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Binge Thinking

Author: Caspar Roxburgh: Navigating this millennial life crisis

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Young experts binge thinking on their careers, the issues they face, their lived experience of the intergenerational divide, and their philosophies and politics. Join us each fortnight as we think out aloud on this millennial life. We binge news and current affairs, working life, identity politics, political politics, personal philosophies, relationships and everything else. Get on board and get on our level.
58 Episodes
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Have you ever wondered how furniture is made? How is it possible to bend wood? Perhaps you’ve considered going into a new career but you wish you could do it without years of training and studies? Meet 27 year old furniture maker Nathan Lawrence. Nathan is a self-taught maker and designer at his own company called Heimur. After growing up with a knack for creating and a curiosity for how things fit together, Nathan found himself in a job building tables, shelves and more but without following the traditional pathway to get there.Years later he’s running his own company, he gets to be his own boss, and lives the lifestyle he is passionate about, all while promoting quality furniture hand made to last a lifetime.This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, recorded at Youthworx, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Why did local councils stop taking our recycling in recent months? Why did some people blame China, while others thought the EPA had a role to play? Have you ever really understood what happens to your garbage, recycling, organic waste and hard rubbish when it’s picked up by your local bin collectors? This episode features a fascinating conversation between Caspar and Waste Management expert Emily Newton. Emily and Caspar unpack how waste works in Australia, from local council to exporting recycling, the recent recycling crisis, problems in the industry with gender and diversity and her passion for practical action on the climate crisis. This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, recorded at Youthworx, and features music by Big Gigantic.
You know how when you search something in Google, it says it finds 185 million results in less than a second? Have you ever wondered how Google decides which webpage to list first? Think about it, how do you rank hundreds of millions of web search results? And how do you do that across an infinite number of possible search terms covering every possible domain of human knowledge? I mean, do people working at Google even understand how this works?These questions are really important. Today Google accounts for 96% of all internet searches in Australia. And the results it gives us impact so many of our most important decisions, like those around our health, finances, and even our understanding of what is true.In this episode, Caspar speaks with 27-year-old Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) specialist Sam Penny. After studying literature and politics, Sam began working in digital marketing as part of a charity job, before doing a masters in marketing specialising in digital technology and statistics. He now works for the Melbourne-based digital marketing agency "Optimising" with clients across a wide range of sectors.Sam and Caspar binge think what SEO is, how he transitioned from a love of chemistry and potential career in pharmacy to journalism to SEO, and the darker side of the industry plus more.This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, recorded at Youthworx studio in Brunswick, edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Caspar goes binge thinking with 31 year old osteopath and small business owner Jemimah Nicholson. They discuss what osteopathy is and how it differs from similar allied health practices such as physiotherapy. Jemimah outlines the history of the profession and how it is evolving over time. They discuss the challenges in healthcare, how sedentary lifestyles impact our muscles and bones, and what we should all be doing to keep our bodies in good shape. This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, was edited by Charlotte Morton and features music by Big Gigantic.You can find out more about Jemimah's clinical practice "Preston Osteopathy" by visiting the website, or through following her on Instagram (@preston.osteopathy) or Facebook.
Episode 54 covers three topics: Mentoring and closing the gap between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians, finding musical feet and balancing everyday life with creativity, and the future of democratic participation through technology.34-year-old Tom Wensley works for AIME (The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience), is Co-Director of New Vote (check out Season 2 episode 36 with Dion McCurdy for a full episode on this) and is a founding member of the band Standby Empire.This episode is jam packed with Tom’s stories from how AIME began, the most recent Imagination Declaration at Garma and the work AIME is expanding into with African-Australians and internationally. Plus Caspar and Tom discuss all things democracy and effecting change in a world of fake news, and how Tom’s work in all three of his passions essentially hopes to create more bridges and understanding between people.This episode of Binge Thinking was produced by Nina Roxburgh, was edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
This episode brings you Caspar's conversation with 23-year-old social entrepreneur Rona Glynn-McDonald. Rona is a Kaytyete woman from Central Australia, and the founder and CEO of CommonGround, a not-for-profit organisation that shares First Nations cultures, histories and lived experiences through storytelling.After going to school in Alice Springs, Rona moved to Melbourne to study Economics and Finance where she realised just how few non-indigenous Australians had been exposed to the 60,000 year old cultures of First Nations people. This led her to rekindle her creative side and was the genesis of Common Ground. Today she's also working to start a 'First Nations Practice' within the Foundation for Young Australians' (FYA) "YLab" youth consulting firm.Rona and Caspar discussed her journey across Australia and how she came to create Common Ground. She highlighted some of the work they are doing capturing ancient stories that have never before been shared outside their country and culture, and (as always) discussed her passion, struggle and hopes for the future.This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, recorded at Youthworx, and features music by Big Gigantic.
