Shake Your Family Tree at the National Archives – Canberra

Media release: Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The face of soccer in Australia, Les Murray, is one of the special guests who will share their family stories at the National Archives' Shake Your Family Tree day in Canberra next week.

The annual event is a great drawcard for both experienced and novice family historians, with experts on hand from a range of institutions to share their knowledge. The National Archives is encouraging people to visit and discover what they might find about their own family in various collections on Tuesday 16 March.

The 2013 event is sponsored by MyHeritage, who have partnered with the National Archives to promote family history across Australia. MyHeritage is a global family history network connecting families to their past and to each other and is currently celebrating its one millionth user milestone in Australia.

Director-General of the National Archives David Fricker said people were always amazed to learn what the National Archives might hold about their ancestors – and what is available in other collections.

'Family historians often become very emotional when they find themselves face to face with a parent or ancestor and the life they experienced decades ago,' he said. 'In our collection they might find family service records, photographs, immigration and citizenship applications, employment records and even letters which all help to build a picture of their family's past. The search is even easier now, as many of these documents are available online.'

It is the first time MyHeritage has sponsored the event.

'We're excited to be working with the National Archives to help more people understand how easy and rewarding family history is,' said Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage. 'Passing our one millionth user milestone in Australia is a testament to how people are embracing online technologies in their journey to the past.'

This year, Shake Your Family Tree sessions will reach a wider audience through the webcasting of selected sessions.

'The panel session, with Les Murray as a special guest, is one of those to be webcast,' said David Fricker. 'The session will be hosted by SBS reporter Karen Middleton, and will look at the lives and experiences of post-war migrants. Other panellists include author Kim Huynh, playwrite Noonee Doronila and filmmaker Malik Osman.'

Visitors also have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of family history resources through seminars such as 'Discover your family's military service story', 'Living in Canberra', 'Destination: Australia', 'In search of fame, fortune or freedom', and 'Finding your mob'.

On the innovation front there will be a session on the automatic search technologies of MyHeritage that make family history research easy, fun and packed with discoveries through its extensive library of global content.

Other seminars include 'Canberra through the National Library's collections', 'Through fire and flood, protecting family records from damage', 'Family history research at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, ANU', and 'Land of tomorrow, migration records in the National Archives'.

Experts will be on hand from the National Archives, the Australian War Memorial, ArchivesACT, the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra, the National Library, the ANU Archives, Canberra District Historical Society, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Military History Society of Australia and the ACT Heritage Library.

Showbags and children's activities are available all day. Entry is free but bookings for seminars and special events are essential. Programs are available at and bookings can be made online.

Shake Your Family Tree day will be held at the National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT on Tuesday 16 April from 9.30 to 4pm.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a family history network helping millions of families around the world discover and share their legacy online. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for the entire family, MyHeritage empowers its users with innovative social tools, a massive library of historical content and the industry's most international collection of family trees. The site is available in 40 languages. For more information visit

MyHeritage media contact

Caroline Cohen, PR Manager for MyHeritage
Phone: +44 2081231152 Email:

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e
  • Shaun Rohrlach (Director, Communications and Programs)
    t (02) 6212 3990 m 0434 664 621 e
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