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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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Thursday
Apr272017

Private Bill: In Love and War

With special guest:

  • Barrie Cassidy

It makes for a rare occasion when Barrie Cassidy goes to the other side of the microphone. Barrie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced political journalists and we welcome him to Dads on the Air.

But we are not going to discuss politics in this program. We are going to find out more about Barrie’s father Bill who is the main subject in Barrie’s book Private Bill: In Love and War.

After saying nothing about his war experiences for many years Bill Cassidy finally agreed to tell his children in great detail what he was doing in 1941, how he got seriously injured and finished up as a POW without being captured. He was transported in cattle trucks, put into isolation and had two unsuccessful escapes from the German Stalags. This period was when Bill faced the first of several major tests that he had to get through as he made his way through a long life.

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Thursday
Apr202017

From Bullied to Brilliant

With special guest:

  • Karen Clarke

Have you been bullied? Has anyone in your family been bullied?

In her book From Bullied to Brilliant: How to artfully avoid fitting in, our guest sets out how to understand and deal with bullies. In the program today we get to hear directly from Karen Clarke how to bounce back and turn pain into gain when confronted by bullies.

We learn that bullying can be experienced by anyone at any stage in life and it is nothing to be ashamed of if you are the victim. It is one of the myths of bullying that the victim has shown some weakness that the bully seizes on but in fact bullies are often attracted to people who possess the very qualities they secretly or unknowingly admire.

A topical issue that we discuss is the prevalence of cyber bullying, a new phenomenon in the history of bullying that has sometimes led to tragic consequences.

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Thursday
Apr132017

THE RED PILL

With special guest:

  • Bettina Arndt

Today we go to the movies to find out if taking the red pill is dangerous.

In Melbourne a film screening of THE RED PILL was banned on the grounds that Australians should not see a film that expressed a contrary view and it was argued by people who had never seen the film that it contained some violence. This is not the 1950’s, it happened in October 2016.

Our guest today is Bettina Arndt who was so outraged by this denial of this ordinary right to see a documentary film that she has taken up the cause to let Australians decide for themselves what the fuss is about.

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Thursday
Apr062017

The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS

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
Mar302017

Albanese – Telling it Straight

With special guest:

  • Karen Middleton

Everybody loves Albo - even many of his opponents in the national Parliament.

We can identify the three drives he lists as having influenced his development, namely the Catholic Church, South Sydney Rugby League team and the Australian Labor Party. These drives were all inherited from his fiercely loyal and protective mother Maryanne but behind the relationship between Albo and his mother is another fascinating story that has never been revealed until the release of Karen Middleton’s book Albanese - Telling it Straight.

Up until now there was no mention of a Mr Albanese, Albo’s father. Albo has said that being raised without a father did not bother him and in fact made him more self-reliant. But we question if this is really the case, and Karen Middleton has spoken to over 40 people in Albo’s life to get an answer.

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Thursday
Mar232017

Honest-Ribbon.org

With special guest:

  • Erin Pizzey

There is a constant barrage year round in the press and on TV denouncing domestic violence against women. While this is in itself a worthy cause the zealots can not only overlook the information available but also lose track of the objective.

Our guest today is someone well qualified to discuss the world of victims of domestic violence. Erin Pizzey is a woman herself who experienced firsthand a violent family life. The intergenerational nature of domestic violence led to an early life of being violent herself after being exposed to this form of violence from both her parents.

But Erin was able to put a stop to her own tendency after receiving mentoring from outside the family. Looking outside herself Erin then set up Chiswick Women’s Aid in the UK. This was the first shelter for victims of domestic violence set up anywhere in the world. Erin Pizzey should be revered among those who want to expand the provision of care for women.

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Thursday
Mar162017

How much father? How have dads evolved since the 1930s?

With special guest:

  • Dr Peter West

How have dads evolved since the 1930s? In the 1990s, Dr Peter West interviewed a wide variety of men who grew up in the decades between the Depression and the final decade on the 20th Century. The result of those interviews was the book Fathers, Sons and Lovers: Men Talk About Their Lives from the 1930s to Today. From footballers to policemen, from railway workers to farmers, he provided a rare glimpse into the lived realities or everyday Australian dads.

In this program, Glen Poole of Stop Male Suicide interviews Peter about the changing nature of fatherhood since the 1930s, asks how things have changed for dads since he wrote his book nearly 20 years ago and explores what fatherhood holds for the next generation of dads.

