Typical Dutch icons

Spotted at a bus station in The Hague. Can you identify all these icons?

I’m not sure if this is an advertising campaign or simply a space filler. It seems that it’s representing “typical Dutch” things….can you guess them all? What else do you think should be there?

The overall style is in “Delft Blue”. Then, from left to right, row by row:

  1. Cheese/Kaas
  2. Traditional dress – is there a name for this?
  3. Bike/Fiets
  4. Amsterdam
  5. What are those music things in the market called?
  6. A record?
  7. Royal city The Hague, residence of the House of Orange
  8. Clogs/Klompen
  9. ?
  10. Alkmaar cheese markets
  11. NS railway
  12. Schiphol airport
  13. Swimming
  14. ? Rijksmuseum?
  15. Rembrant? Golden age paintings
  16. Casette tape?
  17. Sailing
  18. Peanut Butter/Pindakaas
  19. First country in the world to legalise same sex marriage
  20. Harring

Icons that should perhaps also be added:

  1. Tulips
  2. Windmills
  3. Rookwoorst
  4. Canals
  5. ? What else? – Comment below!

Dutch summertime and wintertime

Image: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zomertijd

Twice a year in the Netherlands, clocks are changed for summertime (zomertijd). This happens throughout the EU, where summertime kicks in on the last Sunday in March (clocks go forward an hour in spring) and ends on the last Sunday in October (clocks go back an hour)

There has been much discussion lately as to whether this should continue. Passionate representatives of both sides argue their case regularly.

After growing up in Queensland and spending a bulk of my life in Australia, I have always struggled with the short, dark days in the Dutch winter. An hour extra either way doesn’t make a huge difference – I still find it really difficult to go to work when it’s still dark, and come home when it’s dark!

Personally, I love the long summer days, where it can be daylight right through until about 10pm. When I had younger children, this was an issue to get them to sleep earlier, but now they are older, I prefer it.

For more information visit: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zomertijd

Australian, NZ and NL Mental Health Care

Mental health is an important topic to discuss all around the world. It’s been encouraging to see an increase in resources and support over recent years. If you are in Australia, NZ or NL (the Netherlands), you may like to take a look at this information for yourself or those around you.


Mental Health Australia is the peak, national non-government organisation representing and promoting the interests of the Australian mental health sector and committed to achieving better mental health for all Australians: https://mhaustralia.org/about-us

R U OK Day is a suicide prevention campaign based around the concept that a conversation could save a life: https://www.ruok.org.au

Their website explains that they have created resources to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the  people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.
They say you don’t need to be an expert to reach out to friends, you can simply start a conversation with these four steps:

  • 1. Ask R U OK?
  • 2. Listen
  • 3. Encourage action
  • 4. Check in

New Zealand

How fabulous are these stickers that a friend shared with me in Auckland recently:

They are part of an awesome campaign: Ways to Wellbeing. Take a look at this link below for a beautiful guide in both English and Maori by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.


The Netherlands

GGZ Nederland is de brancheorganisatie voor instellingen in de geestelijke gezondheidszorg en verslavingszorg: https://www.ggznederland.nl

GGZ in the Netherlands of course has Dutch language information available via the link above, but if you’re an English speaker requiring mental health care, you can find some information here:

Australian Incoming Passenger Card

If you’ve ever flown into Australia, you’ve completed one of these! I’ve lost track of how many I’ve done over the years.

Recently I travelled with my 2 daughters, and had to fill in 3 of them. Would be good if they have a family version!

If you don’t fill in your card correctly, these guys will get you!

Seriously though, the Australian Border Force works very hard to protect our amazing country. Their latest ad, which we saw when arriving recently: Don’t be sorry, just declare it.

For more information about what you may and may not bring into Australia:


Australian healthcare system

I’m by no means an expert on the Australian health care system, but have started this article to gather some links and resources for Dutch Australians looking for more information. Rules can change regularly, so please make sure you check with the relevant authorities for your situation.

Medicare for Australian citizens

Medicare website, accessed 30Sep19

I was born in, and grew up in Australia. For most of my life, I was covered by the Medicare public health system, which was actually introduced in the year in which I was born (1975).

