Podcast

Conversations

Spend an hour in someone else's life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.

Episodes

  • Jodi and the people with possibilities

    Jun 18 2021

    'Love on the Spectrum' star Jodi Rodgers on her life as a sexologist and relationship counsellor for people with Autism, and her unexpected chapter in reality TV

  • The Tsars, the lady-in-waiting and Potoroo Palace

    Jun 17 2021

    Alexandra Seddon with the story of her aristocratic Russian family and their legacy, which helped her found a wildlife refuge for potoroos, koalas, snakes and kangaroos (CW: childhood abuse, historic suicide)

  • Steve Biddulph and the lightbulb moment

    Jun 16 2021

    Parenting educator and retired psychologist Steve Biddulph was in his 50s when a chance conversation over lunch shifted almost everything about how he saw himself

  • My second family in is Vanuatu

    Jun 15 2021

    Physiotherapist Sky Fosbrooke’s stint as a volunteer health worker led to a deep attachment to the people of a small South Santo village (R)

  • Wakefield's Kristen Dunphy — turning pain into gold

    Jun 14 2021

    The screenwriter and showrunner on writing television drama, her struggles with mental health, and how her time in psychiatric hospitals inspired the acclaimed ABC TV drama series Wakefield (CW: drug references and suicidal ideation. Please use discretion when listening)

  • British double agent ‘Celery’ — his daring and scandalous life

    Jun 11 2021

    By uncovering the complicated history of her grandfather, Carolinda Witt also gained a sizeable extended family (R)

  • Michelle versus the Atlantic Ocean

    Jun 10 2021

    From working in a bank and behind a bar, to rowing solo across an ocean, the story of Michelle Lee’s remarkable transformation and the voyage which made her an Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year

  • Judith Anderson and the Warwick bakers

    Jun 09 2021

    Judith's life story is intertwined with the story of her family's bakery in the country town of Warwick, in rural Queensland

  • If these (dry-stone) walls could talk — Bruce Munday

    Jun 09 2021

    Bruce, a grazier and former teacher, fell in love with building dry stone walls and then began to delve into their fascinating history

  • Cornish Pasties and Powerhouse boys — a love song to Moonta

    Jun 08 2021

    Kristin Weidenbach on her father's early life in Moonta, a Methodist-run mining town in South Australia (R)

  • Bob Rogers — The Beatles, the radio, and me

    Jun 07 2021

    A broadcasting veteran, Bob spent 70 years on air, hosting TV shows as well as topping the radio ratings in Sydney. In 1964 he was sent to London to join The Beatles on their only Australian tour

  • What might a kindness revolution look like?

    Jun 04 2021

    Hugh Mackay believes humans are ‘hardwired’ to behave kindly. He returns to the program to talk about how his early-pandemic prophecies on community, loneliness, and resilience have played out

  • When the Library Burned

    Jun 03 2021

    Writer Susan Orlean on the enduring mystery of who set fire to the Los Angeles Central Library (R)

  • The gay preacher

    Jun 02 2021

    Anthony Venn-Brown was a gay teenager when he gave his life to God. He tried to destroy his sexuality by exorcism and 'gay conversion' therapy before he became a rock star Pentecostal preacher. Then everything came crashing down

  • Growing up in old Broome

    Jun 01 2021

    Anne Poelina, the daughter of a Timorese pearl diver and an Indigenous mother, has always been drawn back to her home town of Broome (R)

  • The five personalities of China

    May 31 2021

    Jason Yat-sen Li on how his family story, marked by war, migration and knighthoods, and his own working life helped him embrace the complexities and contradictions of modern China

  • A work of the heart

    May 28 2021

    High school English teacher, Brendan James Murray with funny, heartbreaking, inspirational and strange tales from his working life

  • Mama Simba — love and Tanzania

    May 27 2021

    Donna Duggan fell in love with a Tanzanian man and together they built a safari company, before an accident changed everything (R)

  • The turtle effect — their mysterious allure and surprising history

    May 26 2021

    Louise Pryke returns with a cultural history of turtles. With stories ranging from ancient times to modern day, and from turtle tears to Al Capone, Lou attempts to understand why they are such a widely-loved creature

  • A magical life — escapologist and illusionist Arthur Coghlan

    May 25 2021

    Arthur made his name escaping from a locked 44-gallon drum in a pool of pool of sharks. His death-defying escapes in the late 1970s earned him the title of 'Australia's Houdini', and he was magician in residence at the Magic Castle on the Gold Coast. At 89 years of age he is still performing

  • Christiaan Van Vuuren's fully sick life

    May 24 2021

    While confined to hospital with a rare form of tuberculosis, Christiaan found love and an entirely new path (R)

  • The girl who ran away to sea — the making of Kathryn

    May 21 2021

    Working as a deckhand on a fishing trawler became the refuge Kathryn Heyman needed from the wreckage of her early life. Hitchhiking to Darwin, then working in the Timor Sea, far from her old life, helped her remake herself (CW: Sexual assault)

  • Let them ring — Paul Livingston on making a great big noise

    May 20 2021

    Paul is a musician, author and performer best known for his comedic alter-ego, Flacco. In recent years he's joined an eclectic band of people who ring the bells at his local church tower in inner Sydney. He's also been working as a volunteer, listening to and writing down the stories of people at the end of their lives

  • Jessica Cottis — inside the colour of sound

    May 19 2021

    Jessica is an orchestral conductor and also a synesthete who 'sees' colour in her mind's eye. As an organ virtuoso she performed in some of Europe's great cathedrals. When forced to retire, Jessica re-trained as a conductor, making her debut at the BBC Proms. Australian born, she returns often, to work with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra

  • The mystery of broken-hearted syndrome

    May 18 2021

    Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp reveals how emotional shock can be fatal (R)

  • Henry Reynolds and the truth

    May 17 2021

    One of the foremost historians of black and white Australia, Henry says now is the time to acknowledge how the country was founded. Frontier violence, the myth of peaceful settlement, and the failure of the British to make treaties with the First Nations have led to consequences we still live with today (CW: material might be distressing to ATSI listeners)

  • How a doctor's suicide broke the silence

    May 14 2021

    Gastroenterologist Andrew Bryant's active, social and positive exterior gave no hint of the depression he was suffering. Days after his tragic death his wife Susan wrote an email making it clear she and her adult children were not ashamed of the way he died. It went viral (CW: suicide)

  • New York, Oenpelli, the Village People and me

    May 13 2021

    Allen Murphy was raised in New York and grew up to become a drummer for The Village People. When he arrived in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory he fell in love with Indigenous culture and music, and knew he'd found home (CW: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that this episode includes the name of a person who has died.)

