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Spend an hour in someone else's life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.

ABC Radio

    • Aug 12, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 50m AVG DURATION
    • 1,290 EPISODES

    Listeners of Conversations that love the show mention: sarah k, richard, australia, varied, tony, american, ones, media, living, interview, conversations, interesting, stories, questions, knowledge, fantastic, guests, excellent, topics, favorite.

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    Latest episodes from Conversations


    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 52:09

    Academic Will Visconti on the true history of the most famous cancan dancer in Paris at the turn of the century, and her later work taming lions

    Tony the Aussie-Vietnamese Gangster Pastor

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 50:18

    Tony Hoang was a teenage heroin dealer in Cabramatta at 13, grappling with addiction at 21, then cried out to God for a sign. What came next was more literal than he could have imagined

    Platypuses' best friend

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 48:18

    It was love at first sight, when Jack Ashby first set eyes upon a platypus specimen as a young university student

    The story of the Bible in Australia

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 49:42

    Historian Meredith Lake with the Bible's Australian history, from the convict era, to the Mabo land rights campaign, and the modern-day Pentecostal churches (R)

    My Giddy Aunt — women's vaudeville in Australia

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 52:01

    Documentary filmmaker Sharon Connolly has unearthed her family history of female whistling comedians, and how they changed ideas about how women should behave

    Running from the FBI: life in The Weather Underground

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 53:16

    Zayd Dohrn's parents were militant left-wing revolutionaries, and he was born while they were living underground, fugitives from the FBI.

    A life in the law, on the Glitter Strip

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 51:18

    Gold Coast lawyer Chris Nyst on his 45 years in criminal law, defending career criminals, corrupt police, heroin addicts and a postcard bandit

    The late Archie Roach: turning spirit into song

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 51:10

    Archie tells of writing Took the Children Away and playing it in public for the first time, of his belated reunion with his siblings, and his love story with Ruby Hunter (R) CW: For our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners, this program features the voice of someone who has died.  Please take care when listening.

    Charmian, the violin and the zipper man

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 50:31

    Australian violinist Charmian Gadd reflects on her 80 years, from her origins in the bush at Ourimbah on the NSW Central Coast, to her love affair with her teacher, the extraordinary Richard Goldner, who invented a zipper for the war effort

    How Tom became 'DJ Hookie'

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 45:39

    Tom Nash was 19 years old when he fell terribly ill with meningococcal septicemia, and all his limbs were amputated. After he learned to walk again on prosthetic legs and began to navigate life with hooks for arms, he built a new life as a nightclub DJ

    The art of survival

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 49:30

    Writer Susan Varga sees her life as full of hard joys - including her Hungarian Jewish family's surviving WWII, her recovery from the stroke which destroyed her ability to write and speak, and finding the great love of her life in middle age

    Freedom's child

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 53:06

    Sisonke Msimang fought hard to find a home. She was born in exile, the daughter of a freedom fighter who had fled South Africa during apartheid.

    Mapping two and a half million guitars

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 53:00

    Even the cheapest guitars are made in part from trees which are becoming increasingly rare. Chris Gibson's curiosity about these timbers led him on a worldwide journey to understand the guitar's past and future (R)

    The flying vet from outback Queensland

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 52:42

    Dr Campbell Costello (aka Dr Cozy) has probably the largest, and most exciting, consult room in the world

    Maggie Beer: from Bankstown to the Barossa

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 53:14

    Cook and food producer Maggie Beer started her first job at the age of 14 in a factory making chenille bedspreads. Two decades later, she found her dream job, almost by accident

    Stupid crooks, crooked cops, and honest John

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2022 51:06

    Former narcotics agent, John Shobbrook battled corruption when investigating an audacious plan to air-drop heroin into Far North Queensland in the 1970s (R)

    More than the station manager's wife

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 50:48

    When Sally Warriner left behind the life she had build in the bush, it took her years to define herself as more than just the general manager's wife

    Guilty feminist Deborah France-White

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 52:29

    The podcaster and comedian on her early life in Queensland — reading Enid Blyton and yearning to wear a coat; what improv comedy taught her about human nature, and how eyebrows were the key in finding her biological family (CW: contains discussion of adoption. Please take care when listening)

    Geraldine Brooks and the world in words

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 48:48

    The historical novelist has seen enough action to last a lifetime from her days as a Middle East correspondent, and it was her mother's imaginative influence that led her to turn her fascination with history into new interpretations

    Nerida's nudibranchs, sea dragons and siphonophores

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 53:23

    Dr Nerida Wilson spends a lot of her time getting acquainted with the mysterious creatures lurking in the dark depths of the sea

    Stories from Gudanji country

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 53:24

    Debra Dank walks and talks differently when she's at home on Gudanji country, because she comes with this place. (Content warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners please take care when listening. Some elements of this program may be distressing)

    PRESENTS — The King of Kowloon

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 4:04

    Journalist Louisa Lim grew up in Hong Kong, surrounded by traces of a man, known first known as a crank, then an artist, and finally, a most unlikely icon. He called himself the King of Kowloon, and as she followed his trail, she uncovered a legacy of resistance, and found her city anew. Then she lost it forever.

