For articles about the Society's staff
I have been the Society’s Education Officer since May 2015 and combine my part-time position at the SAG with studies for the University of New England’s Graduate Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History. I’ve worked with the NSW government as a policy officer and town planner, but began my career as an archaeologist. I started researching my family history when my sister’s Google search suggested that the family was descended from a marine on the Second Fleet.
I began researching my family history in 1997 while I was completing my BA in Education and my Graduate Diploma Applied Science Library and Information Management. When the position of Librarian at SAG came up in 2004 I jumped at the chance to combine my two great interests. The last ten years have been interesting, challenging and changing - always changing. We changed location, we changed Library Management Systems, Cataloguing Standards changed, the way we do our research and the way we access the records has changed and continues to do so. So there's always a new challenge.
I commenced part time work at the Society in 1990 as an Administrative Assistant to Heather Garnsey. My current role is co-ordinating bookings for SAG Events. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at SAG and the interaction with staff and the many volunteers I have met over the years. One of my passions has been tracing my family's roots, which has been greatly helped by donations of material by other members of SAG. Away from the Society as a white-water canoeist I have enjoyed the thrill of the river and an appreciation of the natural beauty of Australia. My other passions are teaching Religious Education in our state schools and babysitting my grandchildren.
I started tracing my family history when I was 11, and joined the Society in 1979, quickly becoming a volunteer library assistant, index card typist and cemetery transcriber. I'd taken a year off work to do research for my Diploma in Family Historical Studies when in November 1984 I was asked if I'd like some casual employment processing membership renewals and opening mail at the SAG. Within a few days I’d been offered a full-time job and I'm still here. I became Executive Officer in January 1988 and am involved in most facets of the Society's operations; from day to day management to media work, education, and our Diploma & Certificate courses. I was once told you should find out what it is you love to do and then find someone to pay you to do it. I did!
I joined the Society in 1979 as representative of the Hornsby Shire Historical Society and then in my own right from 1984. I was appointed Archives Officer for the Society in 1993 and since then have been involved in moving our manuscript index from a manual to electronic format. My ancestors include the first head teacher at the Parramatta Sunday School from 1817, and a foreman of a jury at the Eureka Trials in Melbourne in 1855. Outside the Society I have been involved in exhibitions at the National Museum in Canberra, the Museum of Brisbane and the Museum of Sydney. I have also been involved in a number of publications, talks and seminars relating mainly to Sydney's colonial past, including working with Ian Wright from the Lonely Planet team and doing research for the Zhgarta Zawie website in North Lebanon. I am currently writing biographies of the convicts who were transported to NSW as a result of the Pentrich Rebellion in Derbyshire in 1817 and for the past ten years I have enjoyed bushwalking with my Aboriginal mates.
I became a member of the SAG in 2003 and started my employment with the Society in 2005 as a part time Receptionist at Rumsey Hall. I now work in the Library at 379 Kent Street, running the Bookshop and hiring FamilySearch films for the members, along with various other duties. These include keeping 379 Kent Street operating on a day-to-day basis and helping volunteers and members deal with the vagaries of the computer systems and different databases and websites we offer.