Darwin – NOT in Geelong and District!

It might sound funny talking about Darwin on the Geelong & District blog site but there is definitely a connection!

I try to get in a quick trip to Darwin once a year to visit family – preferably in June when the weather is terrific – low humidity and maximum of about 28-30 and minimum about 18.  Mind you, yesterday morning [Saturday 11th June] you could pick the locals a mile away – they were all wearing jumpers, cardigans or coats!  I was pleasantly comfortable in trousers and t-shirt.  Of course that’s fairly understandable as it was 3 degrees when I left Melbourne a week ago!

Back to the connection with our region!  The Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory are hungry for visiting speakers – if the opportunity arises, they go all out to plan a seminar around the speaker.  This is the second year I’ve done a seminar for GSNT – and they certainly make you feel welcome and appreciated.  Shauna Hicks is another “annual” visitor and GSNT make the most of her visits as well.

Last year I did 3 presentations for them.  This year I gave them a list of 10 or 12 to choose from and they chose 4!  I certainly found it interesting to see the ones they chose and their order of preference [in case I couldn’t manage doing 4 plus a general Q&A session with no limitations!]

Their first choice?  Scots in Geelong & district to 1860.  It’s normal to ask people living in Darwin where they come from – because there aren’t that many actually born and bred there – but there are a LOT of people whose ancestors spent time in Geelong & District!

The second presentation was Look Local: it’s not all on the web – one of my favourites highlighting the importance and the benefits of local & family history societies.

The third one was back to Geelong & District with the presentation I’ve given well over 100 times – Point Henry: an amazing place.  Again many of the audience connected with Point Henry as it was the landing site for their immigrant ancestors in Australia.

The last presentation was one of my “left-field” ones – can guarantee that the majority of the audience may have never heard of this resource and like my Sewerage Records presentation, it’s a bit of an eye opener for everyone … Heritage Studies: a great resource.

As I said earlier, the Darwin locals are so appreciative of speakers from down south.  I even had one lady drive up from Katherine the day before [300+ Kms], stay in a hotel in Darwin overnight, and drive back after the seminar.  She said how it was worth every cent and every kilometre!  I think I was the privileged one with someone prepared to go to those lengths to come to a seminar.

I had a ball at the seminar yesterday – terrific audience, lots of great questions, and well looked after by the GSNT – what more could you ask for?

So if you or a friend is planning a trip to Darwin, and you have experience in giving talks to those in the Genie world, why not get in touch with the GSNT and offer your services!  You won’t regret it!  They do a terrific job up here and deserve the support from the rest of Australia.

Oh – I’ve been invited back again next year – and I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime it looks like we might get a couple of Darwinites visiting Geelong in September for the Victorian Expo – and we’ll certainly welcome their to our region.

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