    Suicide survivor Oceane Campbell

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 52:27

    Oceane was 18 when she attempted to take her own life. After a painstaking climb back into life, 20 years later she is a midwife, a writer and a mother of three (CW: mentions suicide and sexual assault)

    Barber Charles Lomu and the meaning of love

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 51:25

    The Tongan-Australian man on being privileged to see love in action in his grandparents, how a spiral into grief and anger led him to periodic detention, and how cutting hair today helps him steer young men away from a dark path

    Dr Suzie Sheehy's journey to the basement of reality

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 50:20

    Scientists continue to discover the rarer and rarer objects which make up our universe. Why are we so obsessed with the particles around us?

    Ariadne and the Minotaur

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 53:21

    Kate Forsyth on how revisiting the story of a bloodthirsty Minotaur lurking in a labyrinth in Crete made her realise how we all need monsters

    Nova Peris shines bright

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2022 53:25

    Nova is a woman of many firsts — an Olympic gold medallist and Northern Territory Senator. She continues to strive for excellence while showing up for mob and standing with her people

    Quandamooka Country to Canberra — Dr Valerie Cooms

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 52:25

    Aunty Kath, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, was Valerie's godmother, and just one of many staunch political figures on both sides of her family. Val worked her way to becoming a powerful advocate for Aboriginal people and her family CW: ATSI listeners please use discretion when listening as the program references people who have died (R)

    How Thomas found his voice on the wharves

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 51:55

    Torres Strait Islander man Thomas Mayor was working as a wharfie in Darwin when he became a union delegate, then an author, and a tireless advocate for Uluru Statement from the Heart

    River, desert, island — Julie Janson's stories

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 51:30

    After years teaching in the remote Northern Territory, Julie began to trace her ancestry among the Darug people around the Hawkesbury River. Her most recent novel was written in response to Kate Grenville's The Secret River (R)

    Gary Lang and the jewel of dance

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 46:01

    Gary is a Larrakia man from Darwin, whose dancing career has taken him from the early, bright lights of Glebe in Sydney, around the world, to the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. It all began with his mother in her wedding dress, dancing around the dining table. A warning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners: this conversation references people who have died

    Deserter, archaeologist and spy – the extraordinary adventures of Charles Masson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 54:48

    Dr Edmund Richardson tells the story of the East India Company deserter who went in search of one of Alexander the Great's lost cities, in Afghanistan (R)

    Taming the Black Dog, and burnout

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 52:03

    Gordon Parker is the founder of the Black Dog Institute, which works to remove the stigma around mental illness. His latest focus is the phenomenon of burnout at home and at work (R)

    Finding a dad, zoology and a life-threatening illness

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 52:28

    Ben Bravery tells the story of his childhood in Logan, Queensland, how he went from a career at KFC to studying male satin bowerbirds and why being a patient led him to study medicine

    My grandfather and his pet lion

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 26:14

    Author Victoria Mackinlay with the story of how her grandfather, Francis came to have a pet lion, as a gift from an Indian Maharaja

    The art of taking sperm from a rhino

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 23:20

    Dr Tamara Keeley uses reproductive technology to help save rhinos, Tasmanian devils and koalas from extinction

    Richie Ramone and the record shop

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 52:28

    No, he's not 'that' Richie Ramone, but this Richie Ramone's passion for punk is just as fierce.

    Lisa Curry on winning gold and losing Jaimi

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022

    Swimmer and entrepreneur Lisa on her life in and out of the pool, and how the loss of her daughter Jaimi has changed her

    The Needle in the Tofu

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022

    Zen priest and writer Ruth Ozeki takes us into world brimming with the voices of people and household objects, and her own experience of hearing her late father's voice in her ear (R)

    The Chloroformist — extraordinary Doctor Joseph Clover

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 53:39

    Christine Ball is an anaesthetist at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne who chanced upon an old casebook of a doctor named Joseph Clover (R)

    A daring escape from Vietnam, and a brilliant career

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 51:10

    Anh Nguyen Austen's family fled Vietnam by sea in 1982, on a wooden boat bound for the Philippines. When a once-in-a-century storm struck in South China Sea, they thought all hope was lost

    Howard Jacobson and the rocky path to writing

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 53:31

    The Booker prize winning English novelist on disappointing his parents, the time before he was a writer, and his gift for unhappiness

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