During 2010 our sister company, Unlock the Past embarked on bringing a number of history and genealogy events to people throughout Australia and New Zealand.

With the Expos that were held in Adelaide in July, and Sydney in October, the aim was to have a good exhibitor range, together with a whole host of speakers and topics.

Roadshows were another type of event that Unlock the Past organised. This was where a speaker (or group of speakers) held talks in numerous states (and countries), travelling from one on to the next. In 2010 there was 1 major Roadshow and 2 mini ones.

The Cruise is something many of you would probably have heard about, and our first one (yes, I said first … keep reading) is scheduled to leave the Brisbane dock in a few weeks.

But enough of what has been, you’re all wanting to know
what is coming  in 2011 …

March 19-26 History and Genealogy Cruise (Brisbane-Pacific Islands-Brisbane)
I won’t go into too much detail of this one here, as it has been mentioned many times before, and you can find all the details on the Unlock The Past website.

We’ll be cruising on an enormous ship (it has 14 decks!!) that holds around 2000 people. We have about 240 people booked for our Genealogy Cruise, and all who have will enjoy 8 days of sailing, checking out Noumea and Vanuatu, as well as mixing with a bunch of like minded genealogists for scheduled talks and conversation.


May 13-14 Research and Writing Seminar (Adelaide)
Whether you are a beginner, experienced researcher, or a budding novelist, Unlock the Past’s Researching and Writing History Seminar will provide you with practical information and guidance to use in your current or future projects – or perhaps inspire you to write for the first time.

Cost $55 for one day, or $85 for both days, you can find information about the speakers, together with a preliminary program schedule online. Bookings expected to open late Feb/early March. Check the Unlock the Past website for more details.


June 3-4 Mid-Northern New South Wales Expo (Coffs Harbour)
The New South Wales Expos, will be held over two days (a Friday and a Saturday), and will be along the same lines as the Expos held in 2010, where there was a large exhibition area, as well as separate meeting rooms for presentations by guest speakers.

While bookings are not yet being taken for registrants or exhibitors, stay tuned, as they will be by early March. Keep an eye on the Unlock the Past website for more info about this event.


June 24-25 Northern Queensland Expo (Cairns)
Northern Queenslanders miss out on events too often simply because it is so far from Brisbane, well now Unlock the Past are bringing an Expo to you.

This will be a two-day event (Friday and Saturday), and will feature a range of exhibitors together with a great mix of guest speakers, guaranteed to inspire you.

Bookings are not yet being taken for registrants or exhibitors, stay tuned, as they will be by early March. Keep an eye on the Unlock the Past website for more info about this event.


July 22-23 South-East South Australia and Far Western Victoria Expo (Mount Gambier)
Like Cairns in Queensland, the country regions of South Australia and Victoria often miss out on major events simply because of their location. Unlock the Past has chosen to visit because of this.

Once again, it’ll be a two-day event (Friday and Saturday), with an exhibition, and range of guest speakers, guaranteed to help you rediscover your love of research.

With a low cost entry fee, many presentations will be free, others will cost $5.

Full details for exhibitors and registrants is expected to be online early March, so stay tuned, and check the website for more details.


September 2-3 Victorian Expo (Geelong)
Geelong has been chosen as the location for the fourth Expo for the year. The reason behind this is that there has never been any major genealogy event held there, and it has enormous support from the local history and genealogy groups in the region, and as such is likely to be the biggest for the year.

The two day event will be held on a Friday and Saturday, and will consist of:

  • A major exhibition – including local and family history societies, libraries, archives, museums, product and service suppliers. We welcome expressions of interest from anyone in the history, genealogy and heritage fields.
  • Presentations from leading experts from around Australia. There will be a $5 charge for most main talks. Some others will also be free.

Further information for those attending, as well as exhibitors is expected to be available early March. So, keep an eye on the Unlock the Past website.


November 21-December 5 History and Genealogy Cruise: Irish and Scottish Theme (Auckland-Sydney)
With strong interest in our first Cruise scheduled for March 2011, it was decided to hold a second one. This 14 day cruise starts in Auckland, New Zealand, and ends in Sydney, Australia and has 8 day-stops along the way.

With an Irish and Scottish theme to the cruise:

  • you will find the presentations are led by a team of experts in their field
  • that it is an opportunity to enjoy both formal and informal conference activities
  • – Scottish & Irish themes
    – Main presentations each day at sea
    – More informal presentations & workshops on a variety of topics
    – Smaller special groups in other areas on a wide variety
    – the day to day interaction at meal and other times with those of similar interest

Details about the ship, and some prices are already listed on the site, together with contact details for Clean Cruising. The presentations have not yet been finalised, but I can announce that Chris Paton will be one of the guest speakers attending the cruise (you can read his announcement on his blog). Others will be announced as details are finalised.


and if you want to be REALLY organised
mark these 2012 events on your calendar …

February 16 War comes to Australia Conference (TBA – Canberra or Sydney)
This one-day War comes to Australia Conference is being planned for Canberra or Sydney the day before departure on the Unlock the Past War comes to Australia: WWII bombing 70th anniversary tour.

It is independent of the tour as a standalone conference and is open to anyone, but is also an ideal prelude to the event. It will provide insight into the impact of war on Australia generally. For those who then continue on the tour, it will give great context to tour itself.

More details about this will be added in due course.


February 17-22 War Comes to Australia: WWII 70th Anniversary Tour (Darwin)
On 19 February 1942 war came to Australia. Dubbed the ‘Pearl Harbour’ of Australia, Darwin was subjected to two raids by the Japanese within an hour of each other. Over 240 people were killed, with another 300 – 400 wounded. Aircraft were destroyed, ships were sunk, and both civil and military facilities in Darwin were devastated. Numerous bombing raids followed this bombing in the Northern Territory as well as other states.

Unlock the Past is teaming up with our cruise partner and Australia’s leading battlefield tour operator to organise a War comes to Australia: WWII bombing 70th anniversary tour in February 2012. For 6 days and 5 nights, you will travel to various museums and important historical sites in Darwin and south of Darwin, as well as participate in the town’s celebrations on the 19 February 2012.

Further details and contact information can be found on the website.


March 28-31 The 13th Australasian Congress Genealogy and Heraldry (Adelaide)
While this is not an event that Unlock the Past is organising, it is a major event on the Australasian genealogical calendar and therefore deserves a mention. Held once every three years, this one will be held at the Convention Centre in Adelaide, and both Unlock the Past and Gould Genealogy will be exhibiting. Further information can be found on the Congress 2012 website.