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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
Oct182018

The Children’s House

With special guest:

  • Alice Nelson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Alice Nelson has produced a topical work with enough discussion points to keep us busy for a long time in her new book The Children’s House.

The title of the book comes from a kibbutz in Israel. The kibbutz movement arose in Israel after the horrors of Nazi Germany, partly as a way of allowing parents to work for the new state of Israel while ensuring that their children would be properly cared for. But does the idea of communal parenting go too far? This is just one of the ethical questions raised in The Children’s House.

From Israel we travel to Rwanda and finally to the world’s melting pot in New York. It is there that we discover the different forces prevalent in modern families with all their mysteries and complexities. In speaking to Alice about her characters we get even more depth into the non-traditional relationships revealed in her book. There are some real surprises in store for the reader.

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Thursday
Oct112018

Fathers and Daughters

 

With special guest:

  • Madonna King
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The word “daughter” with its silent letters points to something going on beneath the surface. To find out exactly what is going on between daughters and their Dads calls for a type of explorer who is prepared to investigate widely and give a voice to their thoughts and feelings.

Our guest today is Madonna King one of Australia’s most accomplished journalists. In her new book, Fathers and Daughters: Helping girls and their dads build unbreakable bonds Madonna with her typical thoroughness has interviewed no fewer than 1300 girls and 400 Dads along with a host of school principals, psychologists, researchers and even neuroscientists to give us some answers.

Sometimes the natural instinct of Dads to “fix things” is not what is required. Being a good listener is what his daughter is looking for. Sometimes a practical approach rather than an emotional response is the way to go. Sometimes Dad does not need to do anything, his daughter can learn a lot by modelling and by watching how he relates to others. Dad may show his care by actions rather than words but if that is the case Dad needs to remember just how important he is in his daughter’s life.

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Thursday
Oct042018

Raising Boys in the Twenty-first Century

With special guest:

  • Steve Biddulph AM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

It was hard enough to raise boys in the 20th Century. What are the new challenges facing parents who want to raise their sons to be the open-hearted, kind and strong men they can be?

Our guest today has revised and updated his classic parenting book released in 1997, a book that is found in over three million homes around the world. There is a lot of new information and surprising research for Steve to draw on in his new book Raising Boys in the Twenty-first Century. There is a new understanding of hormonal changes as boys turn into men, changes that mean the age from 6 to 14 is when fathers count the most.

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Thursday
Sep272018

Best We Forget

With special guest:

  • Dr Peter Cochrane
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Best We Forget is the title of Peter Cochrane’s new book. This is not the way we are used to thinking about the beginnings of nationhood in Australia. There is a quote from the Australian Prime Minister in 1916, Billy Hughes “I bid you go and fight for White Australia in France.” What was the country thinking at the time?

In our school history classes a familiar topic is the causes of World War 1 but the war was never described as the war for White Australia.

Our guest today has a fascinating insight into some of the less recognised reasons for Australia sending its finest young men to the other side of the world to join the fight among the European powers. It can be argued that Australia lost a generation; no less than 60,000 men died in the conflict and many of the survivors carried physical and mental wounds for the rest of their lives. And this was from a population of about 5 million people.

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Thursday
Sep202018

Murder at Myall Creek

With special guest:

  • Mark Tedeschi QC AM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is the well-known former Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales and author of Murder at Myall Creek, Mark Tedeschi.

Mark has written a deeply moving account of the massacre of 28 Aboriginal men, women and children in 1838 which led to a trial that defined the nation of Australia. If the law of the land in Australia was to have any credibility, if the principle is that we are all equal before the law, then this is a watershed case.

At the time of the massacre it was only 50 years since Captain Arthur Phillip and his first fleet arrived in Australia yet the inhabitants of the country for the previous 60,000 years were under threat of genocide from the new arrivals.

There were many in the community who were sympathetic to all Aboriginal killers and this was expressed in the editorials of the major newspapers such as The Sydney Herald (before it added “Morning” to its masthead). Against this background there were some heroes that stood up against the general view of the free settlers, the squatters, the military, the emancipists, the newspapers and even the convict population which still amounted to 36% of the population. Principal among these was John H Plunkett who as Attorney-General at the time had the duty to prosecute the eleven convicts and former convicts who were put on trial for murder.

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Thursday
Sep132018

The Prostate Cancer Challenge

With special guest:

  • Peter Dornan AM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest is not squeamish about many things. He opens up to us today about what it is like to face a condition that we still do not like talking about, urinary incontinence. Incontinence affects men and women; it has been described as the most widespread yet least known and understood affliction in society today. This problem can seriously impact on your lifestyle, job, emotional wellbeing, exercise activity and most importantly, your sex life.

Peter Dornan has been a leading Physiotherapist for over fifty years and during that time he has helped patients with all sorts of complaints. Yet twenty years ago he did not know what a prostate was when he was told that he had prostate cancer and if he did not take any action it would kill him.

