It was only back in a couple of months ago that Australia’s Inside History magazine made the announcement to cease printing. Now we have more big (but very sad) news from Australian genealogy magazine scene.
The following comes from Michele Stephens, Editor of the Australian Family Tree Connections Magazine and was written in the June 2017 issue.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce this is the last issue I will be editing. Unfortunately, I am not well and must do something I thought I would never do … retire!
As you know, this magazine has been my passion since I created it 25 years ago and I always envisaged publishing and editing it until the end of my days but, sadly, that is not to be. I need to slow down and learn to enjoy taking it easy – a challenge, as I was simply not built to be idle!
Of course, before I step down forever, I will be doing everything in my power to enable the magazine to continue ‘under new management’ which might even include a ‘hand over’ period where I function for a few months as ‘consulting editor’. All options are open for consideration.My inconvenient health, of course means that there may be a delay between this and the next issue, however I will keep you updated via our website – click on the news button to see the latest.
And, as this may be my last opportunity, I must record my immense gratitude to all our subscribers, readers and advertisers for your steadfast loyalty and participation – it could not have existed without you. It has been an absolute joy to produce the magazine each month, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
My very best wishes to everyone for many more family connections.
Michele Stephens, Editor”
With thousands and thousands of readers right across Australia and New Zealand over the past 25 years, the Australian Family Tree Connections magazine proved that there is a need for an Australian genealogy magazine. And since none were around back then, Michele created it, and ran it continued until now!
As she writes above, “before I step down forever, I will be doing everything in my power to enable the magazine to continue under new management” … so we’ll have to see what happens, but let’s hope this isn’t the end of Australia’s longest running genealogy magazine.
For anyone who is interested in back issues of the Australian Family Tree Connections magazine, now is a good time to buy them, as once they’re gone, they’re gone.
So sorry to hear this Michelle. I wish you a happy and peaceful retirement and thank you producing the magazine for as long as you did.
Sorry to hear of your ill health and can only hope that you are able to find a replacement. I read it cover to cover every month and with the decline of snail mail, at least I know I will get one thing from the postie every month. Wishing you a happy retirement and improved health and a big thanks for all you have done for genealogy in Australia and New Zealand.
Good luck in your retirement.
Very sorry to hear the news about AFTC may becoming to an end. I wish Michelle all the best health wise.
Thank you for giving us so much of your very precious life.
May your successor be worthy and true.
ThNk you again.
My heart is full.
Thank you for your wonderful magazine. I was fortunate to have had three articles published over the years. I thought I would try and get an extra copy of those three magazines but the phone number seems to have been disconnected. Does anyone have another contact number?
Wishing you all the very best. Hoping that your wishes for the future of the magazine come to be, but most importantly that your health recovers. All the best and a very big thank you on behalf of all of us who have a passion for family history.
Thank you for all that you have done for Australian Family History/Genealogy. You have been a wonderful support and I will be always grateful for the time you always took to assist me when ever I needed help. I so hope someone is able to take the magazine on and continue to bring to us a magazine that allows us the opportunity to share our stories and photos. Thank you Michele for being you,
Thank you so much Alona for helping to spread the news, and thank you to everyone for responding with such kind comments.
It’s now end of July and nothing definite to report, however we will be keeping everyone informed via the “News” button on our website.
With best wishes to everyone for great success with your family history research.
Thanks so much for the comments Michele … and I look forward to hearing more about the future of AFTC in due course.
Michelle, I have appreciated your work – it helped me find a lot. Please take care of yourself. If the magazine can continue, we will be the winners. Many thanks for your work.
So sorry someone has not been found to continue your marvelous magazine. Our society has benefited greatly from you being kind enough to publicise our records. It is still a ‘go to’ magazine when we have new members in our library. You will be sadly missed. All the very best for your future Michele.
Michele, Thank you for all the years of hard work you have put into the Magazine. I have enjoyed reading it.
As one who did a newsletter and received your Magazine I can appreciate all the massive effort it takes.
We here in New Zealand will miss you and the little anecdotes you wrote.
Believe me when I tell you, there is no such thing as retirement.
You just change from being paid for what you do to volunteering what you do.
The important thing is to learn how to pace yourself and learn to say NO sometimes.
This helps keep things in perspective and will aid your recovery. Take care.
Michelle – I am sorry you are ill but I am now wondering what happened to the $74 dollars I sent you back in May for renewing of my subscription from July 2017 to June next year – do I get it refunded.
Hi everyone my name is Tricia Mack and I am trying desperately to get hold of Michele to discuss continuing her wonderful magazine. Alona if you can help please contact me I am sure you have my details.
Vera please be patient, if you have a look on the site Michele states that your subscription will continue and what you have paid means you will receive the magazine for that time eg no magazine for the past three months then you subscription would be due August next year if things were on time.
So everyone if you can help me to be able to contact Michele then I am so eager to carry on Michele,s good work.
I did not realise the opportunity was here to thank Michele for producing such a magnificent magazine. So Michele thank from the bottom of my heart for all the years of bring such a wonderful publication to us all. I am at a loss because out of all the genealogical magazines I bought this was the one I stuck with. All the best and thanks again Debra
Hello Michelle, I am sorry the the Magazine will not be continuing as I have been enjoying it for so long and I will miss not having my cuppa and reading it when it arrives in the post. You certainly brought a lot of joy, information and connections to all. But like Vera Pickford I too paid my $74 dollars 21 July 2017, receipt dated and timed at 11.17am. I also purchased a gift for 12 months last Christmas for a friend. Could you please let me know if a refund will be sent for my $74 at least. Take care and look after yourself, your health is far more important than anything else.
