History, Genealogy and Heritage Events

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Unlock the Past Cruises

Exhibitor Details


This list includes those who are exhibiting in person and others sending displays or products.

CLICK HERE for exhibition floor plan

13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry

The Congress will be held in Adelaide between the 28 and 31 March, 2012 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. There will be four days of presentations, workshops, tours and meetings on a host of topics delivered by researchers from Australia and New Zealand, together with presenters from North America and the United Kingdom. Linked with the Congress will be an Exhibition Hall with exhibitors from across the country.

Allansford Cheese World Museum 

The Allansford Cheese World Museum, in South West Victoria, is full of mementoes that show the history of the local Dairy Industry with exhibits dating back to the early 1900’s.
It features an amazing array of cheese and butter making equipment and relics from everyday farm-life. The Cheese World exhibit will promote the Museum and the Warrnambool area as a holiday destination. There will be a static display and a digital presentation showing the museum and its artifacts.


Ancestry.com.au, launched in 2006, is Australia’s most popular family history website and home to more than 910 million records in its Australian and UK collections, including the Australian Convict Transportation Registers, the Australian Free Settlers, Australian Electoral Rolls, New South Wales Sands Directories, as well as the most complete online collection of England, Wales and Scotland Censuses and the England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes.

Anchor Books

Anchor Books Australia is a small, independent publishing company with a focus on Australia’s colonial history.

Anglesea & District Historical Society

Australian Family Tree Connections 

The Independent Monthly magazine for Australian and New Zealand family historians

Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies 

The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies Inc. (AIGS) was founded in 1973 and is a not for profit organisation staffed by volunteers. Our Resource and Research Library is located in the Melbourne suburb of Blackburn, 200 metres from the Blackburn Railway Station. It houses a large and comprehensive collection of material covering Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Special arrangements exist for members who live more than 100km from Melbourne, including the option of 2 free hours of research each year. Representatives from AIGS will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Archive Digital Books Australasia

Helping to preserve and disseminate our published heritage for today and future generations
The Archive CD Books Project exists to make reproductions of rare, out of print books and records. By working with libraries, societies, record offices and individuals we are making accessible and preserving important historical resources. Since 2003 we have digitised nearly 2 million pages, published on over 2000 data CDs - and containing approximately 120 million names.

Ballarat Observatory Museum

The Ballaarat Astronomical Society display will promote the Ballarat Observatory and Museum with it's historical buildings, lead-light windows (most approaching their centenary), Telescopes which cover the 18th to the 21st century plus historical astronomical books. There will be static displays plus a laptop and monitor with a powerpoint display depicting the history of the observatory which is a living museum.

Bellarine Historical Society 

The Bellarine Historical Society is a non-profit making organisation staffed by volunteers with a keen interest in preserving the history of the Bellarine Peninsula.  The Society was formed in 1976 and operates out of the Old Court House Museum and former Shire Hall in Drysdale.  The research centre and museum include an extensive collection of local and family history and is home to the library of the Geelong Family History Group.

Birchip Historical Society & Museum 

Birregurra & District History Centre

Clean Cruising

Jacqui is a Business Development Manager for one of our business partners Clean Cruising who have assisted in organising and managing the inaugural Unlock the Past Cruise Conference in March 2011. Clean Cruising are one of the largest travel and cruise offices in Australia, and boast a very professional, experienced team of consultants and an award winning travel website. Jacqui has more than 15 years experience in the cruise industry and enjoys sharing her knowledge. Combining the relaxing ambience of a cruise ship, experiencing new ports of call and the enrichment of History and Genealogy presentations - The perfect getaway!

Colac & District Family History Group 

Cooee History & Heritage 

COOEE History & Heritage is a team of professional historians and history consultants based in Melbourne. We specialise in unlocking and reconstructing the past for any individual or organisation wanting to do more with history than just file it away.

