Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spine Tingling Stuff

Sometimes one is bowled over by a presentation or talk. That was my experience earlier today. Thanks to Cassie Mercer from Inside History Magazine who invited me to this talk which was part of The Free History Group Series at Randwick Library


Paul O'Keefe and Geniaus at Randwick Library
Last week I wrote of my disappointment with the recent Keynotes at the 2012 Genealogy Congress in Adelaide; today I heard a talk that left the presentations in Adelaide for dead. At this event at Randwick Branch Library in the Sydney's Eastern Suburbs I sat beside two geneabloggers, Sharn White  and Shauna Hicks who were similarly affected by the talk "The Girl Who Loved Ned Kelly".


Paul O'Keefe is the great-great-grandson of Ettie Hart, the girl that he posits was notorious bushranger Ned Kelly's lover. Having heard Paul's talk I tend to agree. Family stories handed down through the generations in Paul's family had told of Ettie's liaison with Ned Kelly but these were only stories. Paul has spent the last ten years carefully researching this story and has amassed an enormous amount of evidence to support his theory.


Paul delivered his amazing and controversial story with passion, warmth and humour. His talk was illustrated with a rich collection of images that seamlessly integrated with his words to add a visual dimension to the story. The only criticism I have is that Paul read his story but this was only its second public airing. Once he becomes more comfortable he will be able to connect even more with his audience. Today he held the audience in the palm of his hand; some of his revelations caused shivers down my spine. 


In my recent post about keynotes I stated that "I expect a keynote to do more than one of these things: Inspire, Challenge, Educate, Engage, Entertain and Inform." Paul's talk delivered on each of these. Genealogy and Local History Societies and Local Libraries in Sydney should be forming a line to book Paul for their meetings. After the talk I felt like going out, hiring a venue and promoting Paul. His talk centered on one of Australia's most infamous characters, it challenged history and it demonstrated that thorough research can pay dividends. 


Paul's contact details can be found on his website Neducate.


The best things in life are sometimes free.



6 comments:

Fi said...

Sounds absolutely fascinating! Hopefully his talk will see him touring the entire country.

Shauna Hicks said...

Thanks Jill for this great summing up of Paul's talk. I was just happy to be in Sydney to hear it and I'm looking forward to when he brings it to Victoria, real Ned country!

Alona Tester said...

I'm sure it truly was riveting for everyone.

Sharon said...

Would have loved this talk Jill. I am very interested in Ned as I have family mentioned in his Jerilderie Letter.

Lisa said...

I was lucky enough to hear Paul's talk about Ned & Ettie at Balmain,and definitely agree with what a brilliant talk & presentation it is.I too hope that Paul gets to tell the wonderful/sweet/sad story of Ned & Ettie to many more people.10/10!

Anonymous said...

Well Paul so great to see people appreciate the work you have done on the subject of Ettie Hart, it does take hard work to delve and dig into our Australian History, we do have our oral history within the family but to see the .hard research you have presented to the public does enforce the oral history.
From A Sympathiser...

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