… and it’s a Wrap!

A week ago it was the final day of Congress 2018 and participants were rushing to make photo calls, laughing and chatting in the sunshine with their new found Genimates, bolting down lunch in between sessions and wondering whether they should risk the Light Rail/Train combination to the airport to meet their scheduled departure times.

There was a full day of lectures to attend as well as the closing ceremony which made for a very full day indeed.

Readers may wonder why, if it is a week after the end of the Congress, is she finally getting around to writing about it? After all, hasn’t it all been said?

My Congress 2018 experience closed with a flight to Melbourne, then a long drive home to finally see my own bed around midnight.  My throat had been flaring and flaming sore all afternoon despite some honey and lemon throat lozenges and I wasn’t feeling all that flash. Fast forward four days and I am finally back to some semblance of normal – well, at least I can remain upright and not spend every hour of the day asleep.

     Genibloggers assembling for the Group Shot

I’ve read the contributions of other Geniebloggers  recapping and celebrating Congress 2018 and the fabulous work of the organising team from Society of Australian Genealogists.  What more can I add? It was a marvelous learning experience, great social atmosphere and I am very pleased I was a part of it.


Anything Jill Ball (GeniAus) touched, she turned to gold.  This woman is remarkable for her energy, her commitment, her scholarship, her welcoming skills, her capacity for inclusiveness and her all round goodness.  We thank you, Jill.

Meeting Marilyn Rowan from NSW Transcription Services   and learning about her new service for ordering certificate transcriptions through Ancestry.com.au   I hadn’t realised that the little shopping trolley that was popping up in the search results linked to Marilyn’s service.  What a bonus! I’ve used Marilyn’s service in the past and found it prompt and good value as a means of obtaining the next best thing to an extract.  Given the budget doesn’t allow for too many full priced certificates, this makes for a viable alternative.

Marilyn has already sent through one transcription requested and, when I was finally seeing straight, I have ordered four more!

Dianne Snowden (c) with Rosemary & Eric Kopittke (l) & John (r) after the UTAS photo shoot

The UTAS group – current students and Alumni – owe a substantial debt to Dianne Snowden. She headed the team delivering the very first unit of the UTAS Diploma of Family History and has supported us first as students and now graduates of the course. Perhaps we can blame her for our new found addiction to online education? Her continued support of the family history sector and her encouragement of all budding professional genealogists is fantastic. It was great to catch up with her, hear her  presentations to the Congress and to have her as part of our UTAS photos.

To all the people I’ve met and reconnected with, the new friends I’ve made, UTAS fellow students, bloggers, Facebook group members and new FB friends and connections: it was and is a great pleasure to have had the opportunity.  My thanks to those who shared their expertise and experience, who asked the questions, gave the answers, shared a smile or a joke or a glass of water.

I hope I haven’t shared any of my germs with you 😉




Another round of classes

Not content with currently studying two units of the UTAS Diploma of Family History, I decided to sign up for a MOOC. What’s a MOOC?
A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course – you can search for and take part in free online courses offered by Universities all over the world by looking here. What a great way to learn about something new!


And just what did I decide to study?  Preventing Dementia.  This is a MOOC offered by UTAS and its an area I have wanted to investigate and learn about.  There’s a unit to do with Dementia offered in the degree I’m enrolled in that I had considered taking on this semester but chose to leave it until next year by which time I would have just about finished the Family History course. In the meantime, it seemed like a good idea to take this short unit and bring myself up to speed on all things demented before I launched into the other unit.

MOOCs are a great way to break into study as an adult – no fees, no exams, no stress and a supportive international student cohort who are all in the same place as you.  Learning to navigate the delivery of the MOOC subject matter through UTAS is also a great way to learn their  formal online study delivery system without the pressure of passing or failing hanging over you.

My local neighbourhood centre has invited me back to facilitate a second round of Family History classes – so not only am I knee deep in learning, I’ll be sharing those skills with others as well.  If you’re a Central Victorian and want to get started on your own research, there are just a couple places left in this 4 week class that begins in August. Enrol here.

The neighbourhood centre has a computer lab and a library subscription to Ancestry.com.au so you don’t even need to have a computer to be able to get started – the centre is a GoDigi partner and have mentors in place for people wanting some IT guidance and support.