996 it was decided that Melbourne University Press was to publish the book and the Emigratie Fonds and Dutch Consulate promised to be sponsors. The budget was $10,000 of which $5,000 was promised by the Dutch Consulate. Other sponsors were the Rabo Group Australia/NZ (who promised to take 75 books for bank relations at $3,000) and the Dep of Premier and Cabinet Victoria. At the end of June 1996 there was a colloquium of authors at RMIT.
In July 1996 there was a large article in the Dutch Courier on the proposed book. Jan Stracke and Benoît Grüter mainly worked on the book and attracted the sponsors. It was expected to publish the book by end 1998. Printing was planned to be 1500 books in Australia and about the same number in Europe. Penguin was to be the distributor.
The unfortunate death of Jan Stracke in April 1997 put the publication on hold and work was dormant till 2005 when Nonja Peters took over from Benoît Grüter. The publisher was now to be Kluwer (not MUP) and the book was finally published in February 2006 with the slightly changed title "The Dutch Down Under 1606 – 2006". It was launched in the Immigration Museum Melbourne on 12 February 2006.
Nonja Peters also received funds from the book project for a website on migrant stories. It became the DAAAG project (Dutch Australians at a Glance). It exists today as https://www.daaag.org.
Continue: Dutch TV