Siobhán McHugh (b. 1957) was born in Dublin and is a graduate of University College, Dublin. She worked in journalism, arts administration and teaching before joining Radio Telefis Éireann in 1980. She first came to Australia on exchange to work for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1985 and produced a series on the Irish in Australia. She went on to produce the series Wogs in Wombat Land: The Human Face of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and several other programs for ABC Radio. She has lived in Sydney since 1985 and worked as a freelance broadcaster and writer.

McHugh is the author of:

The Snowy: The People Behind the Power (1989)

Minefields and Miniskirts: Australian Women and the Vietnam War (1993)

Cottoning On: Stories of Australian Cotton-growing (1996)

Snowy: The Diary of Eva Fischer, Cabramurra 1958–59 (2003).

She was a contributor to Many Voices: Reflections on Indigenous Child Separation, published by the Library in 2002.


The Library purchased the first instalment of recorded interviews from McHugh in 1991. Further instalments of oral history recordings, papers and manuscripts, mainly relating to her books and radio productions, were received between 1994 and 2014.


Oral History

The McHugh Collection is arranged in the following series:

Snowy Mountains Scheme (59 tapes)

Huts to highrise: the story of the Whitsundays (38 tapes and three cassettes)

The Irish in Australia (38 tapes)

Broken Hill: the seventh state (10 tapes and 16 cassettes)

Palm and Fantome Islands (10 tapes and six cassettes)

Migrants (13 tapes and two cassettes)

Broadcast programs: producer’s copies (10 cassettes)

Minefields and miniskirts: Australian women and the Vietnam War (70 cassettes).

Sectarianism and mixed marriage (41 sound files)

Irish National Association (? sound files)

The interviews were mainly recorded for various radio programs produced by McHugh between 1985 and 1993. The Irish in Australia series includes interviews with Vincent Buckley, Ed Campion, Lionel Murphy and B.A. Santamaria, as well as the historians Keith Amos, David Fitzpatrick, Jim Griffin, Brian McKinlay, Patrick O’Farrell, Richard Reid and Portia Robinson. The Minefields and miniskirts series comprises interviews with women who served in Vietnam, including nurses and entertainers, the wives, widows and mothers of Australian soldiers, women who were active in the anti-war movement, and Vietnamese women. There are transcripts of some of the recordings in this series.

Manuscripts and Personal Papers

The manuscripts and papers mainly relate to Minefields and Miniskirts. There are a manuscript and proofs of the book, background notes arranged by subject, letters, photographs, newspaper cuttings, scripts of ABC radio programs, and reviews of the book. There are also research notes, reviews and other papers concerning the documentary on mixed marriage and sectarianism.


The McHugh Collection of oral history recordings and related documentation is kept together in the Oral History Collection at ORAL TRC 2761 and ORAL TRC 6570. Most of the interviews in ORAL TRC 2761 have not been catalogued individually, but there is a 30-page finding aid describing Series 1–7 and listing the interviewees. The papers relating to Minefields and Miniskirts, which occupy four boxes, are held in the Manuscripts Collection at MS 9333.

First posted 2008 (revised 2019)