What do you know about Virtual Reality technology? Maybe you've seen those photos of people with VR goggles on and wondered how they avoid walking into things? You might have been curious to know if the technology is used beyond video games and pornography? This episode brings you Caspar's conversation with 24 year old VR entrepreneur and software developer Ryan Pousson. Along with David Chaseling, Ryan is the co-founder of Paraspace - a startup using VR technology to provide training courses in dangerous work for the construction industry. Ryan and Caspar discuss the evolution of VR technology, how the latest Oculus hardware has transformed its portability and ease of use, Ryan's experience running a startup straight out of university, and of course his passions, struggles, and hopes for the future.This episode of Binge Thinking was produced by Nina Roxburgh, was co-edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Have you ever notices on ads for pads and tampons they’re always shown absorbing blue liquid instead of blood? Have you ever had to dash from a meeting at work with a tampon discreetly in your hand so that no one notices? Maybe you got your period when you weren’t expecting and have had to quietly whisper to your colleague if they have a spare one.31-year-old Casimira Melican, who works as a research and advocacy officer at the Victorian Women’s Trust, joins Caspar to discuss the new book, About Bloody Time. The book aims to address the stigma and shame associated with menstruation and menopause.She explores the idea that workplaces should adopt menstrual leave, how the notion of the male body as neutral and the female body as “other” has shaped the experience and treatment of periods throughout time, and how even getting an Emoji of period stained underwear is still unacceptable in 2019.This episode of Binge Thinking was hosted and produced by Nina Roxburgh, was recorded at Youthworx studio in Melbourne, was co-edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Tax is the system that funds our roads, schools, hospitals, welfare and more. Without it, the government has less money to spend. But what happens when our jobs and economy change so radically, that people no longer earn enough money to be taxed? Or when big tech giants like Google and Uber use tax-payer built infrastructure, like the NBN, but don’t have to pay a digital services tax?It may be a topic most people care not to immerse themselves in, either because its too complicated or overwhelming – especially when politicians use it (often incorrectly) to sway you one way or another during election time – but fear not! In this episode, Caspar sits down with 27 year old Tax Advisor and Specialist, Yash Rathi, who brings a wealth of passion and interest in tax, how it operates, what the biggest challenges are and how we should be dreaming of the future of tax.If you’re interested in finding out more about the ideas raised in Yash’s episode, he recommends the following:Treasury – Tax Policyhttps://www.treasury.gov.au/policy-topics/taxationRecent topics include:National Innovation and Science AgendaParliamentary progress of Tax BillsPrograms and initiatives – TaxationTax evasion and multinational tax avoidanceAustralian Tax Officehttps://www.ato.gov.au/General/Consultation/What-we-are-consulting-about/Open-consultation/This link provides information about what the ATO is consulting about – i.e. consultations with the community, industry groups and the tax, accounting and legal professions, on matters of concern and interest to them.This episode of Binge Thinking was produced by Nina Roxburgh, was recorded at Youthworx studio in Melbourne, was co-edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
What is mechanical engineering and why do we need it in our lives? According to our guest, 28 year old Aileen Ng, mechanical engineering enters most facets of our lives, from our train system and bridges, to our toasters, our renewable energy and more.Aileen has spent the last 8 years or so studying and working as a mechanical engineer and industrial designer. But, like many people out there, she soon realised that while she was passionate about design, she did not enjoy working as an engineer.Aileen now works as a graphic designer and illustrator for the magazine Why Not?. In this episode, we discuss her journey training in engineering, her experience working in overhead wire engineering for train lines, how she found the male-dominated STEM workforce and why she decided to bow out of the field in pursuit of creativity through art.This episode of Binge Thinking was hosted and produced by Nina Roxburgh, was recorded at Youthworx studio in Melbourne, was co-edited by Nina and Charlotte Morton, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Press freedom is not a new issue, but many listeners in Australia, and even some overseas may have noticed that it has come into the spotlight again, with the recent AFP raids on ABC journalists.Of course, many places in the world are still fighting hard to get proper press freedom, but now there seems to be a growing number of places that have well-established traditions of a free press, but are struggling to maintain it.The heads of Australia’s media companies, rarely seen together in public, are now calling openly for new laws that protect press freedom and have criticised how the term “national security” is being used as a cover to strip away democratic debate.In this episode, Caspar speaks with 30-year-old journalism teacher and researcher Gary Dickson. Gary teaches media law at Monash University and is currently completing his second masters researching the history of press freedom and the journalist labour movement globally.Gary also founded and runs freepress.watch, a public record of violations of press freedom in Australia.Gary and Caspar discussed his background studying history, and how this led him to find his passion in journalism. He provides a summary of which Australian laws he thinks are the most damaging to press freedom, and why we should be concerned. Plus much more.This episode of Binge Thinking was produced edited by myself, Nina Roxburgh, was recorded at Youthworx studio in Melbourne, and features music by Big Gigantic.
