Wednesday, September 4, 2019

World Class Event in Sydney

I am still on a high after spending three days at the DNA Downunder event in Sydney last week. It has taken me a while to pen this last post because I have so much to say about this event which was world class. I wore my Ambassador Badge with pride during the event.

Kudos for taking a risk and staging such a professional event must go to Alan Phillips from Unlock the Past. Alan has been staging genealogy roadshows for several years but with DNA Downunder he took this event to another level. Right from the start the event promotion, including the appointment of Ambassadors, was top notch. 

Alan Phillips directing proceedings at DNA Downunder
 The venue in Sydney was excellent and only the most persnickety could find fault. The little things that make a great conference stand out from a good conference like smooth online registration, name tags, lanyards, programs (both online and in hard copy), signage, a strict timetable that was adhered to, opportunities to spend a few $$$ and get advice from vendors and societies coupled with an amazing star presenter, Blaine Bettinger, with solid supporting acts made this conference a success. Without the support of Alona and Anthea, the two family members and co-workers who are Alan's right hand women, this show would not have been such a fantastic event.

Alona and Anthea 

On a personal level I got so much from the feast of lectures on the program and took away a Doggie Bag full of ideas and tips to apply to my DNA research.I always enjoy geneaevents while I am there; I find many talks interesting and entertaining with content that is nice to know but they are not educative or inspiring.  DNA Downunder was an educative experience of the highest calibre.

Eager genies - Ready to learn
I attended every one of Blaine's 14 lectures, I had many items reinforced and learnt something new from all of them. As I predicted I am suffering from Blaine Overload but that is a positive outcome. As well as learning about methodology and resources I particularly enjoyed the emphasis on the ethics of DNA use and the constant reminders of the emotional effects that DNA discoveries can have on those involved. 

Blaine, a a genuine nice guy, spent so much time chatting with attendees

Shelley Crawford
I must apologise to the other speakers on the program as, because I went to all of Blaine's talks, I only managed to go to two other presentations. There was no way I was going to miss my genimate Shelley Crawford's talk so I was lucky she spoke when Blaine was having a break. Shelley was one of the first Australians to enter the world of genetic genealogy.

Shelley had a full house
One of the first people I encountered when I went to take my seat was Blaine. Getting  a hug and a hello from him set the scene for a super event. 

Blaine and GeniAus
I revelled in the out of school opportunities that a face to face conference offers. I caught up with some of my dear online pals, genimates from all over the place, loads of geneabloggers and met several genies for the first time.

Geneabloggers at DNA Downunder 
I just hope that Alan hosts a similar event in the future. These events educate, energise and enthuse our family history community.


Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

It was indeed a world class, super event. I was delighted that I’d gone to both Brisbane and Sydney.

Unknown said...

Couldn't agree with you more. Blaine was so engaging that even the more esoteric parts of his lectures had me rapt. The venue was excellent and the event was run seamlessly. This was my first ever genealogical conference, so the expectation bar for me has been set very high!

Jennifer Jones said...

I loved reading your report Jill. And like you I do hope that more educational events such as this are held in the future. Great photos also. I enjoyed seeing so many familiar photos. Will link to you in my round up report


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