Netherlands Consul-General visits

28 January 2016

Netherlands Consul-General Willem Cosijn has visited Albury and met Dutch-born Mayor Henk van de Ven. 

Mr Cosijn visited MAMA and stood on the balcony of the former Town Hall where Albury Mayor Alfred Waugh read a message of thanks to the people of Albury from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands for helping the Uiver make an emergency landing in the 1934 London to Melbourne air race. 

The visit was initiated by Mr Cosijn who will meet with AlburyCity representatives, the Uiver Memorial Trust, Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Development Australia Murray organisation and the Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils. 

Mr Cosijn also inspected the DC-2 Uiver replica plane, the Uiver Collection at the LibraryMuseum and the Bonegilla Migrant Experience. 

AlburyCity Mayor Henk van de Ven said it was a coincidence that the first visiting dignitary during his Mayoral term would be from a representative of his country of birth. 

"The original Uiver story has created a strong and lasting relationship between our City and the Netherlands, which we hope to maintain and strengthen with visits such as these," Cr van de Ven said. 

"Hopefully the Consul-General's visit is an opportunity for our region to continue our connection with the Netherlands and establish closer economic ties, especially in agribusiness, for the future," Cr van de Ven said. 

Mr Cosijn said the Uiver story was a "fantastic example of a Dutch – Australian team-up". 

"I have the impression that the Netherlands is sometimes overlooked when the Australians look towards Europe," he said. 

"That is probably due to the fact that 80 percent of the population and the national assets lie some meters below sea level. 

"My job is therefore to reach out and look for opportunities for new Dutch – Australian team ups: for example in flood management, horticulture, logistics and transport planning. 

"It is a fantastic job, since it brings me to nice places like Albury and I meet a lot of nice people."