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Speakers

Rick Aindow

Rick has been researching his family tree for around 30 years and has made numerous interesting discoveries including learning that his surname was a Viking name and that his birthplace was a Viking village. Rick started his family history journey and learned a few things from his father’s full birth certificate which then led him to taking DNA tests to uncover more secrets of the past.

Rick has been teaching family history at the Redcliffe U3A since 2011 and U3A Online via Zoom and present talks at the Moreton Bay libraries

He has a Certificate in Genealogical Research from the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) and has obtained a Diploma of  Family History from the University of Tasmania.


Pauleen Cass

Pauleen Cass has been researching her family history since 1986 and remains obsessed with the joys of discovering new family information and sharing it with family. In 2003 she published her Kunkel family history, Grassroots Queenslanders: the Kunkel family which was the winner of the 2004 Alexander Henderson Award (AIGS) and joint winner of the 2004 QFHS Queensland Family History Book Award. In 2006 she gained an Advanced Diploma in Local Studies by online study through Oxford University. In 2009 she took the leap into the online world and has been blogging about family history. Her main blog is Family History Across the Seas (cassmobfamilyhistory.com)

When time permits, Pauleen also researches the emigrants from East Co Clare, Ireland;
Dorfprozelten in Bavaria; and Murphy’s Creek, Queensland. She is a true-maroon Queenslander whose roots go back to the formation of the colony.


Peita-Maree Clark

Peita-Maree Clark is an archivist who works for the National Archives of Australia Queensland Office. Peita-Maree has a Masters in Information Studies from Charles Sturt University, as well as a wide range of archival experience -from collection management through to access and reference services. Another aspect of Peita-Maree’s work is responding to copyright enquiries for the publication of items from the National Archives collection. Peita-Maree regularly presents seminars that showcase the Archives collection through a wide variety of topics.


Geoff Doherty

Born in Victoria, Geoff and his family moved to Brisbane in 1963. He still calls himself a “newcomer”.

Geoff became interested in family history about 1993 after he met his wife, Margaret, who had been researching hers since the 1980s.  Interest in family history led to academia and he now holds a BA Honours degree in Ancient History, History and Using Computers.  Academically Geoff’s main interest is military history. I have attended many family history conferences here in Queensland, interstate and overseas and and even some on cruise ships! He has also presented at some of them and have made some great contacts.

Geoff is a member of the Professional Historians Association Queensland and served on their management committee for many years and as Treasurer also.  He has been on the management committee of the Genealogical Society of Queensland and was their President for two and a half years.  Geoff also served on the management committee of the Queensland Family History Society and was Secretary.


Mark Finnane

Mark Finnane, Professor of History at Griffith University, researches the history of criminal justice, and has published in Australian and Irish history. He is Director of the Prosecution Project and Director of the Harry Gentle Resource Centre, both based at Griffith University.


Liesl Harrold

Liesl Harrold is a third-generation family historian. Being introduced to the stories of her ancestors practically from birth, Liesl has been researching her family history unassisted for over thirty-five years; twenty -five of those years have also been spent helping others with their research. She achieved a Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning, which included a thesis on The Recycling of Public Heritage Buildings: A Treasury Building Case Study, anda Graduate Certificate of Policy and Governance. Liesl has also completed the Certificate of Genealogical Studies and the Diploma of Family Historical Studies with the Society of Australian Genealogists. Liesl has worked for the Queensland and Commonwealth Government in various senior roles. This included time with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, managing the Work Histories research team. Family history is her passion and she loves assisting others find their connections.


Daniel Horowitz

Dedicated to Genealogy since 1986, Daniel was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. He was a board member of The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) for 10 years, now is involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects, and holds a board-level position at The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Since 2006 Daniel has been working at MyHeritage liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media, as well as lecturing, and attending conferences around the world.


Bill Kitson

From a small departmental collection of old 1880 surveying instruments, Bill has built up one of the finest collections of its type in the world. The importance of the collection was recognised by the Queensland State Museum when they gazetted it formally as a branch the Queensland Museum and in 2007 Bill was awarded the Queensland Museum Medal.


Fran Kitto

Fran came to family history later in life when looking for a new interest that combined her interests travelling, blogging and technology. She is a regular RootsTech Ambassador, Webmaster and social media guru for Caloundra Family History and host for #ANZAncestryTime on Twitter.

Other interest include sport, being a NRL Melbourne Storm and lifelong Chelsea FC fan and crochet.

She started her working life with a business degree in marketing and later an MBA that focused on systems management. She has worked at large companies and multinationals so the use of technology, project and strategic planning is something she is familiar with and brings these skills to her family history research and society volunteering. Now days during the day and many nights she works in the family business, The Wallpaper People, help to fund her family history adventures.


