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The program features

  • 35 presentations – in a single stream program
  • a special Pacific war stream by lead presenter Dr Tom Lewis
  • Research Help Zone sessions – opportunity for one-on-one or small group help from experts
  • conference sessions only during time at sea – no conflict with time in ports or scenic cruising

Preliminary program – subject to final review and adjustment – updated 9 June 2017

All presentations will be in the Bondi room, unless otherwise advised during the cruise. The Noosa room (adjacent) will also be used for Research Help Zone sessions and for casual meetings at other times.


DAY 1 – Fri 28 Jul 2017 – depart Brisbane 2pm

  • 10am – 1pm – boarding
  • 11am-1pm – conference registration
  • 1pm – all on aboard
  • 1.15pm – assembly drill – time to advised on the ship
  • 3.00pm – MEET and GREET – speaker introductions etc. – time to be confirmed on the day
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Big brushes and big aims: the Japanese attack on their half of the world – T. Lewis (50mins)

DAY 2 – Sat 29 Jul 2017 – at sea

  • 9am – Understanding the system: a brief overview of the history of the German region – E. Kopittke (50mins)
  • 10am – Land and property records England – R. Kopittke (40mins)
  • 10.40am – break (30mins)
  • 11.10am – Online newspapers and eResources: are you making the most of them? – S. Hicks (50mins)
  • 12.10pm – The Freemason’s Record and the Genealogist – R. Hamilton (40mins)
  • 12.50pm – break (70mins)
  • 2.00pm – The submarine war against Northern Australia in 1942: complete and utter failure – T. Lewis (50mins)
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – Maps & gazetteers for German research – E. Kopittke (50mins)
  • 4.30pm – Researching expats in New Guinea – R. Kopittke (50mins)
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Introducing Living DNA (15 mins video presentation)
  • 8.15pm – DNA: Which test and why? – H. Smith (50mins)

DAY 3 – Sun 30 Jul 2017 – at sea

  • 9.30am – DNA: I have my results: What do they mean? – H. Smith (60mins)
  • 10.30am – break (30mins)
  • 11.00am – Delving into Australasian wills & probates for family history – S. Hicks (50mins)
  • 12.00noon – Immigration to Australia – K. Farmer (50mins)
  • 12.50pm – break (70mins)
  • 2.00pm – Fighters & bombers: aircraft of the Pacific War – and reality of air combat as opposed to Hollywood – T. Lewis (50mins)
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – Placing your ancestors in their communities – J. Cooper (50mins)
  • 4.30pm – Bookshop & Research Help Zone (60mins)
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Visualising Family history data – H. Smith (50mins)

DAY 4 Mon 31 Jul 2017 – Milne Bay (Alotau), PNG 8am – 6pm – probably tendered from the ship

  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Germans in NG / German NG / treatment of Germans during the World Wars – E. Kopittke (50mins)

DAY 5 – Tue 1 Aug 2017 – Kitava, PNG 8am – 4pm – probably tendered from the ship

  • 4.30pm – The reasons why: the atomic strikes and why they were inevitable – T. Lewis (50mins)
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – The submarine war off Australia’s East Coast – and a new submarine lost – T. Lewis (50mins)

DAY 6 – Wed 2 Aug 2017 – Rabaul, PNG 8am – 5pm maybe tendered from the ship

  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Military ancestors in PNG: WWI and WWII case studies – S. Hicks (50mins)

DAY 7 – Thu 3 Aug 2017 – Kiriwina Island, Trobriand Islands, PNG 9am – 5pm – probably tendered from the ship

  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Fuchida: “A sledgehammer to crack an egg” the Darwin raid. And a debunking of the myths – T. Lewis (50mins)

DAY 8 – Fri 4 Aug 2017 – Conflict Islands, PNG 8am – 5pm tendered ashore from the ship – or just cruising?

  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – UK census records and valuation rolls – K. Farmer (50mins)

DAY 9 – Sat 5 Aug 2017 – at sea

  • 9.00am – Military health Asia Pacific WW2 – H. Smith (50mins)
  • 10.00am – A Freemason in Changi – R. Hamilton (40mins)
  • 10.40am – break (30mins)
  • 11.10am – Convicts – K. Farmer (50mins)
  • 12.10pm – Family Historian: an introduction – R. Kopittke (40mins)
  • 12.50pm – break (70mins)
  • 2.00pm – War across the Top End: two years of fighting for Australia’s survival – T. Lewis (50mins)
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – Mapping ancestors in Australia – S. Hicks (50mins)
  • 4.30pm – Bookshop & Research Help Zone (60mins)
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – Researching your military ancestors: understanding battalions, medals, and military acronyms – T. Lewis (50mins)

DAY – 10 Sun 6 Aug 2017 – at sea

  • 10.00am – Why the Japanese could not win in the Pacific: Coral Sea to Okinawa: but could they convert that to not losing? – T. Lewis (50mins)
  • 10.50am – break (40mins)
  • 11.30am – How local history can help family history – K. Farmer (50mins)
  • 12.20pm – break (100mins)
  • 2.00pm – Using social media for genealogy – S. Hicks (50mins)
  • 3.00pm – break (30mins)
  • 3.30pm – DNA panel/forum – H. Smith and K. Farmer (50mins)
  • 4.30pm – TBA – nothing programmed at this stage (60mins)
  • 6.15pm – dinner
  • 8.00pm – What we still don’t know about the Japanese war against Australia: the mysterious unknown – T. Lewis – windup & prizes (50mins)

DAY 11 – Mon 7 Aug 2017 – arrive Brisbane 8am