From Friday March 9 to Monday March 12, I was fortunate to be able to attend the The 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry, which was held in Sydney, Australia.
The Congress was organised by the Society of Australian Genealogists in conjunction with AFFHO – the Australian Federation of Family History Societies, and is held every three years in different cities.
Attendance was capped at 600, so it was not a large conference on the scale of overseas conferences such as Rootstech, or the now defunct Who Do You Think You Are Live show.
Australia does not have the population to support large shows like those held internationally, and consequently there are not the funds available to stage large scale conferences.
I have not attended any of the previous shows here in Australia, so I cannot make any comparisons. However, I have attended Rootstech in Salt Lake City in the United States, and that is something else again. It is gigantic!
SAG are to be commended on their hard work and limited funds for their efforts. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Congress, along with everyone else that I spoke to over the four days. I did not hear one complaint at all.
There was something for everyone this year, and with three or four presentations in each time slot, it was very difficult to make choices as to which one to go to. Often I was torn between two presentations I really wanted to see.
The range of speakers was superb and, along with a number of Australians, we also had some super stars from overseas including Paul Blake from the UK, and Paul Milner, Judy Russell (aka The Legal Genealogist), and Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems) from the US.
All in all, it was an excellent Congress, and I am sure no-one went home emptied handed. We all learnt lots of new things that will enable us to progress our research.