Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

History & Genealogy Expo Adelaide Speakers

Brad Argent

  • Ancestry.com.au

Since early 2007 Brad Argent has looked after the acquisition of Australian and New Zealand content for Ancestry.  Whilst based in Sydney, Brad is often on the road in the hunt for content and the stories it can tell.  Brad has been doing his family history for about five years (a beginner by most standards) and has discovered that all the villainy was clearly on his mother’s side of the family.

Ron Austin

  • Introduction to World War 1
  • Introduction to World War II

Ron Austin, RFD, ED, co-owner of Slouch Hat Publications completed a BA major in Asian History and has since written 15 books on Australian military history, including nine unit histories and 'The Gallipoli Encyclopedia'. He has been leading Belmore Travel's battlefield tours to Gallipoli and France for over 20 years.

Dan Crinion

  • A sweet taste of history: 127 years of confectionery in Adelaide

Dan is Retail Operations / Marketing Manager, Blackeby's Sweets / Ditters Nuts

Liz Doyle

  • A case study on “Uncovering your past in Ireland”

Liz is on a mission! She is passionate about family, history and travel and has now combined these interests to provide small, fully escorted and customized, ancestral tours to Ireland and England. Her inspiration is to help others to experience something that brings their family research to life. Liz lives on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria with her husband, Garry. They both enjoy getting out into the Victorian High country in their 4WD and spoiling their grandchildren!

Aimée Engler

  • Were the South Australian Lutherans National Socialists?

Aimée is a Masters of History graduate from Tabor College and after dabbling in archives, currently works for Unlock the Past. She enjoys reading, research & writing history, particularly church European history, and her primary focus is on German Lutheran history. Aimée lives in Adelaide with her husband Daniel and her pet axolotl Sarah.

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 of 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

Megan Gibson

  • Who Do You Think You Are? (Aust)
  • Family Tree Time

In between researching the genealogies and family histories of famous Australians on the hit tv family tree show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (Series 2 & 3), Megan runs Family Tree Time, where she offers research, writing and family tree coaching services to help ordinary Australians trace their own family tree ...before it's too late. Her tips book for the time poor, 'How To Get More Family Tree Time' is due for release in September.

Jacqui Haraldstad

  • History/Heritage touring

Jacqui is Business Development Manager, Clean Cruising, partner in organising and managing the inaugural Unlock the Past cruise in March 2011.

Shauna Hicks

  • Caring for Your Family History Archives
  • Family History on the Cheap
  • National Archives of Australia
  • What Was The Voyage Really Like?
  • TROVE: One Search....A Wealth of Information

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 Services to Family History Award.

Eric Kopittke

  • Germanic and Danish research
  • German sources on the internet

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 Services to Family History. Locally, he is the convenor of the Central European Group of the Queensland FHS

Rosemary Kopittke

  • Family Photo Book
  • Findmypast.com.au
  • 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 Services to Family History.

Lyall Kupke

  • Lutheran Archives and Germanic family history research

Lyall has been the Archivist at Lutheran Archives for 15 years. He was formerly a history and maths teacher. He has a postgraduate diploma in archives and records management from Monash University. He has written or contributed to 5 family history books (Kupke, Bradtke, Winter, Scholz, Noack-Hondow-Schmidt). He is also the President of the Wend/Sorb Society of South Australia.

Suzanne Maiden

  • Wills: a fascinating and valuable source

Geoffrey Manning

  • Place names SA: 4 decades of research

Geoff Manning was born at Waikerie in 1926 and, in 1942, commenced work with the Savings Bank of SA. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy in January 1944 and served in the corvette HMAS Pirie as a Visual Signalman. His interest in South Australian history dates from 1978 when he researched and published a family history, Hope Farm Chronicle – Cradle of the Mclaren Vale History. Since retiring in 1982 he has completed and published a further twelve books one of which on the place names of South Australia received the prestigious Vermeil Award at the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum in the United Stares of America in 1991.

