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Talking Australia

Author: Australian Geographic

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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.
103 Episodes
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Reaching up to 3m in length the giant Gippsland earthworm may be the world's largest of its kind. Often mistaken for a snake due to its size, this creature can only be found in a few locations in Victoria. The worms are under serious pressure by agricultural use of their habitat so, for the last 30 years, ecologist Beverley van Praagh and her team at the Giant Earthworm Project have been working closely with the Victorian government and local farmers to find ways to ensure the survival of this fascinating species. 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
Outback travel expert Ron Moon has seen more of Australia than most. He has spent much of his life exploring and writing about Australia’s remote areas and adventures, including retracing journeys of early European explorers. He fashioned a life based on his love for 4WD touring, camping, bird watching, diving, hunting, canoeing and fishing. He has also ignited that flame for multitudes of people through his writing. This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Justin Walker (Editor Australian Geographic Adventure) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com). You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic
Sophie Matterson took a break from her work in the film industry and the constraints of city life to find new inspiration in the outdoors. She ended up mustering feral camels in the Red Centre, which gave her an idea for an epic adventure. Last year during the midst of the global pandemic she embarked on a 5000km, solo, coast-to-coast trek, accompanied only by her beloved camels. 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
Albert Wiggan is an inspiration. A traditional owner and Bardi-Kija-Nyul Nyul man from the Dampier Peninsula of Western Australia, he's also an Indigenous ranger and sees himself as a translator between Western science and Aboriginal teachings. "I feel part of both worlds," the 38 year old says. His knowledge and love for nature led him to fight the government's plans for the world’s largest LNG gas export terminal at James Price Point (a vital marine sanctuary, home to songlines and dinosaur footprints). Albert lobbied the Supreme Court and fronted a blockade until the developer withdrew from the project. On this episode of Talking Australia, Albert discusses his concerns for the future of the Kimberley and how the entire nation can benefit from the region - without extraction and potential devastation of one of country's most pristine areas. 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
Darryl Jones is a bird scientist who opened up the debate about bird feeding in Australia. He went from anti-bird-feeder to becoming a responsible voice for an activity a large number of Australians enjoy doing. He is also loves colourful Hawaiian shirts and is a real treat to talk to. On this episode he says why feeding birds isn’t as bad as we were told if done right and what to look out for. His newest book “Feeding the birds at your table” is a courageous step forward to approaching a topic that has been deemed highly contagious. 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
At only 18 years of age, passionate cyclist and outdoor enthusiast Jimmy Ashby jumped on his bike and set off on a life-changing trip that even the most devoted cyclists would balk at. The South Australian teenager wanted to fulfil his dream to cycle around the whole world all by himself. Thirteen months later, Jimmy had cycled 39,000km, crossing 32 countries on four continents before arriving back home in Adelaide. In this episode he shares some of the fascinating stories and talks about people he met along the way and how the adventure helped him to find the “true Jimmy”. 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
Charles Massy is one of the most important voices of Australia's regenerative farming movement. A farmer, scientist and author, he experienced the devastating effects of traditional farming methods firsthand on his family farm. For years Charles unwittingly contributed to its decline, using chemicals and pesticides that degraded the soil. After years of drought turned the property into a dustbowl, he turned to other, more holistic, methods. These ideas helped him to carefully nurse the 2000-hectare property back to natural health and led him to share his knowledge of regenerative farming in his ground-breaking book, Call of the Reed Warbler. 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
Leila Jeffreys is a fine art photographer famous for her Australian bird portraits. Rather than capturing her motives in the outdoors she brings them into a photo studio environment and creates truly unique pictures of local birds. This gives her the ability to capture incredible detail and the results are pictures that bend the idea of where nature photography ends and fine art begins. On this episode she talks about how she ended up in photography, what motivated her to focus on bird portraits and her most special photo shoot ever. Here you can find out more about Leila´s work: https://www.leilajeffreys.com/ 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
Huw Kingston is an adventurer, speaker, entrepreneur, former cafe owner, event director, environmentalist, writer, ski guide, mountain bike guide, tour leader, parliamentary candidate and grandfather. But to most he is best known for his year-long, human-powered circumnavigation of the Mediterranean Sea. Huw sea kayaked, walked, cycled and rowed a boat 13,000 kilometres through 17 countries. This adventure coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. During his journey Huw raised funds for the charity Save the Children Australia, becoming their biggest ever individual fundraiser. 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
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 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 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
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. 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
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
Andrew Gregory is well known to readers of Australian Geographic as a remote area photographer. He is also an awarded adventurer, but on this episode Andrew talks about powerful owls and especially the ones in his backyard on the northern beaches of Sydney. Over the past few years he has become a passionate conservationist and shares his love for the wildlife in our backyards and how we can protect it and help it thrive. 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
The new Chief Scientist and Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute, Professor Kristofer Helgen talks about the future of the nation’s first museum. After a massive redevelopment the museum unlocked more than 3000sq.m of new public space and recently reopened its gates to the public. Helgen has an outstanding global research track-record and a deep understanding of museums after working for almost 10 years at the legendary Smithsonian´s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.  On this episode Kristofer talks about his new role and the future of the Australian Museum. He also explains his recent comments about the crucial role of museums in fighting future pandemics and draws hope for fighting climate change from prior global issues that we seem to have overcome.    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
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
Anna Rose became passionate about fighting climate change as a teenager. The author, public speaker, community organiser and campaigner truly knows what it means to try to be part of the solution. She's dedicated to keep pushing and trying to raise awareness and come up with better ways for people to get involved. This led to her starting Australia’s first climate advocacy-focused giving circle, Groundswell, together with other dedicated friends. On this episode Anna shares her journey to becoming one of Australia's most respected voices on climate change action and what effect the current COVID-19 pandemic has had on climate advocates efforts. She also offers great ideas and advice on how to easily be part of the change. 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
Simon Cherriman has a passion for the wedge-tailed eagle, which began after finding a nest when he was 15. To this day, he continues to find and map nests and study, photograph and film eagles in the wild. In this episode of Talking Australia, we chat to Simon about the ongoing conservation issues facing wedgies, what he’s learnt getting up close and personal with these enormous birds and what he hopes to find by tracking their long journeys around Australia.   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
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
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
Author Paddy Manning has worked as a journalist for more than 15 years and in his new book “Body count: How climate change is killing us” he is investigating the true scale of climate change related deaths. From heat stroke victims to devastating mental health issues related with climate anxiety, Manning shows that climate deaths didn’t start in 2019 during one of the worst fire seasons Australia has ever experienced. For his book Manning has spoken to survivors and the families of victims to make us realise that it is time to act.   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
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