Interview with Jennie Norberry – speaker AFFHO Congress 2015

23 December 2014

Generations Congress 2015As one of the official AFFHO Congress 2015 bloggers, it is my pleasure to interview speakers and learn more about them prior to the Congress in Canberra in March 2015. Organised by AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations), Congress is only held every three years. It attracts some of the best speakers in Australasia and overseas, hundreds of keen family history enthusiasts and lots of trade exhibitors and without doubt is the major genealogy, family history and heraldry event in Australasia. See the program here and for information on sponsors and exhibitors see here.

Previous interviews – Richard ReidSue ReidMichelle NicholsRobyn WilliamsKate Bagnall, Cora Num

This is the seventh post in my series of interviews – speaker Jennie Norberry from the Australian War Memorial


SH: Are you a genealogist, researcher, historian or representing your organisation?

JN: I am a librarian from the Research Centre of the Australian War Memorial.

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

JN: I studied Library and Information Studies at the University of Canberra. I started at the Memorial in 2001 and have worked in a variety of positions at the Memorial in the Research Centre and Web Team.

SH: How has family history improved or changed your life?

JN: Helping people researching their family history is one of my favourite things about my job. Researching my own family history using the Memorial’s collections helped me gain a comprehensive knowledge of the collections and how they can be used to discover the story of someone’s military service.

SH: What do you love most about family history?

JN: I like trying to solve a mystery in someone’s story. Whether it’s trying to find someone who served under a pseudonym or figuring out contradictions in someone’s service record or family story.

SH: Have you previously attended Congress?

JN: I attended the Congress in Darwin in 2006 but haven’t managed to get to another one.

SH: What are your key topics for Congress?

JN: I’ll be talking about the process for researching an individual’s service in the First World War and typical sources that you would consult. Some of these sources have been around for a long time but we do have newly digitised material becoming available as part of Anzac Connections one of the Memorial’s centenary projects,

SH: How do you think your topic/s will help the family historians at Congress 2015?

JN: If you are new to researching Australian military service my talk will get you started and for the experienced researcher I will be talking about some of the sources that have recently become available.

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

JN: It’s a great opportunity to network and learn from each other. To find out about new and upcoming developments that may open avenues for research and information.

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

JN: Research will always take longer than you think it will, allow yourself plenty of time.

SH: Is there somewhere we can connect with you online?

JN: If you have any questions about my talk or researching Australian military service you can contact the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial at

Thanks Jennie for sharing your thoughts with us.

Over the next few months I will be bringing you more interviews with Congress speakers. My official blogging team partners Jill Ball and Pauleen Cass will be doing similar interviews and we will bring you news of Congress as it comes to hand. I am looking forward to catching up with and making new geneamates as well as attending some great speaker sessions next March. Hope to see you there too.

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