Dutch Origins in Western Australia

The part played by the Dutch on the West Coast of Australia has largely been overlooked by historians.  It was not until June 1927 that the wreck site of the VOC ship Zuytdorp was found on the rugged coast between current day Kalbarri and Shark Bay.  Even then it received scant attention - until 1955 when young geologist, Phillip Playford - was shown the site by a native stockman.

The Dutch, however, did not settle as there was no trading - their sole purpose in the Southern Hemisphere.  The settlement that did occur was because of shipwrecked survivors, at first by two mutineers in 1629 - marooned as part of their sentence.

The drama of life for up to 200 survivors from the Zuytdorp wreck unfolds as they had to adjust to a nomadic existence, half a world away from their loved ones and everything that was familiar to them.  Not unlike landing on the moon.

There is ample circumstantial evidence that they mixed with the native population - now soon to be to be determined whether or not that is so via DNA testing.

Historians, therefore, will likely have to get ready to supplement Australian history.

                          Webmaster T.J. Vanderveldt ©   Email: tjv@iinet.net.au