Trailblazing Women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945–1975
Kylie Andrews

Paperback | Aug 2024 | Anthem Press | 9781839992308 | 232pp | 228x152mm | RFB | AUD$50.00, NZD$59.99
Hardback | Jul 2022 | Anthem Press | 9781839982576 | 232pp | 228x152mm | RFB | AUD$99.99, NZD$115.00

Trailblazing women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945 – 1975 offers a compelling new perspective of Australian radio and television history.

It chronicles how a group of female producers defied the odds and forged remarkable careers in the traditionally male domain of public-affairs production at the ABC in the post-war decades. Kay Kinane, Catherine King, Therése Denny and Joyce Belfrage were ambitious and resourceful producers, part of the vanguard of Australian broadcasters who used mass media as a vehicle for their social and political activism. Fiercely dedicated to their audiences, they wrote, directed and produced ground-breaking documentaries and current affairs programs that celebrated Australian life, while also challenging its cultural complacency, its racism and sexism.

They immersed themselves in the ABC’s many networks of collaboration and initiated a range of strategies to expand their agency and authority. With vivid descriptions of life at the ABC, this book traces their careers as they crossed borders and crossed mediums, following them as they worked on location shoots and in production offices, in television studios, control rooms and radio booths. In doing so it highlights the barriers, both official and unofficial, that confronted so many women working in broadcasting after World War II.

‘This is a brilliant book unearthing the forgotten women of radio and television. Too often, male exploits take precedence in Australian historical recounts. Kylie Andrews has produced a work that is both entertaining and academic. Highly recommended!’ — Tracey Spicer, Broadcaster and Author.

‘In the post-war years, the ABC carved out a distinctive role as a national broadcaster, both shaping and questioning Australian identity. Kylie Andrews’ passionate, highly engaging history tells the stories of groundbreaking women who worked for the ABC in those years, demonstrating that the ABC was not only ‘built by men’; it was built by women, too’. — Professor Michelle Arrow, Department of History and Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

'Kylie Andrews’ fascinating book is a tour-de-force of feminist scholarship and media history. In rescuing the pioneering women of radio and television from the footnotes of history, it offers us not just a vivid panorama of highly talented programme-makers but an endlessly illuminating new take on post-war Australian broadcasting.’ — David Hendy, Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex, England.

‘A lively, impressively researched, and informative look at barriers faced, and battles won, by a select group of talented female producers at the ABC and beyond – battles won not only for themselves, but for the status of all women who have confronted the same attitudes and obstacles. An inspiring read.’ — Michele Hilmes, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.