Cornish Association of Victoria 

The Association, in it's current format, was formed in 1985. Our main objective is to stimulate interest in the History, Family History and Traditions of Cornwall.  We have established an extensive research library of Cornish Births, Deaths, Marriages, Monumental Inscriptions and Census records, to name just a few. At the Geelong Expo information on Cornwall will be displayed and, on Saturday, we will have some research material available to assist visitors with their Cornish connections. Although our main library is based in Melbourne we do have branches in Geelong and Ballarat and links with other Cornish Associations in Australia and overseas.

Cressy & District History Group

Dave Evans

Victorian Mining Accident Index, over 12,100 names sorted Alphabetically as well as by Place. on CDROM  $20.00 plus Postage.
Mining Registrars Reports 1859 to 1887 all Victoria, most reports published, send for a list to Dave Evans.

Derrinallum & Lismore History Group

Descendants of Convict Group

The aims of the Group are to educate participating members on matters pertaining to the convict system. These matters will include:
 - Conditions which prevailed in the United Kingdom and the Australian colonies at the time
 - The Transportation system
 - Relevant sources of information both within the United Kingdom and Australia
 - Processes for tracing ones ancestry and levels of proof required for Group membership
 - Matters of general genealogical interest

Drop of a Hat Productions

Family Photo Book

Never be stuck for a gift again! The software is easy, fun and FREE to use. A Family Photo Book album is the perfect gift for anyone and any occasion - for recording family history, family reunions, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, memorials or any special occasion. Share your travels with pictures, a written journal, create, a stunning business portfolio or presentation. The possibilities are endless.


FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organisation in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org.

Findmypast Australasia

Initially there are about 50 million records from all states and New Zealand, but this count will grow rapidly with regular additions in future.

Findmypast Ireland

Findmypast Ireland is a new website set up by two experts in the field of family history: Eneclann, an award-winning research and publishing house with extensive experience in family history in Ireland, and findmypast, a leading family history website, initially launched in the UK. Together, we have worked to bring you a website which will help you to understand your Irish heritage and make amazing discoveries about your ancestors.

Findmypast UK

First Females Above Australia

Fifty years of research and personal friendships has produced this unique, aviation history book with never-before presented material of Australia’s female pilots’ achievements. Book sales of $22/copy, book signing, a colourful pictorial display and personal chats with the author make an interesting addition to this Geelong Expo.

Titled First Females Above Australia – the first 100 years of Australian women pilot firsts 1909-2009, the author Rosemary Arnold is Australia’s first woman helicopter pilot. Her book comprises one hundred short bios plus 250 photos, and is a salute to these un-sung pioneers, most of whom Rosemary knew personally. While teaching Aviation History at University Western Sydney, Rosemary found the need for such a historic record to be published and is distributing hundreds of copies to remote schools throughout Australia; 15,000km have already been driven through six States and more trips are planned. Rosemary’s passion for aviation history is now inspiring new generations.

Fort Queenscliff Museum

Forrest & District Historical Society

Geelong & District Historical Association

The Geelong and District Historical Association (GDHA) is an umbrella association for the historical organisations within the region.  These include Historical Societies, Family History Groups, Museums and similar historical and heritage organisations.  There are no defined boundaries but GDHA generally covers the area in an arc from the Otways, up to Colac and a little south of Ballarat, across to Werribee, and all areas to the south east inside that arc.

Geelong & South Western Rail Heritage Society

The Geelong & South Western Rail Heritage Society Inc was established in 2007 to continue activities carried out during the previous decade by the former South Western Rail Society. The main activities of the society are to foster restoration and maintenance of the Birregurra Railway Station and other rail infrastructure along the Melbourne - Geelong - Warrnambool, Geelong - Ballarat and Gheringhap - Maroona railway lines. Current projects include the Colac locomotive turntable and Geelong 'A' signal box. The Society played a lead role in organising celebrations for the 150th anniversary of opening of the Geelong and Melbourne Railway in June 2007 and is currently planning similar celebrations in April 2012 for the 150th aniversary of the Geelong and Ballarat Railway. The society publishes a bi-monthly news letter with information about society activities, local rail history and operation of heritage train trips in the area. Membership is only $20 per annum plus a $5 joining fee and is open to anyone interested in either active or armchair involvement.

