Thursday, November 12, 2015

Australia Family History Advisor Conference

We had an opportunity to go to the Gold Coast  of  Australia, and then spent a couple of days in Brisbane that were really special.   We went for a conference of all the New Zealand and Australia Area Family History Advisers (AFHAs) where we got to meet some truly great folks.

We flew to Coolingata on Tuesday, 3 November.

 During the conference we stayed at Golden Riviera Beach Resort in Tugun, which as the name implies, is right on the beach.

Our days in the conference were pretty full, but we did get some free time in the evenings that were great for quiet walks along the shore and playing in the surf. While it was very beautiful, I did not do much actual swimming in the ocean there.  Something about the net fencing to keep out Great White Sharks kinda made me hesitant to go very far out into the water.

Supposedly with those nets in place a person is more likely to get hit by lightening than they are to experience a shark attack.   Still, just the idea of the possibility was a little unsettling for me.  My rational mind knows the beach there is quite safe.  I guess I've just seen the movie Jaws a few too many times.  (Insert scary soundtrack here!)

We very much enjoyed meeting the other AFHAs and comparing notes between how they do things in Australia vs. our approach in New Zealand and in the islands.

From our NZ team we had the following:

Art & Heather Schwenke who cover the stakes around Auckland:  Harbour, Henderson, Manukau, Manurewa,
Mt. Roskill, Otara, Panmure, Papakura, Papatoetoe, Penrose, Redoubt, Tamaki, and Waterview

Dave & Jill Hayward who cover stakes and one district around  the middle part of the North Island: Gisborne, Glenview, Hamilton, Hastings, Hastings Flaxmere, Rotokauri, Rotorua,Tauranga, Temple View, and Taranaki District

We serve as AFHA's for the stakes in the Northlands (Whangarei and Kaitaia) as well as some of the island countries.

The bottom of the north island and all of the south island is covered by Garry and Karen Howard, but they were not able to make it to the conference due to family commitments.

They cover  Christchurch, Dunedin District, Nelson District, Palmerson North, Porirua,
 Upper Hutt, Wellington, and the Wellington Mission

From the Australia team we had:

Derek & Margaret Hall


                                                                   John & Anne Parton

                                                                      Paul & Diane Parton

The managers who were there included our own Mike Higgins, Mark Kelly from Australia and Wayne Van Ness from South Africa.

Mark, Mike & Wayne

We also had help from one of the Australian Service Missionaries, Elder Cummings.

Next year Larry and I will be responsible for putting on a conference in Fiji for the AFHAs from some of the island countries (Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti) so this one was a good experience for us to see what sort of things were included so we can give some thought to how may present similar information and what we may want to differently.  All in all it was a great experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment