Karen Handford is the founder of Handford Virtual Services and has over 20 years experience in all aspects of secretarial, receptionist and administration duties which was obtained through various positions through volunteer groups or paid positions.
Handford Virtual Services is an Australian Virtual Assistant business for the purpose of providing remote support through administration and receptionist duties to other businesses.
Karen published a 200-page book called “The History of Goombungee and District” in 2003 which entailed 6 years of hands on and electronic research, collating the information into Word and Excel documents, creating the book in a format suitable for publishing, proof reading, editing and finally marketing the book. Karen received an Australia Day “Senior Cultural Award” from the Rosalie Shire Council in 2005 as a result.
Karen completed a Certificate IV in Business Administration from the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE in Toowoomba in 2008, a Diploma of Local Government Planning from the Local Government Association of Queensland in Brisbane in 2010 and a Certificate of Completion for VA (Virtual Administration) in 2017.
She worked for over 12 years in local Government – from creating a newsletter to various administration roles – for the then Rosalie Shire Council, then through amalgamation into Toowoomba Regional Council in 2008, she continued as an Administration Officer until the end of 2016 in various areas such as building, plumbing and planning. In these areas, Karen filtered phone calls and answered questions, completed applications, created documents in the Microsoft suite of programs, created procedures, booked inspections, maintained registers and researched and collated information as required.
Karen also assisted a Barrister by completing affidavits, binding financial agreements and court orders as required by legislation, creating new documents, searching through documentation for relevant information, organising meetings, and liaising between the client and Barrister. This was achieved virtually through the use of online storage services to store documents for the Barrister’s use.
Genealogy has become a lifelong passion for Karen. She created her first family tree on a typewriter about 30 years ago, and since then has continued with research and created 8 more electronic family tree, 3 family books with copies of original documentation, photographs, and numerous charts.