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Welcome to the Dads on the Air archives, with hundreds of programs dating back to 2003. You can browse by month or year, or search the entire archive for a specific topic or name. Find a show you heard a long time ago, download or stream individual programs, or just poke around by clicking “Click to read more…” next to each program for a detailed show description.

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2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Thursday
Aug222019

From Fiji to The Voice 

With special guest:

  • Voli K
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In the program today we speak to Voli K who recently distinguished himself by being a standout performer singing on the TV program The Voice.

iTaukei is what the Fijian people call themselves and we have a picture in our minds of what this means. We may think of the Fijian Rugby team or other representative sportsmen who are built like trees and run like gazelles. We also think of their big smiles in black faces saying Bula a thousand times a day.

What we do not think of is a white skinned Fijian. Voli K was born in Fiji and has the skin condition of albinism which affects a small proportion of Fijians, other Melanesians in the Pacific basin and people all around the world.

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Thursday
Aug152019

An Awesome Ride: Through a father’s eyes

With special guest:

  • Cameron Miller
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In 2012 Shaun Miller made a YouTube video in his bedroom called MY FINAL GOODBYE. In this video Shaun managed in only 2 minutes and 54 seconds to get out some important messages before it was too late.

Shaun was only 17 years of age but he knew that he had at most a few weeks to live because of his heart condition. He said that he had no regrets and that we should live life to the fullest. We should express our love to the people around us. Importantly he said to make sure that his dad Cameron was OK.

Overnight there were 30,000 hits and a week later that number had gone to over 1 million. Now it is over 7 million. Clearly this is an extraordinary person.

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Thursday
Aug082019

Foreskin Revolution

With special guest:

  • Michael Winnel
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Most people are surprised when this topic is raised. Is circumcision still being practised in Australia outside strict religious groups?

The answer is unfortunately yes. And Medicare will still pay benefits for the procedure unlike for example Great Britain where the National Health stopped subsidising male circumcision in the 1940’s.

The percentage of young boys who suffer this mutilation in Australia is down to about 10% but that still adds up to a lot of boys going under a knife with no anaesthetic for dubious reasons.

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Thursday
Aug012019

The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory

With special guest:

  • Corey White
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Luckily for our guest today he always believed he was special. That belief was severely tested before too long.

Corey White grew up knowing that his father was in jail and his mother was a heroin addict. Both parents disappeared from his early life and his life journey was about to become a roller-coaster with no guarantees.

Corey is never one to sugar coat his experiences. He had to sell himself to totally unsuitable foster parent candidates in the hope they would take him in. Once in a family he was subjected to cruelty, dysfunction and in once case sexual abuse. At school he was bullied, it was all grim and he wasn’t even 10 years old.

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Thursday
Jul252019

Moment of Truth

With special guest:

  • Prof Mark McKenna
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In the Quarterly Essay Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future Professor Mark McKenna presents a significant contribution to the general debate and he is our respected guest in today’s program. At a time when Australians are searching for their national identity on Anzac Day and there is talk of a Republic once again Professor McKenna asks why has a dispute arisen regarding Australia Day?

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Thursday
Jul182019

Too Soon, Too Late

With special guests:

  • Ralph & Kathy Kelly
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

There is widespread knowledge of the July 2012 attack on 18 year old Thomas Kelly. The sorrow felt by the community was compounded by the loss through suicide of Thomas’s brother Stuart four years later.

Ralph and Kathy Kelly have experienced the unimaginable but as a measure of the innate qualities of them and their family they have, in the time since, made great strides in reducing the dangers on the streets of Sydney.

In their book Too Soon, Too Late Kathy and Ralph tell how they explored what happened on those July days in 2012 and 2016. They talk about the care and assistance they have received from people such as former NSW Premiers Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird. They also reveal the human side of the people on the front line such as the NSW Police Force Homicide Squad. Within themselves Kathy and Ralph found the bravery missing from anonymous “trolls” who did not like some of the changes to our drinking laws even if they resulted in a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions on a Saturday night.

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Thursday
Jul112019

The Yield

With special guest:

  • Tara June Winch
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The Yield is a big book that in Paul Kelly’s words “sings up language, history, home, blood - all the important stuff” with its focus being on an area of some 500 acres in western New South Wales.

