Meet the Speaker: Dr Anna Shnukal

Anna-SHNUKAL-1-225x300In the coming weeks Ambassadors for the Waves in Time 2019 conference will be introducing you to the speakers. You’ll get to learn a little about them, their expertise and what they will be sharing at the conference.

Today’s featured speaker is Dr Anna Shnukal.

I wonder if you could tell us a little about your background?  Are you a genealogist, researcher, historian or representing your organisation? 

I am a retired sociolinguist with an interest in the genealogy and history of Torres Strait. I have found that it is not possible to understand Islander society and culture without knowledge of both.


What do you love most about genealogy/family history/history/heraldry?

The challenge of the jigsaw and the thrill of discovery.


Have you attended a History Queensland Conference in previous years?

Unfortunately not but I am looking forward to it.


How do you think your topic/s will help the family & local historians at the Waves in Time Conference?

I hope that my presentation will provoke discussion about my general conclusions on the pitfalls and false trails of compiling Indigenous Australian family trees.


Do you have a favourite piece of advice or a tip or trick you can share with conference attendees?

Question everything — including your prior assumptions.


What do you think are the benefits of attending a large conference like this, for you personally and for others attending?

It is a chance to meet with people of similar interests, learn from their research and exchange ideas.


If you could pick one new project to do, what would it be? (Assuming no funding issues)

I would like rather to complete my long-avoided history of the Pacific Islanders and their descendants in Torres Strait from the 1860s to the present.
Thanks Anna for these insights. I think this presentation will educate anyone who attends and be very useful for those with Indigenous ancestry. I especially like Anna’s advice to question assumptions, including our own.
Disclaimer: As a Waves in Time Ambassador I receive a free registration in return for promoting the conference in various social media forums and on my blog.

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