Latest news and events

Royal Australian Historical Society 
Saturday 22nd  Sunday 23rd October 2016  

Centro CBD, Wollongong 
If you are unable to see the flyer below click here to download/print a copy


Royal Australian Historical Society 
Spring 2016 Calendar of Events for Members and Friends

If you are unable to see the flyer below click here to download/print a copy


Hollands Family Annual Reunion And Picnic 

If you are unable to see the flyer below click here to download/print a copy

Society of Australian Genealogists Lecture:
 Research techniques and records for Norfolk Island 1788-1814
Thursday 3 November 2016, 10:30am - 12:30pm

Historian Cathy Dunn takes you on a journey back to the first settlement of Norfolk Island 1788 - 1814 describing the archives and records that are available, where copies are kept and what can be found online.

Also discover the history of the Island's first settlement and its role in the early colony of NSW.

LOCATION: Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street Sydney


BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL: $22 SAG members, $35 non-members

Book On-line by clicking here

Settlement to Suffrage 
1820 to 1902

This Project is being run by the Illawarra Family History Group. Its aim is to acknowledge women as pioneers in the Illawarra and show how they have been important in the development of the Illawarra.

The project is to study the role that women played in the period from settlement to 1902 when women were granted the right to vote.

Most history, which includes family history, is written about men's activities and roles. Women are usually excluded from histories and, when mentioned, are usually portrayed as wives, mothers, daughters and mistresses. The role of women is commonly considered uninteresting or worthless and they are seen as passive and unimportant to society. 

The aim of this project is to show how women have been important in the Illawarra not only as business women, nuns, nurses and teachers, but also as important members of society who influenced that society in which they lived more greatly than is widely acknowledged.

The project will look at all women within the Illawarra, not only the famous and influential. 

Women as have been voiceless in history for too long and this project aims to look at the personal tragedies and triumphs and rights and responsibilities of the women of the Illawarra and bring their stories out so we can see how important pioneering women were to their society.


Illawarra Women  or

Secretary or

IFHG. P.O. Box 1652 Wollongong 2500.


Woonona – Bulli  PROJECT

1830 to 1960

We are seeking information and photographs for a project looking to compile a Biographical and cultural directory of the Woonona Bulli area.
If you have a relative who was born or lived in or around the Woonona Bulli area, we would like to hear from you.
Woonona Bulli was one of the first areas of settlement in the Illawarra. Over the years that this project covers there were many thousands of people who lived here. Some moved in and out quickly, some stayed and still have a family presence today. There are those who’s time here is now known only to their family. We would like to share their story with the world.
The suburbs covered by this project are; Woonona, Bulli, Russell Vale and Sherbrook.

If you can help please contact us here or IFHG. P.O. Box 1652 Wollongong NSW 2500




1830 to 2000
We are seeking information and photographs for a project aimed at Port Kembla’s Heritage.

If you have a relative who was born or lived in or around the Port Kembla area, we would like to hear from you.

Everyone knows about Port Kembla, but we know very little about the people who actually built the place. Who owned the shops? Who were the doctors, vets, and bakers?

The suburbs covered by this project are; Port Kembla, Warrawong, Primbee, Lake Heights and Berkeley.

If you can help please contact us here  or IFHG. P.O. Box 1652 Wollongong NSW 2500

This Saturday (10 September) in Canberra

Big Things in Store 2016 • 9:00am Sat 10 Sep Nestled within the industrial suburb of Mitchell is an enormous purpose-built warehouse. Within its walls are some of Australia’s national treasures. The Treloar Technology Centre is the Australian War Memorial’s conservation facility and storage hub. 

Its doors are rarely opened to the public, but on Saturday 10 September Big things in store, will allow visitors inside to uncover its secrets, which include a vast array of aircraft, rockets, vehicles, tanks, artillery, and equipment used by – or against – Australians in war for over a century. Big things in store is a unique opportunity for the whole family to experience one of the world’s greatest military collections.

Read more here

World War I Thesis

We had a visit from a Uni student and she asked for our help in completing her Uni studies.

I have copied her email below. Some of you may have experience inside your own families with this subject.

I feel that her area of study is important because unless we know the whole story of WW1 then we can never fully appreciate the full sacrifice of this period, and therefore we can never understand the way in which the war was fought on the battlefield as well as in the homes of ordinary Australians.

If you can supply any information no matter how small, please do so.

Also you may know of someone who could help.

