Friends of the Duyfken, Ladies and Gentlemen,
2012 has been a momentous year for Duyfken.
The ship and the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation is once again in Fremantle, Western Australia, the birthplace and home port.
I would like to begin this report by acknowledging the people who made this possible.
Firstly, the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation is operated by a board of management, all of whom are volunteers who give a great deal of time all year round to ensure that the Foundation is well run.
- Geof Halstead
- Malcolm Hay
- David Kerbey
- Kasper Kuiperv
- Geoff Leach
- Mike Lefroy
- John Longley
- Ron Reddingius
- Louisa Schmidt
- Mike Shade
- Michael Young
They are often the invisible people of the Foundation do much of the work behind the scenes to make sure the project is run and in a prudent manner. Each brings their own set of skills to the board.
For several years, Andrew Bibby was our only paid member of staff and I would like to thank Andrew and his partner Mirjam for their tireless efforts in keeping the project together in Sydney and preparing the ship for her voyage to Fremantle.
The voyage from Sydney to Fremantle was accomplished under the leadership of Captain Matthew Bolton and he and his crew did a fine job delivering the ship on-time and under budget to Fremantle.
And speaking of budgets, without the tireless efforts of Kasper Kuiper and Louisa Schmidt in Brisbane who has assumed the financial control of the Foundation and the voyage and crew planning we would not have been able to undertake the voyage.
We are fortunate to have two employees of the Government of Western Australia now working for us. Rowden Sharpe as general manager, and Mark Gerovich as marketing manager have done a good job coordinating the arrival of the ship back to Fremantle and managing our marketing activities.
As I am sure you are aware, one of our major steps this year has been to restructure the Friends of the Duyfken and our volunteer teams. In the past, the Friends of the Duyfken, volunteer guides, volunteer crew, shipkeepers and maintenance volunteers were all separate operations of the Foundation. The Duyfken Board resolved to put everyone under the banner of the Friends of the Duyfken. This is the way many sailing ships operate around the world, encouraging all supporters to join a support group.
I think this policy has been very successful so far. I would like to thank Geoff Halstead, our long standing Chairman of the Friends and Bill Porter, our new volunteer guides coordinator.
We are now looking for a new group of Duyfken Friends to move into the next phase: that is, a new committee to undertake the myriad of social and support activities which will support the ship. If you are interested in being part of this committee, then please see Geoff Halstead or Mark Gerovich after this meeting.
Of course, all of this would not have been possible without the agreement reached between the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation and the Government of Western Australia. This funding agreement provides approximately one-third of our operating budget for the next 10 years. It is appropriate to acknowledge Premier Colin Barnett's support for without him it would not have been possible.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a great challenge before us. The funding gives us a lifeline and a wonderful opportunity to establish the Foundation with a strong financial base.
But there is a great deal of work to do to achieve our long term objective. We must establish Duyfken as a viable visitor and educational attraction in our own state. This will mean a lot of hard work to promote the ship to the tourist market, to schools and to the corporate sector.
If you have any contacts who would like to have functions aboard or perhaps to hire the ship for a day sail then please contact Rowden Sharpe.
I would like to finish this report by talking about our medium term objective for Duyfken.
2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Dirk Hartog's voyage to Western Australia and the first time the western coast of Australia was described. His voyage has particular international significance as it marked the beginning of the understanding of Australia as a continental land mass.
The Board of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation has resolved to begin planning for a great voyage to reenact Hartog 1616 voyage of discovery from Amsterdam to Cape Inscription and perhaps even on to Indonesia.
This will be a magnificent challenge for us all. I assure you that it will only be undertaken if it is fully-funded before the ship leaves our water. Uppermost in our thoughts is to operate the Foundation in a prudent financial manner.
Ladies and gentleman, without you all, Duyfken would never have been built and most certainly not sailed the world's oceans for the last decade.
I thank you all for keeping the spirit of Duyfken alive and for contributing your time and energy to the project.
Duyfken is a most marvellous ship but its strength has always been its people.
As the year draws to a close, let us think about 2013 which marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Duyfken Project. We should probably think of an appropriate way to mark our twentieth anniversary.
Fair winds and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
See you aboard in 2013.
Graeme Cocks Chairman