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Newsletter #51

October 2019

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte visited Australia last week!


After spending the beginning of last week in Indonesia and New Zealand, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, made his way to Australia and spent three days here.

The highlights of the trip include Prime Minister Rutte meeting with Governor General David Hurley at Admiralty House and later with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday, 9 October. The meeting with Prime Minister Morrison at Kirribilli House was followed by a joint media conference where both prime ministers talked about the international collaboration on MH17 and strengthening the trade and investment relationship, and opportunities for closer international cooperation. Later that day, Prime Minister Rutte visited the State Library of New South Wales where he was able to closely observe the original Tasman Map, one of the State Library’s most valued possessions.

On Thursday Prime Minister Rutte spoke to CEOs of Dutch companies in Australia as well as Australian companies considering investing in the Netherlands. These fruitful conversations with both Australian and Dutch companies can further strengthen the economic relationship between Australia and the Netherlands. As the day continued, Prime Minister Rutte participated in a discussion hosted by think tank the Lowy Institute where he gave a speech about the importance of the international rules-based order. After meeting with NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Prime Minister continued the afternoon with a visit to the National Herbarium of NSW in the Royal Botanic Gardens. There he was shown the 1.4 million herbarium plant specimens collection of the Herbarium by NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Rob Stokes, which is currently being digitised by Dutch company Picturae, making the collection available for researchers worldwide. Prime Minister Rutte also joined Australian guests, who have been on study tours to the Netherlands in recent years, on a boat trip on Sydney Harbour.

On his final day, the Prime Minister was in Melbourne. He gave a keynote speech at a breakfast organised by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). He underlined the common global challenges that the Netherlands and Australia are facing, and how we can answer to these challenges through joint international cooperation, innovation and sustainability. The morning continued with Prime Minister Rutte visiting a Circular Economy Forum, where he was joined by the Hon Lily d’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. In his speech, Prime Minister Rutte underlined that the transition to a circular economy in the Netherlands has already involved some 420,000 jobs and added seven billion euros to the Dutch economy. Afterwards, the PM and Minister d'Ambrosio attended the signing of an MoU with Director of Holland Circular Hotspot, Freek van Eijk, and Planet Ark's Paul Klymenko on long-term cooperation between Australia's National Circular Economy Hub (NCEH), an initiative by Planet Ark, and Holland Circular Hotspot.

The day continued with a meeting with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews at the Metro Tunnel project site, co-designed by Dutch company Arcadis, in North Melbourne. The Prime Minister and the premier were shown around the site and even underground, where the tunnels are currently being dug. Afterwards, Prime Minister Rutte paid a visit to the Melbourne International Games Week to discuss the use of serious gaming in various sectors like health and life sciences. Finally, the day was concluded with a visit to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the Prime Minister met with the Dutch community in Melbourne.

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Dutch company TOPdesk has opened a new office in Melbourne

Dutch company TOPdesk has opened a new office in Melbourne, Australia. This new addition joins the other 14 offices TOPdesk has in 11 countries. The new office is starting with three employees that will manage a growing hub in Australia’s tech capital.

The idea behind TOPdesk is to help organisations improve their service delivery and create an environment where employees can thrive. This is done through user-friendly, easy to integrate products that encourage team work.

Wolter Smit, CEO of TOPdesk, sees a great opportunity for the company given that Australia is a dynamic region with potential due to its growing population, growing number of businesses and fast adaptation of new technologies.

To read more about TOPdesks new locations, please click “Read more”

Read more

Hobart Airport's biggest stakeholders are QIC and Schiphol

On October 1, Royal Schiphol Group and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) each wrote an AUD$300 million cheque for a joint 70% stake in Hobart Airport. Both are the biggest shareholders in the airport with Tasplan Super retaining the other 30%.

The two main stakeholders underwent intense talks before the decision was made and the deal was signed. Royal Schiphol Group is excited to add Hobart Airport to its international portfolio. They state that it fits their international strategy and ambition since it strengthens the expertise of the Group. Thus, this acquisition will bring benefits across the Group and to the Netherlands. And to Hobart Airport, of course!

This is not the first time QIC and Schiphol collaborate; they are both also co-investors in Brisbane Airport, with QIC holding a 25% stake and Schiphol 19.6%.

Read more [in Dutch]

Pauline van Dongen takes on the World Solar Challenge

We are very proud to announce our embassy’s cooperation with Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

From 14 until 17 October, Pauline will give a brand new workshop called “SUN LACED" at TAFE SA Arts & Design in Adelaide. The program revolves around combining solar technology with wearable design. Participants will work hands-on with solar cells and develop knowledge on how to integrate them in clothing and soft textile products.

For more information about the workshop, please email Eager to learn more about Pauline and her designs? Follow the link below!

Read more

A New Cyclist and Pedestrian Bridge in Perth

A new cyclist and pedestrian bridge is being built over Scarborough Beach Road in Perth. Western Australia’s Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti, stated that, “this locally made bridge will help more people cycle, as it creates a direct route from the northern suburbs to Perth city”.

The Dutch are also taking part in the construction of this bridge! The installation will be done by Dutch company Mammoet, which specialises in engineering, heavy lifting and transport of oversized and heavy objects.

To see a video of the installation, please click "Watch more".

The image is an artist's impression of the bridge.

Watch more

Would you like to become an intern at the Dutch Consulate General in Sydney?

