Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Siobahn McHugh, 'Marrying Out Part 1 - Not in Front of the Altar' [radio documentary], ABC Radio National - Hindsight program: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2009. Link to the ABC Radio National - Hindsight program here; audio file here; and program transcript here.



Research Background

‘Marrying Out’ comprises 2 x 53-minute radio documentary series, which explore the impact of mixed-religion marriage (between Protestants and Catholics) and sectarianism on Australian families from the 1920s-1970s. It is based on 50 oral histories gathered by the author. Music composition by Dr Thomas Fitzgerald.

Research Contribution

Part One, Not in Front of the Altar, documents the experiences of spouses who suffered family conflict and estrangement due to participating in a ‘mixed marriage’. Part Two, Between Two Worlds, examines the experiences of children who grew up in a mixed marriage. The considerable historical contribution of the primary oral history is creatively treated for a radio aesthetic, in a format the author labels a COHRD: Crafted Oral History Radio Documentary.

Research Significance

Broadcast on ABC Radio National, RTE (Ireland) and Radio New Zealand, the series won a gold medal at the New York Radio Festival in the Religion category (2010), and a bronze in History (2010) and was shortlisted for the United Nations Media Peace Association Prize (2010). The collection of oral forming the initial research was purchased by the National Library of Australia. In 2011, excerpts from those histories were included in a major exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, Not Just Ned - A True History of the Irish in Australia. In 2009, the series was reviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald and Eureka Street, and was the subject of a one-hour talkback on Life Matters, ABC Radio National. The author has published four articles on the documentary in peer-reviewed journals.