Continuing on in my updates of news from primarily regional (but not exclusively) Australian genealogy, history and heritage groups. This coversĀ  news from any group, society, museum, archive office throughout Australia. Some of the following news articles have been submitted to us, while others have been found from websites, newspapers and other articles.

We love promoting genealogy and history throughout Australia and the smaller groups are just as important as the big state societies. So if you have news, events, need for help or donations, or have a request – please advise, we’d love to hear.

Mostly Unsung – Military Research and Publications

Mostly Unsung provides a unique research facility into Australian military history from the First Fleet to the present day. The owners of Mostly Unsung, Neil and Sylvie Smith also undertake British military research at The National Archives, Kew, London on a regular basis. The next visit is planned for August 2010. Research tasks are welcome. The rate for a typical research task for a World War One or 19th century British service person is a very reasonable $70 maximum – payable on completion. More information is on the Mostly Unsung website.

Wentworth – Wentworth Public School 150th Anniversary
Wentworth Public School’s 150th birthday celebrations proved to be a huge success over theĀ  June long weekend. The celebration saw about 500 past students and teachers commemorate the milestone three day. Visitors were treated to dinners, heritage displays, performances and old time games as part of the celebration. Principal Warren Davies said the event was a great success and they were looking into holding more reunions. The full article can be read here.

Toowoomba – Toowoomba and Darling Downs Family History Society
The Toowoomba and Darling Downs Family History Society have produced two very popular Biographical Pioneer Register series. They are now about to be expanded to a new Edition which will cover the time period up to 1920, and are calling for submissions from members of the Society and the wider community. Do you have family from the Downs who settled here before 1920? If so, you are welcome to submit details by 17th December 2010. You can find out more information about this, including an index to those already in Vol 1 and 2 on the Society’s blog.

Townsville – Furber Family Reunion
Anyone who is related to the Furber family in anyway is invited to the Furber Family Reunion. It is being held on 18-19 September 2010 at Tom’s Tavern, 186 Nathan Street, Aitkenvale (Townsville), Qld. It is 22 years since the last one was help so it is said this is ‘long overdue’. For more information contact Rowena on (07) 4941 5268 , Kaylene (07) 4778 0035 or Rose-Maree (07) 4776 0001. Or if your are on Facebook RSVP to the Furber Family Reunion event.

Cudlee Creek – Millbrook Primary School Closure
Sad news has been reported in the local ‘Courier’ newspaper about the little Millbrook Primary School which has been running for 131 years, will be closing its doors at the end of 2010, due to lack of enrolments. The school Principal, Sam Stamos said the end of the year would feature an appropriate celebration to say goodbye to the school, which has survived the Ash Wednesday bushfires, and the flooding of the Millbrook township for the reservoir.

Moonta – Horn’s Re-enactment
The Yorke Peninsula Country Times recently reported on a symbolic re-enactment of William Horn’s horse ride from the Copper Coast to Adelaide on 2 June 1861, to lodge a claim for the Moonta Mines copper mining lease for W.W. Hughes. This re-enactment took place as part of the Copper Coast 150 Sesquicentenary. After breakfast at Queen Square in Moonta which included being presented with a scroll which was handed to Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison at the end of the ride. More can be read about the re-enactment online.

Northfield – Ross Smith Secondary School Closure
The Ross Smith Secondary School will no longer exist as from 2011, and memorabilia is being sought from their past students and also students of Nailsworth and Northfield High Schools and Technical Schools. Items such as photographs, trophies, uniforms, workbooks etc. are what the Enfield Heritage Museum are looking for to set up a display. If you would like to donate, lend or allow to be photographed any items please contact Ian McColl by phone (08) 8261 7544 or email:

Port Adelaide – South Australian Maritime Museum
The Port Adelaide Heritage Project reported that in April/May 2010 archaeologists excavated several small trenches in the basement of the South Australian Maritime Museum. Part of the reason for this was to investigate and record details of the construction of the museum, and also search for artefacts that relate to its past function and use. The museum building was constructed as two separate buildings, one in 1854 the other in 1857, and they are among the oldest buildings at the Port. They were used to store good that had arrived on board ships. The full article about the excavation can be found on page 12 of the Port Adelaide Heritage Project [PDF link]

South Australia – Queen’s Birthday Honours
June 14th is an important day not only as that is the day Australia celebrates the Queen’s Birthday, but also because that is the day when Australians across the nation who have made a significant difference to their communities get recognition. Along with the 600+ people who were recognised are the following two (I know there are many more who deserve mentioning though).

Wayne Stidston PSM (Public Service Medal)
As the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) commemoration and project officer, Mr Stidston created the Adelaide Memorial Walk in 2003 to guide students and teachers around 11 of Adelaide’s city war memorials. The walk ends inside the National State War Memorial and highlights the 5500 South Australian’s who died in World War I. Stidston’s commitment to developing commemorative activities for the DVA was recognised with a Public Service Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

John Dnistriansky (Medal of the Order of Australia)
John Dnistriansky’s earliest memories are of the sea voyage from Europe to Australia in 1949 when he was just 5. Born in Germany to Ukrainian parents, Mr Dnistriansky, now 65 says my parents gave me the love of the Ukraine even though I wasn’t born there … Ukrainian history and culture are very important to me. He is the president of the Association of Ukraines in South Australia, and has revived the Ukrainian Community Language School from just a handful of students to 50, as well as organising events which incorporates their traditional culture. As acknowledgement for his services to the Ukrainian community, Mr Dnistriansky was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Campbell Town – Richardson Family Reunion
More than 200 years of Richardson family history came together at a reunion held at Campbell Town, Tasmania in June. Isaac Richardson and his brother Simeon were transported to Van Diemens Land in 1831 as Swing Rioters, before setting up their lives at Campbell Town. Fourth-generation descendent Beverley Richardson said more than 200 people took part in the reunion, with people coming from every corner of the country. Family members were asked to bring historic items relating to the family. “One of the things I liked the most was a set of paintbrushes that belonged to one of the descendants on the first family line … they were used by a father and grandfather to paint carriages in the early 1900s, and the pair went on to make cars.” A book compiled by Mrs Richardson was also launched during the reunion, detailing the history of the family. The full report is on the Northern Midland News website.

Port Arthur – Port Arthur Historic Site
Congratulations must go to the Port Arthur Historic Site as it has been honoured with one of Australia’s leading awards for the third year in succession. The Site was named ‘Australian Gourmet Traveller’ Magazines Best Heritage Experience at a ceremony held late May. You can read the report online on the Gourmet Traveller site.

Ngallo – Ngallo Football and Netball Club Reunion
The Ngallo Football and Netball Club is celebrating 100 years with a reunion on 31st July and 1st August 2010. Match, dinner dance and raising of the time capsule, together with a book launch is all part of the weekends activities. More information from Aaron Oakley on mobile: 0418 820 632 or email: