Alex, a Java born Nederlander, came to Australia from Nederland first in 1973 with the Dutch Navy. "The Far East Racing Team" was my means of transport, made up of the destroyer Limburg and Frigate van Galen. We arrived in Sydney on the very weekend the Sydney Opera House was opened by the Queen (The English Queen that is).
I immigrated to Australia in 1977 when I finished my six years in the Navy. Since then I have owned and operated various businesses and did some ten years in corporate life, resigning as director of a large listed company in 1997. I went back into my own company again in 1997 called Ascenture until we decided to make the "Sea Change" in 2002 and dropped out of Sydney corporate life for some serious beach bumming in The Tropics for a few years.
As true Baby Boomers we seem to be doing everything a bit early in life. For the first time since I left Nederland in 1977 my wife and I decided to go back as part of a six month trip during 2005-2006. We arrived during the middle of winter and even though a
nice change from living in the tropics, it was a bit severe. We are now back in our most favourite city in the world, Sydney.
All children (5) have grown up and are out of the house, some of them are even visiting Nederland as I am writing this column. This means that my wife and I have started on the second part of our life; that "selfish" part without children in the house.
We lived in many parts of Australia over the years, from big cities like Sydney to little beach hideaways in the tropics such as Bramston Beach (population 125 when everybody is home) I also lived in the real country Wagga Wagga (yes don't laugh you have to say it twice) and Canberra a place like Den Haag but a few hundred years younger. Over the years I am lucky enough to have explored Australia from east to west and north to south by 4WD straight through the middle of the country covering all the deserts.
Last but not least, Ik ben nog steeds een Nederlander! Ik heb nooit mijn Nederlandse pasport opgegeven en ben nooit genatureliseert (dat is een moeilijk word!)
I invite you to ask me questions about business in Australia, travel, culture specific points of interest or anything at all about Australia through this website. If I don't know the answers I will undertake some research and get back to you.
Australia is a place me and my family now call home.
Groetjes uit Sydney,