  • A Renaissance scholar on love, power, Florence and folly

    May 12 2021

    Dale Kent is a Professor of Italian history who grew up in Australia. Rejecting her Christian Science upbringing, Dale forged an unapologetic life of her own design. She lived and worked in Europe and then in the US where she taught at the University of California for 25 years

  • The family and the jail sentence — the ripple effect of losing a parent to prison

    May 11 2021

    Dennis Van Someren works as a transport volunteer with young people going to visit a parent in the prison system. Dennis does the work because he's been in their shoes (R)

  • Knuckles, ruffles, flesh-bags and fences: the story of Australia's first dictionary

    May 10 2021

    Kel Richards with the story of the gentleman thief James Hardy Vaux, who wrote Australia's first dictionary of convict slang

  • Inside the world of Australian camel vet Margie Bale

    May 07 2021

    Margie's car is loaded with ultrasounds, milk crates and angle grinders: all things needed when tending to seven ft camels in the middle of nowhere (R)

  • Love and letting go — Sarah, Eric, and Coco

    May 06 2021

    When Sarah Sentilles became a foster parent she gave herself wholeheartedly to caring for baby Coco. A year later her understanding of love, motherhood and herself were utterly transformed (CW: Adoption)

  • Enron, schizophrenia, the Bowls Club and me - the life of Glenn Jarvis

    May 05 2021

    Glenn was working at Enron in London when his mental health began to unravel. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and lost nearly everything. Then a Bowls Club in Queanbeyan helped him begin again

  • Kitty Flanagan's unlikely path to comedy

    May 04 2021

    Kitty has woven together a series of true stories from her life including being locked in a crayfish freezer for talking too much (R)

  • Confronting my grandmother the Baba Yaga

    May 03 2021

    Krissy Kneen grew up under the strict control of her grandmother, Lotty, who was the eccentric and sometimes cruel matriarch of her small family. Krissy was forbidden to investigate Lotty's past or ask why she'd come to Australia from Slovenia via Egypt. The extraordinary truth of Lotty's life could only be told after Lotty's death

  • Sarah Dingle — finding my donor dad

    Apr 30 2021

    Sarah was twenty-seven when she discovered she had been conceived using a sperm donor. When she set out to find her biological father, she found out the truth about the global fertility business

  • Hope, hype and exploitation — the wild history of stem cell science

    Apr 29 2021

    Physician scientist Professor John Rasko on some of the charlatans and shining lights from the problematic and often tragic field of regenerative medicine. Long regarded as a coming salvation, the full potential of stem cells is yet to be realised. John de-mystifies our understanding of the science and explains why there's reason for hope

  • The blue budgie in Berlin — Gisela Kaplan's story

    Apr 28 2021

    Animal behaviourist Gisela Kaplan grew up in devastated post-WWII Berlin, forced to eat soap and wild nettles to survive. A brilliant student who loved music, she trained as an opera singer and an academic. Decades later, after adopting a magpie nestling, she began a new chapter as one of the world's leading authorities on the lives of Australia’s native birds

  • The green suitcase and the secret family

    Apr 27 2021

    Betty O'Neill's father disappeared when she was a baby. Decades later, inside a tiny apartment in the Polish city of Lublin she opened a green suitcase to find a huge clue to his secret life

  • The bloody futility of WWI's Battle of Passchendaele

    Apr 26 2021

    Historian Paul Ham and the story of the terrible 'wearing down war' that took place in Ypres (R)

  • Meeting Japan's ghosts

    Apr 23 2021

    The story of the 2011 earthquake that triggered multiple disasters in Japan, and took many thousands of lives, as told by Richard Lloyd Parry (CW: descriptions may be distressing) (R)

  • Veronica Gorrie stands up

    Apr 22 2021

    Ronnie looks back on the ten years she worked as a police officer; the childhood which shaped her, and pays tribute to the guiding strength of her proud Aboriginal father (CW: family violence)

  • Helen Zaltzman is the Allusionist

    Apr 21 2021

    Lacking the patience required to work on a dictionary, Helen turned her abiding interest in language into the subject of a highly successful podcast. Her search for curious and revealing stories about language has taken her around the world (R)

  • Territory taxidermist — Jared Archibald

    Apr 20 2021

    Jared spent his childhood behind the scenes at the Museum of the Northern Territory, up close to prehistoric kangaroo fossils, opulent trading pearls, and sacred crocodiles flown in from Arnhem Land. Then he became the museum's taxidermist (R)

  • Lily Brett — love and Shelter Island

    Apr 19 2021

    New York-based Australian writer Lily Brett moved her family to Shelter Island during the pandemic. There she's found a different speed of life and been adjusting to the absence of her late father. Now in her 70s, Lily's also been thinking about what it means to be old

  • Tina Arena — singing it loud

    Apr 16 2021

    Raised in a loving but strict Italian household, Pina Arena became ‘Tina’ to compete on Young Talent Time. Reinventing herself as an adult singer was tough, and it took a disastrous marriage and years living away from Australia to find her self-confidence

  • The AIDS angel of Arkansas

    Apr 15 2021

    Ruth Coker Burks was a young single mum in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when she began helping the dying men everyone else had rejected

  • Floating through the dolines — cave diving under the Nullarbor and around the world

    Apr 14 2021

    Stefan Eberhard on his life as a subterranean ecologist cave diving around the world, including inside the vast glowing chambers found beneath the Nullarbor Plain (R)

  • Villainesses and Vulcans — the life of Judith Anderson

    Apr 13 2021

    Widely known for her performance as Mrs Danvers, in the Hitchcock film, Rebecca, Judith gained a new cult following when she played a Star Trek Vulcan high priestess. Biographer Desley Deacon unearths the life story of an exceptional South-Australian born actor (R)

  • Why Dr Brad's diet pills won't help you lose weight

    Apr 12 2021

    Sydney GP Dr Brad McKay is often in the media warning against taking health advice from those unqualified to give it, such as Instagram 'wellness influencers'. Then in 2020 Brad learned his name and face were being used to sell Keto diet pills online

  • The girl in the vintage lace

    Apr 09 2021

    Lydia Pearson with the story of the chance meeting which saw her co-found a fashion label which became a global sensation

  • Judith Lucy - flying solo

    Apr 08 2021

    Judith was nearly 50 and dealing with grief, menopause and a world in climate crisis when the unthinkable happened

  • Outposts — what Dan found at the ends of the Earth

    Apr 07 2021

    Dan Richards follows his curiosity to some of the most remote habitable places in the world including an Icelandic cabin and a monastery high in the mountains of Japan (R)

  • After the crash

    Apr 06 2021

    Lech Blaine was 17 when he walked away unscratched from a fatal head-on collision outside Toowoomba which killed three of his friends and left two of them in comas (CW: contains graphic descriptions of road trauma and accidents. Discretion advised)

  • The secret life of the Grey Plover

    Apr 05 2021

    Andrew Darby flew around the world on the trail of a small, unassuming migratory shorebird called the Grey Plover. In the middle of his journey, without warning, he began to fear for his own survival (R)

  • Stories from Elmswood Farm

    Apr 02 2021

    Patrice Newell was a model and a TV host before she began a new life as a biodynamic farmer (R)

