Meet the Speaker: Shauna Hicks Shares Conferences Tips

Yesterday I attended a talk at Caloundra Family History by Shauna Hicks. Soldiers in The Family: Find Out More, as the title explains, was a talk that covered the archives, documents and techniques you use to find out more about the soldiers in your family. I have been fortunate enough to attend many of Shauna Hicks presentations. I have advanced my genealogical knowledge via these talks and her numerous books.

In 2009 Shauna was recognised by The Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc. and awarded the Award for Meritorious Service to Family History.

Shauna HicksMeet the Speaker: Shauna Hicks

Here goes with the interview:

Could tell us a little about your background? Are you a genealogist, researcher, historian or representing your organisation?
I started out doing my own family history in 1977 and that led to a career change into archives and libraries where I could help others doing their family history. I’m a little bit obsessed with genealogy!

How has genealogy/family history/history/heraldry improved or changed your life?
From my last answer, you can see that it has become a way of life for me. Even in retirement, I am still tutoring family history at the local U3A and I’m a genealogy conference junkie.

What do you love most about genealogy/family history/history/heraldry?
I have made so many good friends over the last four decades who all share my love for family history. It is fantastic catching up with them at various seminars, conferences and other events.

All about conferences

Have you attended the Queensland Family and Local History Conference in previous years?
Yes, the previous two conferences. I was a keynote speaker at the first conference and a speaker at the second one.

What are your key topics for the Waves in Time Conference?
This time I am doing a free beginner’s talk on Friday at the Fair before the conference starts.

How do you think your topic/s will help the family & local historians at the Waves in Time Conference 2015?
It is aimed at beginner’s but I always think there is something to learn from every talk. It’s amazing how we can forget about some basic sources or perhaps they weren’t relevant the first time we heard about them.

What do you think are the benefits of attending a large conference like this, for you personally and for others attending?
I love catching up with old friends and making new friends. I’m also known to spend a bit of money at exhibitor tables – who can’t resist a good book?

Do you have a favourite piece of advice or a tip or trick you can share with conference attendees?
Just relax and take it all in. Try and make new contacts that you can follow up later.

Digitisation of state archives

If you could pick one new project to do, what would it be? (Assuming no funding issues)
Digitise correspondence series in state archives – I have found some amazing letters written by direct ancestors in these records but there is no overall index and you have to go through the annual register of letters and then follow top numbers to locate the original correspondence, assuming it has survived. No one seems to have time to do hours of research anymore, but it can be really rewarding.

Is there somewhere we can connect with you online?
I have my own website and my blog Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

I hope you enjoyed Shauna’s thoughts on conferences and more. Wouldn’t it be nice if the more of the correspondence at the state archives were digitised and indexed?

Free Family History Talk by Shauna Hicks – 24 May 2019

At the Waves in Time Family & Local Conference Shauna Hicks will be doing a free talk about Tips & Tricks For Beginners. It will help them avoid some common mistakes. I think that many advanced family historians would also benefit from a reminder of the basics.

The Waves in Time Family & Local Conference will be held in May 2019 on the Sunshine Coast. On Friday 24 May there are 5 free talks, including Shauna Hicks plus a free family history fair running over the weekend.

It is not necessary to register for the free talks so see you there!


Shauna’s publications can be ordered online at Gould Genealogy & History. She often has copies for sale when giving presentations. I have a number of favourites. In particular, I recommend Discover Your Sporting Ancestors. With the tips and suggestions Shauna provides, you should find sporting ancestors. Or the Where do I Start might be a better option if you are just starting out on your research journey.

Other posts so far in this Meet the Speaker:  Dr Lynne Hume and Sharn White.

Disclaimer: As a Waves in Time Ambassador I receive free registration in return for promoting the conference in various social media forums and on my blog.


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