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Thursday
Mar092017

Flesh Wounds

With special guest:

  • Richard Glover

Our guest today is famous.

Richard Glover is the host of the top rating Drive show on 702 ABC Sydney, and the weekly podcast of Thank God It’s Friday. He is the author of twelve books including the bestseller In Bed with Jocasta. His new book Flesh Wounds is in a similar humorous vein but the big difference this time is that it is the real story of his unusual, to say the least, upbringing.

We got Richard on the other side of the microphone from his usual radio role to explore with us his journey from being one of the first artificially inseminated babies in Australia. This was followed by a childhood in Papua-New Guinea and then on to maintaining a relationship with a mother who lived in a fantasy world and a father who let the real world get on top of him.

The book is described by one reviewer as “sad, funny, revealing, optimistic and hopeful”. This is a clear indication that we can all relate to at least some of Richard’s story, perhaps to our surprise.

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Thursday
Mar022017

The Making of Men

With special guest:

  • Dr Arne Rubinstein

“If we don’t initiate our boys they will burn down the village to feel the heat” This is an African proverb quoted by our guest today Dr Arne Rubinstein that could describe the situation for young men today in Australia and other societies far from Africa.

The Making of Men is a book that Dr Arne Rubinstein has written after seeing first-hand in his medical practice the disasters that can befall boys who are not initiated into life as a man in the community. Arne recognises the qualities valued in young boys when they are naturally loving, energetic, funny, creative and sensitive. What happens then, when so many kids get into trouble as teenagers?

In this program we talk about one of the most important ways in which the community or village can play a role in bringing the boy through to being a valuable man in the community.

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Thursday
Feb232017

Ugly: A beaut story about one very ugly kid

With special guest:

  • Robert Hoge

Robert Hoge has a daughter Imogen who sums it up best. She said about Robert’s book Ugly “It’s important to tell your story especially when you’re different”

As one of the many roles that our guest today has filled with distinction he is an advocate for those with a disability and today we hear what it is like to grow up in a special club.

When Robert was 4 years old his parents decided on his behalf that because of his birth condition the best way forward was amputation on his legs and major operations on his face. While the operations were medical firsts and very successful they still left the young child with prosthetic legs and an unusual face that would draw sometimes unwanted attention. We hear from Robert today how he drew strength from his loving family and how his father responded when his youngest child needed support.

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Thursday
Feb162017

The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men

With special guest:

  • Prof Barry Golding AM

When we think of great Australian inventions we might be referring to the Black Box Flight Recorder, electronic pacemakers, cochlear implants or even the stump-jump plough. But today we talk about another Australian invention that has spread internationally and saved thousands of men’ lives.

Our guest today is Dr Barry Golding who is the honorary patron of the Australian Men’s Shed Association and he provides a fascinating insight into the development and growth of this iconic Australian success story. Barry Golding gives us the benefit of his fifteen years of research in his new book The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men. In talking to us today Barry lets us discover what actually goes on inside the Men’s Sheds we see as we pass through so many country towns.

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Thursday
Feb092017

Men of Honour

With special guest:

  • Glen Gerreyn

Our guest today is Glen Gerreyn a man by choice as distinct from being born male. This personal development did not happen when he became a champion athlete but rather by some important choices that Glen has made in his life. So what does it mean to be a man, a real man? And what are these choices?

Glen has spoken to groups around Australia and around the world on the topic of men of honour and some of the content probably comes under the heading of “secret men’s business”. In these talks no subject is taboo. Because so many fatherless boys in our community do not have a mentor they can confide in, Glen often finds that no-one else has ever spoken to our young men so frankly in language they understand.

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Thursday
Feb022017

SAMSN (Survivors & Mates Support Network)

With special guest:

  • Mark Griffiths

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is increasing our awareness of the harm done to the vulnerable children in our midst. But while we wait for a government response to the revelations, one group is out there now healing the distress for victims.

SAMSN was established in 2010 by two survivors of childhood sexual abuse when they discovered that there were no support groups to help them. SAMSN is a not-for-profit organisation that is not affiliated with any religious organisation.

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Thursday
Jan262017

National Emergency – Suicide Rates for Our Men

With special guest:

  • Anthony Smith

1901 male deaths by suicide were recorded in 2012 along with another 634 females meaning a total of 2,535 Australians lost their lives in this way. There has been no significant improvement in the period since these figures became available.