  • Love, sex and the secret life of retirees

    Apr 01 2021

    Screenwriter Samantha Strauss on her grandmother's vibrant last years in a Gold Coast retirement home where love, sex and startlingly pragmatic conversations about dying were all part of daily life (CW: not suitable for children)

  • Blood like honey — Kirsty's two rounds with childhood cancer

    Mar 31 2021

    Instead of becoming an Olympic gymnast as she'd dreamed, by nineteen Kirsty Everett had survived leukaemia twice and fought her way to university. A childhood marked by punishing treatment regimes and the deaths of friends fed Kirsty's fierce determination to make the most of life

  • George Saunders on life lessons from Russian writers

    Mar 30 2021

    Writer George Saunders says stories by Russian writers Chekhov, Turgenev, Gogol and Tolstoy can guide us as to 'how we are supposed to be living down here'

  • Stan Grant on a world of crisis and hope

    Mar 29 2021

    With countries in lockdown, the showdown with China accelerating and the rise of white supremacy, the planet stands on a precipice. Journalist Stan Grant looks at a possible way forward

  • The male midwife

    Mar 26 2021

    Midwife Christian Wright with tales of emergency evacuations and surfing with crocodiles while working in remote Indigenous communities in Arnhem Land, helping Yolŋu women birth their babies

  • My brother, our farm, and seeking the source of consciousness — Mark Solms

    Mar 25 2021

    When he was a young boy in South Africa, Professor Mark Solms watched his older brother fall from a roof and crack his skull. His brother survived but was greatly changed by the injuries to his brain. The incident planted in Mark a deep desire to understand how a person's brain shapes them. CW: contains description of a medical procedure

  • Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller — Broadway and me

    Mar 24 2021

    Jeffrey tells stories of grit, brilliance and tragedy behind the making of the smash hit musicals 'Rent' and 'Hamilton'

  • Robina Courtin — listening to prisoners on death row

    Mar 23 2021

    In 1978 Australian Robina Courtin became one of the first westerners to be ordained as a Buddhist nun. Then a letter from a young prisoner in a California jail began a huge change in her own story (R)

  • Rachael Maza's tale of three islands

    Mar 22 2021

    Palm Island, Mer Island, and Australia are the cornerstones of Rachael's work as an actor and a director (R)

  • Pandemic nurse

    Mar 19 2021

    Simone Sheridan on working at the coalface of Australia's Covid-19 pandemic

  • The Admiral and the Ecstasy

    Mar 18 2021

    When Admiral Chris Barrie retired as the Chief of the Defence Force, he became increasingly concerned about life for veterans with PTSD. Then he discovered certain psychedelic drugs were being used to literally change minds

  • A very vulnerable year

    Mar 17 2021

    After Rick Morton was unexpectedly diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder he set out on a year-long mission to rediscover love

  • The life-changing power of honeybees

    Mar 16 2021

    When Helen Jukes was given a colony of bees they helped release her from the numbing grind of her working life (R)

  • Barlinnie, the Gorbals and me

    Mar 15 2021

    Thriller writer Helen Fitzgerald on her life as a social worker inside some of Scotland's toughest prisons

  • Singing with strangers and Spooky Men

    Mar 12 2021

    Choir master Stephen Taberner was raised a Christadelphian, but in his adult life he celebrates the pleasure of music (R)

  • The horse whisperer

    Mar 11 2021

    Candy Baker was a cash-strapped single mum with too many horses when she moved to the hills outside Byron Bay and discovered a new way of communicating with her herd

  • Keenan's courage

    Mar 10 2021

    Justice advocate Keenan Mundine broke the cycle of crime and incarceration in his own life after a chance meeting at a birthday party (CW: mentions suicide, references to drug use. Strong language. Discretion advised)

  • The babies of Holnicote House

    Mar 09 2021

    Deborah Prior was one of more than 2000 mixed-race babies born to white British women and black American GI's during WWII. As an adult, she finally found her birth mother again under strange circumstances (CW: discussion of adoption, discretion advised)

  • Deborah's fight for her wings

    Mar 08 2021

    Deborah Lawrie had her first flying lesson at 16, then became a flying instructor herself. But when she applied for a job as a pilot, she found herself in the fight of her life

  • The determination of Caroline O'Connor

    Mar 05 2021

    When Caroline O'Connor was told she had 'too much personality' for the ballet, she turned to musical theatre and braved cattle calls and years of working as an understudy in order to make it on Broadway and London's West End

  • Two spoons and a dugout canoe — the story of Jock McLaren

    Mar 04 2021

    Tom Gilling with the story of how a Scottish-born soldier named Jock McLaren became one of Australia's greatest World War II guerrilla fighters

  • Bill Birtles on China

    Mar 03 2021

    Bill began his dream job as the ABC's China Correspondent in 2015. Five years later, seven State Security police officers visited him in the middle of the night to tell him he was barred from leaving the country

  • A twitcher's life

    Mar 02 2021

    Sean Dooley's passion for birdwatching began with the coo of a spotted turtle dove. Decades later he broke the Australian birdwatching record (R)

  • The cold case secret in a Brisbane garage

    Mar 01 2021

    When Mark McKenna set out to write a history of the centre of Australia, and Uluru, he unearthed new evidence about an 86-year old cold case *CW: For our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners please be advised that today’s conversation contains the voice and names of people who have died.

  • Raised in a cult

    Feb 26 2021

    Serafina Tanè was born into a doomsday cult led by a charismatic and abusive man who claimed he'd been abducted by aliens

  • Water, Water — a story collection

    Feb 25 2021

    Eight thrilling encounters in and on the water, as told by previous Conversations guests (R)

  • When Jeanne was Jean — sailing the high seas disguised as a man

    Feb 24 2021

    Danielle Clode with the story of the adventurous Jeanne Barrett, a French peasant from Burgundy who became the first woman to sail around the world

  • Trump's Last Stand

    Feb 23 2021

    Political reporter Jonathan Swan with the inside story of Donald Trump’s last few months in office

  • The history of libraries from before stone tablets to printed books

    Feb 22 2021

    Stuart Kells' life as a bibliophile began with one ancient, leather-bound, blue book (R)

  • The race to live on Mars

    Feb 19 2021

    Cosmologist Tamara Davis on the complicated scientific quest to explore and colonise the Red Planet

  • Curlew Man of the south west

    Feb 18 2021

    After Kim Scott became a teacher and a father, he started looking for his Aboriginal family *CW: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners please use discretion when listening as the following program references people who have died.

