July 2024 Lecture Report

Phoebe Wilkens – Geelong Stories.

Our July meeting was well-attended with over forty members and visitors being the lucky recipients of an engaging presentation by Phoebe Wilkens, a local Geelong historian and genealogist.

Phoebe Wilkens – our July speaker

Phoebe began with a short account of her professional journey beginning first with volunteer and then full-time positions at the Royal Historical Society and Geelong’s Heritage Centre before working at PROV (Victoria’s Public Records Office). Ten years ago she made the decision to branch out on her own and today she is the Director and Researcher at Born and Bred Historical Research here in Geelong.

Using case studies Phoebe gave the meeting an insight into the challenge and reward of working as a historical researcher. Whilst it does include family history it is much more than that; she mentioned the challenging of finding the lost manual for a 1920s clock, detailing the chain of possession and ownership of well-known landmarks and reuniting the lost strands of fractured families.

She also touched briefly on her work with SBS Australia’s Who do you think you are series. Their decision to recruit Phoebe for work with Stephen Curry, Bert and Pattie Newton, Shane Jacobson, Delta Goodram and Uncle Jack Charles speaks highly of professional standing. The society expresses their appreciation for giving us her time.

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