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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
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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Thursday
May312018

Five Years From Now

With special guest:

  • Paige Toon
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In today’s episode we speak to author and citizen of the world Paige Toon who has written a novel exploring the relationship between two children from opposite ends of the world and their fathers.

We drop in on these lives every five years to see how things have changed and we find there are plenty of surprises as we trace the emotional development of the main characters.

The fathers in the story start from different points. One is close to his daughter and always has been. The other did not get to meet his son until he was seven. Yet both children see the importance of that father/child relationship as they make their way through life. The book is all about relationships and how timing can be all important.

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Thursday
May242018

Is it really a man’s world?

With special guest:

  • Bettina Arndt
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In today’s program we welcome back a favourite guest, Bettina Arndt.

Bettina has been a campaigner for men and boys over many years. As well as writing articles for some of the major newspapers Bettina has her own YouTube channel and great videos available on her website. We just have to Google her name to get a wealth of material and some candid insights.

Bettina was asked to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas where she spoke about the importance to children of having a stable family background. We speak to her about two other matters close to her heart, one of which involved her personally.

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Thursday
May172018

SMS4dads

With special guest: 

  • Dr Chris May

Who ya gonna call? 

Our guest today is Dr Chris May from the University of Newcastle and he has a simple message for new Dads with mobile phones. Sign up for SMS4 dads and you will get the advice you need to deal with the new challenges we face as a Dad. This is not limited to young Dads. The age range of Dads already accessing the service extends to the over 50 year olds. 

A really good aspect of this service is that it is available to Dads in remote locations that find it particularly hard to access help. The NBN is opening up the most remote areas to better communication and this will make access easy. 

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Thursday
May102018

Albanese – Telling it Straight

With special guest: 

  • Karen Middleton
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

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.

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Monday
May072018

The Shepherd’s Hut

With special guest:

  • Tim Winton
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

For our regulars this week’s interview is a bit different. Due to technical problems we do not have a sound file of the interview with Tim Winton. However set out below is a transcript which we hope you will find interesting. In the interview we talk about Tim’s latest book The Shepherd’s Hut and also explore some of the issues raised in the book in a wider context. In particular we are interested in Tim’s thoughts about his characters, where they come from in his mind and the relationships between them.

Tim has often explored the relationships that boys form. In this book Tim’s feral young male comes to an uneasy and difficult peace with an old man living in the wilderness as a hermit. The relationship is set against the timeless and beautiful West Australian remoteness described in Tim’s usual colourful language even as his characters speak in a less literate way.

The attached sound file is an excerpt from a speech Tim presented in Melbourne earlier this year kindly made available to us by Tim’s publishers Penguin Random House.

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Thursday
May032018

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
Apr262018

The Diggers of WW1

With special guest:

  • Andrew Tink AM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

No book on Australia covering the early years of the twentieth century could overlook the 61,500 of our men killed or listed as “missing” in World War 1. Another 156,000 had a fate that was sometimes worse, they were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.

In his new book Australia 1901-2001: A narrative history, Andrew Tink, former Member of State Parliament, tells us that like the school children of Villers-Bretonneux France we must never forget the heroism of our soldiers, the diggers of World War 1.

Why did our young men volunteer for the sheer hell of war in the muddy fields of northern France? Australia at the time had a population of fewer than 5 million when this chunk of our finest was lost to the future of Australia. With 80% of our soldiers single when they left our shores how many of our best men would never be fathers? How many poets, musicians, writers, inventors, businessmen, teachers and leaders were gone for all time? This has accurately been called a lost generation.

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Thursday
Apr192018

An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation

With special guest:

  • Dr Craig Childress
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Why is parental alienation such a controversial topic?

Nearly everyone knows someone who has had a child turned against them after separation of the parents. It happens unfortunately all over the world and looks remarkably similar wherever you find it. The construct was defined and given a label, “parental alienation” some thirty years ago by Dr Richard Gardner. More recently there has been a strong push to have it included as a separate diagnosis in the therapists’ “Bible” the DSM-5.

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Thursday
Apr122018

Men of Honour

With special guest:

  • Glen Gerreyn
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

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
Apr052018

Help! My Son Hates School

With special guest:

  • Janet Allison
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

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.

Janet describes this statement from boys as a Red Flag and says that the current situation has reached crisis proportions. While Janet is herself the mother of two girls she sees this as a problem for everyone in the community. And Janet is well placed as an experienced educator and Family Coach to suggest activities that all parents and teachers can adopt.

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