The Duyfken replica vessel docks at the Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum has announced that following negotiations with the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation in Western Australia, the museum will take over the ownership and management of the replica Duyfken.

‘We are pleased and honoured that the Duyfken Foundation approached us to take over the custodianship of this wonderful Fremantle built vessel, and we are thankful that we are able to provide a safe home for it,’ said Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum. 

The Duyfken  replica ship was built by the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation, jointly with the Maritime Museum of Western Australia, and launched on 24 January 1999 in Fremantle. Construction of the vessel was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kailis family. Chief executive Peter Bowman said while it was emotional for the Duyfken Foundation to see it go, the transfer was the best option to preserve the ship and continue public access.

The Duyfken at its new home in Sydney Harbour

After its launching in Fremantle, the Duyfken replica sailed to the Banda Islands in Eastern Indonesia in June 2000 to re-enact the original voyage of exploration made in 1606 by Willem Janszoon and the Duyfken towards New Guinea and Australia.

Unlike the voyage of 1606, the replica’s captain, Peter Manthorpe, and his crew came ashore on Cape York with the permission of the Aboriginal people. This time, message sticks and handshakes were exchanged – not musket balls and spears.

Local communities were invited to participate in the arrival in any way they saw fit. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie joined the traditional owners of the Pennefather River mouth, Aboriginal singers, dancers and more than 200 people from local communities came to welcome the vessel.

The Duyfken leaving Banda Island in Eastern Indonesia before its re-enactment voyage to the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. (Robert Garvey)

The next voyage was in 2002 and would take almost a year and cover 15,000 kilometres across the Indian Ocean and up the eastern board of the Atlantic Ocean to Holland, where the Duyfken story began almost 400 years previously.

The journey was instigated by an invitation from The Netherlands to be a major participant in celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Dutch East India Company, otherwise known as the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie).

The replica’s journey was to retrace the return voyages of VOC fleets in the 17th century to the Netherlands, picking up the same trade winds the Dutch knew so well and braving the same challenges of the stormy southern cape of Africa, equatorial doldrums and the stormy north Atlantic.

The Duyfken rounding the Cape of Good Hope

Spring gales made the last week of the voyage the toughest for the replica’s crew before she was welcomed ‘home’ to Texel, the Netherlands, on April 28, 2002.

Crown Prince Willem Alexander joined an estimated 40,000 people to welcome the replica to the place where the original Duyfken was built. The little ship had made its the long journey, visiting 10 countries across four continents.

During the spring and summer of 2002, the Duyfken replica visited many of the original VOC ports in the Netherlands and took part in a host of maritime events. By the end of the stay, over 300,000 people had come aboard the ship. 

Duyfken at Zaanse Schans in Holland

The Duyfken voyage undertaken in 2006, marked the 400th anniversary of the first documented European contact with Australia. 

It was a partnership between the Australian Government, the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation and the history and heritage division of the Australasian Hydrographic Society, called ‘Australia on the Map: 1606-2006’.

To help commemorate this defining period in our history, the Duyfken replica visited 25 ports around Australia to highlight the importance of the country’s rich coastal and maritime heritage.

This included Indigenous sites, Macassan (early Indonesian) sites, early European settlements as well as modern structures, such as wharves and jetties, lighthouses, coastal defence installations and shipwrecks.

Thousands of visitors to the ship were given a deep appreciation of Australia’s earliest European history as well as the courage and skills of 17th century seafaring explorers.

There is a lot more about Willem Janszoon and the 1606 voyage of the Duyfken in Ian Burnet’s book The Tasman Map. Just go to the website below for more details.

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The First Appearance of Australia on a World Map

The Pacific Ocean was first sighted on September 25, 1513 by the explorer Vasco Balboa when he reached the summit of the Isthmus of Panama and viewed its huge expanse.

In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan and his Armada de Moluccas, on a planned voyage west towards the Spice Islands, discovered the Straits of Magellan and entered the Pacific Ocean.

This map by Batista Agnese is really interesting because it shows how much and how little is known about the Pacific Ocean at the time of its first crossing by Magellan in 1521. During the Pacific crossing the expedition only found two unpopulated islands where they could replenish supplies. The great patch of green is of course the clove trees they were looking for in the Spice Islands.

This map by Abraham Ortelius shows the Victoria crossing the Pacific. The expedition was now down to three ships and had to face a long Pacific crossing with all the crew suffering from scurvy until they finally arrived in the Philippines. It is interesting that the map shows New Guinea as an island some fifteen years before Torres sailed through the Strait which bares his name in 1606.