Cassie Mercer

  • Rebels, highwaymen and bride thieves: the stories behind our early Irish convicts

Cassie Mercer is co-founder of Irish Wattle, a publishing house focusing on Irish convicts transported to New South Wales. Cassie has worked in publishing since 1999, after completing a BA in English Literature at the University of Queensland. She's worked as a sub editor for UNSW Press, Pacific Magazines and ACP Magazines in Sydney, and IPC Media and the National Magazine Company in London. Her 5 x great grandfather was a highwayman in Dublin in the 1790s.

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.

Roslyn Paterson

  • Cornish Influence in South Australia

Roslyn Paterson OAM is a retired professional historian. She has written, edited or co-authored seven history books dealing mainly with Cornish Australian themes including mining, genealogy, economic history and agricultural history. She is a founder of Kernewek Lowender the Cornish Festival and was awarded an OAM for her services to the Cornish Community in South Australia in 2001. Ros is married to a Bute farmer and they have two daughters and two grandsons.

Annie Payne

  • How to interview a family member

Annie Payne founded History from the Heart in January 2006 and works with people who want more than a family tree. Through individual projects, workshops, an on-line learning course and some innovative products she has developed, she helps people to gather, organise and preserve their family heritage. She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians.

Andrew Peake – Fellow of FSAGHS

  • Government & Police Gazettes for Local & Family History
  • Life Events that create records

BA, Grad. Dip. Local & Applied History and Master of Letters (Australian History). Co-founder with Dr T T Reed of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society in 1973 and at various times its President, Vice President and Secretary. Fellow of FSAGHS. President of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO), 1984-87 and 2009+. In 2003 awarded the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Service to Family History. Author of over 30 publications largely with a history and family history focus, the most important of which is South Australian History Sources.

Diana Pepper – Artemis Films

  • The Making of a compelling Australian TV Series
  • The Making of the Ron Barassi episode

Diana has been employed in television production for the last decade. She has worked on the Australian series of “Who Do You Think You Are?” across all three series doing casting and episode research and been on the road with five celebrities in the role of Assistant Producer. She is good at keeping secrets.

Alan Phillips

  • History/Heritage touring (with others)

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)

Rod Shearing

  • The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia

Rod Shearing is President of the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, an accountant, retired, with experience in Australia and overseas in Business Operations, wholesale and retail, Education, Arts and Cultural Heritage, and Local Government. Rod joined the Society in 1985 with interests in geography, archaeology and anthropology. Rod is involved with many aspects of the Society’s operations including information delivery, research and geographical heritage.

Neil Smith

  • Australia's ANZAC Heritage

Lieutenant Colonel Neil SMITH, AM was raised near Perth and spent 24 years in the Australian Regular Army. He has a keen interest in Australian and British military history and has published on a wide range of related matters with the emphasis on those who served. Based on Melbourne, Neil frequently works with the media, often addresses family history and other groups and provides a rapid and unique military history research facility

Julian Stefani

  • Settlement Square: a place for you or your emigrant forbears

The Honourable Julian F Stefani OAM JP - Julian was born in Italy and immigrated to Australia with his family in 1950, aged 11 years old. He has spent a lifetime of working voluntarily, to support individuals and community groups. He has won a series of awards, including an OAM for services to the Community & two Italian Earthquake Appeals. In 1990, he was awarded the South Australian Italian of the Year and in 1996, he was made Commendatore [Knight Commander] in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Mr Stefani has played a significant part in the development of the Migration Museum's Settlement Square project and the establishment of the Migration Museum's foundation.

Richard Sullivan

  • Beginning your family history

Executive Officer, South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society

Kristin Weidenbach

  • Outback legends: Tom Kruse & Reg Sprigg

Kristin Weidenbach is the author of Rock Star: the Story of Reg Sprigg, and the Australian bestseller, Mailman of the Birdsville Track: the Story of Tom Kruse. She is a PhD immunologist who switched to a writing career after completing postdoctoral research at Stanford University in California. She is the author of several academic publications and has also written for Outback magazine and Australian Geographic