One in three young people (26 and under) are either unemployed or underemployed in Australia. Our youth rate for unemployment is at its highest in 40 years, and the Newstart allowance for young job seekers has not increased in over 25 years, even though our cost of living has gone up. To top it all off, a recent study found there are only two rental properties currently on the market that a person on income allowance from the government can afford. At the same time, internship programs that are funded by the tax payer are leading to vulnerable young people being paid an abysmal $4 an hour while big business like Hungry Jacks use these programs to fill what would otherwise be actual paid job vacancies.How’s a young person to catch a break if they don’t have the privilege of living with their parents, volunteering and interning for months or years to gain experience for the workplace and not needing to worry about meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter? In this episode, Caspar speaks with 26 year old, Co-Executive Officer of the National Youth Commission Australia (NYC), Alex McLean who is working to uncover and solve some of these big challenges for young people in Australia.Alex is a passionate advocate of youth rights and development, as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She also has a love of science with a background in epidemiology, the study of infectious diseases.Caspar and Alex binge on all things youth development in Australia, the issues coming out of the NYC’s current inquiry into youth employment, and what drives Alex in all her work.This episode was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh, recorded at Youthworx, and features music by Big Gigantic.
Have you ever wondered how we make decisions in Australia about health? Who came up with the anti-smoking laws and why? How should we approach childcare, high blood pressure, diabetes and or even just how many days we should work in the week? These are all issues that 30 year old Jay Stiles seeks to understand and influence as a Health Economist and Podiatrist.Caspar and Jay caught up to chat all things how we as a country should prioritise our competing health issues and possible solutions to create equity in health outcomes. They journey through Jay’s career working on the frontline as a podiatrist in the western suburbs, within diverse and ageing communities, moving through to research into politician’s life expectancy and more. Fundamentally, Jay tries to understand how to use our limited health resources for the most benefit and to make Australians as healthy as possible.This episode was hosted by Caspar Roxburgh, produced by Nina Roxburgh, edited by Charlotte Morton and features music by Big Gigantic.
Caspar speaks with 33 year old ‘alternative’ personal trainer Jess Daly about how she went from travelling the world as a professional dancer to becoming a fired-up physical and mental coach working with Melbourne’s queer, female and alternative clients. Jess shares her experience falling in love with the meditation of technical weight lifting, why she first went into a gym, her initial reluctance to become a trainer, her views on diet and different training techniques, and why she’s all about helping people become who they want to be. Check out Jess’s amazing instagram account @thejessdaly, and her youtube channel where she has training videos to try at home.This episode was produced by Nina Roxburgh, was edited by Lakshay Kukreja and features music by Big Gigantic.
