Category: Talking Australia

Talking Australia, from award-winning Australian Geographic, shares the stories of Australia’s most inspiring explorers, conservationists and adventurers. Listen as they take you on a journey around this magnificent country and beyond, whether battling the elements to achieve their lifelong dreams or working hard to preserve our unique and fragile natural world.

Each week the podcast features intimate conversations with extraordinary Australians.

Why light pollution is bad for us and the night skies: Fred Watson

Fred Watson is a professor of astronomy, a popular author, musician, and beloved TV and radio personality and has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson). He is also Australia’s first Astronomer-at-large which is not only a pretty impressive work title but more so a testament to all of his accomplishments over the years in the field of astronomy. It also means Fred knows better than most of us what’s at stake when talking about the issue of light pollution. In some urban areas our night sky environment has shrunk to just “a hand full of stars” due to the amount of bad light that is radiating into the atmosphere. But light pollution also has negative effects on wild life and our own health. On this episode Fred is talking about his own involvement with dark sky tourism and the efforts for urban dark sky parks to show people the beauty of an untouched night sky environment. He also shares what can be done to stop light pollution. Here you can find out more about Fred: http://www.fredwatson.com.au https://www.darkskytraveller.com.au This is a link to the Australian Dark Sky Alliance: https://www.australasiandarkskyalliance.org This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Angela Heathcote (Digital Producer at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic

A deep diving legend: Ron Allum (Part 2)

Ron Allum is a pioneering cave diver and inventor who originally started out as a broadcasting technician for the ABC. Not only has he broken records as a cave diver but also discovered his talent for inventing state of the art underwater equipment used in film. His abilities brought him together with legendary film-maker and deep-sea enthusiast James Cameron. The mission was nothing less than to build a submarine that could take James to the deepest-known point in the Earth’s seabed – the Mariana Trench, with a depth of almost 11,000m. Despite all of these accomplishments, Ron is as quiet and humble man who seems most happy enjoying his myriad achievements in relative silence. In the second part of our conversation, Ron talks about how he became involved in the world of epic film-making and how he ended up meeting legendary director James Cameron and ultimately becoming the man that took James to the deepest-known point in the Earth’s seabed. He shares his path from technical trouble shooter to successful inventor for highly specialised underwater equipment, and starting his own company. You can find out more about Ron here: www.ronallum.com This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic

A deep diving legend: Ron Allum (Part 1)

Ron Allum is a pioneering cave diver and inventor who originally started out as a broadcasting technician for the ABC. Not only has he broken records as a cave diver but also discovered his talent for inventing state of the art underwater equipment used in film. His abilities brought him together with legendary film-maker and deep-sea enthusiast James Cameron. The mission was nothing less than to build a submarine that could take James to the deepest-known point in the Earth’s seabed – the Mariana Trench, with a depth of almost 11,000m. Despite all of these accomplishments, Ron is a quiet and humble man who seems most happy enjoying his myriad achievements in relative silence. This is the first part of the conversation with Ron in which he talks about his early life and how he discovered his passion for the dangerous sport of cave diving. He also shares how he led an expedition to Cocklebiddy Cave in the 1980s, pushing 6.24km into the cave system, which resulted in a world-record. He also talks about how his invention of a specialised communication system saved him and the rest of the team when they got trapped underground in the Pannikin Plains expedition in 1988. This man is truly in a league of his own. You can find out more about Ron here: www.ronallum.com This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic

How to turn sailing into a time-travel adventure: Captain Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson turned his passion and love for the sea into a unique career. The master mariner guides guests around the coastline of Australia and its neighbours for pioneering Australian adventure cruise company Coral Expeditions. Another passion of Gary’s is marine history, and over the years he has learned to master the art of sailing replica ships around the globe. Historic vessels such as Captain James Cook´s legendary Endeavour (originally built in 1764) and more recently an exact replica of the lesser-known Dutch ship Duyfken (originally built in 1595), the first to reach Australia. On this episode Gary talks about some of the upcoming once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can share with him and Coral Expeditions, and explains what it feels like to travel back in time sailing historic ships. Here you can find out more about Gary Wilson’s adventures. This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic