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Thursday
Sep062018

Australia Reimagined

With special guest:

  • Hugh Mackay AO
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Australia has had a well-documented and unprecedented run of economic growth but this has not translated into a happy, harmonious society. Our guest today is Hugh Mackay who describes the current level of anxiety in Australia as an epidemic.

The level of income inequality in Australia is growing, public education is under-resourced and our children are falling behind when compared to other first world countries.

And at a time when we need them most we are losing faith in our major institutions namely the Church, our elected parliamentarians who are supposed to be acting in the country’s interest, the major banks and even the families who give us security. Right now all of these are under threat. Over half of marriages end in divorce in the first ten years leaving children in the lurch. The two Royal Commissions that have investigated banking and before that institutional abuse of children have revealed some of the worst abuses of power.

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Thursday
Aug302018

Fatherhood: Stories about being a Dad

With special guest:

  • William McInnes …
    in conversation with Bill Kable 

In today’s program we go behind the public face of William McInnes. We do not speak to Max Connors from SeaChange, we speak to William McInnes the Dad from Queensland about his real life love of being a father to his son and daughter.

We get to hear lots of stories as included in William’s new book Fatherhood: Stories about being A Dad. As William tells us, being a Dad is a serious business but it is at the same time a funny, heart-warming and at times scary experience.

This is a Father’s Day special that will bring back many memories for all sorts of Dads and for the children and grandchildren of Dads. There are tales here that sound just like a friendly chat over the back fence, or at a backyard BBQ.

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Thursday
Aug232018

The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage

With special guest:

  • Suzanne Venker

Do you know any Alpha Females? We know them when we see them but it may be difficult to work out how to relate to them because of some of their defining characteristics. Equally the alpha females may need some guidance to find out what is missing in their lives even if the culture says they have everything. And our special guest today, Suzanne Venker has answered the call with her new book The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS.

Suzanne argues that the culture in which we live is designed to make marriages fail. Women are encouraged to become “maximisers” rather than happy and fulfilled. Many women today, both those looking after their families in the home and those in the workforce, will ignore the wisdom of their grandparents in trying to find out how to make a successful marriage.

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Thursday
Aug162018

Surviving Adolescents

With special guest:

  • Elly Robinson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

All parents realise on leaving the maternity ward that there is no manual that comes from the hospital with instructions for a new baby. The parents just strap themselves in for the rapid growth and development of this new and totally dependent child.

Ten years later with the coming of adolescence there is another period of risky growth and development. The age group from 10 to 19 calls upon a whole new skill set to deal with challenges some of which are familiar and some that are new to this century.

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Thursday
Aug092018

Out of the Forest

With special guest:

  • Dr Gregory Smith
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

When asked if he sometimes pinches himself and wonders if all that has gone before is true, Gregory Smith says not sometimes but all the time. Our guest today has a truly amazing story that should encourage all of us.

After a traumatic childhood Gregory was always trying to escape from his surroundings and became something of an escape artist. Except that he did not escape and his efforts just led to painful encounters with the country Police of NSW.

When his mother deceived him and left him at an orphanage in Armidale he spent 19 months experiencing institutional abuse. To make matters worse he was thinking all the time that his sisters were enduring something similar at the same institution after they were separated from him by the nuns on arrival.

Following these experiences Gregory understandably would not trust adults. Having left school at the age of 14 and not being trained in anything useful Gregory found himself homeless, friendless and frequently jobless. It was only when he followed a road that led off the highway near Mullumbimby in northern NSW that he finally found peace in the isolation and tranquillity of a rainforest.

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Thursday
Aug022018

Sound Tracks

With special guest:

  • Raymond Hawkins
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

There is a word for the special mystical feeling we get when we look at the stars in the heavens or listen to some ethereal music and that word is “numinous”. Unfortunately numinous is not a word most of us get to use very often but our guest today experiences this feeling frequently through his tours to remote locations and he tells us all about it.

Our guest is Ray Hawkins and he organises singing tours to some of the most significant locations in the history of this country. Ray draws on his experiences to thrill us all in this program with his vivid descriptions of these communal journeys to the very heart of Australia with Sound Tracks Travel.

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Thursday
Jul262018

Mr Ordinary Goes to Jail

With special guest:

  • Wil Patterson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Mr Ordinary Goes to Jail is really a story about choices.

Some choices we hope we will never have to make. Once made they have significant consequences. Wil Paterson found himself facing temptation at a time when he had financial pressures at home and he made a fateful choice.

Wil was at work on an ordinary day. Part of his job was that he was expected to cancel his employer’s cheques when the payee had not been located.

