Unlock the Past Cruises

New South Wales Expo (Coffs Harbour) - Speakers

Mark Cryle

  • Special Feature - Bound for Botany Bay: the Irish in Australia in story and song

Mark Cryle has been manager of the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland. Fryer is UQ's special collection of Australiana. From September 2008 until recently he was seconded to be Project Manager of a digitised portal of sources on Queensland history and politics entitled Queensland’s Past Online. Mark is an historian who has published research on Queensland's indigenous past and other aspects of Queensland's history. He is a member of the Queensland Working Party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and has authored articles in that publication. He is currently doing a PhD.

Mark also writes and sings, plays the guitar and the mandolin and tries to be good. Noel Mengel of Brisbane's Courier Mail reckons he's one of the best songwriters in Australia. He'll take the compliment. Some time back, he used to play in Brisbane based band Spot the Dog. That band recorded three successful CDs Bedside Manners, Drunk on the Moon and Brand New Juliet. Click on Mark's web site for further infomation.

Kerry Farmer

  • Which genealogy program?
  • DNA for genealogists

Kerry worked for many years designing, writing and testing computer software. Teaching family history classes since 1997, Kerry is on the Education Committee of the Society of Australian Genealogists, and presents seminars and classes there as well as at adult education colleges and elsewhere. She currently teaches online courses in “Australian and New Zealand Genealogy” through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (see www.genealogicalstudies.com ). Kerry and Rosemary Kopittke recently wrote the book “Which Genealogy Program?” published by Unlock the Past. Kerry’s website is www.familyhistoryresearch.com.au. More details.

Heather Garnsey

  • The Society of Australian Genealogists - how its treasures will help your family history

Heather has worked full-time with the Society of Australian Genealogists since 1984.  She is a Fellow and Diplomate of the Society, and holds a Masters degree in English history.  She's been actively tracing her own family history for 35 years and has discovered the usual range of brick walls and black sheep!

Jacqui Haraldstad

  • 1942: War comes to Australia

Jacqui is Business Development Manager for Clean Cruising, and is partnering with Unlock the Past in organising and managing the Unlock the Past cruises and War Comes to Australia tour of the Northern Territory.

Shauna Hicks

  • It's not all online
  • Asylums: Looking for the sick, the poor and the aged
  • Google Your Family Tree: Tips & tricks
  • Caring for your family history archives

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years primarily in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. She is currently Director of Shauna Hicks History Enterprises and a collaborative partner in Unlock The Past. Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities as well as the Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society; a recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award and in 2009 received the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Service to Family History. More details.

Jenny Higgins

  • National Library: family historians' treasure trove

Jenny Higgins is the Family History Reference Librarian at the National Library. For over a decade she has assisted numerous family historians researching their origins and regularly conducts Reader Education sessions. Sharing her vast knowledge with colleagues, she recently developed and delivered a family history reference training course for National Library Reader Services staff. Originally a computer programmer, she has researched her own family history for 33 years and assisted at the local family history and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints libraries in Canberra for over 10 years. Prior to joining the National Library Jenny undertook contract family history research. In recent times, Jenny has given many talks on family history resources in the National Library's collections and about digitised newspaper content in TROVE. Professional Qualifications: Bach. App. Sc. (Mathematics), Graduate Diploma in Computing Studies.

Eric Kopittke

  • German research

A teacher of Physics and Mathematics, Eric has been researching his families since 1985. He has published many indexes but his primary work has been the Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 publication. He is a Fellow of the Queensland FHS and AFFHO recognised his contributions to family history in 2006 with an Award for Meritorious Service to Family History. Locally, he is the convenor of the Central European Group of the Queensland FHS. More details.

Rosemary Kopittke

  • An introduction to Findmypast.co.uk
  • Findmypast.com.au: what is there, what is coming and how to use it
  • Connecting with family lines online
  • ScotlandsPeople

Rosemary has been tracing her family since 1985. A statistician by training, she has worked as an hydrologist, teacher and biometrician though now works as a consultant for Gould Genealogy & History. She has published numerous indexes but is best known for Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879. A current member of the AFFHO Council and the Queensland FHS Management Committee, Rosemary is a Fellow of QFHS and in 2006 received the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Service to Family History. More details.

Dr Noeline Kyle

  • How to write and publish your family story in easy steps
  • Researching the lives of women ancestors in 2011

Dr Noeline Kyle has been working with and supporting family historians since the late 1970s. She is the author of Tracing Family History in Australia (1985), We Should've Listened to Grandma:  Women and Family History (1988), and The Family History Writing Book (1993). Her latest book How to Write & Publish Family Stories in 10 Easy Steps will be published by New South Books in July this year.  Noeline has published two family histories both with awards from  the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies.  She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney.

Dr Carol Liston

  • Finding the address isn't enough - the links between local and family history

Carol Liston is a Councillor of the Royal Australian Historical Society and Honorary Editor of its Journal. She is Associate Professor of Australian history at the University of Western Sydney where she specialises in the history of 19th century NSW, with a particular research focus on local history, biography and heritage.

Nola Mackey

  • Using newspapers in local and family history research

Nola has been successfully researching her own family histories in England and Ireland since the 1960s. She has been very involved with local and family history in the Clarence Valley since the 1970s and has published many books about this area. She has also enjoyed teaching local and family history classes at the Grafton Community College and U3A for many years. One of Nola's special passions has been using 19th century newspapers for local and family history research and she has published many indexes to help family historians access these resources. Nola has worked as a professional genealogist and historian for nearly forty years and at present is developing a website at www.heritagepath.com.au, to continue to help family and local historians throughout the world.

