My interests over the decades . . .
I have organised this page by providing information about me, my current qualifications, experience and skills, my main interest areas and many of my past activities and hobbies. These are in no particular order. I have retired from full time work, but am as busy now as I ever was. This document is being updated regularly, currently at the beginning of 2023.
I grew up in a fairly strict and teetotal Methodist/Congregationalist family, and had a good childhood and up-bringing. I spent my first two years of schooling at Thebarton Infant School (1952-53) and lived in Torrensville. I remember walking home each day, across South Road and down to Stephens Terrace. I was 5 and 6 years old. The rest of my primary schooling was at Linden Park Primary school (1954-59). During this time, the family lived in Glenside, Beaumont and Toorak Gardens. High school was at Adelaide High School on West Terrace, Adelaide (1960-62). I left school just after my 16th birthday and worked for PMG/Telecom/Telstra from December 1962 till December 1991. I studied part-time till the mid 1980s to attain Year 10, 11 and 12, then an Economics degree and then an Accounting qualification (CPA). I also had two years doing National Service, after being selected in the ballot.
I married in 1970 and lived in Glandore, Belair, Hawthorndene and Harrogate. During this time, I have been a volunteer in scouting (parent's committee), a foster parent, president of a caravan/camping club, a home renovator and building project manager, and treasurer of Down Syndrome Society of SA Inc., (now Down Syndrome SA). From 1998 to 2010, I worked as Finance Manager with Employment Options Inc in Mt Barker. I am now single, retired, a student, a volunteer and Council member (for two years) of Genealogy SA, and was a Justice of the Peace in South Australia from 1997 till 2022. I have recently moved back to the city (Marion area), and am finding everything just so close. My key skills are in not-for-profit organisations (accounting, management, governance and strategy), as well as in computing and genealogy. I am currently a member of the Silver Salties at the Seacliff Surf Live Saving Club.
I began collecting and storing family history information in the early 1970s, after seeing a hand drawn parchment of the STODART family tree going back to the 1540s in Scotland, and including the name of my then marriage partner. I have been a member of the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society Inc., since 1981. I have gathered lots of information and documentation, but did not do much serious research until after I retired. My original data was stored in my own BASIC language program that pre-dated DOS and Windows (written around 1985-6), and later I re-did the program in an early DOS format (Qbasic I think). Since the early 1990s, with the advent of the internet, I constructed and maintained two separate versions of my HTML site on the web. As I collected more information and started serious research, it became too time consuming to maintain, so in June 2008, I purchased V6 of TNG, and have used it as my main data repository on the web ever since. Love it. See the TNG home page.
In December 2010, I started studying a Certificate course in genealogy, through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, based in Canada. They are affiliated with the University of Toronto. The course is 'The Australian Certificate in Genealogical Studies', and consists of 27 compulsory subjects and 13 elective ones, which I have spread over England and Scotland mainly. However, as some of the compulsory Australian subjects have not yet been offered, I have taken all the compulsory English subjects, and have just completed the requirements for the English certificate. I am now able to use the Post-nominals PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies). I have since completed the Australian Certificate Course as well.
Since March 2012, I have been volunteering one day a week with Genealogy SA, transcribing birth, marriage and death certificates for people who order them through the Society. In October 2013, I was elected to the Council of Genealogy SA, where my skills will hopefully be useful. I have been a member of the society since 1981, currently 41 years and counting.
I also have memberships with Somerset and Dorset Family History Group (just allowed to lapse), Find My Past (World), and The Genealogist (UK). I post queries in Curious Fox, and follow a number of Australian Facebook genealogy related groups.
I am a capable Web designer and programmer, with a preference for user friendly, uncluttered and quick loading web sites. I have good HTML/CSS skills, and a smattering of PHP/SQL and other languages. I prefer to work in the Joomla CMS environment.
