The past year at the GSV

A big welcome to Jenny Redman, who was endorsed as our incoming President at the Genealogical Society of Victoria AGM in October.

Our thanks and congratulations are extended to David Down for all his work for the Society in his term as President. David was also the inaugural contributor of this blog from the ‘President’s Keyboard’.

Jenny started her career as a pharmacist, but later moved into Psychology. She studied for a PhD at La Trobe University then moved to an academic position at Monash University researching the circadian timing system and its effects on sleep and drug effects.

Later in life she decided to pursue her lifelong interest in history, and became a keen member of the GSV, joining the Council in 2013. 

Jenny has a keen interest in DNA and has played a major role in the planning of the GSV’s series of DNA events. She is the presenter of several of the forthcoming talks and tutorials on that subject.  [Ed.]


From the Keyboard of the President – November 2018

I am looking forward to our coming year at the GSV. In particular I am keen to further develop what the GSV provides digitally, and to reach out to the diverse ethnic communities in our population. There are lots of opportunities for us to help people find and tell their stories.

The GSV’s Annual General Meeting was held in October. For those members who did not happen to read the Report and Financial Statement some extracts are given below. Members can view the full reports on the website.


Under David’s leadership, last financial year was one of consolidation. We concentrated on regular engagement with new members, increasing our education activities with the introduction of new Discussion Circles and a DNA for Family Historians program, and embarking on a program to upgrade our IT infrastructure.


Our long-standing Vice-President, Tony Arthur retired. Tony’s service over many years as both President and Vice-President has been highly valued especially over our move from Collins Street to our current location. Claire Johnson also retired after many years of service and we are very grateful to her as she has continued to stay heavily involved in our Volunteers and IT programs. Leonie Loveday, Margaret McLaren and Michael Rumpff were elected to Council for two-year terms.

Staff and volunteers

The Society has three staff members and now has 182 volunteers, with 12 new volunteers this year. They contribute as library and research assistants, in digitising and scanning family histories, indexing hospital and cemetery records, in administration, producing Ancestor, maintaining the library collection, and in education, IT, digital media and communication and the three special interest groups of International Settlers, Irish and Scottish. The GSV extended its grateful thanks to each one of you for the role you played in this work.

Our library collection

Our core collection of specialised family history assets is held at the Centre. We have continued to add resources such as journals from Family History Societies from around the world and our catalogue now holds over 105,000 indexed entries from these journals.

Cemetery Records: The Society holds a very large collection of transcriptions of headstones of almost 800 cemeteries throughout Victoria. Of these about 75% have been indexed. Our cemeteries database now contains over 840,000 records from 605 cemeteries and 232 of these have the index page attached to the record and are searchable by members from home.

The Genealogical Index of Names (GIN): The database continues to expand and now contains nearly 3.5 million Australian and overseas records.

Approximately 1,300 histories are now available for viewing on the PCs at the Centre.

We completed the indexing and published ‘Occupiers and Owners of Property in Richmond for 1857 to 1902′ with over 360,000 names.

A snapshot of our activities for the past year:

  • We expanded the number of Discussion Circles to seven, adding British India and London. The Northern England Circle now includes Yorkshire.
  • Our ‘DNA for Family Historians’ seminar in November had 100 attendees and many others registered on a waiting list.
  • Our journal Ancestor won the Nick Vine Hall competition for the best family history magazine/newsletter in Category B, societies with over 500 members (having become eligible again after our win in 2015).
  • We are steadily expanding our social media presence to communicate better with our members and the wide public. We updated the website, published 157 posts to our Facebook site (1,890 followers), 50 blogs  (20,183 visitors /50,602 visits in the year), and hosted discussion of family history writing on the Writers Circle’s closed FB site (52 members).

So it was a busy and interesting year at the GSV.

Jenny Redman, President GSV


The GSV Council Members are:

President: Jenny Redman

Vice-Presidents:Penny Wolf and Peter Johnston
Secretary: Vicki Montgomery, CA FGSV
Treasurer: Stephen Hawke


Janne Bonnett
Erna Cameron
Lorna Elms
Robert Gribben
Leonie Loveday
Margaret McLaren
David Down
Michael Rumpff
Simon Foster.

Post expires at 7:40pm on Thursday 30 May 2019

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