Cornelia Grosveld and Antonius Meerbach married in Roosendaal in the Netherlands just after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. During the war and the years following they raised eight children through uncertainty and hardship. When the ‘Netherlands Australia Migration Agreement’ was signed by both countries in 1951, Cornelia and Antonius saw this as an opportunity for a better life for their family as the Agreement provided assistance to people who chose to migrate to Australia which would make their journey and settlement easier.
They thought about it for several years and then set about filling out the necessary forms, gathering referee letters and taking medical examinations. Antonius was a musician and taught music lessons, he also worked as a personnel officer in a cigar factory, but it was his training as a baker, the family trade, which secured his approval to migrate to Australia, as Australia was looking for labour forces to build and strengthen the economy. In 1955, Cornelia, Antonius and their eight children boarded the ship Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt and sailed to Australia.