This is a new novel by Indigenous author Tara June Winch that she has been working on for the last fourteen years. It tells of the experiences of the fictional Goondiwindi family based on the real history of Aboriginal people in Australia. The novel is set in Massacre Plains and one of the places is called Poisoned Waterhole Creek. These are real place names. The town in the story is somewhat ironically called Prosperous.

Reflected in these pages are the lives of all those people touched by violence, segregation, abuse and the dehumanising policies and practices of colonisation. We hear about coal seam gas, tin mining and the conflict with sacred sites.

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Thursday
Jul042019

SHINE for Kids

With special guest:

  • Dennis van Someren
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Dennis van Someren is getting the word out that we have a crisis in the community, a crisis involving some of our most vulnerable children that impacts on all of us.

Governments have responded to concerns about crime rates by building more jails with there being nearly 40,000 inmates in overcrowded jails around the country. This is up from 21,000 inmates only 10 years ago. At a cost of $292 per inmate per day the numbers are frightening. But when you consider that these inmates have in the order of 60,000 children and that the children of prisoners are 6 times more likely to end up in prison themselves you can see the problem.

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Thursday
Jun272019

The Power of Good People

With special guest:

  • Para Paheer
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Para Paheer was five years old when civil war between Tamils and the Sinhalese government started in Sri Lanka and continued for the next twenty six years. At the time Para did not know that the causes went back to 1830 when the Tamil people were imported to Sri Lanka to work on the plantations in conditions that were not far off slavery. Para had spent his childhood in poverty by Australian standards but when the war began conditions got even harder. Survival required courage, ingenuity and in Para’s case the kindness of strangers.

The inspiring part of Para’s story, as told in The Power of Good People: Surviving the Sri Lankan Civil War, is that he describes accurately and fully some of the horrors he witnessed and experienced personally yet he can focus his attention on the good things that people he has met along the way have done for him and his family.

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Thursday
Jun202019

Defying the Enemy Within

With special guest:

  • Joe Williams
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

When his father presented his South Sydney first grade rugby league jersey to Joe Williams it was a special moment. When Joe went straight into the ranks of professional boxers without any need for an apprenticeship as an amateur it was another special moment. Off the sporting field Joe is an established speaker on the circuit in Australia and the USA. So what could possibly be wrong?

We learn in this fascinating discussion that behind all the achievements Joe was battling serious mental illness from a young age. There were inner voices crowding out his thoughts and trying to drag him down. Joe admits that these voices denied him the satisfaction of reaching his true sporting potential but he is now on a course that he sees as more important.

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Thursday
Jun132019

Men’s Health Week

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In 2019 there will be presentations of men’s health awards in every state and territory of Australia. We would make the first award to our guest today Glen Poole who has been such a force of nature on men’s and boys’ issues since he moved to Australia permanently in 2015.

Glen sees the purpose of Men’s Health Week as a way to provoke thought and discussion about what needs to be done to improve the lives and the health of Australian men and boys. Over the week 10-16 June there will be presentations in seven cities around the country. As well as awards there will be report cards on how men and boys are travelling healthwise.

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Thursday
Jun062019

The First Casualty

With special guest:

  • Peter Greste

Our guest is Peter Greste who in the last two decades of reporting has journeyed through wars in some of the world’s most dangerous countries but does not describe himself as a serious risk taker. Over the years he has developed another sense of when he needs to take extra precautions for his own safety giving his family a certain degree of comfort. In any event there has always been an understanding that foreign correspondents are seen as outsiders which presents a way out of sticky situations.

When Peter arrived in Egypt in 2013 he had never been arrested for anything and he was planning to be in the country for three weeks doing what he called “vanilla journalism” meaning nothing controversial. All that changed after the dreaded knock on the door when a group of heavy set men shovelled him backwards and started searching the room for evidence of something, anything, they could accuse him with.

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Thursday
May302019

Black Pearls

With special guests:

  • Colin & Paul Tatz
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Black Pearls: The Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame is a celebratory book about the earth shattering sporting performances of our Aboriginal and Islander Australians since the arrival of the white man in 1788.

This handsome work is presented by the Aboriginal Studies Press. As our guest Colin Tatz explains, the book is also a Hall of Fame that unlike bricks and mortar halls can be on display in our own homes and carried around with us.

