In 2016, about 30 per cent of registered marriages were of partners born in different countries, compared with 18 per cent in 2006, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The proportion of marriages between two Australian-born people have gradually decreased over the past 20 years — from 73 per cent of all marriages in 2006, to 55 per cent in 2016. (ABC Intercultural relationships – pros and cons 2018).
Australia’s cultural landscape is rapidly changing. In November 9, 1961, the Marriage Act 1961 was updated changing the legal age of marriage to 18 and allowing interracial marriages.
Melbourne is one of the world’s most acclaimed multi-cultural cities, making it easy to meet people from all kinds of nationalities and cultural backgrounds and sometimes, to fall in love. However people from different backgrounds regularly suffer from racism and interracial relationships add another dimension or layer to discrimination. For example, in an SBS survey in 2018, 60 per cent of people surveyed said they’d be concerned if one of their relatives were to marry someone of Muslim background. The top 10 ‘Stunning Stats’ within the survey demonstrates the prevalence of racism and fear in Australia.
People in interracial relationships encounter a variety of issues and level of complexity that people from similar backgrounds do not experience. Differences in culture, faith and language can add challenges, complications and additional levels of stress. Starting a relationship may be difficult, be forbidden or have to be done in secret. Objections or resistance from parents, relatives, friends can be common occurrences as can being ostracised and chastised by their cultural communities and the community at large. Further conflict may also occur when asserting their personal or family values when bringing up their children.
Interracial Love is a TV series discussing with couples the complexities of such relationships. Each episode has 3 parts – an introduction, a non-scripted Q and A addressing the issues and a lighter/fun segment.
Channel 31 has agreed to air the series as a community partner; they are the ideal broadcaster, because they are a non-profit community channel. Channel 31 is aired in Melbourne & Geelong and seen by a multi-cultural audience of on average 1 Million viewers each month.
The proposed evaluation methodology is to interview the couples immediately as the come off air to ascertain if they can take any part of the discussion and use it positively in their relationship. They may have learnt something about each other or may wish to continue the conversation with others in similar situations, or those attempting to understand the intricacies of interracial relationships . There will be one further touchpoint as part of the evaluation process.
Initially the interviewees will be the beneficiaries of the conversations, however also the Chanel 31 audience will benefit. Regardless of whether viewers are in interracial relationships or not they may, after viewing, have an appreciation of those experiences that they didn’t have before.
This project is fundamentally about giving an ever growing group of people a voice for their own wellbeing as well as educating the broader Australian population at large, removing the mystery and perhaps depleting the fear associated with not understanding different cultures, thereby having a positive impact on one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world.
We will achieve this by selecting a diverse range of couples who represent the variability of the group that this affects.
Airing the series on Channel 31 is obviously quintessential to the broader conversation.
The evaluation and follow up is also an essential element as it informs the response to how the conversation is best kept going.
- developing skills and cultural competencies
- building community resilience
- promoting a greater understanding and acceptance of racial, religious and cultural diversity
- helping shape people that become more resilient in times of crisis
- have social networks that cross ethnic and religious groups, and
- inspiring Australians to welcome and support new migrants into our community
Creating Awareness through Communication and Media
Promoting a greater understanding and acceptance of interracial relationships can take shape in many ways. Our program is flexible in its response based on the feedback from interviewees and our evaluation methodology.
Our evaluation methodology includes two touch-points. One immediately after filming to define any immediate positive outcomes for the couple and see what the couple will take with them from the experience to help break down barriers. In the immediate post interview evaluation meeting we will gauge interest in ongoing support outcomes and encourage their participation. The second touch-point is approximately two months later to see if any ongoing outcomes were maintained.
Ongoing outcomes can take shape in various forms such as:
- investigating the availability of ongoing support groups within their communities
- ongoing web chats via our web portal
- social media chat groups
- social get-togethers
- re-runs of TV series to help keep conversations and education going
Based on the success of this series we will continue the series and perhaps expand it into further programs.
Share Your Unique Story
We are looking for mixed marriages (Couples incl. LGBT) from different backgrounds (Race, Ethnicity, Culture, Faith) to participate in new episodes of our TV ShowGet in Touch Today