Australië. Het nieuwe vaderland is a travel guide and cultural introduction to Australia and New Zealand, written by E. en B. Degrood and published by Zomer en Keuning in Wageningen in 1954. The book provides information on geography, history, economy, society, and customs, and is illustrated with photographs and maps.

The authors, E. (Elisabeth) and B. (Bernard) Degrood, are brother and sister and come from a large family from Nijmegen and later Tilburg.

Elizabeth enjoyed an academic education and emigrated to Australia with her family where she sought and found a new life.

After a technical education, Bernard entered the business world and found his way there. Professionally and supported by a versatile interest, he came into contact with many people of different natures and visited many parts of the world, which contributed not a little to his knowledge of people and society.

Elizabeth in Australia and Bernard in the Netherlands remained closely connected through regular correspondence, resulting in the book “Australia the new fatherland” which already attracted the attention of emigration authorities in manuscript form.

In addition to Australië. Het nieuwe vaderland, the Degroods also wrote several other books about Australia, including Australië. Een land van contrasten (1957) and Australië. Het land van de zon en de zee (1964). They also wrote a book about their own experiences of migration, Van Holland naar Australië (1958).

The Degroods’ books were important in helping to raise awareness of Australia in the Netherlands. They provided a realistic and informative account of life in Australia, and they helped to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that existed about the country. The Degroods’ books were also a valuable resource for Dutch immigrants who were considering moving to Australia.

Book summary

It is the history of a Dutch immigrant family in Australia. The woman in the family works as a doctor’s assistant in a small village where emigrants of all nationalities are building their future. She talks smoothly and with a good dose of humor about her work, the experiences of her family and the people she comes into contact with. The great and small difficulties and the experiences of everyday life, which are so freshly told in this book, form a fascinating whole against the backdrop of the new environment.

This pithy story is a successful attempt to correct the distorted image we may have formed. In addition, this book is full of practical information and data worth knowing. In this way it will also meet the interest in the folkloric, cultural and geographical peculiarities of this country, which, although inhabited by people of many nationalities, has a character all its own.