Council Members


You can find out more about people who have been part of the management group of Family History ACT (FHACT) in any of the years since 1975-76 here

President - Michele Rainger


Michele’s interest in family history was piqued when she attended her first family reunion while still at school. Since then life and family have often gotten in the way so she has only been researching sporadically until recently. Now retired Michele has time to pursue her interest in researching and writing her family history. She joined FHACT in 2017 and figures that the best way to learn about family history is to get involved and learn by having a go. Michele is currently the convenor of the Convict Special Interest Group.

Vice-president - Sue Pillans


Sue, recently retired, has been a quiet member since the early 90’s and is looking forward to finally making a contribution to the running of FHACT. Interests include Irish and early Australian History, WW1 and the Family Historian program. Playing bridge and gardening take up the rest of her vanishing spare time.

Secretary - Margaret Nichols

More about Margaret will come soon.

Treasurer - Cheryl Bollard

Cheryl has been a member of HAGSOC since 2018 and was Secretary from 2019-2021.  At the 2021 AGM, Cheryl was appointed as Treasurer. She has a keen interest in most areas of family history and regularly attends a number of SIGS and SUGS, including the Irish, Scottish, Convict, Family Tree Maker and DNA groups.


Florence Aitchison

Floss became interested in family history after spending hours looking through old black-and-white photos of her grandmother's family with her mum. She decided she needed to record how the family fitted together. And so it began. She has been a member of FHACT since 2008. Pre-retirement had little time to commit to research or using the facilities that FHACT provides, but she has made up for it since. She attends many of the SIGs and SUGs, is a co-convenor of the English & Welsh SIG and FTM SUG as well as a library volunteer.

Peter McLoughlin

Peter has been a member of HAGSOC since 2018 turning to the society to gain some much needed insight and practical advice after agreeing to "organise" the collected papers of several related families across a number of generations.

Like many before, he has come to enjoy the many byways and exploration that family history throws up.  Areas of interest include the flotsam and jetsam of Europe, including Tasmanian convicts, colonial mining and gold rushes, Georgian London, Irish, Sicilian, English, German, Scots and Welsh and South African family history matters.

Mel McNamara

Mel decided in January 2021 to restart a small family tree project from high school (1996). Having no idea how to really do family history she started researching ideas, stumbling across a book at the NLA – ‘Family History for Beginners & Beyond’ by HASGOC, it looked interesting and packet full of information, she had to purchase it. Inside the book it suggested joining your local Family Historical Society. Attending an Open Day in April 2021, she knew straight away she wanted to be part of FHACT, signing up on the spot. Since joining our society Mel has been honoured to become our compiler of the PNL and assists on the membership team, she looks forward to assisting the society and members.

Nick Reddan

Nick has been doing family history for more than 35 years. He returns to council after a break of a couple of years. He was president of our society from 2014 to 2020. His major area of interest is Irish family history and he has been a stalwart of the Irish SIG since its inception. He initiated and manages the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland. In addition, he manages a number of other genealogy websites. He was elected a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society in 2007.  This year he was made a fellow of Family History ACT.

Howard Viccars

Howard started gathering family history material from his parents while they were alive but didn’t do much with it for many years. When he retired he started using Family Tree Maker and Ancestry then joined Family History ACT (then the Heraldry & Genalogy Society of Caberra) and the Family Tree Maker SUG in 2015. Since then Howard has joined several other SIGs. In 2016 he became Computer Manager for FHACT and that has been his main focus since then. In 2019 Howard became a Council member with a specific interest in the Digital Management Group and their plans for a new membership and website.

David Wintrip

Joining Family History ACT in 2017 was a way for David to further explore his family origins, and their connection to the north of England. Learning from a community of practice that boasts a rich combination of skills, knowledge and experience in all things heraldic and genealogical, has proven to be invaluable to his research.  He attends a number of special interest groups and is a library volunteer.