Meet the Speaker: Stephanie Ryan


In the coming weeks Ambassadors for the Sands of Time 2022 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 Stephanie Ryan from the State Library of Queensland. Stephanie will be speaking on Saturday 22 October on Moreton Bay convicts: find out more. As an ambassador, I asked Stephanie for some further information.

I wonder if you could tell us a little about your background? 

Are you a genealogist, researcher, historian or representing your organisation?I have been researching family history, among other areas, at State Library of Queensland for over 26 years but I am keen to do the work because I am also an enthusiastic researcher. 

How do you think your topic/s will help the family & local historians at the Sands of Time Conference 2022? 

The Moreton Bay convicts started our first settlement and that is interesting because in two years we will be celebrating 200 years since that settlement began. It is a good time to go back to that beginning and get an overview. Another reason why this topic matters is that more resources concerned with convicts and Moreton Bay are becoming available and in such a way that allows researchers to get direct access to them.  

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

Consider what you really want to know, what you have checked and with what result. Keep a research log including for materials where you did not get a result; otherwise you will repeatedly check the same things pointlessly. Do not just focus on a familiar, specific resource; there may be better ways to find what you want so explore in this era of ever expanding resource availability. 

What does the State Library of Queensland offer family history enthusiasts?

It is the premier repository for Queensland resources because of the legal deposit requirement and the enthusiastic support of donors who have precious material they want to see preserved. We have an extensive collection of Queensland newspapers well beyond Trove and up to the present. Our electoral rolls extend beyond Ancestry into the 20th Century.  We also cover more years in the period Ancestry covers (up to 1980). 

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

It’s a chance to catch up with friends, share research interests and update knowledge. After so long under Covid restrictions this opportunity means a lot. It is also fun! 

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

I love the challenge of solving a research problem and learning about the different aspects of the lives and history I encounter along the way. I’m also finding answers to questions that mean a lot to the people asking them and that is satisfying. 

Have you attended a History Queensland Conference in previous years?

I have attended all the Queensland local and family history conferences. Each has been different, interesting and valuable. Meeting the people who come has also been a wonderful experience and often an insight.

Thanks Stephanie for sharing your story and the benefits of attending a conference such as Sands of Time.

Don’t forget, Early Bird Registrations close 23 September 2022.


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