Geelong & Region Branch National Trust

Display will provide information about National Trust properties near Geelong, around Victoria, Australia and international. Special offer of membership reduced by $33. Free entry to all Trust properties around the world with membership. Volunteer opportunities to help at properties to conserve our heritage places.

Geelong Family History Group

Formed in 1981 to promote and encourage the study of family history and to preserve records of the Geelong region. Meetings provide opportunities for sharing knowledge; a research service is offered and a quarterly journal “The Pivot Tree’.

Geelong Heritage Centre

  • www.geelongaustralia.com.au/heritage
  • contact: Mark Beasley
  • The Geelong Heritage Centre exhibit will have Centre staff on duty to receive questions from Expo visitors and how the Geelong Heritage Centre collection can assist family historians. The exhibit will have online link to the new very popular Heritage Centre online image library, webpage and much more. The exhibit will also feature several examples of the Centre’s archive collection and  access to indexes to the many unique features of the archive collection. Visitors will also be able to purchase some of the many reference books, postcards and other items normally on sale at the Heritage Centre at special Expo prices on sale and an online link to the Centre’s webpage, image library and more.

Geelong Otway Tourism

Genealogical Society of Victoria

The Genealogical Society of Victoria is a leading Australian family history society for the study of genealogy with a wide range of membership benefits. We can provide advice and expertise along with a reference library providing extensive records for Victoria, Australia, New Zealand and Britain, as well as many collections from other countries.

Genes Reunited


GENP is a well established family history software program for the beginner, experienced or professional genealogist. See a demonstration of our new version which includes presentation quality charts and the slideshow wizard. GenP will be exhibiting Saturday only.

Gould Genealogy & History

Gould Genealogy & History has been the leading supplier of resources for family and local historians. We currently list over 11,000 books, data CDs, genealogy programs, maps and stationery items - probably the largest world wide range of products anywhere. We also publish important books and data CDs

Guild of One Name Studies

  • www.one-name.org
  • contact: Helen Smith (during Expo) 
  • Freecall:  1800 305 184     

The Guild is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The Guild brings together those with an interest in one-name studies and other forms of surname study (such as DNA projects).

iFamily for Leopard

iFamily for Leopard is a genealogy application for people who think differently. Whereas other genealogy software tends to emphasize the family unit, this software's focus is on each individual person. This distinction is subtle and is a feature of iFamily for Leopard.

Inside History Magazine

Inside History is for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage. Published bi-monthly and beautifully designed, it provides insightful, interesting and practical features to its readers. Its 70 pages are packed with advice, articles and expert tips on genealogy, and stories on our varied history, from tales about century-old houses and country towns, to heritage gardens and the biographies of our famous (and infamous) citizens.

Inverleigh Historical Society

Irish Wattle

Irish Wattle is a publisher focusing on Irish convicts transported to New South Wales. Founded by Barbara Hall and Cassie Mercer, our catalogue contains biographies for more than 1000 prisoners sent directly from Ireland between 1791 and 1797. We have been able to source rare and valuable information on the trials and convictions in Ireland for many of these transportees, details that have never before been published. We are currently researching those who arrived between 1800 and 1806.

Joy Murrin Family History Services

Joy Murrin Family History Services provides an economical alternative to New South Wales BDM Certificates as an accredited Transcription Agent since 1995. Order NSW BDM Transcriptions from Civil Registrations, England/Wales Certificates, or Scotland Registrations. With an extensive database they offer CLIENT RESEARCH LINK which is a FREE service to link clients who have ordered the same registration. This service is available for NSW Transcriptions as well as England/Wales Certificate Service.