  • Mary Wilson — Dream Girl

    Feb 16 2021

    The late Mary Wilson rose up from Detroit's housing projects to find worldwide fame with The Supremes (R)

  • Oumuamua's secrets

    Feb 15 2021

    Avi Loeb was Harvard's top astronomer when he became intrigued by reports of a pancake-shaped object the size of a football field hurtling through our solar system

  • Secret agents in the suburbs: a real life family spy story

    Feb 12 2021

    Sue Ellen Kusher’s father was an ASIO agent, and she and her siblings were taught to memorise number plates, spot unusual behaviour, and keep the family business secret at all costs

  • Upside down in Bass Strait

    Feb 11 2021

    Ocean racing navigator Will Oxley first learned his trade through celestial navigation, using a sextant and the stars. He then began ocean racing around the world, and in 1998, he found himself upside down in a storm-wrecked Bass Strait

  • The mystery of Lasseter's Reef

    Feb 10 2021

    Warren Brown with the story of the fever sparked by claims of a gold reef in the Central Australian desert during the Great Depression (R)

  • The secret life of George

    Feb 09 2021

    Georgina Godwin grew up in Zimbabwe with a father who was the model of a British gentleman. Many years after she fled Africa for London, she discovered his secret identity

  • The hunt for Hitler's horses

    Feb 08 2021

    Art detective Arthur Brand met neo-Nazis, billionaire collectors and underground art dealers on his hunt for the two enormous bronze horse sculptures once owned by Hitler

  • Gail Force

    Feb 05 2021

    Gail Austen was 7 years old when she started her first business, selling hand-made billycarts on the streets of Redfern. She grew up to become a legendary surf shop entrepreneur with a habit of hiring her shoplifters

  • Philippa Perry says yes to feelings

    Feb 04 2021

    Philippa's parents wanted her to move in the 'right' circles, so they sent her to a Swiss finishing school. Instead she became a debt collector, went to Hamburger University then became a psychotherapist

  • When Robert found Maida

    Feb 03 2021

    Former politician Robert Tickner grew up in country NSW, 'showered with love' by his adoptive parents. When he was reunited with his biological mum in his 40s, he realised she'd been much closer than he ever knew (R) *CW: This conversation discusses adoption. Please use discretion when listening

  • A life inside the rock 'n' roll circus - Part 2

    Feb 02 2021

    In 1973, Tana Douglas found her calling. She became the world's first woman roadie in rock and roll, touring with AC/DC, Iggy Pop and Elton John *CW: discussion of drugs and drug use

  • A life inside the rock 'n' roll circus - Part 1

    Feb 01 2021

    In 1973, Tana Douglas found her calling. She became the world's first woman roadie in rock and roll, touring with AC/DC, Iggy Pop and Elton John

  • The strange new science of ageing

    Jan 29 2021

    Andrew Steele on the race to crack the scientific code of why we get old, and whether we can delay or suspend ageing for good

  • Pink Diamonds and Crocodiles: A Kimberley Tale

    Jan 28 2021

    How Frauke Bolten-Boshammer raised a farm, a family and a diamond empire from the red dirt of Kununurra (*CW: this episode contains discussion of suicide) (R)

  • Benjamin's epic flight

    Jan 27 2021

    When Benjamin Jordan landed his paraglider in a swarm of millions of Monarch butterflies over-wintering in a Mexican valley, the experience changed his own course

  • Hidden histories of Chinese Australia

    Jan 26 2021

    Tim Watts MP has a deeply personal reason for wanting to resurface stories about Chinese migrants to Australia. From pre-Federation, to the Kelly gang, to the Melbourne Olympics, he tells how their influence weaves right through our culture (R)

  • The story of the Bible in Australia

    Jan 25 2021

    Historian Meredith Lake with the Bible's Australian history, from the convict era, to the Mabo land rights campaign, and the modern-day Pentecostal churches

  • The life of Anna Meares

    Jan 22 2021

    Anna's stellar cycling career saw her smash Australian Olympic records and become the World Champion 11 times. Then to the surprise of many, she walked away from cycling for good

  • Lighthouses, daring rescues, and an ANZAC tortoise

    Jan 21 2021

    Shona Riddell on the adventurous lives of women lighthouse keepers

  • Wilma Reading's life in song

    Jan 20 2021

    Cairns-born Wilma Reading was sixteen when her friends first urged her to get up and sing in a Brisbane cafe. Her show-stopping voice later made her internationally famous, and led to unexpected encounters with Liberace

  • Cyrus the Great: 'the anointed one'

    Jan 19 2021

    Stephen Dando-Collins with the story of the life and deeds of the Persian King Cyrus the Great, whose exploits inspired Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar

  • Dr Fish Feelings

    Jan 18 2021

    Dr Culum Brown's work on fish cognition has proven fish have long memories, sharks have friends, and sting rays know when it's the weekend (R)

  • Best of 2020 — Joy McKean

    Dec 11 2020

    Joy's travels with her late husband Slim Dusty brought both challenges and rewards (R)

  • Best of 2020 — John Doyle

    Dec 10 2020

    Comedian John Doyle (aka Rampaging Roy Slaven) was raised in a mining town in a Catholic family. Behind closed doors, family life was often turbulent, as his sister Jen had been born profoundly autistic at a time when the condition had no name (R)

  • Best of 2020 — Peggy McDonald

    Dec 09 2020

    Peggy has spent much of her life as wildlife carer specialising in helping wedge-tail eagles, falcons, owls and other raptors recover their ability to fly (R)

  • Best of 2020 — Peter O'Brien

    Dec 08 2020

    The lessons Peter learned as a brand new teacher in a one-room bush school in 1960, in the tiny town of Weabonga, New South Wales. The living was hard, but the job was incredibly sweet (R)

  • Best of 2020 — Nardi Simpson

    Dec 07 2020

    Yuwaalaraay writer and storyteller, Nardi Simpson of the band, Stiff Gins, talks about her life, art and the meaning of country (R)

  • Judy Brewer's Mudgegonga love song

    Dec 04 2020

    Judy on life with her late husband, the politician Tim Fischer, and how her son Harrison helped inspire a new beginning on her farm

  • Kai and the 99th koala

    Dec 03 2020

    Arborist Kai Wild used his tree-climbing expertise to rescue burned, injured and orphaned koalas during the Black Summer bushfires (*CW: this episode contains descriptions of the recent fires which may be distressing)

  • Sir Michael Parkinson — my father John

    Dec 02 2020

    Broadcaster Michael Parkinson with the life story of his late father John William - Yorkshireman, miner, humourist and fast bowler

  • Fabulous Ada Delroy — serpentine dancer and vaudevillian

    Dec 02 2020

    Kaz Cooke traces the dramatic life of a singular woman (R)

  • A very William McInnes Christmas

    Dec 01 2020

    William returns to reminisce about the Christmases of his childhood and his brief but brilliant stint as a department store Santa

  • Dara McAnulty and the joys of nature

    Nov 30 2020

    The young naturalist shares his deep connection to the wild landscapes and creatures of Northern Ireland. Dara's first book has been highly awarded, and is all the more exceptional for his being just sixteen years of age

  • Australia's fearless women pilots

    Nov 27 2020

    Kathy Mexted with true stories of extraordinary Australian women compelled to take to the skies in Spitfires, Tiger Moths, Cessnas and fighter jets