I have written a good Joomla component to sort and display South Australian genealogy records, but I cannot make the output publicly available for copyright reasons. I have plans to write another Joomla component to display my family history research, and also to create an operating graphical railway signalling display of the South Australian Railways (Adelaide to Serviceton) as it would have operated in the 1960s-90's.
Until recently, I lived on a rural property and hae an interest in Landcare in the Harrogate (South Australia) area. We bought the land in 1983 because it had about 30 acres (12 hectares) of natural scrub. We sold it in 2013 because it was becoming too difficult and time consuming for me to adequately maintain. We built a house on the property from 1994, lived in it from 1995 till 2013, when we sold the property to move back to Adelaide. Sadly, the house burnt down in 2019 during the Cudlee Creek fires.
My first job was with PMG/Telstra/Telecom, where I delivered telegrams, was a Customer Service consultant (before computers), a policy and procedures writer, accountant and cost accountant. I took a redundancy package in 1991.
In 1966, I won a lottery (the only one ever) and the prize was serving two years (1967-69) in Australia's armed forces. I qualified for officer training, but declined when I was offered a rare telegraph technician role. I was in with mostly telecom techs, and came out with an electrician qualification. I was voluntarily retrenched from Telecom in 1992.
After a few years break, which included a challenging gender transition, I worked at Employment Options Inc, a not-for-profit Job Services Australia (formerly Job Network) provider in the Adelaide Hills, from 1998 to 2010. I was Finance Manager and a member of the Board.
I have a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Adelaide, and am a Certified Practising Accountant and member of CPA Australia. I have considerable experience with MS Office 2016, as successively updated, including Excel, Access and Powerpoint, and VBA. I also have considerable experience in the field of Corporate Governance in the not-for-profit sector.
I first became Honorary Treasurer and volunteer accountant of the Down Syndrome Society of SA Inc. in 1994. I took a break from these roles in 2002, and re-joined the Board as Treasurer in 2009 till 2011. They are now called Down Syndrome SA Inc. I have been a regular volunteer with the Society, including as sound technician/DJ at Club Slick (2004-2012), a rock and Roll night for people with disabilities.
I am a Justice of the Peace in and for South Australia, and a member of the Royal Association of Justices of SA Inc (RAJSA Inc). I have been a member of the Hills Branch since 2002, and Treasurer since 2007. I ceased these roles in 2014.
Friends from the past
This section contains names of family and friends from my past. I obviously have lost touch with them (or you if you are reading this). If my name confuses you, you need to read the following paragraphs. I would love to make contact again, or at least say hello.
- Roger Foster (now connected on Facebook), Dean Foster, from Torrensville back in the fifties
- Val Benson, from Rose Park Congregational Church in the sixties
- Jim Angus and Roger Wiseman, also from Rose Park Congregational Church
- Bruce Rundle, David Rundle, Jennifer Rundle, cousins on my mum's side
- Several cousins from the RANN family.
- (found Sept 2012) Judith Wilson (deceased) and Ian Wilson from Primary school and Beaumont
- PMG/Telecom/Telstra colleagues; Rex Wilson, Cameron Greenshields, Teck Soong, Barry Mitchell, and more when I remember the names . . .
Since you have read this far, I can add a part of my life I kept hidden for many years. I was born Graham Squire, male. From a young age, I felt something was not right, and I gradually realised I was different to my peers. I was a confused teenager and adult before I reasoned that if I were female, my feelings and self identity made sense. In my forties and being seriously distressed, I made the decision that I had to live as a female, and began a transition process that was incredibly challenging for myself and my then partner. Now, 25+ years on, life is good and I am happy with who I am. As this page shows, I consider I have achieved a lot.
There is more about this part of my life, but I am yet to link to it in the menu. There you will (eventually) find more detail about this part of my life, some of my writing, and (eventually) some of the newsletters I edited for the Carrousel Club.
Travel and Photography
I first went overseas to England in 2003, and was hooked. That time, I presented two papers at an international Gender Difference conference in Harrogate, England. I also had two weeks in a hire car and a week in London. I have been back in 2007 and 2009. In 2011, I travelled to Europe and England for eight weeks. I hope to go back at least once more to include a decent amount of genealogy research.
