Meet the Speaker: Dr Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer-HARRISON-225x300Can you believe that it’s only 10 more sleeps until Waves in Time 2019? I hope you’re as excited about it as I am…genimates to catch up with and general family history learning and fun for three full days!!

There’s always something to inspire us at conferences with a range of topics and speakers. Today I want to introduce you to Dr Jennifer Harrison, who will be speaking on In their own words: How 1860s immigrants sailed Waves in Time to Queensland.  Migration is one of my own interests so this is a go-to topic for me personally.

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

I am an academic historian who believes that among the elements which make up history: a time period, locations, events and people, the most important is people – although in some stories one or more of the other characteristics may also be important.  I think this is reflected in my employment as Queensland researcher for The Australian Dictionary of Biography with ANU Canberra and my long associations with a number of family history societies.  So, I guess, in answering the question, I am a family historian, a researcher, an historian and I fully support the organisations represented by History Queensland.

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

I guess I love the fact that once I start exploring a life story, I never know where it will take me physically, mentally, geographically and in life experiences.

Have you attended a History Queensland Conference in previous years?

Yes, I have attended the two previous functions and will continue into the future because I believe the programs, opportunities to meet people and access to tools, provided by the exhibitors to be incredibly stimulating.

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

I sincerely hope that my selected topic will assist people realise that there is an end to the long sea journey and that immediate responses by incomers, officials at the destination and facing new prospects required enormous mental and physical energy and demonstrates what strength our forebears displayed in order to make such a big relocation.

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

I guess I try to stick by: “Never ever assume” and “Footnote (or appropriately reference) as you go” but I am not always successful – still both are excellent and essential rules.

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

The opportunity to seek new solutions, learn new methodologies and make friends in a holiday atmosphere.  Find out new sources, what is available and who is involved – absorb, learn and enjoy.  It is not funding issues that thwart me – time, time, time but I am doing my best.

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

Currently it would be to continue with my British soldiers at Moreton Bay project.  Not new?  Then a detailed outline of migration to Queensland during the nineteenth century.

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.