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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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Entries in Relationships (197)

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
Aug292019

Dear Dad 

With special guest:

  • Samuel Johnson OAM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Samuel Johnson gave his contributors only one restriction when he contacted them about writing a letter to their Dad for a book he was editing. Their letters had to start with the words “Dear Dad …”. Faced with this task what would you say? Samuel himself is such a noteworthy character and he is candid about the relationship he had with his own father. Samuel wrote his own contribution as well as editing those from 85 other luminaries.

Samuel likes taking on a challenge in a good cause. When his sister Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer she suggested that he should unicycle around Australia. With that completed he said what next? The great thing for us is that it lead to this beautiful book called Dear Dad.

This project was supported by men and women who were all keen to share their fascinating stories. The contributors provided their stories free of charge to help Samuel in his quest to raise $10million for cancer research.

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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
Aug152019

An Awesome Ride: Through a father’s eyes

With special guest:

  • Cameron Miller
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In 2012 Shaun Miller made a YouTube video in his bedroom called MY FINAL GOODBYE. In this video Shaun managed in only 2 minutes and 54 seconds to get out some important messages before it was too late.

Shaun was only 17 years of age but he knew that he had at most a few weeks to live because of his heart condition. He said that he had no regrets and that we should live life to the fullest. We should express our love to the people around us. Importantly he said to make sure that his dad Cameron was OK.

Overnight there were 30,000 hits and a week later that number had gone to over 1 million. Now it is over 7 million. Clearly this is an extraordinary person.

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Thursday
Aug012019

The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory

With special guest:

  • Corey White
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Luckily for our guest today he always believed he was special. That belief was severely tested before too long.

Corey White grew up knowing that his father was in jail and his mother was a heroin addict. Both parents disappeared from his early life and his life journey was about to become a roller-coaster with no guarantees.

Corey is never one to sugar coat his experiences. He had to sell himself to totally unsuitable foster parent candidates in the hope they would take him in. Once in a family he was subjected to cruelty, dysfunction and in once case sexual abuse. At school he was bullied, it was all grim and he wasn’t even 10 years old.

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Thursday
Jul182019

Too Soon, Too Late

With special guests:

  • Ralph & Kathy Kelly
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

There is widespread knowledge of the July 2012 attack on 18 year old Thomas Kelly. The sorrow felt by the community was compounded by the loss through suicide of Thomas’s brother Stuart four years later.

Ralph and Kathy Kelly have experienced the unimaginable but as a measure of the innate qualities of them and their family they have, in the time since, made great strides in reducing the dangers on the streets of Sydney.

In their book Too Soon, Too Late Kathy and Ralph tell how they explored what happened on those July days in 2012 and 2016. They talk about the care and assistance they have received from people such as former NSW Premiers Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird. They also reveal the human side of the people on the front line such as the NSW Police Force Homicide Squad. Within themselves Kathy and Ralph found the bravery missing from anonymous “trolls” who did not like some of the changes to our drinking laws even if they resulted in a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions on a Saturday night.

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Thursday
Jul112019

The Yield

With special guest:

  • Tara June Winch
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

The Yield is a big book that in Paul Kelly’s words “sings up language, history, home, blood - all the important stuff” with its focus being on an area of some 500 acres in western New South Wales.

This is a new novel by Indigenous author Tara June Winch that she has been working on for the last fourteen years. It tells of the experiences of the fictional Goondiwindi family based on the real history of Aboriginal people in Australia. The novel is set in Massacre Plains and one of the places is called Poisoned Waterhole Creek. These are real place names. The town in the story is somewhat ironically called Prosperous.

Reflected in these pages are the lives of all those people touched by violence, segregation, abuse and the dehumanising policies and practices of colonisation. We hear about coal seam gas, tin mining and the conflict with sacred sites.

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Thursday
Jul042019

SHINE for Kids

With special guest:

  • Dennis van Someren
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Dennis van Someren is getting the word out that we have a crisis in the community, a crisis involving some of our most vulnerable children that impacts on all of us.

Governments have responded to concerns about crime rates by building more jails with there being nearly 40,000 inmates in overcrowded jails around the country. This is up from 21,000 inmates only 10 years ago. At a cost of $292 per inmate per day the numbers are frightening. But when you consider that these inmates have in the order of 60,000 children and that the children of prisoners are 6 times more likely to end up in prison themselves you can see the problem.

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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
May232019

Anxious Kids

With special guest:

  • Michael Grose
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Michael Grose and his co-author Dr Jodi Richardson are often asked when making parenting presentations if there is an epidemic of anxiety among our young people. If you were asked the same question you might immediately say yes but before he answers that question for us in today’s program, we ask our guest what it is exactly that we are talking about. Is anxiety the same as depression? Is anxiety built into us? When does it become harmful? What can we do about it?

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Thursday
May162019

Dadvice

With special guest:

  • Dr Luke Martin

Seriously! Becoming a Dad can be a white-knuckle ride and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When you leave the hospital carrying a new baby it might be the first time it hits you that you have taken on an enormous responsibility and yet you are not issued with an instruction booklet.

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Thursday
May092019

Purple House

With special guest:

  • Sarah Brown
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Twenty years ago in Central Australia the Aboriginal people called kidney disease “never return home.”

When kidney transplant is not available survival from end stage renal failure means dialysis where the patient is hooked up to a machine for five hours every second day for the rest of the patient’s life. And if Central Australians can only access the machines in Alice Springs and Darwin then that is where they will spend the rest of their lives.

Twenty years ago the Aboriginal people with this condition were forced into a place where no one spoke their language and they were lonely and homesick. Family, culture and community relationships were suffering.

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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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