Eleven hours of interviews and ninety thousand words transcribed provides a rich and thick oral history of a Pastor’s wife. Vida Heinrich (1930-2016) was raised, went to school and married in Freeling (SA). She was the second eldest of five children to fourth generation (immigrant) German farmers. At twenty-one, (1951), she married recently ordained Lutheran Pastor, Dudley Liebelt and moved to outback Queensland. The role of a pastor’s wife in the second half of the 20th century was not easy. Her family often survived on the generosity of parishioners who provided them with gifts of food. From Gin Gin, Queensland to country South Australia, Vida juggled the demanding and dual roles of mother and pastor’s wife. My research methodology commences with the traditional approach to oral history and then employs what I call ‘photographic autoethnography’ where the research participant uses family photographs to tell their story. This is Vida’s story recounted, in part, through her family photographs.
About the Speaker
Dr David Sweet lectures in communications studies at the University of South Australia and has written for a range of business, educational and academic publications. His ethnographic focused research is based on oral history and the legacy of family photographic collections. David actively encourages others to record their oral stories using family photographs. He also holds a Masters in photo-media (ECU WA). David is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, national secretary of Oral History Australia and has been awarded the Australian National and the Police Overseas Service Medals.
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