  • The girl from Orroroo — Fleur McDonald

    Nov 26 2020

    Fleur grew up in a fuel depot in a tiny South Australian town. As a girl she would ride along in road trains with her Dad, singing songs and eating steak sandwiches. She became a jillaroo, a farmer, then an advocate for women in the bush escaping domestic violence

  • Intrepid and curious Charlotte Waring Atkinson — as told by Kate Forsyth

    Nov 25 2020

    Charlotte was Australia's first children's author. She came to the colony of NSW from London in 1826, and now her trailblazing, tragic and dramatic life story has been written by her descendants, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell

  • The true history of the Ark before Noah

    Nov 24 2020

    How Irving Finkel stumbled upon the true story of the Ark before Noah on a Babylonian clay tablet (R)

  • A very modern history of swearing

    Nov 23 2020

    Amanda Laugesen with the rich history of Australian 'bad language', and how the words we classify as swearing have changed over time. *CW: Discussion of swearing and offensive language

  • From the ashes of a failed farm

    Nov 20 2020

    Robert Pekin lost his family’s 4th-generation farm, and in despair, walked away from everything and into the wilderness. After much soul-searching and trial and error, he developed a new way to link food producers more directly with those who eat the produce. *CW: mentions suicide

  • The hunt for the world’s largest owl

    Nov 19 2020

    Wildlife biologist Jonathan Slaght on his adventurous quest to save the rare, shaggy fish owls of Russia's Far East

  • Falafel and Fatherhood

    Nov 18 2020

    John Birmingham found himself rebuilding his life years after the devastating loss of his father (R)

  • Ben Folds' dream of lightning bugs

    Nov 17 2020

    Ben on his musical career, the art of song writing and his brief stint as a one-man polka band in a German restaurant (R)

  • The animal that walked into my life — story collection

    Nov 16 2020

    A cat, a hawk, a monkey, a crow and a lop-eared rabbit: animals who walked into the lives of five people leaving the humans to wonder, 'What am I to this creature?'

  • Alannah Hill — behind the mask

    Nov 13 2020

    At sixteen, Alannah fled Tasmania and a traumatic past. In Melbourne, she began her wildly distinctive fashion label, which became an empire. Then the empire fell apart, and she began again (CW: Sexual Assault)

  • What happened to the USA?

    Nov 12 2020

    Nick Bryant reports from New York for the BBC. It's a city he's loved since his first visit in the 1980s. Now when he looks at the USA he wonders if the nation's decline is irreversible

  • Tim Cope in the footsteps of Genghis Khan — Part Two

    Nov 11 2020

    Tim continues his epic three-year adventure on horseback across the Eurasian Steppe, in this episode journeying from Kazakhstan all the way to Hungary (R)

  • Tim Cope in the footsteps of Genghis Khan — Part One

    Nov 10 2020

    Tim's epic journey across the Eurasian Steppe on horseback, in the style of the Mongol nomads, took him three years (R)

  • Night of the midget subs — Sydney under attack

    Nov 09 2020

    In 1942 three midget submarines armed with torpedoes made their way into Sydney Harbour to launch an attack on Allied warships. They were sent by the Imperial Japanese Navy

  • Sophie and the red balloon

    Nov 06 2020

    Mary Li was a star ballerina when she fell in love with Li Cunxin, her dance partner at the Houston Ballet. When their daughter Sophie was born profoundly deaf, Mary walked away from dance for many years

  • Born to climb the Dawn Wall — Tommy Caldwell

    Nov 05 2020

    Yosemite’s most punishing climb is the 3000ft sheer face of El Capitan mountain called the Dawn Wall. Tommy grew up exploring Yosemite and in 2015 he and his partner Kevin Jorgeson became the first to free-climb the wall (R)

  • Cheat!

    Nov 04 2020

    The most audacious sports cheats aren't always elite athletes. Titus O'Reily takes a look at the ignoble art of winning by breaking, or bending, the rules

  • How Richard Glover survived a strange upbringing

    Nov 03 2020

    Richard's family story is hard to beat in a game of who has the strangest parents. The Sydney broadcaster began to understand more about his eccentric mother when he met a clutch of relatives he didn't know he had (R)

  • Comedian Fiona O’Loughlin on living in the light

    Nov 02 2020

    Fiona’s alcoholism took her a long time to acknowledge and cost her a great deal. In recent years she’s been reckoning with all that’s happened since she joined the comedy circuit and its culture of heavy drinking, as well as how she wants to live now

  • Losing baby Miles

    Oct 30 2020

    When Annabel Bower’s fourth child Miles was stillborn, she decided to begin to break the silence around stillbirth and miscarriage

  • From the meatworks to mending men's souls

    Oct 29 2020

    Peter Stojanovic was working in a Melbourne meatworks when a spiritual epiphany led him to a new life, working with violent men to help change their thinking

  • Introducing — Days Like These

    Oct 28 2020

    During Australia's worst bushfires Cate Tregellas and her family were forced to evacuate their home in Mallacoota and retreat to the local wharf as fire closed in. That long, terrifying night was a New Year's Eve they'll never forget. This is an episode of Days Like These, a new ABC podcast

  • How to catch a wild bull

    Oct 28 2020

    Lach McClymont mustered hundreds of wild cattle, untouched for decades, from a remote area of the Northern Territory (R)

  • When Cathy went to Canberra

    Oct 27 2020

    Cathy McGowan never imagined a future for herself as a politician. So when she became Federal Member for Indi she began doing politics very differently

  • Bill Bailey on happiness

    Oct 26 2020

    From playing Crazy Golf with his dad, listening to birdsong, and fixing the dishwasher — to swimming in Arctic waters and skydiving, Bill dips into a cache of joyful moments, great and small, to understand what makes us happy

  • Ajay Rane and the gift of the earthenware pot

    Oct 23 2020

    Ajay is an obstetrician and urogynecologist who grew up in rural India. His father, born to one of India’s lowest classes, was also a surgeon — an improbable career that was the brainchild of Ajay’s grandmother, and funded by a whole village

  • Lamorna and the sea

    Oct 22 2020

    When Lamorna Ash began to explore her Cornish ancestry she started work on a rusty yellow fishing trawler called the Filadelfia, scaling fish, gutting them and hauling in the nets

  • Finding Stalin's wine cellar

    Oct 21 2020

    John Baker on hunting down a cache of rare and impossibly valuable French wine which had been hidden away by Josef Stalin, deep in the Republic of Georgia

  • Jacqui Lambie — the unlikely Senator

    Oct 20 2020

    From painkiller addiction to parliament, Jacqui's life has been a rollercoaster (R)

  • Mary-Louise and her fourth pandemic

    Oct 19 2020

    Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws on life during COVID-19, the virus she classifies as both vulnerable and ruthless

  • On the Salt Path

    Oct 16 2020

    When Raynor Winn and her husband Moth lost their home then faced a terrible diagnosis, they found solace in walking more than 1000 kilometres of the English coast

  • Robert Dessaix — just as I please

    Oct 15 2020

    Robert built a whole life out of things which sparked his curiosity, whether they were languages, people or places. But when he met his birth mother in middle age, she didn't approve of his choices