Our guest today, Anthony Smith, argues that these figures are conservative and the belief of the people working in this area is that the figure for men should be some 500 higher. Reasons for this conservatism include the shortfall in the number of Coronial enquiries and the general reluctance of Coroners to brand a sudden death as suicide because this only makes it harder for the surviving family members to deal with the tragedy.

Yet even on the numbers we have available it is hard to understand how we could allow so many men to die from this cause without there being headlines in the newspapers. There is more coverage when a whale beaches on an isolated sandy shore.

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Thursday
Jan192017

Living with Prostate Cancer

With special guest:

  • Max Michell

We hear a lot of statistics relating to community health. We see major campaigns that raise the awareness of different threats to our everyday life. But the knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer has a long way to go if it is going to arrive at good community awareness.

The sad part is that if more men went for regular check-ups they could be getting the diagnosis and treatment that would save their lives. Prostate cancer after diagnosis has one of the highest 5 year survival rates compared with other cancers at 92%.

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Thursday
Jan122017

Mendemic: Inside the man cave

With special guest:

  • Cindy Rochstein

Cindy Rochstein is very clear about this. She is not a man and her book Mendemic is not telling her story.

However this outsider has been granted access in an unprecedented way to the complex lives of her male subjects. The stories Cindy chooses to include will help all of us understand the difference between the stereotypical male and the individual male as she takes us on adventure. Mendemic presents the raw voices of the male contributors, some forty men of many different ages and backgrounds who surprised Cindy and sometimes themselves with their openness and rare insights.

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Thursday
Jan052017

Help! My Son Hates School

With special guest:

  • Janet Allison

After listening to this show many men will be wishing that they could have had Janet Allison as their teacher in years gone by. Janet speaks to us from Portland Oregon in the USA where she has founded the organisation Boys Alive! to benefit teachers and children in the education process. Janet’s warm style is engaging and inspiring.

It may even sound a little funny to hear a boy say “I hate school” but behind that assertion are some worrying realities in the USA as mirrored in Australia. These include that boys far outweigh girls in every negative statistic as for example more boys than girls are expelled from preschool! More boys than girls have behaviour issues in elementary school; more boys drop out of high school than girls and on it goes.

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Thursday
Dec292016

Still a Pygmy

With special guest:

  • Isaac Bacirongo

When you are born and raised in Australia you know little about life as a refugee despite it being a frequent topic for conversation and opinion. Most of us have never spoken to a refugee.

Our guest today is Isaac Bacirongo who arrived in Sydney in 2003 with his wife and ten children as refugees after surviving the effects of Rwanda’s civil war in his own country, Congo.

In his book Still a Pygmy Isaac tells us about his struggles to save his identity as a Pygmy from extinction. In Africa Pygmies are regarded by some other groups as less than human. Against that background Isaac fought to go to school and get an education. He went on to establish successful businesses, owned several properties and a fleet of cars but all that was lost when the invading army arrived.

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Thursday
Dec222016

Schools of Fish

With special guest:

  • Alan Sampson

Schools of Fish won the 2015 Finch Memoir Prize for author Alan Sampson, a Queenslander, who by telling us about his own experiences lets us find out much about the importance of a father’s relationship with his children. A big part of the story relates to Alan’s role as Principal at the well-known Cavendish Road State High School in Brisbane. There are times at school when personal courage is required as well as unshakable integrity if favourable results are to be achieved.

At the same time as we get this fascinating look into the real world of a school Principal we get a growing realisation that there were issues on the home front with Alan’s youngest child and these could not be ignored. Alan had to find out if his strict authoritarian approach, first taught to him by his own father, and applied in his school roles will also work at home with his youngest child who is definitely different.

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Thursday
Dec152016

The Lion, The Switch, and the Cuckoo: Adultery in a test tube

With special guest:

  • Jonathan Grindon

A cuckoo has achieved its notoriety due to its practice of laying its eggs in the nests of other species, tricking parent birds into raising unrelated offspring when they hatch. Our guest today is Jonathan Grindon who due to the deception of his then wife, Annette, experienced firsthand that this behaviour is not confined to the animal kingdom.

This is not the usual way that husbands may be cuckolded. Jonathan was a sperm donor, the biological mother is an unknown Spanish woman and the embryo was placed in the womb of Annette. But wait, it was revealed some six years later that in fact the sperm had been substituted, the biological father of the child was not Jonathan at all but a previous boyfriend of Annette’s who happened to be in the vicinity of the IVF clinic when they were implanting the seed.

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