In March 1606 the Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon in the yacht Duyfken reached the Cape York Peninsula which he considered as part of New Guinea, and it was in October of that same year that Luis Vas de Torres found his way through the Torres Strait.

This 1622 map of the Pacific Ocean by Hessel Gerritsz, the chief mapmaker for the Dutch East India Company, shows the first appearance of part of Australia on a world map, even if it is named as New Guinea.

Detail from that map shows Cape York as discovered by Willem Janzoon and named Nueva Guinea. The text to the left reads – These parts were sailed into with the yacht of De Quiros about Nueva Guinea on 10 degrees westward through many islands and dry banks and over 2, 3, 4 fathoms for full 40 days. Presuming Nueva Guinea not to stretch over the 10 degrees south – if this were the case – then the land from 9 to 14 degrees must be separate and different from the other Nueva Guinea.

In other words – Australia! 

Many of these maps are referred to in detail in the book The Tasman Map. Please go to the website below for more information.

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A World Divided 1494 – The Portuguese and the Spanish race to reach the Spice Islands

In the 15th century the aromatic spices of cloves and nutmeg, grown only in the remote Spice Islands of present day Indonesia were said to be worth their weight in gold and were some of the most valuable of traded commodities.

After the discovery of the America’s, the 1494 of Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal divided the world in half, along a line of demarcation in the Atlantic Ocean halfway between the Portuguese claimed island of Azores and the island of Hispaniola discovered by Columbus. The Treaty then allowed Spain to claim any territory discovered to the west of this line and Portugal any territory discovered to the east.

The two Iberian powers were now in a race to reach the source of these valuable spices and claim it for themselves, by sailing in opposite directions around the world and across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean respectively. Although neither of them could accurately measure longitude and know in whose supposed half of the world the Spice Islands were actually located. The results changed the map of the world and even the first map of Australia.

Follow this link to view the 30 minute presentation on ‘A World Divided ‘made by Ian Burnet at the ANZ Map Conference in October 2020 at the National Library of Australia.

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Book Collectors – do you want a first edition of ‘Spice Islands’?

You could buy a First Edition hardback copy of ‘Spice Islands’ from Amazon for just US $902 or a Second Edition paper back from them for US$60.

Or if you are in Australia or elsewhere you can buy a paperback direct from me for A$30 plus postage. Just order through my website

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Yes – Miracles can happen!

Miracles don’t often happen but a miracle happened when I first made contact with David Rosenberg and Rosenberg Publishing, as he shared my vision of publishing my book Spice Islands with the maps and images embedded in the text. So that when you were reading about a map or image, there it was in front of you.

This is usually only seen in expensive coffee table books. But David was able to achieve this in a 200 page book with 70 colour images printed on quality paper for the same price as you would pay for a regular paperback and over the years I have seen no other publisher achieve the same result.

David and I shared a special relationship because over a period of ten years we have published five books in this special format – Spice Islands, East Indies, Archipelago, Where Australia Collides with Asia and The Tasman Map – all to critical acclaim. Unfortunately this relationship will come to end because due to medical reasons David will no longer publish any new books – although Rosenberg Publishing will continue to market and distribute their existing books.

I would like to recognise and thank David and Scilla Rosenberg for their remarkable achievements and our cooperation over the last ten years.

Don’t stop dreaming because, Yes – miracles can happen!

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Insinyur Geologi Australia, Ian Burnet Sudah Menulis Lima Buku Sejarah Terkait Indonesia

Ian Burnet, seorang warga Australia, pernah lama bekerja di Indonesia di bidang geologi. Setelah pensiun, dia sudah menulis lima buku terkait Indonesia dalam sepuluh tahun terakhir.

Ian sekarang sudah berusia 75 tahun dengan istri asal Indonesia yang kini tinggal di negara bagian New South Wales.

Namun usia tidak membuatnya mengendurkan kegiatannya untuk menulis.

Dengan pengalaman bekerja dan mengunjungi Indonesia selama lebih dari 30 tahun, Ian melihat banyak hal yang kemudian memberikannya inspirasi untuk menulis buku.

“Saya pertama kali ke Indonesia di tahun 1968 dan anda bisa bayangkan itu tahun setelah ‘The Years of Living Dangerously’ [sebuah film Australia yang menggambarkan masa pergolakan di Indonesia tahun 1965],” kata Ian Burnet kepada wartawan ABC Indonesia Sastra Wijaya. Silakan ikuti tautan di bawah ini untuk membaca laporan lengkapnya.