We begin season 3, the only way we possibly could, politically. Most listeners will be aware that Australia is currently in the midst of an federal election. Here at binge thinking, we wanted to speak with youth representatives of each the parties to find out what they think the issues are, and why they feel they are best placed to look after your interests. Fundamentally, we wanted to know what makes a young person see the a bright future with a particular political party? So we approached the offices of the Young Liberals, Young Labor and Victorian Young Greens, along with some of their millennial candidates. And while the Liberal and Labor parties did not respond to our requests for an interview, one millennial Greens candidate did. Adam Pulford is a 29 year old social activist running as the Greens candidate for the electorate of Wills, which stretches from Melbourne's Inner north of Brunswick through to Coburg, Pascoe Vale, Fawkner and Glenroy. The seat is currently held by Labor's Peter Khalil by 4.9% and is considered in play for the Greens who won 31% of the primary vote in the last election. So how did Adam, a 29 year old (originally from the Northern Territory) who grew up socially conservative and first voted Liberal in 2007, end up becoming a Greens political candidate with an actual chance of winning? Adam and Caspar sat down to discuss this, along with his life working as a social activist, his work with Greens MP Adam Bandt, his views on leadership, how he came to terms with his homosexuality, and going public about his mental health. As always, this episode was produced and edited by the incredibly talented and hard working Nina Roxburgh and features music by Big Gigantic. 
In our final episode for season 2, Caspar speaks with 32-year-old registered nurse Grace Wetherall. Grace works in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) where she looks after patients in critical conditions with acute injuries often leading to death. Grace explains how people are more likely than ever to die in a hospital instead of in their own home. She outlines the difference between end of life care in ICUs versus palliative care, how hospitals can almost always keep us 'breathing' and how this differs from a 'meaningful recovery'. The two discuss the merits of voluntary euthanasia and the challenges of working in the medical field. As always, this podcast was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh and features music by Big Gigantic.
Caspar speaks with 26 year old Afghani refugee and social entrepreneur Hedayat Osyan. A former refugee from Afghanistan's Hazara ethnic minority, Hedayat came to Australia by boat when he was 17 after fleeing persecution by the Taliban. He now runs a small business and social enterprise called Nick Tiling Services. Hedayat started the business to provide decent work for refugees experiencing exploitation in the construction industry. Aside from secure ongoing work, they provide mentoring, English lessons, and support navigating the legal system in Australia.Hedayat discusses his journey from Afghanistan to Australia, and explains how he came to start Nick Tiles after getting his education in politics. He shares his view on the war in Afghanistan and how we can better integrate refugees into our society (and why this matters to all of us).As always, this episode was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh and features music by Big Gigantic.
Caspar speaks with 28 year old CEO, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Harmonious Productions: Laura Voss. Laura is a video game developer who, along with her peers at Swinburne University, started her own independent games development company straight out of university. Harmonious Productions specialises in developing nonviolent and positive games that foster genuine interaction and teamwork between players.   Laura binge thinks her journey to becoming a games developer and CEO. She describes the moment she figured out that you can actually study games at uni, her experience being thrown in the deep end of the game developer world and her feeling of impostor syndrome. We discussed how to make a video game, her background in psychology and her comapny's philosophy of promoting non-violent gaming. Laura also talks about her struggle to risk it all, launch the company, and then take on the responsiblity of ensuring her colleagues have a job. As always, this podcast was produced, edited and brought to life by Nina Roxburgh, and features music by Big Gigantic. You can find Harmonious Productions (formerly Harmonious Games) on Twitter. We've also included demo footage of their first release Putty Pals (below) which Laura and Caspar discuss in the episode. Putty Pals is available to play on Nintendo Switch and Steam. 
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a legit rockstar? In this episode, Caspar speaks to 32 year old rock musician Michael Lars Godde. He has travelled the world playing original music composed with his two bands "Me" and "Other Animals" (Facebook, Instagram). Michael has shared stages with the likes of Portishead, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and has played festivals like Secret Garden Party and Big Day Out. Michael shares his experience in the music industry, along with why he prefers busking to big shows, his love of exercise to keep his spirits up, and his parallel career in social work. This podcast was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh, recorded at Lupine Studios, and features the track “Oh Lordy” by Other Animals.
Come binge thinking with 29-year-old Tiny Homes enthusiast Molly Bryson. With a burning interest in design, fuelled by an unsustainable housing market and several YouTube sessions led Molly to build a Tiny Home with her partner. The only challenge? She had no carpentry skills. A wide ranging and, at times philosophical conversation covering sustainability, design, architecture, housing affordability gender stereotypes, the fear of getting things wrong, social media and appearances and the do-it-yourself experience. This episode was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh, with music by Big Gigantic. Get On Board!You can find out more about starting your own Tiny Home project by visiting Brunswick Tool Library or signing up for a Hammertime workshop.
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