In 2013 Family History Feast celebrates its 10th birthday. Look back over the last ten years to learn more about the history of an event now a “must do” on the Victorian genealogy calendar.

  Sandra Cumming’s birthday party, c1920-c1930, Lindsay G. Cumming Collection, State Library of Victoria   H2005.88/353

In early 2004, Anne Piggott, formerly of National Archives of Australia (Melbourne Office), Shauna Hicks then of Public Record Office Victoria and Anne Burrows from the State Library of Victoria were discussing a concept for an event that would showcase how the major government agencies for family history research in Victoria could assist researchers. Shauna came up with the name Family History Feast based on the title of one of her favourite films, the 1987 Danish film Babette’s Feast. Their aim was to bring to the public a feast of family history so Family History Feast was born.

A few months after this initial meeting the first annual Feast was held at the Library on Saturday 16 October 2004 and the Library has continued to host all the Feasts. Over the next few years two other Victorian government agencies became collaborative partners – Births, Deaths Marriages Victoria and Immigration Discovery Centre of Museum Victoria.  In May 2005 Family History Feast went “on the road” to visit the West Gippsland Genealogical Society at Warragul for a day long seminar.

 In 2007 the Don Grant Lecture organised by the Victorian Association of Family History Organisations (VAFHO) became part of the program. Speakers have included Professor Graeme Davison “Speed –relating   : family history in a digital age” (2007) and Professor Geoffrey Blainey  “Victoria in the 19th Century : Everyday life and family history “ (2010). From 2007 the Don Grant Lecture has been videocast and is available on the Library’s website along with podcasts of some of the talks. The event has also been held as part of National Family History Week from the inception of this Week. In 2013 as a trial the Week has become National Family History Month  from 1 until 31 August.

The 10th annual Feast (now totally booked out) is to be held on Monday 5 August.


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