The Consulate General of the Netherlands in Sydney has two internship vacancies. We are looking for a “Communication” intern as well as a “Trade and Economics” intern starting in January 2020. The candidate for each vacancy should be someone who is fluent in both Dutch and English, independent yet a team player, has interest in coming to Australia, and studies a subject related to the function they wish to apply for.

For those interested in applying for the Communication internship: the tasks of the Communication intern are to facilitate the dialogue between businesses and citizens in Australia and the Netherlands.

For those interested in applying for the Trade and Economics internship: the tasks of the Trade and Economics intern are to support Dutch companies to expand their business to Australia.

The deadline for both vacancies is on Friday, 25 October 2019 by 17:00 Netherlands time. If you are passionate about the position and enthusiastic about joining our team, then please send in a motivation letter and your CV with two references. For more information about each position and how to apply, please click "Read more".

Read more

Herman Huisman returns to Australia as keynote speaker at Waste & Recycle Conference

Dutch circular economy and waste management expert Herman Huisman returned to Australia to deliver a keynote at the 2019 Waste & Recycle Conference in Perth as part of “Springtime for Circularity- No time to waste!”. Throughout the Australian springtime, the Dutch diplomatic missions in Australia as well as Australian and Dutch partners, will present an impressive line-up of Dutch circular economy experts participating in conferences, lectures, panel discussions, and workshops.

During the conference last week, Mr. Huisman highlighted the Dutch journey towards a circular economy. He spoke about various topics such as waste management and circular economy policies with a focus on waste prevention and using waste as a resource. Mr. Huisman also was part of the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council’s new Food Organic & Garden Organic (FOGO) strategy launch on September 24. This decision will divert 100,000 tons of organic material from landfill, taking a significant step towards a more circular economy in Australia.

Read more

The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency live in Sydney


The official opening of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) office in Sydney, co-located in our Consulate General in Bondi Junction, took place last week.

The ribbon cutting to mark this occassion included (from left to right) NFIA's Country Manager - Singapore and Australia, Adeline Tan, NFIA Commissioner, Jeroen Nijland, Consul-General of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Sydney, Frank van Beuningen, and NFIA Australia Project Manager at NFIA/ Economic Officer at the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Alexandra Gauer.

NFIA stands ready to help when it comes to Australian businesses interested in investing in the Netherlands.

Supported by the NFIA global footprint and network of Invest in Holland partners, NFIA provides free, confidential assistance to streamline every facet of your business expansion or company relocation project.

NFIA looks forward to hearing from other Australian businesses looking for a presence in Europe and to #InvestinHolland.

Read More

The Netherlands ranks as the fourth most competitive economy in the world

The Global Competitiveness Report of 2019 shows the annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth. This year, the Netherlands has proved to score in the top five of the world’s most competitive economies. It follows closely after Singapore (1st), the United States (2nd), and Hong Kong (3rd). This then makes the Netherlands the most competitive economy in the European Union, with Germany following second.

The index maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 themes. Each indicator, using a scale from 0 to 100, shows how close an economy is to the ideal state or “frontier” of competitiveness. It covers pillars such as institutions, infrastructure, health, the labour market, the financial system and more, which determines the score of each country.

To learn more about the world economy, please click "Read more"

Read more Andy van den Dobbelsteen at the 2019 Industry Breakfast

On 31 October the Masters Builders Association Victoria will organise a breakfast where Europeans and Australians come together to discuss sustainable buildings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This event is part of the 'Springtime for Circularity - No Time to Waste" launched by the Dutch diplomatic missions in Australia.

Dutch professor Andy van den Dobbelsteen will be a guest presenter at the 2019 Industry Breakfast. Specialising in climate design and sustainability, he will discuss the European and Dutch experience on the energy transition of the built environment.

This breakfast is an opportunity to learn about best practice examples of building construction from the two continents leading the way in improving resilience to extreme weather and blackouts, reducing emissions and lowering power bills.
Interested in joining the conversation?

You can RSVP until Wednesday 23 October. Click “Register here” to be directed to the invitation.

Register here

Passport and/or visa applications outside of Sydney in 2019

For the remaining months of 2019, Dutch citizens who are not able to travel to Sydney to apply for a passport and/or identity card are offered the possibility to submit an application on location in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. The consular team at the Consulate-General in Sydney has already been to Perth and Brisbane earlier this year.

When are we planning to be where:

  • Brisbane: October 21 - 22 (fully booked)
  • Adelaide: in the week of November 18

About 5 weeks before we arrive on location we will announce the exact dates on our website and Facebook page. Stay up to date on the specific day(s) by following us on Facebook and visiting our webite regularly (under "Latest News").

Our website

VFS Global in Perth will accept passport and ID applications!

We’ve received many messages about when we will have a Pop-Up Consular Desk in Perth again and they have not gone unnoticed! That is why we are happy to announce that as of 6 November 2019, Dutch nationals in Australia who want to renew or apply for a Dutch passport or identity card (ID card) can do so at the VFS Global office in Perth.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands considers various aspects for choosing a location for an external service provider, such as distance. For Australia, that location is Perth.

The way it will work is this: after you apply for a new passport or identity card at VFS Global, they will send your application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague in the Netherlands, where it will be processed.

Read more

Websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


For Dutch people abroad: (NL) (EN)

For foreigners interested in NL: (EN)


If you're interested in investing in the Netherlands, visit the website of the NFIA.


Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Sydney


Level 23, Tower 2 - 101 Grafton Street (cnr Grosvenor street), Sydney, Australia Bondi Junction NSW 2022

T: +61 2 8305 6807