  • Psychotherapy on the couch

    Oct 14 2020

    Demystifying the art of talk therapy and the complex relationship between therapist and patient (R)

  • Harry and the monster croc

    Oct 13 2020

    Harry Bowman tells adventurous tales from his three decades driving tour boats in the crocodile-infested Adelaide River, including the day he saved the life of a croc named Brutus

  • Robin Ince — inside the comic mind

    Oct 12 2020

    Becardiganed polymath Robin Ince on the fascinating brains of stand-up comics (R)

  • Jimmy Barnes — a broken homecoming

    Oct 09 2020

    Jimmy Barnes grew up as a boy called James Swan in Glasgow, then in South Australia. In his late teens, he joined a band called Cold Chisel and became a huge star. But on and off stage Jimmy was battling the demons of his troubled childhood

  • Hetty McKinnon — lessons from my mother's kitchen

    Oct 08 2020

    Cookbook author Hetty McKinnon was raised by a mum who was a passionate and creative cook. But Hetty was never particularly interested in cooking herself, until something happened as she grew up which changed everything

  • David Astle's brain on puzzles

    Oct 07 2020

    How one of the world's most influential crossword setters became increasingly interested in the science behind them (R)

  • Richard and the island

    Oct 06 2020

    Richard Flanagan on writing his apocalyptic novel on a remote island, as bushfires burned through Tasmania's forests

  • Kumi's Japanese inheritance

    Oct 05 2020

    Television presenter Kumi Taguchi's story of searching for her Japanese heritage began with searching for her grandparent's house in Tokyo, which none of her relatives had visited for decades (R)

  • The railway child - Monica from Clare

    Oct 02 2020

    Monica McInerney grew up in a family of railway children, as her Dad was the stationmaster in the tiny South Australian town of Clare. At 16, she left home to work as Humphrey B. Bear's wardrobe designer. Years later, she made a new life in Ireland and became a best-selling writer

  • Sick in the Land of the Well

    Oct 01 2020

    Jacinta Parsons was in her 20s when she became horribly unwell with Crohn's disease, a chronic disease of the digestive system. Then, doctors gave her the news she feared most

  • Sophie and Russell and Bear and Poppy

    Sep 30 2020

    How Sophie Townsend kept on, after losing her beloved husband to a sudden illness

  • Tracking the trial of a Mississippi murder

    Sep 29 2020

    John Safran had a personal interest in the death of white supremacist, Richard Barrett. What he discovered when digging into the case revealed more than Barrett himself ever did (R)

  • A restaurant named Parwana — Afghan treasure in Adelaide

    Sep 28 2020

    Durkhanai Ayubi and her family keep alive the stories and flavours they carried to Australia from Afghanistan, in the dining room of their 'accidental' and thriving restaurant

  • Wil Paterson aka Mr Ordinary — Not Quite What I Had Planned

    Sep 25 2020

    Wil Patterson was a suburban dad who wanted all the good things in life for his family. Then he made a decision which upended everything

  • Helen Elliott — Not Quite What I Had Planned

    Sep 24 2020

    Helen was working as a psychologist when she became so ill she was held in a locked psychiatric ward. There she was given ECT, one of the most extreme treatments for depression (R)

  • Zenith Virago — Not Quite What I Had Planned

    Sep 23 2020

    Zenith Virago married at seventeen, and had two children. Then she left her young family to create a life of her own on the other side of the world (R)

  • Akmal Saleh — Not Quite What I Had Planned

    Sep 22 2020

    When Akmal and his wife decided to have a treechange by moving to Byron Bay, almost immediately a comedy of errors ensued, involving a python in the roof, a half-finished home and rats in the wall (R)

  • James Earl Jones — Not Quite What I Had Planned

    Sep 21 2020

    How the man who voiced Darth Vader and Mufasa overcame a childhood stutter to build a career on his rich, resonant voice (R)

  • Dave Graney — a musician's take on the art of the bludge

    Sep 18 2020

    Dave looks back on the many forms of employment and unemployment to have sustained him as a hard working musician (R)

  • The Salami Sisters, Puberty Blues, and beyond

    Sep 17 2020

    In the late 70s, Gabrielle Carey co-wrote a blisteringly honest novel about the real lives of teenage surfie chicks in Cronulla which caused a storm of public outrage. What happened next saw her make a new life far from the limelight

  • The story of a tank named Mephisto

    Sep 16 2020

    Why the only remaining WW1 German A7V tank is in Brisbane, Australia (R)

  • A Herdwick shepherd's epiphany

    Sep 15 2020

    A new conversation with James Rebanks on how he saved his family farm by returning to ancient ways of growing crops and meadows

  • Fifa Riccobono — godmother of Australian music

    Sep 14 2020

    Fifa started in the music industry at 16, and worked her way up the ranks of Albert Music to become CEO. In the 1970s she formed a beautiful friendship with AC/DC's wild lead singer Bon Scott

  • Jane Fonda - writing her own script

    Sep 11 2020

    Jane Fonda's big life has included Barbarella, activism, three husbands, workout videos and hair epiphanies. Now in her 80s, she's devoting her energy to raising awareness about climate change

  • Mudlarking and beachcombing — a family story of London rubbish

    Sep 10 2020

    Lisa Woollett's family made their living from combing through London's waste for treasures. Her great-grandfather was a scavenger and her grandad was a dustman, and as she grew up she also began mudlarking on the Thames

  • Bangarra's bold leader: Stephen Page

    Sep 09 2020

    When they were kids, Stephen and his brothers would climb onto the laundry roof and put on a show for their neighbourhood. Stephen's since made an exceptional career as a dancer, and at the helm of Bangarra Dance Theatre (R)

  • How Dyarubbin became the crucible of a colony

    Sep 08 2020

    Grace Karskens with the story of the riverlands of the Hawkesbury-Nepean, where ancient and modern Australia first collided

  • Maggie Dent - helping teenage boys grow into good men

    Sep 07 2020

    Maggie grew up around boys, then raised four sons of her own. Now she helps parents understand the changes teenage boys are going through as they cross the bridge from boyhood to manhood

  • Ivan Milat, tribal law, and making my father proud — Andrew Boe's story

    Sep 04 2020

    Andrew was a 4 year old when his family migrated to Australia from Burma. By his mid-20s he had his own criminal law practice. When he took on a client named Ivan Milat, his career became front page news

  • One thumb, one toe — Billy's escape from paralysis

    Sep 03 2020

    When a powerful wave he was riding sent him smashing into the sand, breaking his neck, former Army Ranger Billy Hedderman came within a breath of dying. Good fortune and an iron will featured in his recovery

  • Craig Foster's fight to save Hakeem

    Sep 02 2020

    After young Australian soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi was imprisoned in Thailand, Craig fought the power of two monarchies, a military junta, and the world's largest sporting institution to free him (R)

