Update on the Duyfken Replica
By Elly Spillekom - Former Duyfken Coordinator and member of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation Fremantle WA.
You may be have heard that The Duyfken Replica will leave the WA Coast and will go to Sydney to the ANMM. The long term future of Duyfken’s activities was placed in jeopardy because of the non-renewal of the $275,000 annual grant from the State Government of WA. Without an action plan, the Foundation would have difficulty operating beyond October 2020, putting its future in question.
For several months now, the Board has been investigating and discussing the best option for a future life plan for Duyfken. This plan was designed to protect the ship’s historical value whilst allowing it to continue to tell its story for many years to come, which we estimate as about 30 years or maybe more.
Having exhausted both the WA corporate sector and the State Government funding options over the last 18 months, it has become quite clear that avenues to provide ongoing funding in the order of $300,000 plus per year are just not there, and are definitely not there now with the economic impact of COVID still to be fully realised.
Because of this situation, the Foundation Board has been working with the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) to help find a solution to ensure the long term future for Duyfken.
Be mindful of why Duyfken was constructed, and remember the important role the ship plays, not only in an historical sense being the first European ship to explored Australia, but also its educational purpose, the re-telling of the stories of early Dutch Maritime adventurers. These two unique characteristics have been embedded in the fabric of this Foundation.
The Duyfken locating to Sydney will open up the opportunity to share the Duyfken story with many thousands more people with the ship on exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum. This would be another chapter in the story of Duyfken.
A Letter of Intent has been accepted and signed. This outlines the framework for the transfer of ownership of Duyfken to the ANMM. Duyfken will be relocated and become part of the national heritage fleet based in Sydney under the custodianship of the ANMM.
Plans are currently being made to transport Duyfken to her new home. With the option of sailing her into Sydney Harbour now gone due to COVID-19 restrictions, arrangements are being made for the ship to be deck loaded onto a vessel for transportation to Newcastle, and then sailed down the NSW coast to Sydney.