Bill Oates

  • University of New England and Regional Archives

Completed a Bachelor of Economics in 1984 from the University of New England while working as a clerical assistant in the Commonwealth Department of Social Security records.
Has subsequently worked as a public servant, maintaining some form of public records at Commonwealth, State, Local Government or Tertiary Education organisations ever since.
First collaborated with the NSW Archives Office in 1991 while working for UNE as a Records Officer. Became the UNE Archivist in 2003 after 2 years as Records Manager for the Armidale Dumaresq Council. Has a long standing professional interest in creating electronic archives and providing public access to resources.

Dr Melanie Oppenheimer

  • Soldier settlement in New South Wales, 1916-1939

Associate Professor Melanie Oppenheimer is based at the University of New England where she has supervised several research projects dealing with soldier settlement. She is the author of Oceans of Love (Sydney 2006); a powerful story about one Australian nurse at war, Narelle Hobbes, during World War One and her study of voluntary labour in wartime, All Work, No Pay was short listed for the NSW Premier’s History Prize. She is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading authorities on civilian voluntary service and war. A/Professor Oppenheimer has spoken to many community groups about her work and lectured at the invitation of the Legacy and the Shrine of Remembrance. She has helped design major public exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial and the Shrine and was a member of a national reference group designing the new interpretive centre at Villers Bretonneaux. She has recently completed a landmark study Australian Women at War, commissioned and published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in 2008, as well as Volunteering: How we can’t survive without it, published by UNSW Press.  She appears regularly on ABC Radio with series such as Via Activa, Life Matters and ABC New England/Northwest. [adpated from her biography at A Land Fit for Heroes? web site]

Paul Parton

  • FamilySearch: Ancestors at your fingertips
  • FamilySearch: More records to more people faster

Paul Parton is a presenter for FamilySearch in their Outreach program. He also gives technical support to 145 Family History Centres Australia-wide. He has had an interest in family history for more than 40 years. Paul was a professional trainer prior to his retirement as Pacific Area Director of Information Technology Services with FamilySearch’s parent organisation. He was also involved in the early development of data acquisition systems for Australia’s nuclear research facility.

Alan Phillips

  • 1942: War comes to Australia

Alan has been involved in local and family history since 1971. He was foundation President of the Torrens Valley & District Historical Society in 1976 and The Gumeracha and District History Centre soon after. He has contributed to, and published, a number of books and booklets on the Hannaford, Kelly and Randell families of South Australia - as well as assisting with 3 historical books on the North Adelaide Football Club. He established the following historical/genealogical services.

  • Gould Genealogy & History (1976)
  • Gould Publishing Services (1990)
  • Archive Digital Books Australasia (2003)
  • Family Photo Book (2009)
  • Unlock the Past (2009)

Carole Riley

  • Social media for family historians

Carole Riley is a professional genealogist based in Sydney, Australia with a background in computer programming and an interest in using the web to further genealogical education and networking. Carole serves on the Council of the Society of Australian Genealogists  and is the Convenor of their IT Committee. She is also the founder of the Sydney User Group of The Master Genealogist (TMG) and is currently serving as a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists . She has a Master of Applied Science (Psychology of Coaching) and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, and a Diploma of Professional Counselling. Carole writes two blogs - Genealogy in New South Wales  about genealogy research in NSW and elsewhere; and Carole's Canvas, which is her personal blog about her own family history and other topics. More details.

Helen Smith

  • Breaking down genealogy brick walls

Helen has been researching her family in Australia, England and Ireland since 1986. She has spoken to a wide variety of audiences including Genealogical Society of Queensland Day Conferences, Library Technician Conference and numerous family history society meetings. Professionally, she is a Molecular Epidemiologist specialising in Public Health Microbiology and has a strong interest in infectious diseases and Public Health through the ages. She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Bachelor Applied Science: Medical Laboratory Science and Associate Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Techniques.

Dr Leigh Summers

  • When widows and brides wore black

Dr Leigh Summers is an historian and author whose interests include 19th and 20th century fashion, the body and sexuality. She is currently Director of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum. Leigh has over a decade of experience in the cultural sector in management, curatorial and education roles. She is also an independent museum and gallery consultant. This work involves sharing her knowledge with regional museum and gallery staff wishing to professionalise their collections, exhibitions and public programs. She also presents theoretical and practical Disaster Preparedness Workshops for the sector. More details.

Christine Yeats

  • State Records of NSW

Christine Yeats is the Manager, Public Access at State Records NSW, where she coordinates the public programs and services. These include the reading rooms, the copying and enquiry services, the outreach services and the implementation of the access provisions of the State Records Act 1998. Christine has been the Convenor of the Australian Society of Archivists Reference, Access and Public Programs Special Interest Group. She is Treasurer of the History Council of NSW; Treasurer of the Professional Historians Association (NSW); immediate past President of the Randwick and District Historical Society; NSW Liaison Officer, UNESCO Memory of the World Committee and Convenor of the Sydney Joint Committee of the Australia Women's Archives Project. Christine is a regular speaker at seminars, workshops and conferences across the State where she delights in encouraging the use of the NSW State archives.

Regional Genealogy Societies

  •  Coffs Harbour District Family History Society
  • Inverell District Family History Group

Regional Historical Societies

  •  ... to be advised

Regional Libraries

  •  ... to be advised

Regional Museums

  •  Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum