Speech Notes for Graeme Cocks
Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation
Duyfken Arrival 23 September 2012
The Honourable Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia,
Consul General for the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Syarief Syamsuri
Honorary Consuls for the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Queensland and Western Australia, Sir Kasper Kuiper and Mr Arnold Stroobach.
Ms Adele Carles, MLA, Member for Fremantle
Mr Josh Wilson, Deputy Mayor of Fremantle
Dr Patricia Kailis and family
Friends of the Duyfken, Duyfken 1606 Club members, ex Duyfken crew and staff, volunteers, supporters, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, and young Duyfken crew of the future!
Today is a great day for the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation.
Duyfken his home after too many years away.
You know, I have asked myself many times over the last few months whether we did the right thing bringing Duyfken back from the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney?
Two things happened recently to me while I was with Captain Matthew Bolton and his crew which convinced me that we had made the right decision.
The first was in Darwin when we were sitting around with the crew and I was raving on (as usual) about stories of how the ship was built. It occurred to me that one of the crew was younger than the project! We started on Duyfken back in 1993 and she had not been born when we first started talking about building the Little Dove.
Our ship has now spanned another generation.
The other great day was in Geraldton last Saturday. Crawling all over the ship was a family with young boys and girls who had come to look at the ship during the public exhibition. The look of wonder in their eyes was just fantastic. Maybe one day, these young people will come sailing with us, too.
This is what Duyfken is all about: inspiring young people with the maritime history of Australia.
For me, it makes all the hard work worthwhile when I see children aboard.
And the welcome the ship has enjoyed today has been remarkable.
On behalf of everyone who has ever been involved with the Duyfken Project since its inception I would like to thank Premier Colin Barnett for his foresight in backing the Duyfken Foundation to bring the ship home.
Our aim as a Foundation is to once again make Duyfken a part of the WA community and that work starts today.
It is the wind that fills the sails, but it is ultimately the work by hundreds of volunteers which keeps Duyfken going.
It could easily have gone the other way, and without the Premier's support, Duyfken would almost certainly have ended up in The Netherlands for ever.
I would also like to thank Richard May who spent many hours with me trying to come up with an arrangment which would be workable. The testamant to his work is the ship tied up outside.
I must also thank the Government of Western Australia which has provided two excellent staff on secondment to the Duyfken Foundation. The Foundation is run by volunteers but Rowden and Mark have been the glue which has held it all together.
Special mention should also be made of our only staff member for two years, Andrew Bibby who is here today and his partneer Mirjam Heilgeman who could not be with us today. The ship would never have made it to Western Australia without them. Thank you.
I would also like to thank the board members of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation. They kept the faith for more than a year when I kept coming back to them saying that I thought we could come to an arrangement with the State Government but we just needed a bit more time.
They kept the faith like they have always kept the faith in our ship.
Dr Malcolm Hay
Captain Kasper Kuiper
and in absentia, Michael Young.
Ladies and gentleman, please give them warm applause.
Premier, I know you are a student of history and economics. Duyfken sailed to Australia in 1606 under the ownership of the greatest Dutch company of all time: the United Dutch East India Company.
I find it fascinating that during the last few months Duyfken has been quietly sailing past a number of the most important resource projects in the world, dodging iron ore carriers, gas platforms and rig tenders.
Many of these projects have a strong involvement by the most famous Dutch firms of our time.
But how many people know that the great Jansz gas field in Gorgon is named after Duyfken's Captain Willem Janszoon who sailed as supercargo on the Endraacht in 1618 and described North West Cape for the first time?
Our maritime history will always give us, as Australians, a sense of our destiny.
Duyfken is about us, as Australians, and how we came to be here today. It is the symbol of the beginning of the modern history of Australia.
It is now my great pleasure to introduce the Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable Colin Barnett MLA to officially welcome home Duyfken and her crew.
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