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Thursday
May232019

Anxious Kids

With special guest:

  • Michael Grose
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Michael Grose and his co-author Dr Jodi Richardson are often asked when making parenting presentations if there is an epidemic of anxiety among our young people. If you were asked the same question you might immediately say yes but before he answers that question for us in today’s program, we ask our guest what it is exactly that we are talking about. Is anxiety the same as depression? Is anxiety built into us? When does it become harmful? What can we do about it?

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Thursday
May162019

Dadvice

With special guest:

  • Dr Luke Martin

Seriously! Becoming a Dad can be a white-knuckle ride and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When you leave the hospital carrying a new baby it might be the first time it hits you that you have taken on an enormous responsibility and yet you are not issued with an instruction booklet.

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Thursday
May092019

Purple House

With special guest:

  • Sarah Brown
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Twenty years ago in Central Australia the Aboriginal people called kidney disease “never return home.”

When kidney transplant is not available survival from end stage renal failure means dialysis where the patient is hooked up to a machine for five hours every second day for the rest of the patient’s life. And if Central Australians can only access the machines in Alice Springs and Darwin then that is where they will spend the rest of their lives.

Twenty years ago the Aboriginal people with this condition were forced into a place where no one spoke their language and they were lonely and homesick. Family, culture and community relationships were suffering.

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Thursday
May022019

Jeremiah House 2018

With special guests:

  • Peter Symes & Robert Stoker
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Jeremiah Chapter 20 Verse 18. For those of us not familiar with that extract from the Bible it is relevant to today’s show as our guest Peter Symes points out. Jeremiah House 2018 is not a religious institution but it is doing work that many Christians would like to claim as being core to their life principles.

Peter and Robert realised that there were no shelters in Bundaberg that catered for men and their children when a crisis in the home occurred. Surprisingly there are none in Australia as a whole. If a man arrived at a shelter having been forced out of home what would happen is that the family would be split. The children would be sent to one institution and if a shelter were available the man would be sent there on his own. Just when the father and his family most needed to support each other they would be forcibly separated.

Peter has a background as a registered nurse and a wide variety of experience in the workforce. Robert also is widely experienced with a personal history of family breakup. Their admirable response to the lack of any shelters for men in this situation was to begin a project so that there will be somewhere for men and their families to go.

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Thursday
Apr252019

The Dust of Uruzgan

With special guest:

  • Fred Smith

It is difficult to categorise Fred Smith. After completing University qualifications he became a diplomat but he is also a musician who has made “seven or eight” albums. When a diplomatic position in Afghanistan became available he decided to apply against some professional advice because he looked on it as a type of therapy. So after being selected to represent Australia in this beautiful but troubled land it was off to Kabul with guitar in hand.

It has become Australia’s longest war and Fred presents the first comprehensive on-the-ground account of Australia’s mission in his book The Dust of Uruzgan. Today we get to speak with Fred Smith about his role with the competing interests in that country, the Government, the tribal leaders, the insurgent factors, drug lords, the general population, the national security forces and the internationals. When Fred was not busy dealing with all these interests he wrote candid, in some cases heart wrenching, music about his experiences and those of his countrymen far from home. Fred’s website has information about how to obtain Fred’s music and a lot more besides.

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Thursday
Apr182019

Transgender

With special guest:

  • Sarah
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Sometimes through no fault of our own the people closest to us will turn against us. People who do not even know us will take a position about who we are. Sarah, not her real name, was assigned male at birth but always knew something was not quite right. Finally after the trauma of a marriage breakdown Sarah decided to express her true self by confirming her gender.

While she expected this to be a challenge, she was not expecting all of the problems she would then face from her family and the legal system. Join us today so by listening to Sarah we can all learn something about ourselves.

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Thursday
Apr112019

Letting Go

With special guest:

  • Dr Charlie Corke
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is Dr Charlie Corke who as an intensive care specialist regularly sees people who are reaching the end of their lives, where a decision has to be made, care or cure?

Unfortunately many of us have not thought about our own death and how we can make it a good death until it is too late. We are not going to live forever so we need a Plan B and Dr Corke’s new book Letting Go: How to plan for a good death provides a guide on how to do that planning.

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