4th cruise - Diane Foster 2We are working our way through the guest presenters who are on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise, and today we chat to Diane Foster.

Diane is a past geneacruiser and has a passion for not only for genealogy and interecting with other genealogists, but also sharing her knowledge on archiving techniques with others.

During her career, Diane has worked in archives at the state, local and “grass roots” sector at the community level. These included historical societies, local history libraries, community archives, schools and the archival processes for private collections with a special interest in preservation of heritage collections.

So if you have any achiving or preservation queries, be sure to catch up with Diane, and attend her talk.


NAME:  Diane Foster
HOMETOWN/COUNTRY: Bibra Lake, Western Australia
DAYTIME JOB: Archivist – Western Australian Genealogical Society; helping others with genealogical research (all volunteer)

Q1. Think back to your childhood … now what is your favourite memory from that time?
Family gatherings

Q2. There’s always ‘something’ that sparks an interest in genealogy/history? What was it that sparked your interest?
Curiosity about our unusual surname of CULLING

Q3. How old were you when you developed an interest in this hobby?
32 years

Q4. What countries across this big wide world did your ancestors come from?
England & possibly Italy

Q5. Is genealogy/history your main job?
Yes as a volunteer – I’m supposed to be retired!

Q6. Do you have a genealogy mentor or idol? Someone who has deeply influenced you in your research along the way?
The UK county Lists have been my most helpful mentor.

Q7. We all know that you family history can reveal some amazing things. Have any of your discoveries resulted in a life-changing experience?
Family history has helped me understand family dynamics and family interaction and behaviours.  The genealogy is a challenge – how far back can I go!

Q8. What do you find most challenging about research?
Not being on site to view records that may be helpful and are not online.

Q9. If you had a time-machine what relative (past, present or future) would you most like to meet?
One of my great-grandmothers: Grannie Annie

Q10. Still using that time machine, you’ve been propelled into the future five years, what do you see yourself doing?
Probably still trying to solve the brickwalls but hopefully completed writing at least two of my family lines.

Q11. What value do you think social media plays in genealogy these days?
I have not used blogs, chats etc., I don’t seem to have the time for them yet!

Q12. What do you do when you aren’t doing genealogy or history?
Working for the genealogical society and involved in community living rights and standards  – volunteering.

Q13. What do you hope to get out of a genealogy cruise?
Meet likeminded people who share their knowledge.

Q14. Share with us a few (up to five) of the genealogy websites that you tend to spend the most time on?

Q15. Do you have any wise words for those just starting out in genealogy?
Yes, ask questions and keep on asking questions about the experiences and past of living relatives and what they know about the origins of your shared families


For those of you who are going on the 4th cruise, here is the topic that Diane is expected to be speaking on, based on the current program:
– Care and preservation of photos