  • Geoff Goodfellow's poetry captures the spirit of working-class Australia

    Sep 01 2020

    A former boxer and builder's labourer, Geoff is now a highly successful poet (R)

  • The amazing life of Frida DeGuise

    Aug 31 2020

    How a girl from the suburbs of Melbourne grew up to become Australia's first female Muslim standup comedian

  • Melina Marchetta — that Italian girl

    Aug 28 2020

    The true story behind Looking for Alibrandi (R)

  • Richard Fidler's Prague

    Aug 28 2020

    Richard shares stories gathered while writing his biography of the city of Prague. Some emerged from his research trip of 2019, others involved deep historical research, and others are altogether more personal

  • Taking your cat for a walk and why dogs never stop loving — Jeffrey Masson

    Aug 27 2020

    Jeff's latest book on animal behaviour tackles grief — the loss we feel when a beloved pet dies, as well as the understanding other species have of death

  • Timothy Spall — the British actor digs deep on screen and in life

    Aug 26 2020

    Timothy’s stellar career, including roles in ‘Mr Turner’, ‘Secrets and Lies’, the Harry Potter films, and his latest, ‘Mrs Lowry & Son’, was almost cut short by a life-threatening illness (R)

  • Ray versus the road toll — a lifelong campaign against road deaths

    Aug 25 2020

    Dr Raymond Shuey saved countless lives during his career with Victoria Police, driving significant change to road rules, as well as how police respond to incidents involving the mentally ill. Ray is Victoria's Senior Australian of the Year 2020

  • The great hope of Isaiah Dawe

    Aug 24 2020

    Isaiah lived in 17 places in his first 18 years, none of them with his parents. Now he's established an organisation to give Indigenous young people in the out-of-home- care system everything he wanted back then: love, cultural and family connections, and a sense of pride

  • A daughter's unswerving love — Sarah Holland-Batt and her father

    Aug 21 2020

    Sarah Holland-Batt's dad Tony was a loving father, her intellectual mentor and her friend. At 18, she became one of his carers. Later she battled an aged care system which let him down in the worst way possible

  • The ancient trails of the South East Forests

    Aug 20 2020

    After decades walking in the South East Forests of NSW, John Blay thought he knew them well. Then Indigenous friends showed him the Bundian Way, a trail from the mountains to the coast predating both the Silk Road and the Roman Empire

  • Dylan Moran and the white-knuckle ride of standup

    Aug 19 2020

    Dylan Moran on his County Meath childhood, making Black Books, and why he gave up drinking for good (R)

  • Rozanna's curious life

    Aug 18 2020

    Rozanna Lilley was raised in a bohemian household by her parents, writers Dorothy Hewett and Merv Lilley. In her early teens, her childhood was carelessly broken. Later she made a good life for herself as a writer and an autism academic ***CW: This episode discusses sexual assault

  • Walking from Camooweal to Birdsville with nine goats

    Aug 17 2020

    Owen Davies on his 98-day trek with goats and dogs, walking more than 990 kilometres down the Georgina River in outback Queensland (R)

  • The brutal and beautiful world of Australia's native bees

    Aug 14 2020

    Sugarbag bees who headbutt their queen to death are among the many Australian bee species which fascinate ecologist Toby Smith (R)

  • Stranded — what Claire learned from falling

    Aug 13 2020

    Claire Nelson was in the Joshua Tree National Park hiking alone when she strayed from the trail and slipped, shattering her pelvis. Her phone was out of range, and she knew she had to stay alive long enough for someone to realise she was missing

  • Falling for a fake

    Aug 12 2020

    Stephanie Wood was a successful, confident journalist when she fell for a romantic fraudster (R)

  • The apartment on Memorial Drive

    Aug 11 2020

    Natasha Trethewey was 19 when her mother Gwendolyn was brutally murdered. During this great rupture in her life Natasha began to garner acclaim for her poetry. In 2012 she was named America's Poet Laureate

  • The Weabonga lessons

    Aug 10 2020

    Peter O'Brien was a new minted teacher in 1960 when he took a job at a one-room bush school in Weabonga, NSW. The living was hard, but the job was incredibly sweet

  • Myth and Legend — Kate Forsyth on the dark origins of beloved fairytales

    Aug 07 2020

    The stories which preceded modern iterations of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood were often much more disturbing (R)

  • Myth and Legend — Battles, fairie curses and the evil eye: why old Irish tales still delight us

    Aug 06 2020

    Irish novelist Paedar O'Guilin weaves old myths into startling new stories (R)

  • Myth and Legend — the creation of Wonder Woman

    Aug 05 2020

    Historian Jill Lepore untangles the secret history of one of the 20th Century's most striking superheroes. She explains the myths, politics and eccentric genius behind behind the Wonder Woman story

  • Myth and Legend — Neil Gaiman on classic Norse mythology

    Aug 04 2020

    Neil explores some of the stories from Nordic mythology which have captivated him since childhood (R)

  • Myth and Legend — the monsters and morals of Sarah Perry

    Aug 03 2020

    Sarah's life took a gothic turn as she crafted her version of Melmoth (R)

  • The dark Lithgow childhood of Rampaging Roy Slaven

    Jul 31 2020

    Comedian and writer John Doyle was raised in a mining town in a music-loving Catholic family. Behind closed doors, his family life was often turbulent, as his sister Jen had been born profoundly autistic at a time when the condition had no name

  • The world of the holocaust's 'hide-away' children

    Jul 30 2020

    Author Bart van Es with the story of the young Jewish girl Lien de Jong, hidden by Bart's Dutch grandparents during WWII when they joined the resistance

  • Bronze age pigs and ancient dingoes — stories from the bones

    Jul 29 2020

    How zooarchaeologist Melanie Fillios uses the remains and fossils of animals, including dingoes, to understand more about ancient humans

  • The sister who stayed behind

    Jul 28 2020

    Writer Favel Parrett’s grandmother fled Prague as a teenager, but her sister stayed on, and then lived through both Nazism and Stalinism (R)

  • Stan Grant's life in storytelling

    Jul 27 2020

    Stan Grant on his life as a journalist, author and filmmaker from the Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Dharawal First Nations of Australia

  • Swimming, the Sisters of Mercy, and the search for meaning

    Jul 24 2020

    At 15, Rebecca McCabe was on track to compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics for swimming. As swam, she would often ask herself big questions about the meaning of life. When her life in the pool ended abruptly, she decided to take a huge leap of faith

  • Fascinating fungi — the intelligent kingdom

    Jul 23 2020

    Biologist Merlin Sheldrake's extreme experiments, many of which involve his physical body and varying forms of fungi, have led to equally remarkable discoveries

  • Rise and fall of the Rock Star

    Jul 22 2020

    David Hepworth charts our fascination with that most earth-bound of gods, the rock star; and discusses some of music history's striking examples

  • Eddie Woo on finding the right formula

    Jul 21 2020

    Despite never really liking maths at school, Eddie made up his mind in the teaching sign-on queue, to become a maths teacher. This split-second decision changed his life, and the lives of many of his future students (R)