Please contact me at


As discussed, the topic for my thesis is on the roles and perceptions of the Soldier's Mother in Australia during the First World War.

The main areas that I will be focusing on are: the political activities of mothers (conscription, recruitment and enlistment of sons); unpaid and emotional labour (caring for returned sons, patriotic work, networks of support between mothers); bereavement and grief; and remembrance and commemoration of the war.

This topic is important is because in the secondary literature, mothers have often been conflated with the generic category of women or neglected in preference for the experiences of widows and wives.

Any information or primary evidence you have in relation to the lives of the soldier's mother would be extremely helpful, especially in regards to their unpaid and emotional labour.

Thanks again for your help



Mystery Wedding Photograph

"Who?", "Where?" or "When?"
All we know about this wedding photograph is that it was taken by L. F. James, Wollongong. Click here to see a larger image

If you know "Who?", "Where?" or "When?" Secretary Terry would love to hear from you.

According to the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus of Friday 22 September 1933 Mr. L. F. James ran "Hamey Photo Studio" at 168 Crown Street Wollongong, next door to the Presbyterian Church. The premises was shared with Mr. A.C. Hamey of Hamey Radio.

Wollongong Central Library Celebrating 70 Years.

It's time to celebrate!

Join Wollongong Central Library staff for a day of celebration for Wollongong Library's 70th Birthday on Friday 24 June 2016!

They will be hosting a range of activities, games and displays for all ages throughout the day with some great prizes to be won. 

In the evening join them for a special Murder Mystery Night for 18+ years. Free of charge but booking essential.

Grab your ticket and join the race to solve the mystery to win some great 40's inspired prizes!  

Read more about all the day's events here or download a general flyer here.

Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June 2016 is Refugee Week

Wollongong City Libraries, in conjunction with Red Cross International Tracing Services, are putting on two events on Monday 20 June. Called 'Find your family' the service aims to help people find long lost family members or clarify the fate of those missing.

The first event is at Warrawong District Library, 67-71 King Street, between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm, and the second event is at Wollongong Central Library, 41 Burelli Street, between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm

Read more here:

Saturday 4 June 2016

New ‘look dater’ does detective work for family historians

The State Library is partnering with Inside History magazine to create a unique photo-dating tool – the first of its kind in Australia – which will transform the way genealogists and family historians trace their ancestors. 

Friday 20 May 2016


To commemorate the centenary of World War I there is a plethora of websites for you to explore. Here are just a few of them:

National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

100 Years of ANZAC

BBC World War I

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Canadian Veteran Affairs

New Zealand WW100

Centenary News

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

14-18 Mission Centenaire

1418 War

Imperial War Museum

1n Mem0riam 2014

In Flanders Fields Museum

First World War Centenary

If there are any copyright concerns and you wish to have any content from this page removed please contact us at: webmaster @
Help request

A new page has been set up for club members to submit questions about their research/brick walls which will be published on the "Help" page (see "Help" tab above) for others to view and hopefully reply to.

Each request will be published with a reference number and optionally the requestor's first name and e-mail address.

To submit a request download a pro forma here, complete the form and e-mail it to

Your replies can be sent back to the above e-mail address or directly to you if you are prepared to publish your e-mail address on the original request.

News from Trove

Editions of the Illawarra Mercury from 1856-1950 are being digitised and progressively put on the NLA Trove website. If you go to this link you will see a graph showing how many editions have been published by year (move your cursor slowly over the required year). You can then go an search Trove for Illawarra Mercury articles related to your research.
If you want to search only the Illawarra Mercury tick the box that reads "Limit to issues of this title" during the search phase.

Waterfall General Cemetery

Wollongong City Council has released a video about the Waterfall General Cemetery a.k.a.Garrawarra Cemetery. The cemetery was last used as a burial site in 1949 where over 2,000 tuberculosis patients from the Waterfall Sanatorium are buried.

Since 1967 Wollongong City Council has been responsible for the site and as you can see from the video bushland has encroached into the cemetery and it is overgrown.

Wollongong City Council would like to have community consultation about the future of the cemetery especially with relatives of those buried there.

Donated photograph taken at Metal Manufacturers?

The IFHG has received a donation of a photograph probably taken at Metal Manufacturers Pty Ltd Port Kembla NSW.

Click here to have a look at the photo and see if you can identify any of the people. If you can identify anyone in the photo or if you know when the photo was taken please contact the secretary.