In March of 2020 I wrote a post about the closure of state borders https://wordpress.com/post/loadesofbranches.com/969. This was a first for me and something we never expected to happen. Today it is common place. Interested in all the announcements from state and territory governments have at look at the following site https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp2021/Chronologies/COVID-19StateTerritoryGovernmentAnnouncements#_Toc52275798.
Today we scour the news, watch the case numbers in our own state and interstate to see what is happening. Could we? Should we? book that holiday,that the visit to family or friends interstate. Through out this pandemic many of us have had our travel plans disrupted. For family historians and genealogist we have had our travel plans to attend conference both overseas and interstate disrupted. What has this meant for us.
For the genealogist three major conferences have been disrupted in Australia in 2021, RootsTech, Family History Down Under and the AFFHO Family History Congress 2021 on Norfolk Island. RootsTech became a free online event with over 50,00 viewers online. RootsTech became accessible to a wider audience and this is evidenced by the large number of people who attended all or part of the conference. The online access for RootsTech gave those of us who have not attended an live event an opportunity to see what it was like. Many of us were overwhelmed by the choice and the size of the program. the 2022 event will be much easier to handle as we know what to expect. Traveling to a RootsTech event in either Salt Lake City or London RootsTech is still a bucket list item for me. Traveling to attend a conference provides a perfect excuse to do some additional traveling. Or is attending a genealogy conference while traveling is the icing on the cake?
Family History Down Under also became an online event and continues to be accessible today for those who registered. Online conferences have provided an added benefit, you can now watch every sessions, where once you would have had to choose which outbreak session you were going to attend. Does this make up for the lack of opportunities to discuss and meet with other genies, for me the answer is no. I am sure we are all looking forward to attending a face to face conference soon. Be on the look out for an announcement soon of the what will be happening with Family History Down Under in 2022. Hopefully it will be face to face.
Many of us were looking forward to the History in Paradise Conference in August 2021, it provided us with the opportunity to pack our bags and fly off over the sea to Norfolk Island, but as the date crept closer and closer it looked more and more unlikely. For those of us not in Sydney, we thought yes we can do this, the Sydney airport corridor means we wont need to quarantine when we get home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. The conference has been deferred until 2022. This is one conference that I have on my calendar.
So what have we done? We have all learnt to Zoom, Webex or Teams to continue to join in and attend conferences and lectures both within Australia and across the world. We know that it is easier to attend short sessions rather than long sessions. Sitting in front of the computer watching people speaking can lead to zoom fatigue. Closed borders haven’t stopped us from learning and gathering as groups in an the online environment, while at the same time dreaming about our next trip interstate or overseas. Closed borders have meant that we have all learnt a whole new set of skills.
It has been a very different year Claire but we are doing well weathering the Covid storm and we have learnt a range of new communication skills. I, too, was looking forward to presenting at the Norfolk Island conference. I hope it can go ahead next year although I hope to be in the UK at that time so won’t be able to attend.