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Entries in International Perspectives (177)

Thursday
Sep192019

High Adventure 

With special guest:

  • Mike Allsop
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Mike Allsop was worried that marriage would spell the end of the adventurous life he had been living. He also had experienced a difficult family upbringing himself. So when he met the love of his life he certainly did not rush into that long walk down the aisle. But these days he has the “full disaster” with his wife Wendy and three beautiful children. And there are lessons to be learned from Mike’s progress that we can all appreciate.

Talking to Mike makes you feel like you were there with him when he reached the summit of Mt Everest with nobody in front of him. We learn about the setbacks when he was getting ready to run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents starting with his belief that he wasn’t really a marathon runner.

This love of setting and reaching goals started when he was a child and he saw an Air New Zealand jet passing overhead. He had the goal of becoming a pilot and finished up getting his pilot’s licence before he had his motor vehicle licence. By gaining the confidence of some airline pilots he went on to achieve his dream.

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Thursday
Sep122019

A Paradigm Shift in Suicide Prevention

With special guest:

  • Anthony Smith
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

We ask Anthony Smith what is the situational approach he has written about. The surprising response from Anthony is that only 10% of suicides are due to depression or what are loosely called mental illnesses. This is the first of several surprises in today’s program.

We discover that suicide is the biggest cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. We discover that three out of four deaths are males. We find out that the cost to the economy amounts to 4% of GDP. And we are told that the current response by the Health authorities is on the wrong track.

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Thursday
Sep052019

Malcolm Young

With special guest:

  • Jeff Apter
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Malcolm was a younger brother of George Young guitarist and songwriter with The Easybeats. Music was definitely in the family but in such a fickle industry could lightning strike twice after the enormous success of brother George?

The Young family story starts in an economically deprived part of Scotland. Then seven of the eight members of the family became Ten Pound Poms and settled in a migrant hostel in Australia. One of the elder children continued to work as a musician in Europe.

After years of playing guitar in his bedroom Malcolm joined a band and later agreed to let Angus in, recognising at that early stage the genius of his younger brother. It was his sister who came up with the name for the band and that was never changed. It is arguable that their choice of music style never changed either, always driving rock’n’roll.

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Thursday
Aug222019

From Fiji to The Voice 

With special guest:

  • Voli K
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In the program today we speak to Voli K who recently distinguished himself by being a standout performer singing on the TV program The Voice.

iTaukei is what the Fijian people call themselves and we have a picture in our minds of what this means. We may think of the Fijian Rugby team or other representative sportsmen who are built like trees and run like gazelles. We also think of their big smiles in black faces saying Bula a thousand times a day.

What we do not think of is a white skinned Fijian. Voli K was born in Fiji and has the skin condition of albinism which affects a small proportion of Fijians, other Melanesians in the Pacific basin and people all around the world.

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Thursday
Aug082019

Foreskin Revolution

With special guest:

  • Michael Winnel
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Most people are surprised when this topic is raised. Is circumcision still being practised in Australia outside strict religious groups?

The answer is unfortunately yes. And Medicare will still pay benefits for the procedure unlike for example Great Britain where the National Health stopped subsidising male circumcision in the 1940’s.

The percentage of young boys who suffer this mutilation in Australia is down to about 10% but that still adds up to a lot of boys going under a knife with no anaesthetic for dubious reasons.

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Thursday
Jul252019

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Nov222018

International Men’s Day – Kiwi style

With special guests:

  • Donald Pettitt
  • Iain Fergusson
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

New Zealand is known for many things including a world champion rugby team and a young charismatic Prime Minister.

The most recent way the country has distinguished itself is by joining the world wide movement to celebrate their men and boys on International Men’s Day through the initiative of our guests today, Donald Pettitt and Iain Fergusson.

The movement is based in Christchurch, a city that still bears the scars of the massive earthquake in 2011. This major catastrophe has had an impact on the lives of people in the Canterbury region but the strength of the locals has been revealed as the city has emerged again from the ruins. Many have experienced the quiet strength of New Zealand males over this period.

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Thursday
Nov152018

International Men’s Day

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

What does International Men’s Day mean?

The recognition of International Men’s Day started in the West Indies but has now spread around the world. The day is based around 6 pillars that all International Men’s Day co-ordinators around the world promote on the day. We ask our guest today Glen Poole what it means to him and after many years of being associated with the big day Glen has lost none of his enthusiasm.

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Thursday
Nov082018

The Last 100 Days

With special guest:

  • Will Davies
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Surprisingly little has been written about the last 100 days of World War 1.

This is the time when the Australian Imperial Force had some of their greatest victories. It was also the time when Adolf Hitler was wounded in battle before coming to the unshakeable conclusion that Germany had been betrayed in agreeing to sue for peace.

This imbalance in the accounts of the conflict has been addressed by Will Davies in his new book The Last 100 Days: The Australian Road to Victory in the First World War. In his book Will reveals why he has been described as being more than an historian because he has the rare gift of being a story weaver. As with his other books on the events of World War One this story will remain etched in your memory.

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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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