  • Floating though the dolines

    Jul 20 2020

    Cave diver Stefan Eberhard has spent decades exploring the vast underwater caves of the Nullarbor Plains, where the water teems with blind shrimp and colourless fish, and curtains of bacterial slime hang glistening from the ceiling

  • From a mountain monastery

    Jul 17 2020

    Paul Haller grew up Catholic in Belfast, and his pursuit of meaning has since taken him around the world. Now a Zen priest, Zen practice and teaching became Paul's calling: from retreating to a cave in Thailand; to teaching meditation, to the incarcerated, and the dying, in San Francisco

  • Lying on the job — the story of an undercover officer

    Jul 16 2020

    Keith Banks spent twenty years in his dream career with the Queensland Police. He was awarded for bravery several times, but left the job angry and disillusioned. He now reflects on what the job and police culture were like in the 1980s and the cost of lying for a living

  • Bill Bryson and the wonders of the human body

    Jul 15 2020

    Why is scratching an itch so pleasurable? How can someone leap from a burning plane in the sky and survive with a few bumps and scratches? A journey through the wondrous complexity of the human body (R)

  • Territory taxidermist — Jared Archibald

    Jul 14 2020

    Jared spent his childhood behind the scenes at the Museum of the Northern Territory, up close to prehistoric kangaroo fossils, opulent trading pearls, and sacred crocodiles flown in from Arnhem Land. Then he became the museum's taxidermist

  • Nardi Simpson on Crocodile Country

    Jul 13 2020

    Yuwaalaraay writer, storyteller and performer, Nardi Simpson of the Stiff Gins talks about her life, art and the meaning of country

  • A boy, his pony and the Sydney Harbour Bridge

    Jul 10 2020

    Lennie Gwyther was 9 years old when he rode Ginger Mick from country Victoria to Sydney to be at the opening of the Bridge (R)

  • In Pico Iyer's Japan the air is thronged with ghosts

    Jul 09 2020

    Pico was a journalist in New York when a 20-hour layover at Narita airport in Japan made him question everything. He decided to begin again as a monk at a Zen temple in Kyoto. But things didn't go entirely to plan

  • The raptor whisperer

    Jul 08 2020

    Peggy McDonald has spent much of her life as wildlife carer who specialises in helping wedge-tail eagles, falcons, owls and other raptors recover their ability to fly

  • Magic mushrooms, micro-dosing and Michael Pollan

    Jul 07 2020

    How Michael Pollan 'shook the snowglobe' of his mind by investigating the therapeutic effects of psychedelic substances

  • The heart expands to fit — a family's adoption story

    Jul 06 2020

    Justine Flynn's five children were all born in South Korea and adopted into her family

  • The epic hunt for the deadly Taipan

    Jul 03 2020

    Brendan James Murray on the elusive copper-coloured snake species which terrorised post WWII North Queensland (R)

  • Not your average dentist

    Jul 02 2020

    Sharonne Zaks was working as a dentist when an encounter with a patient named Anna led her to develop a radical new branch of dentistry (R)

  • The life of 'Mr Eternity'

    Jul 01 2020

    Throughout the 1930s and 40s, Arthur Stace rose before dawn to write a one-word sermon in chalk on the footpaths of Sydney. Writer Roy Williams unearthed the truth about Arthur Stace's life story with the help of those who knew him personally (R)

  • Leigh Sales and the days after the worst possible day

    Jun 30 2020

    Leigh went through an event in 2014 which changed her profoundly. She was left questioning how we cope when the unimaginable happens (R)

  • Tim Rogers' daydreams

    Jun 29 2020

    The frontman of You Am I on his life in music, his Kalgoorlie childhood, and his battles with anxiety (R)

  • Glennon Doyle's untamed life

    Jun 26 2020

    Glennon was the world's most famous Christian mummy blogger when she fell wildly in love with U.S Women's Soccer star Abby Wambach

  • Deborah Feldman: rejecting my Hasidic roots

    Jun 25 2020

    Writer Deborah Feldman grew up inside the claustrophobic world of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in Brooklyn, and as a teenager she was married off to a man she barely knew. In her 20s she fled to Berlin to make an entirely new life

  • The daredevil of Monte Cristo

    Jun 24 2020

    Lawrence Ryan grew up in a dilapidated Victorian-era homestead called Monte Cristo. From when he was young, he knew he'd grow up to become a professional stuntman, jumping his motorbike over cars, buses and planes

  • Peter Norman and the day that shook the Olympic movement

    Jun 23 2020

    Matt Norman's late uncle Peter won a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics, then was notoriously cast out of Australian sport (R)

  • The Nazi Brigadeführer who got away

    Jun 22 2020

    Philippe Sands on how a cache of letters sent him on the trail of Nazi war criminal Otto Von Wachter, who escaped to Rome on the 'Ratline'

  • The women of Steel City

    Jun 19 2020

    Robynne Murphy, film-maker and former steel worker, on the Wollongong women who took on BHP for the right to work alongside men at the steelworks

  • What Jack Reacher did next

    Jun 18 2020

    How a Birmingham boy became best-selling thriller writer, Lee Child (R)

  • How Johnathan Thurston became one of the greats

    Jun 17 2020

    When Johnathan was a boy he was written off as too skinny and too wild for rugby league (R)

  • Jesse Blackadder: when Lucie left

    Jun 16 2020

    The late writer with the story of a terrible accident in 1976 which completely changed her family (R)

  • Outposts — what Dan found at the ends of the Earth

    Jun 15 2020

    Dan Richards follows his curiosity to some of the most remote habitable places in the world including an Icelandic cabin and a monastery high in the mountains of Japan

  • Vika and Linda Bull — on song and in harmony

    Jun 12 2020

    Hearing their Tongan mother’s powerful voice rise above the congregation in church, primed Vika and Linda for a life in song. Their distinctive harmonies and dazzling energy have seen them grace stages and studios for thirty five years

  • The girl from Kilkivan

    Jun 11 2020

    In the midst of Lisa Millar's brilliant career as a journalist, she found herself in the grip of aviophobia, a crippling fear of flying (R)

  • Opium everywhere — on the trail of the 'Milk of Paradise'

    Jun 10 2020

    Historian Lucy Inglis on humankind's greatest painkiller and how its trade and cultivation are threaded through the story of civilisation, and the lives of every one of us

  • The comic genius of Jennifer Saunders

    Jun 09 2020

    The co-creator of Absolutely Fabulous says her success rests on a series of happy accidents and calls herself an extreme procrastinator (R)

  • Conspiracy theories and me

    Jun 08 2020

    When Danna Young's husband Mike received a terrible diagnosis, she found herself drawn to conspiracy theories in the search to find someone, or something to blame

  • Hannah Gadsby and the point of no return

    Jun 05 2020

    The Australian comedian on Nanette, her 'farewell' to stand up comedy; being diagnosed with high-functioning autism as an adult; and on Douglas, the show and the dog