I have had a camera since the 1960s, and upgraded to a good digital camera for the 2003 trip. In 2010, I bought a Nikon D90 SLR camera and 18-200mm lens. I am a lifelong photography learner, but I have picked up some good skills along the way. Some of my better photos will eventually appear on this site, and many of my ordinary shots appear in my holiday photo section. My editing software of choice is Paintshop Pro.
I am mostly a classical music lover, but I enjoy all sorts of styles as the mood takes me. I enjoy old style sixties and seventies, and often buy CD's of unusual (or crossover) music presentations. I even have a couple of techno CDs. My favourite performer is Wendy Carlos, and my favourite composer is John Rutter. My CD collection is too big to carry around, but much of it is on my Laptop, and able to be played at a minute's notice.
Hobbies and Interests
- Predictably, I have an interest in computers, using my first Apple II for work in 1980. I was an early adopter of spreadsheets for financial analysis; remember Visicalc? My first personal computer was a 'Dick Smith' System 80 with 16k of RAM. I learnt BASIC programming and 'machine language' using the Z80 processor. I wrote my original Family History program in Basic. I upgraded frequently and revelled in the new features, and saw how quickly my needs outstripped the machine's ability to deliver. I have used a laptop for some years now, with new operating systems each time I upgraded the laptop. I currently have a Dell laptop with Windows 11 and Office 365.
- In 1967-1969, I spent two years in the Australian Army (National Service), as a Signals corp. technician. In the process, I gained an electrical trade certificate. I could have used this later to become an electrician, but chose to continue with a clerical and accounting career.
- For most of my adult life, I have been renovating and extending my various homes. I have done lots of carpentry work, and have worked with a qualified carpenter on many occasions. I consider myself a competent tradesperson, but try to avoid working the tools now.
- For much of my early life, I was interested in steam railway preservation and in model railways. My preference then was for an 'HO' model railway based on the South Australian prototype, particularly prior to 1970. I started a layout in the seventies, but my interest now has gone. There is still lots of track and rolling stock if anyone is interested.
- In the sixties, I played table tennis competitively for a few years. Do not remember much except I played in a hall at Parkside (Adelaide suburb).
- I used to do crosswords, and regularly did the 'Mr Wisdom's Whopper' in the Australasian Post weekly magazine. The crosswords are still published, and I wish I could find more time to do them more often.
- In the seventies, I played 'Contract Bridge' every lunch hour at work. I enjoyed this but never found a regular group since then, that fitted in my schedule. I also liked chess, but that also fell by the wayside for lack of a playing partner.
- In the seventies, I was involved in Cave exploration and mapping in the south east of South Australia. At one stage, I was a member of CEGSA (Cave Exploration Group of SA Inc), but did most of my work with an informal group of people, and with Fred in Mt Gambier.
- For most of the 1980s, I was a member of the Parents' Committee of the Belair Scout Group, and was their honorary treasurer. In the eighties, they had the cleaning contact at the annual Schutzenfest and I was the organiser for two of them.
- In the eighties I was a member of the Australian Postal Institute Caravan and Camping Club (later the Post-Tel Institute Caravan and Camping Club), including two years as President. My camper of choice was a motorhome, and we had a few over the years, a Kombi, a converted Coaster mini-bus, and a full size converted bus. I would like to buy another, but time will tell.
- I have been a foster parent and respite carer from about 1978 till the late 1990s. During that time, we had many short term emergency care children, respite care placements, and two long term children in wheelchairs as a result of being affected with cerebral palsy. The many agencies we worked with included Emergency Foster Care, Interchange, Crippled Children's Association, and CSI.
You now know a fair bit about me, and can wander off to see what else may interest you. I have lots of work ahead of me to get this site loaded with everything I want to include. I would really like to write my biography, but the Family History stuff is the main motivation for this site.