It is with great pride that I announce that on the eve of her Abdication Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded Petra Neeleman Chief Executive Officer of DutchCare a knighthood – The Order of Oranje-Nassau. The Knighthood was presented to Miss Neeleman during the Reception that was hosted to celebrate the Inauguration of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in Melbourne on 30th April. The Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mr Hans Nieuwland presented the distinguished medal.
For more than 25 years, DutchCare has been looking after the welfare of the Dutch elderly in Victoria. Both in aged residential accommodation, including intensive care and also in home support. DutchCare has received numerous awards and accolades in recognition of its quality aged-care services.
Petra Neeleman has been CEO of DutchCare for all of this time and has been instrumental in bringing together a group of diverse care organisations into one strong and professional aged care group. As a strong driver and CEO, Petra has managed and steered this organisation to a major and financially sound entity.
The Consul, while making the award, stated
“It is in recognition of this work, I am very honoured to be able to inform you, that it has pleased Her Majesty the Queen to appoint you, Petronella Neeleman, a Knight in the Order of Orange- Nassau.
It is with great pride and pleasure that, as her Consul, I have been instructed by Her Majesty to bestow this award upon you tonight."
Petra Neeleman was born in Delft, The Netherlands and came to Australia with her family aged three and half.
Petra has been involved in aged care in the Dutch community since October 1986 when she joined the Committee of the Holland Australia Retirement Foundation (HARF) and became Chief Executive Officer in 1991. In 1994, she also became Chief Executive Officer of Avondrust, and in 1995 was appointed Treasurer of the Dutch Australia.