Italian Historical Society

Lara Historical Society

A preview of a new society soon to be formed

Little River Historical Society

The Living Journal

The Living Years is a book designed to document information about individuals for the purpose of having a testimonial for families of loved ones. The Living Years journal has heading pages that prompts participants to document information about themselves, covering a range of topics, giving the opportunity for an individual to write reflect, tell stories and share information in their own words. It’s not just a book about recording your life stories. It’s about giving knowledge, history and wisdom gained in one’s lifetime, so future generations know something of their heritage and can learn to appreciate and treasure the information so as knowledge of previous generations is not forgotten. It is essential for future generations that each person records at the very least their basic information in a concise journal that everyone has knowledge of its purpose.

Lorne Historical Society

Martin Davey

  • contact: Martin Davey

Martin Davey has written a novel in indigenous historical fiction. It is set on the frontier of white settlement outside Geelong in 1839 – the earliest of our past that needs to be unlocked. It is titled “BrownJudy” which is convict slang for Aboriginal woman. She is housemaid on the frontier station and her fellow employees are convicts brought over from Van Diemen’s Land with the squatter. The story unfolds along three themes, the continual clashes with Geelong natives, the relationship between BrownJudy and a convict who takes the side of the natives and the third theme is the examination of her native society in her own words.

Meredith History Interest Group

Military Historical Society Australia (Vic)

The Victorian Branch of the of the Military Historical Society was established in 1957. The Branch membership comprises former service men and women, military history researchers, collectors of militaria and those who simply enjoy understanding more about Australia's military heritage, family experiences and history.

Museums Australia (Victoria)

Museums Australia is a membership organisation providing national and state services, and national networks for people with specific museum interests. Our professional services for the Victorian museum community include:
    advice on museum matters
    information resources
    grants for museum projects
    museum accreditation
    professional development
    seminars and workshops.
We represent and provide programs for over 500 members from across the state.

National Institute for Genealogical Studies

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies supports the needs of both amateur family historians and aspiring professional genealogists for reliable and comprehensive education though a wide range of online courses. The courses range from basic, intermediate and advanced as well as electives. Subjects can be done separately or towards Certificates in Genealogical Studies with specialisation in various countries. Australia is represented with presenters and courses.

National Library of Australia

Jenny Higgins, the National Library’s Family History Reference Librarian,  will be on hand at the Expo to answer your questions on how the National Library can help with your family history.  She will also be happy to help you with questions about the National Library’s TROVE service, especially using  Australian online digitised newspapers to 1954.  Family History and other Library guides will also be available.

Openbook Howden Design & Print

Openbook Howden Design and Print is a specialist in book design and print, with decades of experience in producing District and Family histories. We will be happy to discuss with you the many options that are available to assist you in the production of your book.

Pixel by Pixel

  • www.pixelbypixel.com.au
  • contact: Carol Heath
  • ph: 03 86829572,  Mob: 0412 637630
  • Address:  PO Box 4266, Balwyn East, Vic 3103

Carol from Pixel By Pixel offers quality, affordable photo restoration and retouching as well as Photoshop and Digital Photo Restoration courses and workshops.  With a background in Photography, Digital Imaging and Teaching plus years of experience as a Digital Photo Restorer, she is well equipped to tackle just about any photo restoration challenge.  Don't forget to bring along your old and / or damaged photographs for an obligation free restoration appraisal.

Preservation Australia

Preservation Australia, a conservation business focusing on paper, photographic and preventive conservation. Preservation Australia also has an extensive range of archival and conservation products and offers a complete service with regard to preservation of records and family heritage - conservation of the material along with optimum preservation storage materials and systems.

Public Record Office Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria holds records created by Victorian government departments and authorities, the State’s courts, municipalities, schools, public hospitals and other public offices. The records date from the establishment of the Port Phillip District in the mid 1830s and include information relating to areas of activity managed or regulated by government such as the administration of justice, immigration, health and welfare, land, education, Indigenous communities, planning, transport, and resource management.

The Public Record Office of Victoria will be exhibiting on Friday only.