Eric Kopittke

A family historian, presenter, and author with a strong interest in Germany and the former German Empire, Eric has been actively researching his family since 1985 – in Australia, England, and present and former parts of Germany – and has been a member of the Queensland Family History Society for all of that time. For over 20 years he has convened the Society’s Central European Interest Group. Eric has completed certificates in German and English genealogy with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada. He has spoken in New Zealand and most Australian states and on 10 Unlock the Past cruises.


Kaye Nardella

Kaye started as a cartographic cadet with the Department of Mapping and Surveying in 1978. After finishing the required Cartography course, Kaye completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1988 majoring in history. The next course completed was a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies in 1997. From 1998 she worked part-time as an archivist with the John Oxley Library and part time with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. A full-time position was taken up with this department in 2004 and she was appointed senior curator of the Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying in 2007.


Brooke Prentis

Brooke Prentis is a Wakka Wakka woman and Aboriginal Christian Leader.  Brooke is a Chartered Accountant, Company Director, Coordinator of the Grasstree Gathering, and former CEO of Common Grace a not for profit movement of over 50,000 people pursuing justice.  Brooke is a much sought after speaker and writer, educator and even a poet. Brooke is a consultant who assists companies with development of Reconciliation Action Plans, conducts workshops on Cultural Awareness and Cultural Safety, and works with schools.  Brooke has appeared on national and international television, radio, and podcasts including ABC’s The Drum, NITV’s The Point, ABC RN’s Soul Search, and the Sydney Morning Herald.  Brooke is currently completing writing a book, which will be published in the next 12 months, to assist non-Indigenous Australians to engage, build, and deepen relationship with Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal justice, including Reconciliation. 


Sue Reid

Sue Reid’s family history journey was inspired when a cousin gave her a copy of a diary written by an ancestor who was a missionary in Russia in the early nineteenth century.

Sue has presented at family history conferences and seminars, including the three most recent Australasian Congresses on Genealogy and Heraldry, the State Library of Queensland, and the National Archives of Australia. She is the author of articles on family history published in local and overseas family history journals and other publications. She has recently published a family history, The issue of gentlemen. This book was placed second in the 2021 Alexander Henderson Award. In 2022, Sue was awarded the Society of Australian Genealogists’ Certificate in Genealogical Research.

A Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society, she convenes the QFHS Family History Writing Group and is the Chair of the QFHS Education Sub-Committee. In addition, she served on the Management Committee of QFHS for thirteen years.


Jan Richardson

Jan Richardson is a PhD candidate at Griffith University researching the presence of non-Indigenous ethnic minorities in Queensland prior to 1860, including convicts and coolies (indentured labourers) born in Africa, the Caribbean, China, Japan, India and the Pacific Islands. In addition, she is a Research Assistant at the Harry Gentle Resource Centre working on a database and biographies of Queensland’s early colonial residents. Jan graduated from UNE with a Master of Philosophy in 2020 and a Graduate Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History in 2013. Her master’s thesis investigated female convicts and ex-convicts who settled in Queensland after the closure of the Moreton Bay penal settlement in 1839.


Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan is a recently retired magistrate of the Magistrates Court of Queensland. She has a keen interest in history, particularly family, local and social history and first started researching her family history when she was living and working as a solicitor in Brisbane in the 1990s. Apart from a Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Master of Laws from Queensland University of Technology, Kay holds a Graduate Diploma in Local and Applied History and a Master of History from University of New England. She was involved with the establishment of History Queensland Inc. and served on its committee as its treasurer for a number of years until her appointment as a magistrate in 2008. She also served on the Public Records Review Committee from 2003 to 2008, as a community representative. Retirement has now enabled Kay to pursue her interest in history, especially that of Queensland and those who settled here and how our ancestors interacted with the government and its laws. Her first non-fiction book about her German ancestors in Queensland has just been published and she is now looking forward to researching and writing about her husband’s ancestors.


Stephanie Ryan

Stephanie Ryan has been the Senior Librarian in Family History at the State Library of Queensland for over 20 years. For the last ten years she has been working more broadly across State Library’s resources as a Research Librarian. Previously she was a high school teacher and teacher-librarian. She has participated in radio and television programs, has been interviewed for newspaper and
magazine articles, and has presented papers at family and local history conferences. She contributes to the State Library of Queensland’s blogs and writes occasional articles. She has run presentations for societies, libraries and the general public. Together with other staff she contributes to a free enquiry service of up to 1 hour per enquiry for Queenslanders. This service is backed by the extensive collections of the State’s main library, specialist family history indexes and website listings, research guides and an ever-growing range and diversity of digitized resources.


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