Presidents Report for the year 2015-2016.

Welcome to the second Annual General Meeting of the Bankstown Family History Group.

I would like to acknowledge the Bidjigal/Dharug peoples, traditional owners of the land that the Bankstown Sports Club is on.

The past twelve months have seen the group maintain steady numbers at each meeting. We have had some members leave, due to ill health and personal reasons. We have also welcomed new members.

From June 2015 until December 2015 we met in Community room 2, at the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. This venue was good but we could not rely on the room being open, for our meetings and then they increased the room hire fees, to more than double. This led us to seek a new, reasonably priced venue that would offer us stability. Rowan Morrison approached the Bankstown District Sports Club, on our behalf and they have very generously sponsored us, with both the room and AV requirements. I would like to personally thank the Club for their ongoing support and I know that the members of this group feel safer, coming here, than over at the library.

We have had a wide range of guest speakers, covering a wonderful array of topics. With the centenary of the ANZAC landings, we had Alan Ashton speak on WW1 and then in April several members presented stories of the own service personal. Janette Pelosi and John Cann, both from NSW Archives came and imparted their knowledge. Janette on what the archives holds and how to access them and John on what records related to the Bankstown area. Both talks were very useful.

Lorraine Turtle took us beyond Birth, Death and Marriages, with her talk.

We have had several people come and talk about how they researched and then published their information. It is always good to hear what others have done, as this gives us new ideas.

December saw our Christmas party, and the night we were locked out of the room, Melissa Hulbert, gave a wonderful talk on Photoshop Elements on how to look after and fix your old photos.

 

Rowan chaired the February meeting, as I was in Salt Lake City, attending RootsTech. Thank you Rowan for this and being the Chairman, in July and August, whilst I was overseas.

The March meeting had Jill Ball and I speak about our time at RootsTech. This is a massive genealogy conference, held in Salt Lake City, every February. It combines genealogy and technology, with speakers, workshops and vendors.

May brought our second birthday, a fact that slipped by me as we had Cassie Mercer, from Inside History, as our guest speaker and she was wonderful. We have purchased several of the books, she was promoting and they have been added to our library.

Last September we were awarded a small grant of $800, towards our room fees. As I have mentioned, we have changed venues and no longer pay fees. This money has been used to cover our insurance, something we have kept going, for our peace of mind, and other expenses we have. We haven’t applied for any grants this year.

 

We have a new website, thank you Teresa Clark, for you work on that. The comments have been very favourable. Our Facebook page is attracting new members but this hasn’t transferred to paid members, as such.

 

With the amalgamation of Bankstown and Canterbury Councils, we no longer have a patron.

We had a table at the Royal Australian Historical Society’s annual conference, held in October. The event was well attended and comments about having a family history group, in the area, were good.

 

I would like to say “Thank You” to my committee and to you members, without your support and encouragement, this group would not exist.