If you are an expert on any particular library resource and feel you could explain how to get the best from that resource to other Society members please contact a library volunteer or a member of the Management Committee verbally; send an email to our Secretary; or leave a message in the Suggestion Box on the front desk.

We run two types of information sessions - one for members and guests and the other for members only. Special Interest Groups are for members only and details of these groups are in the Member Area of the website. Members only sessions and Special Interest Groups are free.

Orientation Sessions: 

Are available for members both new and old


Members would you like to know more about the resources in our Society Library? Here’s your opportunity. 

You will enjoy our Orientation Sessions designed to show you the range of materials we have in print, digital and on-line form. Previous sessions have been very successful, with many new and experienced members all finding resources they hadn’t known about before. The sessions involve locating and exploring the holdings, hands-on activities and discussion, winding up with refreshments and participants then continuing their own research or further exploration. We now have regular dates for these sessions and will contact everybody who has expressed an interest! 

The sessions will help you understand the keys to unlocking the resources:

  1. the Surname Index to hundreds of family records

  2. the Classification system for the books

  3. the Catalogue, Subject Index, Cemeteries Index

  4. the Snippers collection

  5. the digital collection including less-known items like the Paracensus and the index to the Colonial Secretary’s In letters

  6. Microfiche, Microfilm, CD indexes


There are small group discussions, hands-on activities and we provide summary sheets.

We’ve planned two sets of dates for 2021. Each group is limited in numbers, and all sessions on our 2021 calendar page are full, so add your name to the list on the table in the reception room. :

Group 1*: Saturday, 27 March (Print) and Saturday, 10 April (Digital)

Group 2: Saturday, 1 May (Print) and Saturday, 15 May (Digital)

You can nominate the group dates that suit you best. Sessions start at 9am and last about 2 hours. 

If you’re interested, sign up on the sheets on the noticeboard in the reception area or email the planning group convenor, Marg Ashford at margashmac2@gmail.com


Watch this space for new sessions in the future!

Genealogy Courses: 

Genealogy courses differ from Orientation Sessions. They are short courses led by someone experienced in the topic; are open to both members and non-members and are an opportunity for members and non-members to learn about or brush up on useful resources. There is a charge for each Genealogy Course to cover preparation of materials.

Each session will run for 45-50 minutes and will mainly be held at 9.00 am on a Saturday. Part of the course will locate the resources held within our library. After the course concludes the library will be open as usual so participants can remain and practice their newly acquired skills. All courses will be limited to no more than 24 participants. Some courses may be have even smaller numbers depending on the topic. All future courses will be limited according to COVID-19 restrictions.

It is proposed that some of the 2020 courses be repeated during February, March and April. The following dates are already on the 2021 Calendar.

• Getting started - 6 and 13 February
• Trove - 20 February
• Births, deaths and marriages (BDM site) - 27 February
• Ryerson index - 6 March
• Subscription and free websites - 13 and 20 March
• Research logs and source citation - 17 April

Each course will be held on a Saturday from 9-10am, at the Elder Street Rooms. The cost is $5.00 per session for members and $15.00 per session for non-members. If you pay in advance, the total cost is $35.00 for members and $95.00 for non-members.

Planning for further 2021 courses is currently underway and during May, June and July 2021, we will present some new courses, such as:

• Understanding and Accessing the V Registers
• Finding your English Ancestors
• Finding your Scottish Ancestors
• Finding your Irish Ancestors
• Finding your Convict Ancestors
• Finding your Military Ancestors
• An Introduction to Ancestry
• An Introduction to Findmypast
• An Introduction to Legacy
• An Introduction to FamilySearch.
• Restoring old photos
• Using Ancestry DNA results
• Cemetery Research


We will look to see if these courses can be run face to face and via Zoom for members who wish to be involved but live at a distance or even next door.


Each of us has many research skills. NFHS is always looking for ideas for genealogical courses and people who are interested in running them in order to help members from beginners to the more experienced tackle their family history research. Can you a suggest a topic for a furure course? Are you able to run a course that will help others understand a resource that you have investigated in your family history? Please consider getting involved in any way that you are able.


Please contact Pat by text message on 0427 577598 or email nfhscourses@gmail.com to book your spot, offer assistance or enquire about future courses.

How to ... ?

NFHS has developed 'How to ... ? sheets. They are kept in the folders beside each blue room computer, often have often been placed in our Journals and many are in the files on our Facebook page. Hover your cursor over each image to identify each topic. Download any of these sheets from the links below. Could you write some instructions to assist others access a site that you use to add to our growing set of support documents?

A Special Course


Knowing how to effectively use programs to create documents is a great advantage to the family researcher. 


A 2.5 hour course on Microsoft Word will be run for the first time on Tuesday, 30 March from 9.30am to 12.00noon. This course will teach you how to use many of the tools of Microsoft Word. Using the tools correctly means you are able to produce better quality documents that are easy to alter or change. Come along and find out how to create and format your documents as well as many other hints and tips.

The cost is $15.00 for members and $40.00 for non-members, which includes a handout. We will also run this course via Zoom for members who wish to be involved but live at a distance or wherever you are.


Please contact Pat by text message on 0427 577598 or email nfhscourses@gmail.com to book your spot, offer assistance or enquire about future courses.