Queenscliffe Maritime Museum

Showcases the maritime heritage of Queenscliffe, southern Port Phillip and The Rip, the dangerous shipping entrance to Port Phillip from Bass Strait.  Featuring the last lifeboat, the Queenscliffe, which was used for rescues for 50 years, the museum highlights many stories of the wrecks and rescues, the Port Phillip Sea Pilot Service, the fishermen, and the boatbuilders who have shaped Queenscliffe’s maritime life.  Also operate Point Lonsdale Lighthouse tours by arrangement with the Port of Melbourne.


Professional Photo Retouching and Restoration. Here at Retouchery, we offer Professional Photo Retouching and Restoration. Bring the life back into your old photos! You will be amazed at the quality that can be put back into your treasured photographs!

Royal Historical Society of Victoria

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria was formed in 1909 and is a community organisation committed to collecting, researching and sharing an understanding of the history of Victoria. With the support of a large number of volunteers, the RHSV provides a full program of activities (eg lectures, seminars, excursions and exhibitions) for the benefit of members and the general public. The Society publishes a monthly newsletter, a reviewed journal and books of historical interest. Its activities are available to all Victorians. The Society has over 1200 individual members, as well as functioning as the umbrella organisation for more than 260 local and specialist historical societies throughout Victoria. Membership of the RHSV is open. All those with an interest in history are welcome to join.

ScotlandsPeople (Research Help Zone)

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, we have almost 80 million records to look through. From Scottish census records, Scottish wills, birth certificates and death certificates, we have a comprehensive choice of Scottish records to bring your Scotland ancestry to life.

Slouch Hat Publications

Slouch Hat Publications owned by Ron & Sue Austin, was established in 1989 and has maintained a reputation for producing good quality books on Australian Military History ranging from the Boer War, Boxer Rebellion, the 1914-18 & 1939-45 Wars to Vietnam. Included in the range are several encyclopedia including The Gallipoli Encyclopedia and many unit histories.

Society of Australian Genealogists

The SAG has been helping people trace family history for over 75 years. Located in the Sydney CBD, we have a world-class library and manuscript collection, much of which is unique. We run an active programme of lectures, workshops, seminars and tours, have a shop selling books,  charts and software and can give advice on all aspects of genealogy.

Stawell "Biarri" Group for Genealogy

Our Group covers Stawell, formerly known as “Pleasant Creek” and “The Reefs” and what is now part of Northern Grampians Shire. We will have indexes covering local and regional Cemetery Records, Church Registers, Hospital Admissions, School Registers, Births, Deaths, Marriages as well as some Local History Books & Magazines and postcards. We also provide an economical Research Service and more ...

Surf Coast Family History Group

Technological micro Data (TmD)

Technological micro Data (TmD) specialises in digital Scan, Print and Archiving Services. Established in 1990, we have built a strong relationship with our clients for quality workmanship. TmD also supply, support and service a range of new and refurbished Digital Microfilm Equipment including the new ScanPro 2000 digital microfilm scanner. There is also refurbished analogue pre-owned Readers and Reader Printers.

Torquay and District Historical Society

Unlock the Past

Unlock the Past is about promoting history, genealogy and heritage in Australia and New Zealand. It is a collaborative venture involving a team of over 40 expert speakers and writers, plus organisations and commercial partners throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas. It is:

  • a major events resource - supporting existing events and running some major events of our own
  • a publishing brand - 18 guide books published since April 2010 plus our annual History & Genealogy: Australia & New Zealand
  • a major go-to place for resources and significant free content
  • an online directory of 1800 organisations and products and service suppliers
  • an online events calendar - 100s of events throughout Australian and New Zealand
  • a cost effective marketing platform for partners - societies, libraries and commercial partners
    ... and much more


Victorian GUM (Genealogists Using Microcomputers) Inc. is an association of family history researchers using computers to help them in their research. VicGUM is based in Melbourne, and has over 600 members around Australia.

Warrnambool Family History Group

West Gippsland Genealogical Society

Winchelsea & District Historical Society