13th cruise homeprogrampresentersshipitinerarypricing and booking

Lewis T 150Dr Tom Lewis OAM Military Historian

Dr Lewis is a former naval officer, now a consultant military historian as well as a best-selling author. Dr Lewis served for 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, during which time he saw active service in Baghdad, Iraq, where he led American forces, and in East Timor.

As a museum director he led two museums to new success; the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection in Jervis Bay – for which services he received the Order of Australia Medal; and the Darwin Military Museum in the Northern Territory, where he was Director for five years.

Tom is the author of 13 history books, including many detailing northern Australian history in WWII. In May 2016 he added Honour Denied: Teddy Sheean, Tasmanian Hero to the list. In February 2017 The Empire Strikes South: Forgotten Honourable Warriors will be published. This work details all of the Japanese aircrew who died in combat actions across the Top End in WWII – and will revise our understanding of the full nature of that air war.

Tom’s other recent works are Lethality in Combat, (from the Army History Unit through BigSky Publishing) which discusses the reality of battlefield combat, with implications for modern war; and Carrier Attack, an extensive technical analysis of the first Darwin raid, revealing many unknown aspects of that attack, published in October 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the Charles Darwin University Essay Prize in the NT Literary Awards – which saw over 430 entries – for his article: “The Myth of Government Cover-up in the first Darwin Raids.”

Dr Lewis is in popular demand from radio and television stations across Australia for his insightful comments on military history and how it intersects with modern-day life. He has appeared in several documentaries, and is a regular speaker to community groups on military history. After working on The Borella Ride, for which he was the Lead Historian, he is now engaged as Military Historian on The Territory Remembers, the NT Government’s commemoration of 75 years since the first air attack on Darwin.

Dr Tom Lewis was awarded the OAM in 2003. Later decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal, and in 2007 the United States Army Commendation Medal. He lives in Darwin, and enjoys – when he is not writing – astronomy, collecting antique swords, and tournament chess. Dr Lewis is married with two daughters.

Click here for more information, including lists of books and articles by Tom.


Other presenters


Janice Cooper (Queensland) – biography to come

Farmer K 120Kerry Farmer (New South Wales) Family History Research
Kerry began teaching classes in “Family History Research using the Internet” in Sydney in 1997, and is now the Director Australian Studies, developing the Australian Records certificate for the internationally recognised National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Kerry is the author of DNA for genealogists and Arrivals in Australia from 1788. Together with Rosemary Kopittke Kerry also wrote Which genealogy program?. All published by Unlock the Past.

Kerry has served on the Education Committee of the Society of Australian Genealogists, and presents seminars and classes there as well as at other conferences and forums and undertakes commissioned family history research assignments for others.

Kerry has researched her own family history for over 30 years, researching ancestors predominantly from Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. She has also tackled the family branches in Canada, United States, South Africa, India, Germany, Poland, Norway and Russia. Kerry graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Pure Mathematics), and also with a Bachelor of Arts (Literature).

Rob Hamilton (Victoria) – biography to come

HicksShauna Hicks (Queensland) – Australia and various general topics
Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Since retiring, she has written a number of family history guides and is a regular speaker at genealogy cruises, conferences and  seminars. She now operates a small part time research and consultancy business Shauna Hicks History Enterprises at www.shaunahicks.com.au and is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities including a Master of Arts in Australian Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Library Science and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society; a recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award and the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations’ Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.

Eric KopittkeEric Kopittke (Queensland) – Germany and Denmark
Eric has been researching his family history in Australia, Germany, England and Wales since 1985. In the same year he joined the Queensland Family History Society where he has been convenor of the Central European Group for over 20 years. He is also President of the Baptist Historical Society of Queensland.

Academically, he studied at the University of Queensland where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Physics and Mathematics), a Bachelor of Arts (Geography and Computer Science) and a Diploma of Education. He recently retired after teaching Physics and Mathematics at St Peters Lutheran College, Indooroopilly.

He regularly speaks at family history societies and at other events. In June 2012 he spoke on German research at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Conference.

Eric has received the Queensland FHS Award for Services to Family History (1990); was made a Fellow of the Queensland FHS (2000); and in 2006 was awarded the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.

Rosemary KopittkeRosemary Kopittke (Queensland) – online databases and Australian records
Rosemary has been tracing her family history since 1985. A statistician by training, she has worked in that field as an hydrologist, teacher and biometrician.

Her tertiary qualifications include a BSc (Mathematics) and BA (Computer Science) both from the University of Queensland. More recently she has completed the Certificate in Genealogical Studies (English Records) with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She currently works as a consultant for Gould Genealogy & History, is regularly invited to speak at events in Australia and New Zealand and has presented on all the Unlock the Past cruises.

She has published numerous indexes to cemeteries and government records though is probably best known for her work with husband Eric on the Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 publication. She is editor of Unlock the Past publications and author and contributor to several.

A member of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Council from 2009 to 2013 and a current member of the Queensland FHS Management Committee, Rosemary is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society and in 2006 received the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.

Helen Nov 2015 120Helen Smith (Queensland) – helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au
Helen has been researching her family since 1986 when her mother lamented the fact she had never known her grandfather, George Howard Busby. Helen found some information and a newspaper photo of him, was hooked and has been addicted ever since with research in Australia, England and Ireland.

She is researching the surname Quested anywhere, anytime and has registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies.

She is the author of Death certificates and archaic medical terms and has written for Inside HistoryAustralian Family Tree Connections and other family history journals as well as scientific publications. She is the author of a number of blogs which can be accessed via http://helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au and you can follow her on Twitter @HVSresearch

She has spoken to a wide variety of audiences including Genealogical Society of Queensland Day Conferences, Library Technician Conference, all the Unlock the Past cruises, Unlock the Past Expos and Roadshow and numerous family history society meetings.

Professionally, she is a Molecular Epidemiologist specialising in Public Health Microbiology and has a strong interest in infectious diseases and Public Health through the ages.

She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Bachelor Applied Science: Medical Laboratory Science and Associate Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Techniques. She is currently studying with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies towards the Certificate in Genealogical Studies: English Records.

others to be advised