GSV Office Bearers


Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner, AC

Office Bearers

Stephen Hawke, FGSV

Stephen Hawke joined GSV as a member in 2006, became Treasurer in 2015 and President in 2021.  He worked as a Chartered Accountant for 27 years with KPMG and ten years with McGrath Nicol and AHG Clarke & Co.  GSV's resources and discussion circles have been a great aid in researching his family history (and their local history) and he has completed his first book on his paternal family ancestors.  He is currently researching his maternal side for the next book.  Stephen has been the Online Parish Clerk for three Cornwall parishes for many years, assisting people from all over the world research their Cornish ancestry.  His knowledge of 'things-Cornish' is well utilised at GSV in his role as the Convenor of the SW England Research  and Discussion Circle (SWERD).

Vice President
Gary Buck

Gary retired after a career as a technology leader around the world, including locations as diverse as Australia, Mozambique, Suriname, South Africa, Canada, the USA and UK.

He now spends his time between family duties, assisting Not for Profit organisations promote best practices and genealogy. 

In the genealogy space he has been focussing on DNA and assisting people to identify their unknown parents. 

Vice President
Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston joined the GSV and its IT team in 2008 becoming a Councillor a few years later. When he joined the library its books etc plus computers with data on CD’s was the starting point to what has become a highly digitised Society. Some of the changes include an Online Membership system, own email system, data sored in the cloud, a catalogue that is cloud based and a highly reliable website.

Peter spent most of his working life after starting as a Laboratory Technician, in various management roles in the plastics, chemical, paint and automotive industries here and Singapore,. Nine years as a  KwikKopy Owner followed. Then he had a lovely time as a “mature age” student acquiring Microsoft and Cisco networking qualifications, finishing with a 3 years contract in IT in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Peter joined the State Emergency Service State Support Unit, serving for 10 years, and experiencing the 2009 fires and 2010 and 2011 floods resigning as Deputy Controller of the unit.

Family research with a Swiss, French, Prussian, Ashkenazi Jewish plus Irish who family lore (unsupported by any proof) claimed to be from Scotland background, which Peter is trying to confirm using DNA.

Tony Swain

Tony grew up in Sydney, studied at UTS and spent 20 years working in the oil industry around Australia and in the Pacific Islands. After this, he owned and operated an arts and crafts retail business with multiple stores around Melbourne. 
In his early school years Tony developed a passion for history and dreamed of becoming an archaeologist in later life. He started dabbling in genealogy putting form and detail into lots of loose family history facts (some of which turned out to be fiction).  He took the surfeit of people, places and dates in his bulging database and wrote a book about the seventeen immigration events that brought all his ancestors to Australia between 1788 and 1880. This provided Tony with the opportunity to hopefully inspire his children and grandchildren towards an interest in history by seeing some of it through ancestral eyes.
He became “Keeper of the Purse” at GSV in 2022 and now contemplates his next publishing task that will draw together the twin interests of ancestry and history.  


Brian Reid

Cathy Carman

Cherilyn Tillman

Jackie van Bergen

Janne Bonnett

Michael Rumpff

Rod Van Cooten

Carmel McEvey

​​​​​​Claire Johnson, FGSV


Administrative Staff
Linda Farrow

Linda Farrow is the full-time Office Administrator of the GSV. She has had a varied career including working at Ford Australia’s Head Office and as a Personal and Executive Assistant. Most recently she worked as a Medical Transcriptionist from home, so was keen to take up this office-based administrative role when it became available in late 2016. At a family reunion in 1989, a relative produced a book about a Van Diemen’s Land convict ancestor dating back to 1834, and this sparked her interest in family history. Linda has been a GSV member for five years and is also a member of VicGUM and the Irish Ancestry Group.  She researches her Australian, English and Irish ancestors, and has found one branch of her family emigrated from Ireland to America where they became Mormons and published a family history book. 

Library and Digital Resources Manager
Meg Bate

Meg Bate is the Library and Digital Resources Manager at the GSV. She previously worked as a Reference Librarian at La Trobe University. During this time she contributed to the development of library software with the Australian Academic Research Library Network (AARLIN) and the International Group of Ex Libris Users. She has now taken a ‘fun job’ and uses these skills in her work with the GSV Library’s digitization and indexing project and the website. She also writes articles for Ancestor and wrote the first article about the internet for the VicGum newsletter in 1994.  Meg also presents monthly talks on some of the major computer based resourses. She took up genealogy after her mother died in 1990. Apart from her family history research, Meg is a keen cross-country skier, and has achieved the title of Loppett Master, having competed in 20 citizen ski races of 20 - 90 kms around the world.

Library and Resources Manager
Rebecca Landy

Rebecca has been actively engaged in family history research for 15 years and tells us she still clearly remembers the thrill of her first big discovery bent over a microfiche machine in the GSV’s basement library in Collins St. She finds genealogical research an enchanting puzzle, while exploring family.
Her formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (with Majors in History and Jewish Studies) and a Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) and she has over 20 years of experience at a Secondary College as a librarian and teacher of History, Geography, English and Literature. Rebecca’s depth of experience in engaging and enthusing students through remote learning during the Covid pandemic will bring new approaches, and be a great aid, to our online education and discussion circle activities.