Meet the Speaker: Fran Kitto


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 Fran Kitto who will be speaking about “Building a family history society for the 21st Century“.

As an ambassador, I asked Fran a few questions to learn what she’ll be talking about and what she thinks we can get from the conference.

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

I came to family history a lot later than most. It all started when was looking for a new interest that would fit with my working life and fill a void later in my retirement. I wanted it to include my interests in travelling, blogging and technology. I like challenges at an individual level and at the same time want the interest to have a community aspect. I relish in participating to advance an association or persons with similar interests. Realising I was interested in my ancestors lives I found the perfect fit, family history. 

So yes, I am relatively new to family history compared to many interested in the Sands of Time conference.  I am fortunate that my work-life experiences and credentials are fitting for this family history adventure. I come to it with a business degree in marketing (BBS) and an MBA plus many years in marketing, technology, project planning, strategic management and more in both multinational companies and, since moving to Queensland, taking an active part in our family small business.

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

The goal of my topic is to share some of my ideas and experiences that will help in particular societies survive and thrive in the 21st Century. I also understand that it is the individuals that will drive these concepts, ideas, suggestions, etc so my talk intends to also help the individual prepare for change.

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

 I try to meet as many people as I can. Introduce yourself and talk to persons you are sitting with in sessions. Visit and question the exhibitors. Plan meet ups with new friends for breakfast, lunch and dinners. Network the room and take some business cards so that you can swap and get contact details. You never knew who you might meet. Feel free to reach out to speakers after their session.

Really I do not have just one favourite piece of advice so here is a second one: Attend sessions that might not appear to interest you at first look. For example, I have learnt about new skills, available resources, research techniques, etc unexpectedly. Not all that is to be discovered is found in an initial read of the synopsis.

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

Did I say I am a conference junkie and look forward to seeing you at the conference? 

Conferences, over a few days, give you the chance to get away from the interruptions of work and home and to focus on your family  and local history education. You can listen to different speakers on a wide variety of topics. Make new and see old friends. You can share your ideas and enjoy the company of others with a like-minded interest. Conferences can ignite motivation. The benefits are different for everyone though to get the most out of a conference, participation is the key.

Have you attended a History Queensland Conference in previous years?

Yes I have attended 2 prior conferences and look forward to this one.

Fran is a blogger and very active on social media and is a host on the monthly ANZ Ancestry Time twitter chat. You can find Fran on Twitter and Instagram as @travelgenee.

Don’t forget the Early Bird registration for the conference closes on 23 September – it will be here before you know it!


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