Private healthcare in Australia

As a young adult, I “upgraded” to supplementary private health care with MBF (now merged with Bupa). Though I remember this seeming quite expensive at the time on my low wage, it was worth it as you had more choice about which specialists you could see, and waiting lists were shorter.

If I understand this quote below correctly, it seems there are a total of 24 options for private health care in Australia at the moment.

Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) is the Australian private health insurance industry’s peak representative body that currently has 24 registered health funds throughout Australia and collectively represents 97% of people covered by private health insurance. PHA member funds today provide healthcare benefits for over 13 million Australians.


My Health Record

When logging into My.Gov.Au account for the first time in literally years today, I discovered an option to set up a digital health record. This was quite easy to do. It seems to have carried across my option taken in 2008 to be a donor. There is very little other health information in there, no doubt as I have been away from Australia for quite a while now, and records were not often digitised before then. Still, it could be useful to have active for the future.

my Health Record site, accessed 30Sep19

Healthcare for Australians who are travelling

If you are an Australian citizen, but travelling on a holiday, usually travel insurance will cover you for overseas emergencies and required health care. Make sure you look into this before you go and ensure you’re adequately covered. If you’re travelling to The Netherlands, there is a reciprocal health care agreement worth researching.

Leaving or returning to Australia

When I moved to the Netherlands and my understanding is that you lose your Medicare benefits as soon as you immigrate to another country. When we moved back, I simply re-registered at a local Medicare office.

I’m currently living in the Netherlands, and needed to update my address with Medicare – you can do this via https://my.gov.au

Useful Australian Healthcare links

Healthcare Australia Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Australia

Medicare Australia Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia)

Medicare official website: http://humanservices.gov.au

Your Australian healthcare tips

Do you have any information or experiences to share with the Dutch Australian community? Please comment below or come and discuss in our Facebook group.

Renee 🙂

Dual Nation + Dutch Australian: Twice the Pride

Dutch Australian has teamed up with Dual Nation to share some great gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays or just because!

Dutch Australian t-shirts

If you are proud of being a dual national, Dual Nation has the perfect t-shirts for you to show that off to the world. Our family received some samples to try out and loved them!

Dutch Australian babies

The perfect gift for Dutch Australian babies, these rompers come in several designs. Currently priced at AUD$27. Please check website for latest price.

Dutch Australian water bottles

Share your pride and keep hydrated with these stylish water bottles

Dutch Australian Aprons

For the Dutch Australian chef in your life….

Not just for Dutch Australians

It’s not just Dutch Australians that are proud of their dual nationality. Take a look at the Dual Nation website for all kinds of combinations such as Italian Australian, Chinese Australian and New Zealand Australian and many more. You can combine up to 3 nationalities in several different designs.

Free postage for Dutch Australians

A family-run business based in Australia, Dual Nation is offering Dutch Australians a AUD$10 discount for the month of October. Great chance to stock up early on Christmas gifts! This offer is valid until 31 October 2019.

Use code: NL+AU = Awesome

Subject to change, for any queries, please contact Dual Nation directly. For overseas postage, please contact them for a price.


Korean Airlines and Seoul Incheon Airport between Australia and the Netherlands

In July and August 2019, I flew between Amsterdam and Brisbane return on Korean Airlines. This was the second time we had flown on Korean, the year before we also travelled with them, this time including Auckland in our route, and staying overnight in a local hotel.

This time I was on my own with my girls, aged 10 & 12 and we had about 4 hours in one direction and 7 hours in the other direction at the airport. We were really impressed with Incheon! They have a nap zone, free showers, and various activities and entertainment.

Would recommend!

2019 KLM Urban Trail Den Haag

On Sunday 7 July 2019, I ran the KLM Urban Trail Den Haag. SO.MUCH.FUN! It’s such a great combination of fitness and exploring this amazing city of The Hague, which I’m lucky enough to call home.

Last year, I ran 5km in the 2018 NN Urban Trail Den Haag. This year, I did the 10km. In both events, Runkeeper actually records about an extra 1/1.5km, which is no doubt all the internal running through the buildings.

The KLM Urban Trail Series is an annual event all across the country, see here for participating cities and more information:


See you next year!

