Keynotes

The Sands of Time Conference Organising Committee is proud to announce our three keynote speakers: Jennifer Harrison, Shauna Hicks and Michelle Patient.


Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer Harrison has been researching family and local history for well over a generation.  For years she was the Queensland researcher for the Australian Dictionary of Biography for the Australian National University and is a research adviser with the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. Her Queensland research interests have concentrated on nineteenth century migration to Queensland starting with our initial settlers at the penal settlement established at Moreton Bay in 1824. Over the years Jennifer has been awarded the John Oxley Library Award for outstanding contribution to Library Services in Queensland History, Fellowships by the Federation of Australian Historical Societies and the Royal Historical Society of Queensland while the Brisbane History Group bestowed life membership. Jennifer is the current patron of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. She continues to publish and lecture widely, writing a quarterly column for Irish Roots since its inception in 1992. She spent recent lockdown periods estimating the development of the Moreton Bay settlement to coincide with upcoming 200-year commemorations. A paper investigating the backgrounds of Parsons and Thompson, Pamphlet and Finnegan’s companions in 1823, will appear shortly as hopefully will a publication describing the Moreton Bay settlement between 1822 and the coming of Logan in 1826.  Her presentation at Sands of Time complements these two endeavours.


Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years primarily in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. In 2009 she established her own research and consultancy business. Since then she has written a number of family history guides and is a regular speaker at genealogy expos and conferences. Plus Shauna has undertaken research for both private and business clients. Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities including a Master of Arts in Australian Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Library Science, and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society; a recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award and the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Services to Family History Award.


Michelle Patient

Michelle Patient is an Australian genealogist, computer geek and DNA enthusiast, with qualifications in Chemistry, Geology and Family History. She grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches living with her parents and a grandmother whose family stories, photographs, and memorabilia sparked her life-long interest in genealogy. In 1987 Michelle began searching for her English half-sister, and in 2005 she reconnected her mother with her Australian birth family. With ancestry ranging from deep English roots and post WWII British Royal Naval Support through to Australian convicts and Australian and New Zealand early colonists and military, her family history journey covers a wide range of British Isles Diasporas and Down Under research. She has separated facts from fiction, uncovering stories of will disputes, adoptions, children being given away, bankruptcies, and murder-suicides. Adding DNA research to her genealogy tool kit has increased the range of Michelle’s methods for breaking down many brick walls.

Michelle’s professional career was in civil engineering quality assurance before moving into database programming and IT helpdesk/network support in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently Michelle volunteers for the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) and the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS), is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), a DNA consultant for the SBS TV series Every Family has a Secret and since March 2020 co-founder of Talking Family History.  She has spoken at numerous family history and state conferences in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and online overseas.

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