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Shauna Hicks

Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years primarily in libraries and archives including the State Library of Queensland, the John Oxley Library in Brisbane, the Queensland State Archives, the National Archives of Australia in Canberra and Public Record Office Victoria. She is currently Director of Shauna Hicks History Enterprises.

Shauna Hicks has a number of tertiary qualifications including a BA in History and Anthropology from the University of Queensland and a MA in Australian Studies from Griffith University (QLD). She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Library Science from the Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is also a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society and in 2007 she was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Australian Society of Archivists and in 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations award for Meritorious Services to Family History.

She is the author of a number of Unlock the Past publications.


  • Ancestors in Church: Using Church Publications - This talk explores an underutilised resource that can provide information on our ancestors not likely to be found elsewhere.
  • Archives You May Not Know But Should - This talk highlights a variety of archives that researchers may not be aware of for genealogy research. It seeks to make researchers more aware of archival resources that may or may not be online.
  • Asylum Records: A Place to Look for Missing Ancestors - This talk looks at the availability of asylum records in Australia and outlines the type of information that can be found and how useful these records are in finding ancestors who simply disappeared.
  • Behind Bars: Convicts and Criminals - This talk explores a wide range of resources for those with convicts or criminals in the family and draws on the speaker's experience in researching her own family history. All Australian states are covered. 
  • Brief Introduction to Family History Research - This talk looks at how to start by looking at family sources, archives and libraries, what's online, useful books to read, the benefits of joining genealogy and family history societies and recording and organising your research.
  • Caring For Your Family Archives - This talk addresses three areas - organising your family records and memorabilia, storing and preserving your family archives and finally, sharing the results of your research with others and the long term future of your research and records. 
  • Convict Ancestors: Fascinating and Frustrating to Research - This talk looks at resources available for researching convicts in both Australia and the UK. It draws on the speaker's own experiences in researching her own convict ancestors. 
  • Demolishing Brick Walls: Tips & Tricks - Everyone comes up against a brick wall at some point in their research and this paper outlines some search strategies that might assist in getting past that brick wall.
  • Diaries and Letters: Fleshing out the Family History - This talk reveals the availability of letters and diaries and how they can add context to your own family history even if they are not written by direct ancestors. The speaker provides examples from her own family history research including ship...
  • Family History on the Cheap: Tips and Tricks - This talk highlights a wide variety of tips and tricks that researchers can use to save themselves time and money when researching their family history. Areas covered include family sources, archives and libraries, online resources, technology,...
  • Finding Pictorial Sources Online - This talk looks at the range of online resources for locating illustrations, photographs and other pictorial sources for family and local history research.
  • Google Your Family Tree: Tips & Tricks - This talk looks at basic search strategies and how researchers can maximise their search results. It also addresses more advances searching using Alerts, Library, Images, Videos and Maps.
  • It’s Not All Online: Where Else Can I Look? - This talk is a reminder that not everything is online and that researchers still need to use archives, libraries, historical societies and museums, genealogy and family history societies and so on.
  • Making the Most of Archives: Tips for Using National and State Archives - This talk looks at family history resources available in Australian state and federal archives focussing in particular on indexes, databases and digitised records available online. 
  • Military Ancestors: Discover Their Stories - This talk looks at tracing military ancestors from the Boer War plus WW1 and WW2 and draws on the speaker's own research for her military ancestors. Resources available online are highlighted.
  • Mining Ancestors: Knowing Where to Look - This talk explores how to trace your often elusive mining ancestors and their families and looks at a wide variety of resources.
  • Missing an Ancestor: Try Looking Behind Bars! (prison records) -  This talk looks at resources available for researching prisons and prisoners in Australia (does not include convicts). It draws on the speaker's own experiences in researching her own ancestors who for a variety of reasons ended up behind bars...
  • Online Newspapers: New Pathway to Discovering Ancestors - This talk looks at digitised Australasian and overseas newspapers online and how to find information on your ancestors beyond the usual BDM and funeral notices.
  • Online Sources for Queensland Family History - This talks looks at what is available online including state and local government archives, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries and specialist websites. 
  • Online Trends in Family History - This talks looks at various Web 2.0 technology and how it can be used for family history research. In particular, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, nings, RSS and wikis will be discussed. 
  • Researching Australian ancestors - This presentation outlines the major resources for tracing ancestors in Australia including archives, libraries, genealogy and family history societies, military and cemetery resources and more. The emphasis is on resources that are online and...
  • School Days: Education Records for Family History - This talk looks at how education records can add context to family history research and sources such as admission registers, correspondence files, newspapers, school histories and so on will be looked at.
  • Skeletons in the Family: Looking at Convicts, Prisons and Asylum Records - This talk looks at records useful for finding 'skeletons' in the family. A review of available sources on convicts, prison records and asylum records available in Australia allows researchers to  follow up and hopefully find their missing...
  • TROVE & Other NLA Treasures - This talk highlights the National Library of Australia’s resources including TROVE, E-Resources, Picture Australia, and the web archive Pandora.
  • Victorian Resources for Family History Research - This talk looks at resources available for anyone with Victorian ancestors. Topics covered include archives, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, newspapers, mining records and some lesser known resources. 
  • Warning Warning: Tips and Tricks to Avoid Common Family History Mistakes - This talk draws on the speaker's own experiences and provides some tips on avoiding common mistakes when starting out family history research. It also provides some tips and tricks to save time and money when researching.
  • What Was the Voyage Really Like? - This talk illustrates how researchers can find out details of an ancestor’s trip to Australia. There are a range of resources covered including passenger lists, on board reports such as medical officer’s reports, ship’s diaries and logs, newspapers...