ABC TV will air an eight-part documentary series Hatch, Match & Dispatch, from Thursday February 11 at 8pm.
Narrated by Marta Dusseldorp, Hatch, Match & Dispatch steps inside the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM), for an intimate look at the milestones that unite us all.
People from all walks of life rely on the BDM – births, deaths and marriages affect us all, and we’ll witness firsthand the funniest, most romantic, emotional and sometimes unhinged moments. The 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...
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.
In episode one, 22-year old Jared from Mt Druitt is head-over-heels in love with his pregnant bride-to-be, Renee. They’ve come into the Parramatta Registry office with their family and friends to tie the knot. But Jared’s so nervous he can’t stop shaking - Renee is due any day now. Are they ready for marriage? Are they ready for parenthood?
The BDM acts as a kind of bookend to life. More than 140,000 birth and death certificates are issued in NSW each year. Pauline comes into the Registry to apply for her official birth certificate because just two days before her mother died, Pauline was told she was adopted. It’s a shocking deathbed confession but Pauline’s biggest bombshell is yet to come.
According to the Australian Marriage Act, Marriage is not for everyone – and that’s a concept, Social Justice Activist, Norrie wants to change. Norrie recently won a High Court battle to be classified as sex non-specific, meaning Norrie is legally neither male nor female. Norrie, partner Sam and a group of students storm into the city office of the Registry demanding an official Marriage Interview. But in Australia, marriage can only take place between a man and a woman. And Norrie is sex non-specific. The Registry is set for a showdown.