Waves in Time – Meet the Speakers – Michelle Patient, The Patient Genie

17 April 2019

I  am a proud ambassador for the upcoming Waves in Time conference on the Sunshine Coast. Ambassadors are doing a series of blog posts on speakers and sponsors to help promote the conference and get the excitement going.

My fourth speaker interview is with Michelle Patient, also known as The Patient Genie. We have asked her a set of questions to learn more about her interest in archives and history. Questions are in italics.

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

I’m a Sydneysider who grew up with an elderly grandmother in the home – so had many days as a small child sitting at her feet or on her lap listening to her stories and talking about her family treasures. As a scientist/geek/nerd I managed a quality assurance laboratory in the field of civil engineering, later created database programmes for pharmaceutical companies. Wanting to identify some unknown family photographs turned my interest in my family stories into a daily passion. Over the years I have volunteered in various roles within the family history community, currently I serve on the Society of Australian Genealogists Education Committee and am the New Zealand Representative for the Guild of One Name Studies.

How has genealogy/family history/history/heraldry improved or changed your life?

For all of us, it is a deeply personal thing to have a better understanding of who one is and where one comes from. The biggest change for our family has been finding my mother’s birth family, building memories with them to treasure and healing many old wounds of loss from the removal of two siblings.

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

Digging into a new puzzle is one of my favourite things. Additionally I get a huge buzz out of seeing audiences have ‘ah ha’ moments when pennies drop as they learn a new genealogy concept or practice.

Have you attended a History Queensland Conference in previous years? 

2017 Conference satchel – wonder what we will have for 2019?

No, this will be my first conference.

What are your key topics for the Waves in Time Conference?


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

Better understanding of the value of the information held within the evidence they have already gathered. I am sure many will be able to take further steps when they get home to start breaking down a brick wall or two!

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

Networking at these events, cover the three “E’s” – Educate, Entertain and Enthuse. Usually I find I am refreshed and my interest in one or more branches is heightened.

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

When visiting a new website, before using the search box:

Scroll Down,

Read the Whole Screen,

Move your mouse around to see all active links,

check out the help.

Is there somewhere we can connect with you online?


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

Can I have two?

Have TIME to Digitise, transcribe and index 5 Uther and Marks family journals (two at the Mitchell Library and three in my mothers possession) from the mid 19C.

Test the numerous family letters for DNA of those who have passed on.

Thanks Michelle for those answers and we all look forward to catching up with you in person at the Waves in Time conference in May.

As an Ambassador I receive a free registration in return for promoting the conference in various social media forums and on my website and blog. In addition I am also giving a free talk at the Friday Fair which is open to the public and free. More details on the Waves in Time website.

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