I am slowly getting into my role as the President and it is quite a learning curve. It makes me appreciate the job done by my predecessor David Down.
Last month I met with the President and the Business Manager of South Australia Genealogy who were visiting Melbourne. We compared notes on how to tackle a range of issues including ways to encourage new members, our numbers, how we digitise our paper resources and make them available to our membership, and how to encourage more members to volunteer. It is always helpful to exchange ideas and we plan to keep in touch.
Council is lucky to have very good support for our developing IT matters with Peter Johnston as a Councillor and Tom O’Dea as volunteer. We have updated servers and replaced computers. Last year we moved our network to a new content-management system. With this move we hope to build better links between our members database and other parts of our systems, so, for example, we can offer members better ‘at-home’ access.
Our blog has produced over 100 posts in the past 12 months, which we hope you find interesting and informative. We use this to give emailable members updates more frequently than we can by relying only on our quarterly print journal. So if you are changing your email address, please make sure you update it with the GSV. You can do this very easily through your member account online.
As print and mail costs continue to rise, Council will be looking at being able to offer our journal as an electronic version for those members who would accept this option and help us reduce our environmental impost. It is hard to see a time when our high-quality print version is not produced, but just as SLV offer the choice with their flagship The Latrobe Journal, and as many other groups now do, we will be looking seriously at this.
More space has been allotted in Ancestor in ‘Around the Groups and Circles’ to the increased number of Discussion Circles that were formed last year (North England, London, British India). We hope all the groups will use their space to let you know about their coming activities.
And on a personal note I have learned that when looking at the information about my AncestryDNA matches I should not forget to look at their ethnicity report. I was recently able to trace a new family line via a distant cousin on AncestryDNA. The ethnicity report included mostly British Isles origins but several West African locations were also mentioned. I am now exploring 19th Century records from British Honduras at the GSV and on FamilySearch. Fascinating where genealogical research leads you!
Jenny Redman - President GSV