But on this day a returned cheque for $5000 made out in his own name came across his desk and instead of cancelling it Wil decided after a few days to deposit in his own bank account. If it happened that once it could happen again and again until in the end $300,000 had been taken. When Wil was caught, the feeling strangely enough was relief even though he knew it would be the end of his life as he had known it.

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Thursday
Jul192018

The Boy from Baradine

With special guest:

  • Dr Craig Emerson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

This is a rare opportunity. We do not often hear a successful politician being hailed for giving a shockingly personal honest and compelling reflection with brilliant insights. Our guest today is Craig Emerson who opens up about his rollercoaster ride from Baradine a small town in north western NSW to the corridors of power in Canberra.

In his book The Boy from Baradine we follow Craig on his journey. We hear how we are all shaped by our upbringing but this does not mean that we are imprisoned by it. Craig and his brother Lance were subjected to random acts of physical and mental cruelty from their mother and a father who was unable to help while he battled his own demons.

Yet from this unpromising start in life Craig was able to benefit from a good education. By a combination of hard work and some good fortune along the way Craig found himself advising the Prime Minister and bravely standing up for what he thought was right even when under pressure.

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Thursday
Jul122018

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. The launch of this book joins the other celebrations around the country for NAIDOC Week 2018.

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.

With its beautiful pictures and stories about its 276 members covering 36 sports this is a project that began in the Bi-Centenary year of 1988 after Colin spoke to some communities about the absence of recognition for these sports stars.

The book is however not just a catalogue of sporting triumphs. It tells how the Aboriginal and Islander peoples had to overcome enormous obstacles in order to be accepted as the champions they are. It is important to see the performances in that context in order to really appreciate the scale of the achievements.

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Thursday
Jul052018

Origin Story

With special guest:

  • Dr David Christian
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

It doesn’t get any bigger than this!

In his new book Origin Story: A Big History of Everything our guest David Christian traces human history arising from the Big Bang and going through to the first stars, our solar system, life on Earth, dinosaurs, homo sapiens, agriculture, an ice age, empires, fossil fuels, a moon landing and mass globalisation. And all this is done in the context of what it means to us and our families.

This origin story is one of numerous such stories. Examples might include the Christian story of creation and the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Dr Christian’s story is based on the latest scientific findings and theories but it is told in a way that it can be related around a campfire or start discussions around the dinner table. What we hear is that story telling going back to the beginning is important to all of us.

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Thursday
Jun282018

How to Buy a Home

With special guest: 

  • Emily Power
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Today we catch up with one of the many young people struggling with the biggest purchase of their lives. For the young men trying to support a family and progress their careers at the same time, buying a first home means pressure.

Our guest today is not only an expert commentator on real estate but she is also trying to purchase her first home in Melbourne.

Emily Power is a regular on TV and radio but we did not know her secret project of getting herself on the first rung for home ownership. Emily avoids the smashed avocadoes but has some tips that have worked for her in joining the crazy housing market we see in Melbourne and Sydney.

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Thursday
Jun212018

Guy Tai Shanghai

With special guest:

  • Eric Johnson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The number of American men who have completely left the workforce to raise children has more than doubled over the past decade according to a New York Times report on census data. And many others serve as primary caretakers for their families while maintaining freelance or part-time jobs.

This situation is reflected in cosmopolitan cities around the world where expat wives are taking up new jobs and bringing with them their families. In previous times it was usually the men who arrived in foreign cities to start work and their wives were labelled Tai Tais or trailing wives. These Tai Tais were unlikely to find work because of visa restrictions and language barriers so they dedicated themselves to running the home, perhaps with some domestic help.

More recently it is the husbands arriving with their working wives who find themselves in this situation and in Shanghai they decided to get together and call themselves Guy Tais. This led to the formation of an association, Guy Tai Shanghai.

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Thursday
Jun142018

Men and Families – Making Healthy Connections

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Men’s Health Week sometimes meets with resistance. Comments might include “men and boys are alright aren’t they?” or “Isn’t every week Men’s Health Week?”

These comments indicate that there is a lot of work to do in bringing up the level of awareness on the real state of men’s health. In most cancers which affect males and females more men die than women. The suicide statistics indicate that three men die by suicide for every woman who tragically end their lives this way. All this leads to men having a lower life expectancy than women. Yet if we improve male health it will bring benefits to everyone in the community, not just the men but also the wives, mothers and families of our men.

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Thursday
Jun072018

The Boy Crisis

With special guest:

  • Dr Warren Farrell
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The big issues of today include ISIS on the international stage, gangs of youths in our cities and disengaged sons in our families. Our guest today has found a common link in each of these and that is the preponderance of dad deprivation for both the boys and girls involved.

Dr Farrell has been researching for 11 years in order to produce his latest book and some of his findings are eye opening. For example we discover that the downward spiral of boys in the developed world is leading to physical changes. Young men of today have a sperm count of only 50% what their grandfathers had at the same age and it is dropping by 1.5% every year.

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