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Garden of the East – Photography in Indonesia 1850’s – 1940’s

Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s is the first major survey in the southern hemisphere of the photographic art from the period spanning the last century of colonial rule until just prior to the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia in 1945. The 2014 exhibition provided the opportunity to view over two hundred and fifty photographs, albums and illustrated books of the photography of this era and provides a unique insight into the people, life and culture of Indonesia.

The exhibition is comprised of images created by more than one hundred photographers and the majority have never been exhibited publicly before. The works were captured by photographers of all races, making images of the beauty, bounty, antiquities and elaborate cultures of the diverse lands and peoples of the former Dutch East Indies. Among these photographers is the Javanese artist Kassian Céphas, whose genius as a photographer is not widely known at this time, a situation which the National Gallery of Australia hopes to address by growing the collection of holdings from this period and by continuing to stage focused exhibitions such as Garden of the East.

Leo Haks of Amsterdam started collecting photographs from Indonesia after a chance purchase in the Hague in 1977. From that start Haks became fascinated with early photography in Indonesia between the 1860s and 1940s. In 1984, he returned to Amsterdam and became a dealer in rare books and Indonesian paintings. He co-authored a number of books on Indonesian art and continued building what became the only museum standard holding of Indonesian photography in private hands.

Leo Haks built a collection of 5000 prints, as well as thousands more in albums both grand and humble. These albums, prints and his library of over 140 mostly rare books on the subject — all lugged up the narrow staircases of his four storey Amsterdam home — were expertly catalogued and rehoused in archival sleeves, new bindings or specially made cases. It was in 2006 that the National Gallery of Australia acquired this world class collection.

Gael Newton, Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Australia and the Curator of the 2014 exhibition ‘Garden of the East‘ said that the exhibition presents images, both historic and homely and is a ‘time travel’ opportunity to visit the Indies through more than two hundred and fifty works on show, made by both professional and amateur family photographers. Images as diverse as the Indonesian archipelago itself, which was once described by nineteenth century travel writers as the ‘Garden of the East’.

The book Garden of the East -photography in Indonesia 1850s -1940s has been published by the National Gallery of Australia and the Indonesian visual heritage collection is available online by clicking Gallery on the link below.

Please click on the link below to watch a short documentary on the Garden of the East photographic exhibition.

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Talking about the Spice Islands – with Janet de Neefe and Ian Burnet

For those who missed the talk on Instagram Live last week, then here is a link to the conversation between Janet de Neefe and Ian Burnet about Spices, the Spice Islands and Indonesia’s extraordinary maritime history.

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Indo Lit Conversation Series – Ian Burnet

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The Indonesian Declaration of Independence, 17 August 1945

This coming Monday, 17 August 2020, will be the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Indonesian Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately because of Covid restrictions we will not be able to celebrate appropriately.

Timing is everything.  After the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945 and the resulting power vacuam, now is the time to declare Indonesian independence. However Soekarno and Hatta as the leaders of the independence movement were hesitant and needed confirmation of the Japanese surrender. On August 16, Soekarno and Hatta are kidnapped? by the younger revolutionaries and taken to the village of Rengasdengklok, where they are pressured to declare independence in Jakarta on the following day. After reaching an agreement, Soekarno and Hatta return to Jakarta that evening to finalise the text.

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The Indonesian Independence leaders discussing the draft of the Declaration of Independence at Rengasdengklok, 16 August 1945


Hatta and Soekarno at Rengasdengklok with the draft Declaration. 16 August 1945

It was difficult to balance the interests of the Japanese military, the interests of Soekarno and Hatta, and those of the younger revolutionaries. For this reason the finally agreed declaration was kept as simple as possible


The handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, 17 August 1945


The Declaration of Independence is formally announced by Soekarno and Hatta at 10am on the morning of 17 August 1945. Soekarno stated in his opening speech:

Saudara- suadara sekalian

Saya telah minta saudara-saudara  hadir disini, untuk menyaksikan satu peristiwa mahapenting dalam sejarah kita.

Berpuluh- puluhan tahun kita bangsa Indonesia telah berjoang untuk kemerdekaan tanah air kita – bahkan telah berates- ratus tahun!

 Gelombang aksi kita untuk mencapai kemerdekaan kita itu ada naiknya, dan ada turunnya, tetapi jiwa kita tetap menuju ke arah cita-cita.

Juga didalam zaman Jepang, usaha kita untuk mencapai kemerdekaan nasional tidak  berhenti-berhentinya . Didalam zaman Jepang ini tampaknya, bahwa kita menyandarkan diri kepada mereka. Tetapi hak ekatnya, tetapi kita menyusun tenaga sendiri, tetapi kita percaya pada kekuatan kami sendiri.

