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Entries in International Perspectives (158)

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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
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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Thursday
Mar292018

From Poppy with Love

With special guest:

  • Rev Dr John Killinger
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In today’s program we are invited into the usually private world of conversations between a grandparent and his grandchildren. Strangely we can get the message very clearly from the other side of the world but the grandchildren themselves are completely unaware of the one way conversations in the letters written to them, letters that are so tender, thoughtful, wise and loving.

In his book From Poppy with Love: Letters from a Grandfather to the Grandchildren He Isn’t Allowed to See Dr John Killinger addresses his pain at being excluded from his four grandchildren in the best way he knows how by writing letters setting out the lives and dreams and personalities of the grandparents they were prevented from seeing. This has by no means been an easy task as it is a constant reminder of the separation. However John has benefitted from the cathartic effect of his writing and he hopes that one day his grandchildren will have the opportunity to read the letters contained in three volumes published by The Intermundia Press. In this way they will be able to get an understanding of their provenance.

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Thursday
Feb222018

Fathers Reaching Out

With special guest:

  • Mark Williams

Our guest in today’s program is Mark Williams who has been awarded “Inspirational Father of the Year” at the Pride of Britain awards. This is impressive enough but it also shows how far he has come since the birth of his son Ethan in 2004.

Both Mark and his wife Michelle suffered crippling anxiety after the birth and Mark hit rock bottom when he began to experience suicidal thoughts. And yet the reason for the torrent of negative emotions and spiralling depression had less to do with their son than the mental health issues that were confronting them. In hindsight Mark recognises that he had experienced a condition long recognised in mothers, that of post-natal depression.

The problem at the time was that Mark felt he could not speak to anyone about his stressful condition and ultimately it led to a breakdown. There is still a stigma attached to men admitting that they have post-natal depression and this makes them reluctant to seek help or even talk to their friends and loved ones about it.

Eventually Mark was put on medication and took a course of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness which turned things around. Now Mark and Michelle are closer than ever as a couple and have a fantastic bond with their son. Mark wants to get the message out about the condition and the help available.

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Thursday
Feb152018

The Greatness of Dads

With special guest:

  • Kirsten Matthew
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Kirsten Matthew was inspired by her father to take on the Big Apple where she worked as a journalist for ten years. This is a huge achievement considering that she arrived in New York without even a green card, no job offers, not even any friends. At a low point Kirsten rang her father who gave some simple advice to get on with it and that was enough to get her established.

After that experience and lots of other insights, wisdoms and truths from her father Kirsten realised that the universal threads of fatherhood can be found the world over. So she set about the task of recording some quotes, song lyrics, artwork and images of dads throughout history and around the world. The result of these efforts is a beautifully presented book The Greatness of Dads.

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Thursday
Feb012018

The Equal Parent Presumption

With special guest:

  • Dr Edward Kruk
     … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today has produced a book of 167 pages, The Equal Parent Presumption: Social Justice in the Legal Determination of Parenting after Divorce, that should be required reading for everyone who works in the space of parenting after divorce; and that includes Judges who routinely make sole parenting orders, Psychologists who offer family therapy, and all the other institutions that influence family relationships.

The trouble really arises because although there is a mantra of acting “in the best interest of the child” this becomes a discretionary assessment by a Judge who has no training in the area of child development or family dynamics and furthermore the Judge takes no interest in reviewing the outcome of the decision. Dr Kruk invites us to take the child’s position.

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Thursday
Jan182018

Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood

With special guests:

  • Richard Aston & Ruth Kerr

On this program we get to talk to good people who are making a difference in our society. Our guests today, Richard Aston and his wife Ruth Kerr, fit this category and they speak to us from across the ditch in New Zealand.

For fifeen years Richard and Ruth through the Big Buddy program have been providing fatherless boys with a buddy, someone who can show them the way to manhood. These buddies are volunteer mentors who are carefully chosen by going through a detailed screening. The boys know they can rely on their buddies to turn up when expected and listen to what is happening in the boys’ lives. And they get to do fun things.

Having seen up close and personal what makes boys tick Richard and Ruth have distilled for us what works and what does not work when the aim is to develop our boys into adults. This is practical and down to earth advice set out in their new book Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood.

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Thursday
Jan112018

Are Fathers Important for Adolescents? 

With special guest:

  • Dr William (Bill) Fabricius

Most studies in the area of children and families concentrate on the influence of mothers. Fathers are understudied in this area. For this reason we welcome the results of a paper on the role of fathers and we have the opportunity today to speak with one of its lead authors, Associate Professor Dr William Fabricius who joins us from New York. The title of the paper is Effects of the Inter-Parental Relationship on Adolescents’ Emotional Security and Adjustment: The Important Role of Fathers.

This new study looked at hundreds of adolescents, a balanced mix of those living with biological dads and those with stepdads studied in three waves from Grades 7 to 12 across ethnic and gender lines. The research measured the effect of non-violent parental conflict, Intimate Partner Violence and demonstrated affection. The findings revealed the importance of marital quality, namely the level of parental love and closeness, and interestingly “mattering to father.”

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