Family History Month 2020

Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Online via Zoom
  • Due to popular demand, we are running a third and final family history session on Wednesday 26 August 2020 at 7pm (AEST). Registrations for this session have now closed. 

To celebrate Family History Month this August, AIATSIS are hosting free online family history sessions featuring special guest, Imarnte woman Kath Travis, author of her self-published ‘her-storical biography ‘ Minnie, Mum and Me: The Black Headed Snake.

The AIATSIS Family History Unit provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities by providing family history research assistance, access to information, skills and knowledge including step-by-step guides, tools and templates.

The final presentation will be held online via zoom on:

  • Wednesday 26 August 2020 at 7pm (AEST)

Zoom session link

The presentations will cover:

  • AIATSIS, the Collection and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI).
  • The AIATSIS Family History Unit and our services.
  • Family history research process and resources to help you along the way.
  • Useful websites for family history research (including some search demonstrations).
  • Guest speaker Kath will share her personal experiences on interpreting archives drawing on her own family history archival journey.
  • Registration is free.
  • Login details for the sessions will be emailed to registered attendees closer to the date.

Kath Travis

Kath Apma Travis Penangke is a proud Imarnte woman of the Arrernte people of Alice Springs, First Nations Historian and a stolen generation survivor.

Kath has worked extensively across the education and justice sector with the Victorian Aboriginal community for thirty years advocating for equitable outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and families.

Kath had been removed from her mother at three weeks old and adopted by a Non-Aboriginal family in South Australia. In 1985 as a nineteen year old she met her Mother for the first time. 

She has spent many years examining her ancestral family history and is in the first year of her PhD at Victoria University. Kath’s research seeks to explore ways in which archival stories can be re-claimed and re-authored by First Peoples to address individual, family and community identity and intergenerational healing.


Kath will share her experience in retelling her family story through her self-published family’s her-storical biography: Minnie, Mum and Me: The Black Headed Snake.

Kath will provide tips on navigating and interpreting the archives drawing on her own personal archival journey. She will give first-hand knowledge of the processes, the places, and how to incorporate the research into something that families can own and share.

Kath places the emphasis on the importance of continuity of family story, leaving a legacy for future generations to know the story, in a first people’s narrative.


AIATSIS holds the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) is an internationally recognised name index containing references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and includes a comprehensive list of over 83,000 names.  

Mura, our online catalogue is another great way to explore material relating to country, language groups and family and search for personal stories from missions and reserves.

Finding your family on the AIATSIS website has a range of information and resources about undertaking Indigenous family history research.  


Contact the Family History Unit on 1800 352 553 or via the online enquiry form.

  • Hear from Fred Leftwich in the video below about how he worked with the Family History Unit to help find information and records relating to his family. Read more on our blog.

Last reviewed: 26 Aug 2020