For my photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jd46236vb9ghHYsx9

2019 Walk Off The Earth at ParkPop Den Haag

On Sunday 30 June 2019, we went to Park Pop Den Haag – the largest free music festival in the Netherlands. We went mainly to see Canadian band Walk Off The Earth and they didn’t disappoint! It was the first time we have attended a festival as a family – our 10 & 12 year old girls enjoyed it.

We were there about a half hour before the performance and stood near the barrier with them. I was a little worried about it being too crowded, especially as we are not too tall – but it was fine. My husband lifted our youngest for a while. I love that when we asked why she was holding her thumb up – “Because they are really good, and have come a long way from Canada, so I want them to know they are doing a great job!”

Only real complaint is that people smoke in the crowd. Pretty awful when you can barely move, you’re there with your children and are forced to breathe a face full of smoke. This is when I really miss the Australian laws protecting children in particular.

If you don’t know about Walk off the Earth, go and check them out on YouTube. Great band doing mostly unique covers. This was our favourite song:

Sadly one of the band members, Mike, passed away recently, so they handed our blue hearts as a way of remembering him, and asked people to share on Instagram.

Here is the original song they played for him, beautiful tribute.

Fantastic to have such a fun, free, well organised festival not far from home. Trams were free if you were travelling to the festival as well.

Next year it’s the 40th edition! https://www.parkpop.nl/parkpop-40

2019 Feel at Home in The Hague Fair

The annual Feel at Home in The Hague Fair has been bringing the international community in The Hague together for over a decade. Organised by TheHagueOnline, this year it was held on 03 February 2019, with a a record registration of 4730 tickets. Visitors enjoyed a diverse programme with performances, information and connection. Aimed at both newcomers and also those who live longer term in The Hague, this event is held in the impressive Atrium of The Hague City Hall.

I’ve lived in The Hague for almost 7 years now, and try to attend every year. I always appreciate the opportunity to catch up with friends in the international community, and reconnect with or discover organisations and activities in this great city.

Much of the information is in English, though there are also several Dutch language schools have stands so that “buitenlanders” can leer Nederlands, such as Direct Dutch with their great “Spreek Nederlands met mid” badges. One of the biggest challenges when you’re trying to learn Dutch is that almost everyone will reply to you in English once they hear your accent. These badges are a fun way to educate people to please not do that. Many other cultures and languages are also represented.

One of the things I like most about this event is that free stands are offered to community organisations. Great to see the ANZC club there – with ANZAC biscuits! (If you’re an Australian you’ll know exactly what I mean)

The AATG give a wonderful Christmas Pantomime every year, as well as other English language theatre events and performances.

ACCESS has been assisting English speakers in the Netherlands for over 30 years and are a partner in the fair.

The WWF was there, their panda was popular with the children.

Toastmasters International is an organisation I’ve been involved with in the past, and encouraged my students to start one at The Hague University of Applied Sciences – public speaker and leadership skills are so important.

Nice to see some colleagues from The Hague University of Applied Sciences there, sharing information about the Bachelors and Master’s programmes:

The Enactus student organisation were there too:

Always nice to see the WBII (Women’s Business Initiative International) each year.

Schools, sports clubs and other organisations give wonderful performances, these belly dancers from MounaMay were especially impressive.

There are many organisations and companies sharing information about their services in areas such as real estate, finance and more.

There is also an international food market, Ebere Akadiri from Ataro’s Food and Spices had her vibrant West African cuisine available:

Billy Allwood started this Fair and prefers to remain behind the scenes but I want to acknowledge all the hard work he puts in to support the international community in The Hague. Below with Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines and Manager of The Hague International Centre, Mandy Soonieus.

I worked with him for several years as editor at TheHagueOnline and still help out at the Fair with some photography and social media each year. THANKS BILLY! He also has put together a great team to run this event, so a huge thanks to them too.

For my own Google photo album, with many more photos and some short videos, visit: https://photos.app.goo.gl/bJQyn6EvHgK3ZzN2A

For more information, and to attend future editions of the FAHITH Fair, visit: http://feelathomeinthehague.com

For news and information about The Hague and surrounds, visit: https://www.thehagueonline.com