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Entries in International Perspectives (171)

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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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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