Wednesday 29 March 2017

Perpetual copyright ends & Other News - Genealogy Notes 22-31 Mar 2017

I'm busy writing this as strong winds and heavy rain swirls around us and its been like that since early this morning. And it will get worse in a couple of hours - ex cyclone Debbie has to be one of the biggest storms ever to impact so much of Queensland over the last few days. I hope everyone stays as safe as they possibly can and that damage is minimal.

Perhaps the best news ever was that on 22 March 2017 the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was introduced to the Australian Parliament. The Bill will end perpetual copyright for unpublished materials and as a result millions of historical manuscripts will be freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019.

This is fantastic news - how often have we found something in manuscript or archive collections that would be wonderful to share with others but it has been almost impossible to establish copyright. All those old letters sent to government departments or shared between family and friends decades ago. 

The Australian Libraries and Copyright Committee released a statement on the tabling of the Copyright Amendment Bill - read more about Captain Cook’s Diaries Free Thanks to Copyright Bill. Remember we just have to wait now until 1 January 2019.

Deniliquin is also famous for its Ute Muster
- our favourite from last visit
For those in western New South Wales or norther Victoria, or perhaps even Adelaide you might want to note that Deniliquin Genealogy Society is having another one of their famous Family History Expos on 13-15 October 2017. They have some fantastic exhibitors already lined up and some speakers over the weekend. I went to the first one back in 2012 and had a fantastic time. Just a pity that Bribie Island is so far from Deniliquin. Almost makes me wish I was back in Victoria.

The University of Tasmania is offering a unit entitled Convict Ancestors and it is covered by a full HECS scholarship, meaning that you will not incur a tuition fee or debt for study of the unit. See the home page for more information.
Have a look at the old woman on that page - her face has just so much character and you can't help thinking what stories could she tell.

I'm tempted to do some of their courses myself but I have just agreed to run an advanced family history course at the local Bribie U3A in second term. There will be dedicated subject areas for the first six weeks and then for the remaining four weeks we will look at Australia, England, Scotland and Ireland. We will look at topics that students suggest over the course. Should be good. I've attended local history courses but this will be the first time as a U3A tutor.

My blog writing has been a little haphazard of late and I have been asked to do a guest blog for Outback Family History which is one of my favourite sites. Anyone with mining ancestors who went to WA should really look at this site. With all the rain forecast, now might be a good time to start that. I have a number of families who chased the gold so I might write about them. Coming up with the catchy blog title is always the hardest part.

Although Trove Tuesday blog challenge comes around every week, somehow I always seem to miss Tuesday. Must be Island time but my aim is to at least write one a month so next Tuesday is now a yellow post it note on my desk!

It's a busy week coming up with a couple of trips to Brisbane, assuming all the roads are open again on Monday. There are two talks coming up in April which I have to prepare not to mention the U3A course. Maybe I should try and get more done over the next few very wet days, assuming we keep the power on. Stay safe everyone in SE Qld and good luck with any genealogy searching in the coming week. Until next time.


  1. Dear Shauna, while I share your enthusiasm at the introduction of the Copyright Bill, it is still only a Bill. It is currently before the Senate, having passed the House of Reps.
    The Bill must still pass the Senate and receive Royal Assent. It may yet be subject to amendment. Certain clauses of the Bill, when they are enacted, also require the Government to proclaim their commencement. These proclamations appear in the government gazette.
    Just a point of clarification in this otherwise 'good news story'.
    Kind regards,

  2. I wish I was closer to the U3A - would love to be in your course.

  3. Thanks for your clarification Anna. I like to be positive and a half glass full kind of person - I have a good feeling about this. But my fingers are still crossed.

  4. Thanks Jill - if you were closer I would be in your class! Or we could do joint sessions. That would be wonderful. Small interactive groups are always fun and more personal. I'm looking forward to it.