Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks Apr 2014 Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 after watching the television series Roots. Her passion for family history eventually led her to university studies and a career change swapping her ‘boring’ government job to one working in archives and libraries.

Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities including a Master of Arts in Australian Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Library Science and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Shauna worked in both federal and state governments for over 35 years, mostly in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. She has enjoyed working at the Queensland State Archives, the John Oxley Library and the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, the National Archives of Australia in Canberra and the Public Record Office of Victoria in Melbourne.

In all of those cities, Shauna was also an active member of the local genealogy/family history society and was a regular presenter at society meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. She also regularly presented at archives, libraries and museums conferences in Australia and New Zealand.

Her work experience has given Shauna an extensive knowledge of Australasian archives and libraries and her own family history research has led her to research in every Australian colony/state and New Zealand. This extensive knowledge has been recognised with the following awards:

  • Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society
  • Recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Recipient of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations’ Services to Family History Award.
  • Since retiring in 2009, Shauna now operates her own business Shauna Hicks History Enterprises and  is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

Shauna has written a number of family history guides for Unlock the Past. Titles include:

What Was The Voyage Like?:  A Brief Guide to Researching Convict and Immigrant Voyages to Australia and New Zealand , Unlock The Past, Modbury North SA, 2010

Your Family History Archives: A Brief Introduction, Unlock The Past, Modbury North SA, 2010

Family History on the Cheap, Unlock The Past, Modbury North SA, 2010

Family & Local History Resource Directory for Victoria, Unlock The Past, Modbury North SA, 2010

It’s Not All Online: A Guide to Genealogy Sources Offline, Unlock The Past,  Modbury North SA, 2011

Trove: Discover Genealogy Treasure in the National Library of Australia, Unlock The Past, St Agnes SA, 2012

Finding Ancestors in Church Records: A Brief Guide to Resources, Unlock The Past, St Agnes SA, 2012

Tracing Mining Ancestors: A Brief Guide to Resources in Australia and New Zealand, Unlock the Past, St Agnes SA, 2014

My Ancestor was in an Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand, Unlock the Past, St Agnes SA, 2014

Shauna is also a regular speaker on Unlock the Past genealogy cruises, Australasian conferences and  seminars and has written articles for a number of Australian and overseas genealogy and family history magazines.

Shauna recognises the potential to discover information online and to collaborate with others. She has an established social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter and Pinterest.

As part of her giving back to the genealogy/family history community, Shauna has been the voluntary coordinator of National Family History Month in Australia on behalf of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations. She has held this role since 2012 and each August NFHM sees hundreds of events across Australia including online events.

Follow Shauna on Social Media:


[divider]Go In-Depth with Shauna:

If you could go to any conference/institute which would it be?
In Australia the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) hosts a genealogy and heraldry Congress every three years. The 2015 Congress is in Canberra in March and has an amazing range of overseas and Australasian speakers over three days. If you cannot attend in person, the proceedings are always published, you can read the papers and refer to them again later. The 2018 Congress will be in Sydney so make a note in your calendar now. Congress is the must attend genealogy event in Australia and New Zealand!
What is your favourite blog post from your personal website?
I have many favourites but one I wrote in March 2010 connected me to long lost relatives. Letters Home: My Irish Families was written around some photocopied letters I was given by a distant cousin. They are not complete letters, more loose pages, torn and fragile but they contained news from home and my Irish great great grandmother Maria Jeffers obviously treasured them. The descendants of her brother Albert mentioned in the letter saw my post via Google and made contact. Ironically they had also emigrated to Australia but not until the 1920s. This post demonstrates that by telling our family stories online, we are increasing the chances of other relatives making contact and sharing information.
What is your social media tool of choice for genealogy?
I use a range of social media but Twitter is perhaps my favourite as it is quick and easy. If you follow key people, or create your list of genealogy people to follow, you can catch up on the latest news and blogs without a lot of effort. Of course, not everyone is on Twitter which is why I also use other social media and again I tend to follow key individuals to give me quick updates on what is happening or blogs I should read. Social media is a great way to get to know people virtually and then when you meet them in person at a conference or other genealogy event, you already know them.

Shauna’s Reprint Policy:

You have permission to reprint articles that have been written by Shauna Hicks appearing on The In-Depth Genealogist, except any articles published in Going In-Depth, if the following requirements are met:

  • The article must be reprinted in full with no changes.
  • You must include the following bio with links for each article reprinted.
  • You must link back to the original article through the statement included below.



© 2015 Shauna Hicks

Shauna Hicks is an Australian genealogist,  researcher, writer and presenter at genealogy conferences,  seminars  and cruises . You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , Pinterest and LinkedIn. Shauna is the author of IDG’s monthly column, “Genealogy Downunder”. This article originally appeared on The In-Depth Genealogist and can be found here: [insert original link]