A Lifetime of Stories – Oral Histories of Irish Seniors in Sydney – is a documentary and web project that tells the amazing life stories of Sydney’s Irish seniors. Pat Foley (RIP), Tomás de Bhaldraithe, Marion Reilly, Marie McMillan and Damien McCloskey tell their own stories with humour, style and wisdom.
A Lifetime of Stories was devised with the interviewees by director Dr Enda Murray using a workshop-based process which incorporated elements of creative writing, drama and music. View the website and watch the documentary here.
This website is an online library for Irish Australian songs. The website can accept user generated material and features lyrics, music sheet, first line finder and links to video renditions of the song. The project was supported by the Consul General of Ireland and the Irish National Association.
View the Project
Secret Family Recipes (Documentary, 2012, 53 Minutes)
I grew up in Ireland but left there in 1985 and finally settled in Sydney. I made this film because I wanted to explore what connects me to my family, my community and my place of birth. What aspects of my Irishness will I pass on to my daughters in Australia? What parts will they want? In ‘Secret Family Recipes’ the ritual baking of a family cake unlocks hidden stories of family, community and place.
This documentary formed part of Enda Murray’s PhD thesis. You can read the full thesis entitled ‘A personal filmic exploration of contemporary Irish-Australian identity’ here.
Inside is a project which explores the experience of institutional detention through drama and creative writing. Inside worked with a group of teenage girls at Juniperina Juvenile Justice centre in south west Sydney and a group of women at Lou’s Place, a centre for homeless women in King’s Cross, Sydney.
Habibi Jammin’ takes us beyond the headlines and into the lives of four young people from the Arabic community in the troubled Western Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Watch it here.
NOMISe, Julie, Susan and Matuse are the most talented and articulate participants in the Jammin’ in the Middle E drama project which promises to produce a television drama based on stories from their lives.
Virtual Palestine was a cutting-edge arts project, developed in 2002 by Virus Media in collaboration with young Palestinians in Sydney to establish a creative cyber presence for the global Palestinian diaspora. The site used both English and Arabic and featured a gallery, a communication space and music software to jam live on the net with people in other countries. Virtual Palestine’s content was based around artistic explorations of Palestinian culture, examining individual experiences of identity, culture and place.
This was reflected in the different creative zones of the website – a gallery; a personal profile where people told their own stories; a map locator for Palestinians to relate, where they live now to where their family originally lived in Palestine; and a music creation area. A news and current affairs area was linked to the Indymedia Global independent news network.
Stereotypes were challenged, with the opportunity to ‘throw your own rock’ into orbit in the stone thrower area. Here people could stuff their frustrations into a ball and send it into cyberspace. This played upon media images of stone-throwers in the Palestinian Intifada. Reflecting the aims of Virtual Palestine, it transformed a negative image into something positive.
Virus Media has produced a number of radio documentaries including Wired Palestine, Earthdreamers and Dereb, portrait of an Ethiopian Musician, all of which were broadcast on ABC Radio National’s Radio Eye slot.
Earthdreamers (2000) – Mad Max meets the Merry Pranksters in the red centre of Australia – It’s a road movie on the radio! Read more and hear the documentary here.
Wired Palestine (2002) looks at the role of the internet in the Middle East peace process. Read more and hear the documentary here.
Derebe –Portrait of an Ethiopian Musician (2003) is a peek into the life of a young Ethiopian exile as he plies his musical trade in the Sydney suburbs. Read more and hear the documentary here.