Anita Payne: How did I get to join AAGRA, and what benefits have come to me as a member?

AAGRA member Anita Payne writes on how she got to join AAGRA, and what benefits have come to her as a member.


In December 2017 I completed my Diploma of Family History with UTAS. It was a fantastic course and so worth my time to do it.

My long-held interest in my family history had been sparked by my maternal Grandma. She did it all the hard way, writing letters via a solicitor in Australia back to England to try to find any relatives. At the time there was a possibility of a possible inheritance if they could find the connection. I was only 8 years old at the time but clearly remember helping Grandma sort out the information that was returned from England. Sadly, they did not find a connection to the inheritance.

It has been a pleasure to find out heaps about my family and to pass this on to them. Friends found out about my knack of solving curious mysteries and offered to pay for my time.

After my graduation in Hobart I attended the graduation dinner. Conversation got around to whether I knew about AAGRA. Well, no I didn’t. I was fortunate to be sitting across the table from Dr Dianne Snowden, the AAGRA President who let me know all about it. I went home to Melbourne with a mission to complete my application to join.


I did that in early 2018 and was delighted to be admitted as a Record Agent in March 2018.

Since that time, I have had multiple opportunities to do research for clients who have approached AAGRA for assistance. All of these clients have paid for my assistance and service. Some enjoyed success in the mission to find what they were looking for and others not so. But that is what happens when you are researching a family or documents regarding a family member.

At present I am working on a project, which has come from an enquiry made to AAGRA via their website. This would never have happened without my membership and the opportunity to display my interests through the Association. As the top organisation in the field in Australia it is clear to those who find us that we are first-class experts.

Being a member of AAGRA has given me the opportunity to have my own small part-time business doing what I love – researching family history. My passion is now my profession. As they say, when you love your work you never do a day’s work.



Happy hunting,



Anita Payne

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