History Queensland Fair 23 May 2010 Review
The 7th History Queensland Biennial Family and Local History Fair was held in a new venue, the Donald Simpson Centre at Cleveland. Exhibitors were in two main rooms with a few smaller rooms adjacent plus there was a large lunch area and refreshments available onsite. There was also plenty of parking areas but it paid to arrive early as numbers attending were high and most people seemed to stay all day. My guess is that over 500 people attended (based on the fact that Queensland State Archives had 500 bags to give out and they ran out!).
Entry cost was a modest $10.00 at the door or $8.00 with a pre-printed ticket which had been available online. With 4 speakers and access to 47 exhibitors, this represented excellent value.
The 47 exhibitors (in alphabetical order) were:
- Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc
- Brisbane City Council Library - Wynnum
- Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society Inc
- Boolarong Press
- Brisbane History Group Inc
- Brisbane's Living Heritage Network
- Caloundra Family History Research Inc
- Celtic Dawn
- Community & Personal Histories, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services
- Coochiemudlo Island History Society
- Coopers Plains Local History Group
- Crows Nest Historical Society Inc
- Dayboro Distict History Society Inc
- Edwin Clark & Associates
- Enoggera & Districts Historical Society Inc
- Fellowship of First Fleeters, Moreton Chapter
- Find My Past Australasia
- Friends of Peel Island Association Inc
- Friends of Tingalpa Cemetery Heritage Group Inc
- Friends of Toowong Cemetery Association Inc
- Gayndah & District Historical Society Inc
- Garrison Communications
- Genealogical Society of Qld Inc
- Genealogy Sunshine Coast
- Gold Coast Family History Society Inc
- Historical Wireless Society of SEQ Inc
- Jack Sims Publications
- John Clements books
- Judy Webster
- Library of Australian History - Keith Johnson
- Logan River & Districts Family History Society Inc
- Mount Gravatt District Historical Association Inc
- National Archives Australia
- Nundah & Districts Historical Society Inc
- Queensland Family History Society Inc
- Queensland State Archives
- Queensland State Library
- Ray Debnam
- Ray Thyer's Chronologies
- Richlands Inala & Suburbs History Group
- Royal Historical Society of Queensland
- Southern Suburbs Branch of GSQ
- Toowong History Group
- Toowoomba & Darling Downs Family History Society Inc
- Tracing Trees
- Unlock the Past (UTP)
- Unlock the Past Cruise
- Wynnum Manly Historical Society Inc
Throughout the day there were a series of speakers:
- Greg Cope, National Archives of Australia - 20th century immigration - "Populate or Perish", a snapshot of the history of immigration into Australia from the 1920s.
- Niles Elvery, Queensland State Archives - Records at Queensland State Archives relating to people of multicultural backgrounds.
- Shauna Hicks, Director of Shauna Hicks History Enterprises and a collaborative partner with Gould History Group - Introducing Unlock The Past
- Paul Parton, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - FamilySearch
All of the talks were well attended with standing room only in the session on Unlock The Past. Shauna shared this session with Clean Cruising, the organisers of the inaugural Unlock The Past history and genealogy cruise and with FindMyPast Australasia and Elaine Collins who introduced the new site and gave a brief demonstration as well as a brief overview of other brightsolid sites eg FindMyPast, Scotland’s People, Genes Reunited and Ancestors on Board.
From a personal view point, it was an excellent day as I was able to catch up with many friends and colleagues and to see the various projects and publications the exhibitors had on display. I even managed to restrict myself to purchasing just two books!
One lady approached me and said that she had attended a talk I gave in Townsville and I said that was back in 1994 and she said that she still remembered the talk and that I hadn’t changed. Given 16 years have passed, that was good news! Another blast from the past was a lady who had attended one of my family history classes when I was teaching at Ithaca TAFE back in the early 1990s. She had been so inspired that she was still doing family history and a keen volunteer with her local genealogy society. Another pleasing moment as she had no trouble recognising me either.
From an Unlock The Past perspective, I talked to a lot of people about UTP and answered many questions throughout the day. I gave out lots of brochures with a range of discount vouchers from UTP sponsors including FindMyPast, Gould Genealogy & History, Family Photo Book and National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I was very pleased at the attendance at my session which I shared with Clean Cruising and FindMyPast Australasia but I did feel sorry for those people standing or sitting on the floor!
At the end of the day I was a bit weary and hoarse but totally inspired to see that genealogy and family history is not only alive and well but thriving in my home town of Brisbane!