The Society of Australian Genealogists (SOG) are taking a turn to host the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry from 9 March to 12 March 2018 in Sydney at the new International Conference Centre at Darling Harbour. Who’s coming?
I attended the last Congress in 2015 in Canberra and had a great time. People tend to stare at me strangely when I say I am a genealogist so to be in a conference all full of hundreds of people who all love to research their family history JUST LIKE ME is a very heady thing to experience. You see, World, I’m not crazy after all!
The Program is full of interesting presentations across a wide range of topics. I’m already trying to decide on which ones to see and it is still 9 months away!
While 9 months may seem like plenty of time, appearances are deceiving. If you are planning to come along – don’t delay! Registrations have already opened with an Early Bird price only until 30 September 2017 or until 300 registrations are received – whichever occurs first.
Already the Genie world is buzzing with trip plans. Jill Ball – GeniAus – has created a Facebook group for old hands and newbies who want to get the lowdown on the best places to stay in Sydney, transport options and just to share the excitement. After all, who else is going to want to talk to you about a family history conference, especially one that isn’t even happening until next year?
The Facebook group is Genimates at #Congress_2018 and, while it is a closed group, any genies who may be interested in attending or hearing about #Congress_2018 are welcome to join.
If you are still looking for reasons to come along, then Jill has also started writing a series of blog posts about 101 Reasons to Attend #Congress_2018. In that spirit here are my reasons why I loved attending the last Congress in 2015:
What I loved about Congress 2015 and why you should come to Congress 2018
- The Program: The talks were AMAZING! I learned so much. And I was given so many new avenues to search that I hadn’t heard or thought of before. I wrote a series of posts about it at the time.
- The Speakers: Many of the speakers were knowledgeable people I had read about and respected online so to see them speak and learn from them in person was a wonderful experience. For something to look forward to this time, Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, will be speaking at #Congress_2018!
- Meeting Genie People: I met all these wonderful genies! Because Congress 2015 supplied lunch, we all sat around at random tables and had a chance to strike up new friendships. Lots of great conversations with like-minded people. Even though #Congress_2018 isn’t providing lunch this time, you can still get to know many genies ahead of time by joining the FB group.
- The Exhibition Hall: I spent far too much money but picked up a heap of interesting books. Some from the speakers and many from Gould Genealogy.
- Research Opportunities: I already have the great good fortune to live in Canberra but I know other out-of-town attendees at Congress 2015 in Canberra relished the opportunity to visit The Australian War Memorial, the National Archives of Australia and the National Library of Australia to further their research or learn more about Australian history. There are similar opportunities awaiting in Sydney.
The more obvious suggestions are, of course:
- State Archives of NSW
- State Library of NSW
- Australian National Maritime Museum
- Society of Australian Genealogists : The Society are apparently preparing some special educational events to be delivered around the time of Congress which will be announced on their website so keep an eye out!
But there are lots of other interesting places to visit. How about:
- Justice and Police Museum where you can see some amazing mug-shots of early Sydney criminals from the NSW Police Forensics Archives. Maybe your black sheep is among them!
- If you want to see some early gracious living, visit Elizabeth Bay House. The main staircase is absolutely beautiful!
- The Sydney Jewish Museum is a fascinating place to visit. One of the permanent exhibitions is “Serving Australia: The Jewish Involvement in Australian Military History”.
- The City of Sydney Archives has records dating back to the beginning of the City in 1842! You will have to plan your visit first as you have to make an appointment but you will have plenty of time to do this before Congress next year.
- The Quarantine Station is a heritage listed site within Sydney Harbour National Park. It was used as a quarantine station from 1833 to 1984 so many of your immigrant ancestors might have passed through here! They do history, education, ghost and paranormal tours and also have accommodation and a visitor centre. Confusingly, they seem to have two websites that interlink:
So, who’s coming to #Congress_2018?