What is DAAAG?
DAAAG is an innovative new concept dedicated to the digital preservation of Australian immigrants’ cultural heritage. It appreciates that there is a story in the life or family history of every newcomer and new ethnic group. It argues that the digital rescue and preservation of immigrants’ memories and other ephemera not only adds to the national story, but in research terms it will contribute new evidence to the historical, museological, museographical and the geopolitical dimension of immigration in museums. It can also play a key role in educating the collective memory about human rights, tolerance and the democratic values, that strengthen civil society.
The main aim of the DAAAG Team is to produce the pre-eminent website of excellence (utilising digitisation of voice, documentation, images, film and photographs) that captures the vital aspects of the Dutch maritime, military, migration and mercantile connection with Australia and Australians from 1606 to the present.
Memory – social, cultural or personal – is linked to issues around identity. By integrating and preserving migrants’ cultural heritage for posterity, and viewing it, following Vasiliki Nihas (1999), Chair of the Northern Territory Council, as an “…active long-term and ongoing contribution to the evolving narrative of Australian identity, Australian nationhood and the Australian politic”, we achieve, following citizenship expert T.H. Marshall, a ‘right’ of social citizenship – ‘to share to the full of the social heritage of the country’. And according to the philosophy of Egon Kunz, erstwhile academic and Displaced Person, this would in turn increase migrants’ sense of belonging and identity in Australia [in the host country] and ‘lasting loyalties flow from a deep feeling of accepting and being accepted’.
The focus for DAAAG’s future databases that will include; Dutch Australian Business Directory and collaboration tools—minutes, events calendar and Blogs, Streaming Audio, Video and Podcasting a Full Text Cataloguing and Indexing of archive documents, Bulletin Board & Blogs, electronic Journal of the Dutch Diaspora. Besides that, DAAAG will establish a ‘Virtual Family Safe’ that will give all Dutch Australians the opportunity to store their family history, stories, scanned documents and photographs and digitised sound recordings and films for posterity. The DAAAG resource will also function as an interactive conduit for research findings, workshops, conferences and future collaborations national as well as international. DAAAG will offer a template, marketing and management plan for the digital preservation of Dutch Australian’s cultural heritage that can be modified for other immigrant groups.
UNESCO (2003) noted in recent times how the museum world is experiencing noteworthy transformations due to the global recognition of the urgent need to preserve both intangible and tangible cultural heritage resources in the face of the accelerated pace of cultural and economic globalization and the improbability that museums can cope with housing collections that reflect their nation’s ethnic diversity. Therefore, as Maria Grever (2009), of Erasmus University, aptly points out, one of the greatest challenges facing us today, ‘is having to rethink the construction and transmission of historical knowledge in this increasingly globalizing world of fading national identities, mass migration and an internet accessible to the general public’.
Who will use DAAAG?
- Scholars, researchers, bureaucrats in The Netherlands (NL) and Australia, journalists, Dutch Australians and their families in The Netherlands and and other interested individuals.
What sort of Information will DAAAG contain?
- Overview of the history four most prominent aspects of Dutch contact with Australia since 1606: maritime, military, migrant and mercantile
- Stories that depict the lives of Dutch Australians that reflect the four themes
- Diverse databases: Research bibliographies, artefacts, memorabilia/ephemera index, shipping lists, maps, newspapers, documents and photographic index
- List of artists and their stories and links to their websites
- Virtual exhibition space, bulletin board, chat rooms, and virtual safe
- Making it in Australia: stories of Australian bureaucrats, politicians, entrepreneurs, artists, authors and scientists of Dutch origin
- List of Dutch heritage sites in Australia
- Dutch clubs and other Dutch organisations in Australia
- Dutch Australian businesses
- Guides to the study of Dutch in Australian archives
- Links with sites in other immigration countries
- Curtin University (Perth)
- VOC Fonds (The Netherlands)
- Emigratie Fonds (The Netherlands)
- Volkskundige Museum (Leiden, The Netherlands)
- Erasmus Society (Melbourne, Australia)
- Consultas Pty Ltd (Perth, Australia)
- Researchers: Nonja Peters, Sue Summers and Stella Groenhof
- Webmasters: Alison Lynton, Caroline Boyes and Shane Lynton
Creators of DAAAG
- Foundation Team: DAAAG as a facility for preserving Dutch Australians’ cultural heritage was conceptualised by Nonja Peters. Infrastructure, in an earlier website format, was conceptualised by Dr Marjolein Towler, Project Manager, Consultas, Perth, Western Australia.
- Several Curtin University staff contributed to the infrastructure of the current WordPress site: Anthony Green, Pavel Franger, Wenrui Xue, Hayley Gower, Shane Dillow, and Nikki Cobley.