Monday, 28 August 2017

Unlock the Past roadshow ends in Perth - report

Having left Adelaide on Friday, the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow ( made its way to the final venue on our trip, the city of Perth in Western Australia – and to one of my fave venues in the whole continent, the State Library of Western Australia ( I have spoken at this venue on three previous occasions, and the main theatre is always a delight to present within.

Having arrived on the Friday we first met up for dinner with several members of the Western Australia Genealogy Society, aka ‘WAGS’ (, allowing an opportunity to catch up with many old friends, and some new. The society is more than holding its own in terms of membership, and has an astonishing 16 Special Interest Groups, meaning that its dedicated library premises are always in use every weekend. From what I can gather the DNA group is one of the more vibrant of the newest additions, with meetings regularly attracting about 40 members to discuss all things new in the world of genetic genealogy!

Unlike most of our venues, this was a one day event, meaning that Dirk Weissleder and I were giving in talks in parallel, with myself in the theatre and Dirk in a separate room, which was booked out due to high demand on all things German and continental European. The main theatre itself was also busy on the Scottish and Irish strand, and in addition to myself there were presentations from Rosemary Kopittke on MyHeritage, Lionie Hayes on the British resources at the State Library, and Ian Simon on the British resources available at WAGS. In the audience I also had my sister-in-law present, along with her husband and one of his cousins, taking it all in as novice genealogists! The following are some pictures from the event…

It was a truly fantastic event to end a great tour. A huge thanks to Alan Phillips and the Unlock the Past ( team for bringing me back out to Australia once again, to Seonaid Lewis from Auckland for the kind invite to the Auckland Family History Expo, to all who have hosted me on my trip, to Dirk for his wise European council on all things genealogical (and in some cases political – we share a range of interests!), to the various sponsors, and to all who attended the shows. National Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand is a superb thing, and something we could certainly learn from in the UK in a post-Who Do You Think You Are Live world.

As the sun sets on my latest trip, here are a few final photos from Perth, Western Australia, from my penultimate night here – it never fails to impress that your winter here is warmer than my Scottish summers!

Until the next time… :)


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

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