The Duyfken dream
The idea to build an authentic replica of the Duyfken was hatched by local historian Michael Young and driven by a passionate group of Western Australian maritime enthusiasts.
The replica was built to counter two of Australia’s popular historical myths that:
- Dirk Hartog was the first European to step ashore in Australia and
- Captain Cook ‘discovered’ Australia.
The group of enthusiasts ultimately became the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation under the leadership of Michael G. Kailis, who was instrumental in helping raise $3.5 million for the project.
Immense interest was generated throughout the Western Australia community and thousands of people helped support the project, either financially or with hands-on help:
- Friends of the Duyfken and the Duyfken 1606 Club represented the wider community and business supporters.
- Funding was provided by the governments of the Netherlands, Western Australia, Queensland, and Australia as well as the Lotteries Commission of WA, private donors, the MG Kailis Group of Companies and a whole raft of other companies and members of the community.
- During construction, volunteers assisted professional shipwrights while volunteer guides showed people over the ship as she was being built.