​Hatch Match Dispatch

[Issued: Thursday, 28 January 2016]

ABC TV, 8 part documentary series

Episode One: 8pm Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Registry (BDM) is the place where the most momentous events of our lives happen. We go there when the stakes are highest and when we’re at our most joyful and vulnerable. Emotions run high and stories of love, life and loss surface.

Through the eyes of Registry Officers, we’ll share the love, laughter and tears of ordinary Aussies. We'll witness firsthand the funniest, most romantic, emotional and sometimes unhinged moments.

BDM is a melting pot of tradition, culture and religion, an institution where landmark events unfold every day: young lovers get hitched on a budget; marriage parties roll in and out like clockwork, and intimate personal moments get thrown around like confetti.

And then there’s death... Families are reunited over tears and testaments. And in death, we’ll also find laughter as everyday Australians reminisce about the special times. For every dispatch, there’s a hatch: stories of conception, birth, and young mums doing it tough. What’s in a name? Everything.

BDM creates the data that shapes Australia. Governments use their birth stats to help decide the location of new suburbs, roads, schools and hospitals, and the trending causes of death influence policies on everything from healthcare and housing to superannuation.

A dramatic rise in the number of civil ceremonies over the last 20 years has seen marriage change from the days of lavish church weddings.

Beyond the data and the personal journeys, BDM is a place where there’s a wider unfolding social and cultural context: racial tolerance and intolerance; loss and betrayal; sexual prejudice; the changing face of marriage; identity; multiculturalism; family conflict and adoption.

While our narrative unfolds through the eyes of a core cast of Registry Officers, we’ll follow stories to maternity wards and hospitals, family homes, funeral parlours, cemeteries, and beyond.