Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Victorian family history expo & writers festival weekend

Event Information

  • 20 Oct 2017 12:00pm - 22 Oct 2017 12:00am
  • Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre (expo)
  • Colac
  • Victoria
Other Information
  • Cost: $10 expo (Sat) - $10 for writers workshop (Fri)

A weekend of WEEKEND of Family History featuring 

    Fri 20 October 12noon to 6pm - Colac Community Library
  • FAMILY  HISTORY  EXPO in conjunction with VAFHO
    Sat 21 October 10am to 4pm - Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre
    Sun 22 October from 10am

CLICK HERE to download a brochure with full details

Boutique writers' festival

Friday 20 October 12noon to 6pm - Colac Community Library
Workshop tickets available for $10 each online at https://www.trybooking.com/297289

  • A variety of organisations to assist and offer advice in researching, writing and publishing your own story or your family history.
  • Workshop: Writing a Non-Boring Family History with Hazel Edwards - 1pm to 4pm
  • Presentation of the winners of Meriba “Our Pioneer Stories” competition at 5pm

Family history expo - in conjunction with VAFHO

Saturday 21 October 10am to 4pm - Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre

Featuring more than 30 organisations showcasing their services and products, four excellent speakers throughout the day, a cultural historian dating photographs and clothing, entertainment, prizes, giveaways.


  • 11:00 am Joan Hunt - Accessing land records
  • 12:00 pm Jason Reeve (Ancestry) - DNA tests
  • 1:00 pm Colonel Neil Smith - WW2 military records
  • 2:00 pm Susie Zada - Were your ancestors regular?
  • 3:00 pm Jenny Harkness - FamilySearch - the world’s largest free genealogy collection


  • Ancestry
  • Archive Digital Books Australasia
  • Ballarat & District Genealogical Society
  • Ballarat Heritage Services
  • Bellarine Historical Society
  • Bendigo Family History Group / AIGS
  • Birregurra District History Centre
  • Clan McMillan Society of Australia
  • Colac & District Family History Group Inc
  • Cressy District History Group
  • Derrinallum Lismore History Group
  • Families in British India Society
  • Family History Link
  • First Fleet Fellowship
  • Geelong Family History Group
  • Genealogical Society of Victoria
  • Genealogy ebooks
  • GenP Genealogy Program
  • Gould Digital
  • Gould Genealogy & History
  • Guild of One Name Studies
  • International Settlers Group
  • Meredith History Interest Group
  • Mornington Peninsula Family History Society
  • Mostly Unsung Military History & Publications
  • Narrewarren District Family History Group Inc
  • Openbook Howden
  • Ryerson Index
  • State Library of Victoria
  • Unlock the Past Cruises
  • Unlock the Past Publications
  • VicGUM
  • Vic Mining Accident Index & Mining Records
  • West Gippsland Genealogical Society

Other features

  • Photographic display & cultural historian - photographs of Colac & District Schools, Weddings & Family Groups on display. A Cultural Historian will be on hand to assist with dating old photographs by the clothing, hairstyles etc.
  • Surname register & family reunions - register the family names you are researching on our SURNAME REGISTER and we will endeavour to connect you to others attending the event who are researching the same families. Organise to meet others at one of our SURNAME REGISTER MEETING POINTS
  • Meet Colac pioneers - Hugh Murray, early Colac District pioneer and Catherine Ah Yee will make an appearance and narrate stories about life as it was in the early days of Colac. Hugh Murray arrived in the area in 1837 and first lived in a slab hut near Barongarook Creek. Catherine Powell was born in Barongarook in 1859 and in 1878 married Chinese market gardener Luis Ah Yee.

Cemetery walks & history bus tour

Sunday 22 October from 10am

CLICK HERE to download the brochure with further detailsKEND of

Family History

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd October 2017

www.colacfamilyhistory.org.au Ph: 52315736