How a blind adventurer has seen more than most of us: Nick Gleeson

Nick Gleeson has achieved more in his life than most people could dream of. He climbed to the summit Mount Kilimanjaro, climbed beyond Mount Everest’s base camp, ran the New York marathon three times, made it onto the state cricket team of Victoria, carried the Olympic torch, and represented Australia in athletics. He also crossed the Simpson Desert and a part of Lake Eyre National Park – all while being blind since age 7. On this episode Nick shares his amazing life story, and chats about how he managed to turn tragic events in his life into a positive attitude that has helped him fulfil dreams that most people with the gift of sight might never be able to cross off their bucket lists. The athlete and author is a truly remarkable soul and listening to him talk about his adventures and other passions, such as art, fills you with joy and happiness. Here you can find out more about Nick´s adventures: http://nicholasgleeson.com.au/ This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic

Circling the earth in a tiny flying “bathtub”: Michael Smith (Part 2)

Michael Smith is a passionate pilot and movie enthusiast who runs a number of cinemas and owns a tiny flying boat. Both helped him to fulfil his lifelong dream to fly the old Rose Bay to London route operated by Qantas in the 1930s and ’40s. He embarked on a several-month-long journey in his “flying bathtub” and extended his trip to eventually take him around the world. Michael did all this without any sponsors and out of pure passion for adventure, which ultimately won him the Australian Geographic 2016 “Adventurer of the Year” award for the first-ever solo circumnavigation in a plane. The trip almost took his life, and in this episode we share his harrowing story and travel into parts of the world that are well and truly off the grid. Here you can find out more about Michael´s adventure & work: http://www.southernsun.voyage/ https://www.screenswithoutborders.org/ This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Liz Ginis (Managing Editor Digital at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic.

Circling the earth in a tiny flying “bathtub”: Michael Smith (Part 1)

Michael Smith is a passionate pilot and movie enthusiast who runs a number of cinemas and owns a tiny flying boat. Both helped him to fulfil his lifelong dream to fly the old Rose Bay to London route operated by Qantas in the 1930s and ’40s. He embarked on a several-month-long journey in his “flying bathtub” and extended his trip to eventually take him around the world. Michael did all this without any sponsors and out of pure passion for adventure, which ultimately won him the Australian Geographic 2016 “Adventurer of the Year” award for the first-ever solo circumnavigation in a plane. The trip almost took his life, and in this episode we share his harrowing story and travel into parts of the world that are well and truly off the grid. Here you can find out more about Michael´s adventure & work: http://www.southernsun.voyage/ https://www.screenswithoutborders.org/ This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Liz Ginis (Managing Editor Digital at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic.

Mapping Australia´s dark history: Lyndall Ryan

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are warned that this episode may contain stories and names of deceased persons. Lyndall Ryan´s interest in the history of Australia has grown since her early days as a scholar researching the history of Tasmania and the consequences of the “Black War” for the local Aboriginal people. Through her work, the historian became heavily invested in the survival stories of Indigenous Australians and the frontier wars, which included acknowledgment of massacres in the early days of the nation. Her research and expertise in the field got her involved in the legendary “History Wars” during the 1990s and early 2000s with other historians. In 2017, Lyndall gained worldwide exposure after she and her team at the University of Newcastle in NSW published an interactive online map of massacre sites in Australia. The map went viral and since its first release has turned into a national project in which Australian´s are helping to tell the whole story of the nation’s past. Here you can find out more about Lyndall’s work and look at the map: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/lyndall-ryan https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/map.php This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Angela Heathcote (Digital Producer at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic.

How to survive sailing solo around Antarctica: Lisa Blair

Lisa Blair is the first woman to sail solo and unassisted around Antarctica. The dangerous journey took her 184 days to finish and almost killed her when her mast broke in the middle of nowhere in giant seas. The courageous sailor survived the incident to fulfil her dream and tell her incredible story. It made her not only grow as a sailor but as a person. Since then she’s added another record to her belt: the first woman to circumnavigate Australia on her own. And as if all this isn’t enough, plans for a new adventure are already underway. Here you can find out more about Lisa´s adventures: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/ This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Liz Ginis (Managing Editor Digital at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic.

How Australia transmitted the Apollo missions broadcast: Andrew Tink

In his book “Honeysuckle Creek – The story of Tom Reid, a little dish and Neil Armstrong’s first step” author Andrew Tink sets the story straight about Australia´s role in the Apollo 11 moon landing mission in 1969. In this episode he talks about Tom Reid, the mind behind the operation of the famous “Dish” near Canberra and how Tom and his team saved the world wide live broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon and his very personal connection to the man that made it all happen in the tracking station in Honeysuckle Creek. Here you can find out more about Andrew´s work: http://andrewtink.com This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic.