GIST: Mixed marriage and the myth of 'Anglo-Celtic' Australia

When:11 Mar 2011, 6pm - 8pm
Venue:Room 327 Robert Webster Building, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Dr Siobhan McHugh, University of Wollongong
Siobhan McHugh

GLOBAL IRISH STUDIES TALKS (GIST) 2011 Series

Dr Siobhan McHugh - Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong

Just two generations ago, before multiculturalism became the norm, non-indigenous Australia was polarised between Protestants and Catholics. Religion was code for identity, with tensions fuelled by colonial grievances. ‘Catholic’ was perceived as ‘Irish’, and to an English Protestant Establishment, that meant trouble. When couples married across the religious divide, it often caused bitter family conflict. Australia’s recent sectarian past and its primary victims, the Irish Catholic underclass, are misrepresented by the increasing use of the ‘Anglo-Celtic Australia’ moniker to describe pre-multicultural Australia. Through moving personal histories, this multi-media lecture challenges the use of this misleading term and reclaims a neglected part of Irish-Australian history.

Dublin-born Siobhán McHugh is an award-winning writer, oral historian and broadcaster. Her books include The Snowy – The People Behind the Power (New South Wales Premier’s prize for non-fiction) and Minefields and Miniskirts, about Australian women’s involvement in the Vietnam war (adapted for stage). She has produced material for the ABC, SBS and The Irish Echo.

Siobhán lectures in Journalism at the University of Wollongong.

Contact: Angela McLoughlin | T: 02 9385 7164 | E: irish@unsw.edu.au

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