May 5, 2008

Podcast: A Decent Burial

Hindsight is the only feature program on Australian radio devoted exclusively to social history. Hindsight offers new perspectives on and insights into the past, through stories that may be well known, or may have been ignored, or erased from the public record.

Contrasting the cultures of Sydney and Melbourne, this discussion is relevant to the Canterbury experience, which like New South Wales was a Church of England dominated settlement. The ongoing similarities are even more pertinent where there is diversion from the original subject.

The 55 minute program examines changing attitudes to the dead and their burial, from the ad hoc early days of the penal colony in Sydney through to the late nineteenth century and the creation of the very grand Rookwood Necropolis.

Throughout the colony's early history there was an ongoing tussle between church and state for control of bodies of the dead, exacerbated by the struggle between church and church as Protestants and Catholics accused each other of impiety; while underlying all this was always the thorny question, 'What do we do with the bodies of the poor?'

Download the 25 Mb mp3 audio file

No comments: