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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
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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Thursday
Feb072019

Beer + Bubs

With special guest:

  • Carrina Hampton
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is Carrina Hampton who has many qualifications that include being a qualified social worker, a family therapist, a clinical hypnotherapist and a doula.

All of this expertise is put to good use when Carrina takes her Beer + Bubs program to the pub in locations right across Australia. Beer + Bubs is a one-night session at the pub where expectant dads learn how to best support their partner up to and following the birth of their child. The combination of the location, the one or two glasses of amber fluid and being surrounded by other men in similar circumstances has proven to be a winner for the program.

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Thursday
Jan312019

Mothering Our Boys

With special guest:

  • Maggie Dent
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

It is ten years since we last spoke to Maggie Dent and in that time the pressure on our boys has only got worse.

Now more than ever we need a consistent voice, a sensible voice backed by extensive research, in fact a boy champion. Fortunately this is recognised in the huge reaction given to Maggie’s new book Mothering Our Boys: A guide for mums of sons and in public forums that Maggie delivers around the nation. It is a privilege for us to be able to share Maggie’s thoughts in this special program.

Here is a question Maggie asked some 1600 men in a survey. What would you say is one of the best things your mum has done for you/that has influenced you? There was a second question, in your life what is the one thing you wish your mum hadn’t done? Why not ask yourself those questions, it may be the first time you have thought about it. Maggie takes us into the responses she received and tells us what it means.

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Thursday
Jan242019

Dads in Distress

With special guest:

  • Pete Nicholls
    … in conversation with Glen Poole

2019 marks twenty years of Dads in Distress (DIDs) activities.

This is a fabulous achievement which deserves widespread recognition in our community. From an idea conceived on a veranda in Coffs Harbour by Founder Tony Miller it is fair to say that thousands of men who felt they were in hopeless situations have been helped.

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Thursday
Jan172019

Dads Group Inc

With special guest:

  • Tom Docking
    … in conversation with Glen Poole

Most Dads can remember vividly the time they were told that they were going to be a father for the first time. There may be a sense of starting on a journey, that life as it has been up until that point has changed forever or even that this is a type of eternity because part of you goes on long after your passing.

Our guest today, Tom Docking from Dad’s Group Inc, was overwhelmed by a different feeling. He felt he could not cope with this new responsibility and had to spend some time alone. When he realised that he needed some support there was an unpleasant discovery, no help was available.

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Thursday
Jan102019

Three Big Tickets

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

It is great to get an opportunity for a one-on-one with our guest today.

Glen Poole is a very busy man working in areas that are core to the interests of listeners to Dads on the Air.

Having long been a campaigner for the reduction of the male suicide rate Glen lets us know about recent developments in that area. What areas should we be focussing on? Is there any good news? What is the way forward?

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Thursday
Jan032019

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.

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Thursday
Dec272018

Dads and their Babies

With special guest:

  • Dr Dawson Cooke
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

We will all readily make the assumption that the bond between mothers and their babies is important for the health of the family but what about the dad-baby bond? Our guest today is Dr Dawson Cooke who is able to discuss that relationship based on the findings in his study recently published in Infant Mental Health. Dr Cooke has been working with parents and particularly fathers for the last 15 years both in his practice and as a researcher at Curtin University in WA. In his latest study which involved 451 families he has made some findings that have caught the attention of the media.

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Thursday
Dec202018

Ballet Brothers

With special guest:

  • Jake Burden
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Jake Burden tells us that everyone can dance. For those with a particular ability and the drive to do all the hard training that goes with being a dancer on the stage Jake tells us there are all sorts of rewards.

On the flip side of these benefits there remains an element in our society that thinks dancing is somehow unmanly, that only young girls should express themselves in this way and because male dancers are seen as different they can be subjected to bullying. This is where Jake Burden steps in to provide a safe haven as the creator of Ballet Brothers, based in Newcastle New South Wales.

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