A privileged look at the stories of the biggest events of our lives: births, deaths and marriages.
Focusing on the great turning points in life, Hatch, Match and Dispatch (HMD) celebrates humanity in the best of times and the worst of times; the moments when we hold most hope for the future, celebrate the strongest love we have, laugh the loudest, and reflect on our most profound and moving memories. It’s where the most diverse individual stories intersect with the big picture of who we are and where we are going as a nation.
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in New South Wales, Australia issues more than half a million certificates every year. This remarkably human place is a microcosm of modern multicultural Australian life, and through the eyes of a core cast of public officers, we document the experiences of ordinary Australians during the big turning points of life. The BDM is a melting pot of tradition, culture, emotion and religion, an institution where landmark events are documented every day. Here, lovers, young and old, get married on a budget, names are registered and changed, gender issues are explored, new family structures documented and identity fraudsters stopped.
The BDM also provides outreach services to indigenous communities and the homeless – many adult Australians still don’t have a birth certificate. And more than five percent of Australian children under the age of five are unregistered, and that means they can’t enter the education system. For adults, no birth certificate means no voting rights, no passport and no driver’s license. And without a certificate, you’re deprived the privileges of Australian Citizenship.
And then there’s death.
At the BDM, families are reunited over tears and testaments. Brokenhearted children, secret lovers and, sometimes, even pets are transformed into overnight millionaires – but in death, we also find warmth and affection as ordinary Australians celebrate extraordinary lives.
Observational Documentary Series
8 x 30 minutes
Craig Graham & Mark Radomsky