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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
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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Thursday
Apr042019

Terry Virts Astronaut Father

With special guest:

  • Terry Virts

In today’s show we reach for the heavens.

Our guest is Terry Virts an American Air Force Colonel and test pilot who was selected by NASA to be an Astronaut in 2000 and subsequently made his first flight into space as the pilot of space shuttle Endeavour STS 130. In 2014 Terry launched into space again from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to ride to the International Space Shuttle where he was to be the Commander and he stayed on the station for 200 days.

Terry has lots of stories to fascinate those of us who may have never been in charge of going higher than the attic. We are also interested in the family man and the effect on his family of these long absences when he is doing dangerous exciting work with the world media watching. As Terry tells us, children have a way of bringing you back to earth if you get too caught up in your own world and his stories about reunions with his family are heart warming. The love of Terry’s daughter is preserved forever after she arranged with a car manufacturer to draw a 5 square kilometre message saying that she loved her dad.

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Thursday
Mar282019

Sam’s Best Shot

With special guest:

  • Dr James Best

How many Dads will walk away from their jobs for six months, sell their home and then travel to the wilds of Africa in the hope that it will be good for their son?

We like to think most Dads would do it. Today we get to speak to Dr James Best who did exactly that with his 14 year old son Sam. Sam said he went away as a boy and came back as a person summing up what his parents had hoped for when they embarked on this adventure.

Sam has special needs because he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Sam is around about the middle of the spectrum not at the extreme ends of either those who cannot talk or the savants. Sam can read and write; he is good at maths and music. He comes out with quirky interpretations of what others see and is often described as a charmer. Sam’s greatest difficulty is with social communication, maintaining eye contact and focussing on a task. He is prone to outbursts, even violent outbursts when frustrated.

Behind the thinking of James was that they had tried all the conventional approaches to dealing with autism and yet they still worried whether Sam would be able to form relationships, get a job and to all the other things we regard as normal in Western society. So having done a lot of scientific research on their own and with the support of the experts in the field Sam and his wife Benison decided to take on something different.

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Thursday
Mar212019

Diving Into Glass

With special guest:

  • Caro Llewellyn
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

When Caro Llewellyn started writing her new book she had intended it to be mainly about her extraordinary father, Richard. However her life then took a sudden and unexpected turn, one which turned her world upside down. That change meant adding to the story with her own experience and her feelings became the title of her new book Diving Into Glass.

Caro was on top of the world with a son she adored, a glittering career organising book festivals around the world where she got to meet and become friendly with leading writers and an active lifestyle that often included daily runs of 10km or more. What is more Caro felt confident in agreeing with her father that fate would favour her because surely her dad had taken on himself all the bad luck that a family should expect.

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Thursday
Mar142019

Top Blokes Foundation

With special guest:

  • Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

We cannot avoid the bad news stories about young men. The figures show that 82.6% of articles in the press about young men are negative.

In today’s program we speak with Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, the founder and Managing Director of the Top Blokes Foundation, who counters that negative stereotype by encouraging the young men to become “top blokes”. Melissa argues that young men can be a force for good; they are a resource that is largely untapped.

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Thursday
Mar072019

They’ll be Okay

With special guest:

  • Collett Smart
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Collett Smart has written her book They’ll be Okay: 15 Conversations to Help Your Child Through Troubled Times for parents. Parents often see the world today as being in troubled times. There are new challenges. To name just a few, think of the availability of pornography, the internet generally, excessive use of game technology, bullying and the high levels of competition in every field of endeavour.

But our guest Collett has a message of hope and we get to hear about it firsthand. We are alerted to some of the hidden messages that are propagated, for example in advertising. This is where modelling on the good examples is important. We all know a good male role model but what is often shown on TV is a Dad who can only be described as a “dumb dad”. What should we do? We should call it out for what it is and give credit to the good dad.

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Thursday
Feb282019

Woodstock 50 Years On

With special guest:

  • Glenn A Baker
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Glenn A Baker is a father of six children and a grandfather of 12. For those of us whose memories extend a little he is the music guru so he is a very special Dad to be on our program.

Glenn is here to tell us about an adventure he has lined up that is open to all those with a special interest in a particular seminal event and rock music generally. Yes to our surprise it is coming up to 50 years since that massive and unplanned gathering of over 500,000 people in upstate New York listened to the cream of the world’s musicians playing in a concert, some concert.

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Thursday
Feb212019

Heart of the Grass Tree

With special guest:

  • Molly Murn
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Today we travel back to the time before 1836 and to Australia’s second biggest island, Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia.

This is a big story over different generations of islanders. The modern day story deals with the effect on a family of a grandmother’s death. When Nell died her family returned to Kangaroo Island to mourn and farewell her. Nell’s granddaughter Pearl pulled together the scraps Nell left behind, her stories, poems and paintings and unearthed the early history of the European sealers and their first contact with the Ngarrindjeri people.

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Thursday
Feb142019

How Fear Works

With special guest:

  • Prof Frank Furedi
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Frank Furedi says that fear is the principal motivating force in the 21st Century.

We see fear being used by all sides in politics; we see it in the family dynamic; we see it in the young with their fear of missing out (or FOMO). And yet at the same time we do not call it out because to some degree we have been sensitised to its operation.

Once an expert like our guest today points out the use of fear we can see it everywhere and if it is not going to take over our lives completely we need to take some time-honoured steps to counter its influence.

As Frank Furedi tells us, fear can be distinguished from anxiety which is also a major problem in the Western world with so much of the population in the grip of anxiety and depression.

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