So sorry to hear of Michelles health , back in 20/6/2017, I paid my six months subscription of $38.00 .
I haven’t heard of anything re imbursement and would like to be giving my sub fees returned to me,
Address: Margaret Driver, Unit4, 6 Joseph Street, Templestowe Lower, Victoria 3107. As I am a pensioner
short of money etc. Thanking you, will be glad this is seen too. M.D.,
I paid for 2 subscriptions in May 2017 (one was a gift) & received only 1 magazine. A refund of subscriptions would seem the right & proper thing to do. But I hope the magazine will be re-established soon- as well as the health of the previous editor.
I haven’t received any magazines since the June issue and I only just paid for my yearly subscription. What’s happening?
I have not received any magazines since April/May which came as two issues in one magazine (not two issues as paid for). I have sent three emails since, but have had no replies. Currently 5 issues owing, and have paid up to March 2018.
Very concerned, as this magazine is still advertising for customers. I request a refund for the $74 as this magazine seems to be acting in a fraudulent way.
I also do not care if a business owner is sick, there are other means of treating the customers with respect.
Hope everything is progressing for Michele and the team. It seems that no-one has come forward to take up the reigns. The passion for a cause can frequently wain, when the originator can’t keep going! I have been in that position myself.
I received a subscription to the magazine as a birthday gift in April and have received only one copy.
I, like others here would like to know what steps are being taken re refunding the money as it seems that the magazine , at this point in time is no longer available.
As I have paid from May 2017 to May 2018 and I have only received 1 issue, do we get a refund for the remainder of the year?
As per others I also paid for my subscription from June 2017. Have had no further word about a refund or if someone else is taking up the editing/publishing of AFTC. I do hope that Michelle is doing okay and thank her for all her years with the AFTC. Can some please reply to my email plus others in the same vein.
Hi Everyone this Is Tricia Mack again, I have spoken with Michele she is still recovering but once she does get home (Michele has been in hospital for many months) she has some work to do. As I have mentioned earlier in this blog I am hoping that I can either help Michele or take this wonderful magazine on so that it does continue. On the AFTC website Michele does state that all moneys paid will have their membership extended and that will be the case, please be patient for a little longer and I will come on a regular basis and let you know what is happening or not. Michele has had not contact with computers or telephone while she has been sick so there is no one reviewing her emails if you feel you would like to discuss this I am only too happy to talk with you so here is my email email@example.com. Thank you all for your kind words to Michele.
Hi Tricia Mack, thank you so much for the update on Michele and also the AFTC. Keeping getting better Michele and look forward to the future with better help. Regards Liz Whelan.
Ooops I meant better health for Michele. Sorry for the typo.
I am not a paid subscriber to AFT but buy my copy from the newsagent each month
I would subscribe if AFT had a digital version as I find it’s a great mag full of information
Inside History well that’s another to hit the dust
I had both digital and hard copy subs running and I didn’t ask for money back nor ever dreamed of doin so
I have subscribed to many mags mostly computer type and heaps have hit the wall
So give the Editor a break and stop whining about your losses
Think of her loss of health remember we don’t know our use by date it’s out of our control
So sorry to hear about your health Michelle.
Has the magazine completely folded as I to have been sick and have been trying to buy a copy to town no avail this explains why all the best all will be sadly missed
I am sorry to hear that your health is not good Michelle but it’s important to take care of yourself at this time Thank you for your great magazine I do miss it Now I understand I will wait for news from Tricia.
I appreciate your advice over the years so thank you
Tricia Mack here as I said I had spoke with Michelle and she was going to contact me once out of hospital and had some recovery time at home that was back in November. I do think I can safely say that I do not believe that Michelle will contact me in the future. All I can say to the people who have contacted me regarding their payments and have only received a couple of issues is that you try and email Michelle and see if she can refund you the money.
I have just tried to contact Michelle again and have found that she has sold her house in February 2018, so I do think that there will be no more magazine. I am truly sorry. Regards
Thank you for the information and thank you for your contact
It is what it is and although it is disappointing to end the era of the magazine this way it was a good magazine
I will not be pursuing my subs anymore
Thank you Tricia Mack for trying to keep subscribers to AFTC informed of the situation. I too had only just paid my annual subscription of $74 in about March 2017 with the expectation that I would receive the product being advertised, so it is a shame that Michele appears to have ‘shot through’ with the funds after she had done such a sterling job for so long. I guess this is a lesson for all of us regarding magazine subscriptions in this digital age. Disappointing.
What a disappointing end to what was a fabulous magazine we all looked forward to reading each month.I still can,t believe how it ended this way!
Here I am again,2019 & still not a word about what happened to Michelle & the future of the magazine
Someone must know something ___its all quite strange
The website is still up!
Hi Don, Michelle, the editor of AFTC did announce the following with her last issue “It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce this is the last issue I will be editing. Unfortunately, I am not well and must do something I thought I would never do … retire!” So it was due to illness that it ceased, and while there was a possibility of someone taking it over, that hasn’t eventuated.