Echoes of History: Life Stories of Priests, Nuns and Brothers in South Australia

  • Palombi, Toni (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

Project: HDR ProjectMasters by Research

Project Details


The life stories of Catholic clergy in South Australia aged over 60 years who have been in service in the state over several decades will form the basis of this Master of Philosophy (MPhil) research. Drawing on insights from the fields of oral history, literary studies, and creative writing, the primary output of the thesis will be a creative non-fiction piece on this generation of clergy who have experienced significant social, political and religious changes in the twentieth century. Their lives and period of ordination have been marked by dramatic events, such as World War II and the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic, and social shifts such as the advent of post-war migration to Australia, the abolition of the White Australia Policy, and the rise of the peace and women’s movements. The Catholic Church itself also experienced significant changes during the second half of the 20th century until the present time. These changes were associated with the holding of the Second Vatican Council, declining ordination numbers and increasing attention paid to sexual abuse carried out by Catholic clergy.
The uniqueness of each life, and the lens it offers to understand broader social, political, and religious changes across more than six decades in South Australia will be the key focus of the stories. Through an analysis of life stories, the study aims to reveal the impact of macro-level changes on the individual and the agency of each individual in negotiating significant change both within the Catholic Church institution and in the world around them. In so doing, the study potentially offers a unique perspective on history and life in South Australia and contribute to the field of creative non-fiction and life writing.
Effective start/end date15/07/19 → …


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.