This year’s Conference was held in beautiful Batemans Bay, organised and run by the Management Committee of the Association with Suzanne Voytas at the helm as Convenor and band of volunteers from several societies assisting during the weekend.

We started on Thursday packing conference bags and doing some last minute setting up before heading up the Clyde River on an evening boat cruise with a seafood buffet on our arrival back to the jetty.

The Family History Fair on Friday was very busy with 55 trade tables and talks, both paid and free to encourage the general public to start or assist with their family research.  Updates on FamilySearch by Paul Parton;  how to use maps to show where your ancestors lived in their lifetime by Jeff Madsen;  ‘Do you need that Certificate’ by Gail Hanger and a very interesting talk by Donna Anderson from KARI on how they are seeking out the family connections and kinship of the children within their care;  to name just a few speakers.

Cora Num gave the John Vincent Crowe Memorial Address on ‘Sailing into History – What will I leave in my wake‘ and the handout for this can be found on

Update from NSW BDMs (Amanda Ianna) on the progression of BDMs over the years up to now with the same sex marriages and how parents can now register their child’s birth online.

Jason Reeve spoke on Ancestry DNA and John Cann from NSW State Archives on looking at the marriage and divorce records found in the Archives.  Peter Smith from the Braidwood Historical Society gave a talk on the Clarke Brothers who were vicious bush rangers in the southern region having allegedly killed several policemen during their escapades and showed a video of the re-enactment of their capture at a bush hut between Braidwood and Nelligen.

The Association held its AGM in the afternoon and the Management Committee were re-elected for a further year. A very enjoyable meal was had by all at the Dinner and we all had to put our ‘thinking caps’ on to participate in the pages of quiz questions John Hely had put together.

On the final day of Conference we had Tim Sherratt show us how to search more than just the newspapers on Trove;  Mark Bundy spoke on the history of the Rookwood Cemetery and the old railway to it and Kate Bagnall talked about her research on Chinese Australian Families – Harry Fay’s name came up and a photo thought to be of a Chinese family, Joseph & Emma Tear Tack in Inverell c1894 in her presentation.

It was a very informative and enjoyable weekend and same has now sailed into history.

Next year’s Conference will be hosted by Ku-ring-gai Historical Society at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga.


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