Sekarang tibalah saatnya kita benar-benar mengambil sikap nasib bangsa, dan nasib tanah air kita, didalam tangan kita sendiri. Hanya bangsa yang berani untuk mengambil nasib dalam tangan sendiri akan dapat berdiri dengan kuatnya.

Maka kami tadi malam telah mengadakan musyawarat dengan pemuka-pemuka rakyat Indonesia dari seluruh Indonesia. Permusyawaratan itu seIa sekata berpendapat bahwa sekaranglah datang saatnya untuk MENYATAKAN KEMERDEKAAN KITA!

Brothers and Sister All! I have asked you to be in attendance here in order to witness an event in our history of the utmost importance. For decades we, the people of Indonesia, have struggled for the freedom of our country – even for hundreds of years! There have been waves in our actions to achieve independence which rose, and there have been those that fell, but our spirit still was set in the direction of our ideals. Also during the Japanese period our efforts to achieve national independence never ceased. In this Japanese period it merely appeared that we lent on them. But fundamentally, we still continued to build up our own powers, we still believed in our own strengths. Now has come the moment when we truly take the fate of our actions and the fate of our country into our own hands. Only a nation bold enough to take its fate into its own hands will be able to stand in strength. Therefore last night we had deliberations with prominent Indonesians from all over Indonesia. That deliberative gathering was unanimously of the opinion that NOW has come the time to declare our independence. Brother and Sisters, we hearby declare the solidarity of that determination. Listen to our Proclamation.


Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menyatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang menenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.

Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8, tahoen 45

Atas nama bangsa Indonesia



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Soekarno together with Rear-Admiral Maeda and  Hatta reads out the Declaration of Independence on the front steps of his house

Following which he announced:

Demikianlah saudara-saudara kita sekarang telah merdeka! Tidak ada suatu ikatan lagi yang mengikuti tanah air kita dan bangsa kita!  Mulai saat ini kita menyusun negara kita! Negara merdeka! Negara Republik Indonesia! Merdeka kekal abadi!  Insya Allah Tuhan memberkati kemerdekaan kita ini.

So it is, Brothers and Sisters! We are now already free! There is not another single tie binding our country and our people! As from this moment we build our state. A free state, the State of the Republic of Indonesia – ever more and eternally independent. Allah willing, God blesses and makes safe this independence of ours!


Blitar SoekarnoDoaProKemRI

Soekarno prays for the future of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia. 17 August 1945

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Ceremony of raising the Indonesian flag after the Declaration of Independence, 17 August 1945

The flag was hand sewn by Soekarno’s wife Fatmawati. After the raising of the Indonesian flag the group sing the Indonesian National Anthem ‘Indonesia Raya’.


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Soekarno arriving at Merdeka Square to speak to the Indonesian people. 19 September 1945

The Pemuda Youth Group had organised a mass rally in Merdeka Square to celebrate independence on 19 September 1945. The Japanese military banned the gathering because of their fear that it would lead to a mass riot and to confrontation between the Indonesians and the Japanese military, who had their guns trained on the Square.

Blitar Sukarno_blocked_from_speaking,_Ikada Square

Soekarno blocked by Japanese military  from speaking at Merdeka Square. 19 September 1945

Soekarno is stopped by the Japanese military from  attending the mass rally. Until a compromise is reached whereby he agrees to give a short speech, which he later describes as his ‘State of the Union Adress’ and then tells the enthusiastic crowd to peacefully disperse.

Blitar Sukarno_speaking_on_podium,_Impressions_of_the_Fight_..._16 August

Soekarno speaking to the Indonesian people at Merdeka Square. 19 September, 1945

Blitar Sukarno_and_Hatta_together,_Impressions_of_the_Fight_... 19 September Merdeka Square

Soeharto and Hatta together at Merdeka Square. 19 September, 1945

The Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) had met in June and July to prepare a constitution for the proposed Independent Republic of Indonesia. This was announced on the 18 August 1945 and is better known as the 1945 Constitution.

On August 29 the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) was established with 137 members and its first plenary session was held on 16 October 1945

Blitar Sutan Sjahir opening the first plenary session of October 1945

Prime Minister Sutan Sjahir opening the first plenary session of the Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) on 16 October 1945 with Soekarno and Hatta presiding. Does anyone know who is the other leader seated with Soekarno and Hatta?

Photographs sourced from various Indonesian national archives.

Thanks to Anthony Liem for providing the text of Soekarno’s speech.

Thanks to Toni Pollard for providing the image of the handwritten draft document

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