Oula Ghannoum is a Lebanese-Australian Muslim who has happy memories of Ramadan evening festivities during her childhood in Tripoli. Oula kindly provides an introduction to the religious and cultural significance of Ramadan for the interest of non-Muslim listeners and shares insights about how Ramadan is observed. This includes a description of prayer rituals at mosques and street food fairs and about Sawm (fasting) and Zakat (charitable giving).
Category: WOAE podcast
The Moon with science educator Selwyn Holland
Discussion of what makes the Moon a natural satellite, how it effects the tides, and what explains the changing visibility of the Moon from Earth across the various lunar phases. Also covers some popular culture perceptions of the Moon including whether a full moon could affect human behaviour and whether the Moon landing had been faked. This is a re-edit of a prior episode.
Former Superyachts steward and deckhand
Julia Beveridge is a former Superyacht crew worker with experience as a steward and deckhand. Julia reflects on this vocational experience and comments on the accuracy of the reality TV show 'Below Deck'. The audio montage from Below Deck comes from a few seconds of various episodes of the program owned by Bravo TV. The theme music is derived from ‘Tuesday Morning’ by The Pogues written by Spider Stacy.
Master Control Operator Julia Beveridge
A television professional with vast experience as a Master Control Operator, Julia Beveridge gives us an introduction to what’s involved in the role including some of the technicalities of managing all of the vision and audio for the network and the communication skills that help in this line of work.
Gender Equity Programs Manager, Dr Kumi de Silva
Dr Kumi de Silva is Gender Equity Programs Manager at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion at UTS in conversation about gender equity issues and sharing what motivated her vocational shift away from academic research as a scientist to this professional role.
Lebanese food culture, Karima Hazim
Karima Hazim shares the motivation behind her efforts to document and share Lebanese food culture and how it relates to the history of the migrant experience. One of the ways Karima is doing this is through Sunday Kitchen, a cooking class she runs with her mother whose family left Lebanon at the start of the civil war in the 1970s and migrated to Australia where traditional recipes, ingredients and cooking methods were passed down through the generations. Karima had been a student of Fashion Design at UTS and went on to create her own small fashion label. She tells the story of her experiences meeting with tailors in regional Vietnam and how she found a way to overcome the language barriers and cultural differences by relating through food. The theme music is derived from 'Tuesday Morning' by The Pogues written by Spider Stacy.
Live at the Powerhouse: DJ Soup in conversation
This episode of the Wide Open Air Exchange was recorded with a live audience at the Powerhouse Museum as part of an event celebrating recorded sound, music, radio and audiophile content. We learn about DJ Soup's lifelong interests in sampling and beat-making as a pioneer of the Australian hip hop and trip hop music scene in the 1990s and beyond, as well as his experience playing professional basketball for the Sydney Kings.
High School Careers Advisor (radio version)
Jenine Smith shares insights from her vocation as a careers adviser, assisting high school students with understanding their skills, abilities and interests and with identifying post-school learning and vocational opportunities. Jenine is President of the Careers Advisers Association of NSW & ACT. The live event mentioned in the opening is in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum on 2 February 2023.
Yolngu musical artist Yirrmal
Yirrmal joined us via a studio in Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land to discuss his music, culture, and community connections. Yirrmal shares how his earliest memory of music was as a child playing on stage with members of Yothu Yindi (one of the most famous Aboriginal musical groups) and how growing up in Daliwuy Bay and listening to his elders' stories inspired his song writing. This conversation has been reshared on 26 January which is a significant date in Australia's colonial history. The Wide Open Air Exchange regards that date as a commemoration not a celebration and a moment to focus on Aboriginal perspectives. This is a quote from Yirrmal during the interview: “All of the songs for Yolgnu people it’s pretty much like bringing people together and making a unity as we are one people of Australia. And so our song it’s about healing – healing the times, healing the past – what it was before – and then we’re hoping for the better future to come to everyone living in Australia. We are all Australians”.
What are the concerns about NLP?
This is a follow up to an introduction to Natural Language Processing (NLP) in response to a listener suggestion that we should consider concerns and fears about the technology. Dr Sarah Barns has an academic and vocational speciality in Digital Futures and is someone who thinks deeply about the history of technology and information as well as being an artist with creative practices.
Papyrology and ethics in Ancient History (radio version)
Dr Rachel Yuen-Collingridge shares insights from her studies of papyrology including ideas about cultural receptions to new forms of knowledge communication technology in antiquity and thoughts on ethical approaches to studying Ancient History. This is the radio version broadcast on 2SER 107.3FM. An extended podcast version of this conversation (which is twice as long) is available by subscribing for free to the Wide Open Air Exchange podcast. After you subscribe, look in your podcast library for the episode titled: “Papyrology, Dr Rachel Yuen-Collingridge". Rachel was a guest on the Wide Open Air Exchange in early September 2022 and this radio version is being shared as part of a short holiday series while the podcast is on hiatus.
Historian Catherine Freyne (radio version)
Revisiting part of a conversation with historian Catherine Freyne about her doctoral project which situates her own family experience of her father being secretly homosexually active with a wife and kids in an historical context. The extended podcast version of this conversation (which is more than twice as long) is available by subscribing for free to the Wide Open Air Exchange podcast and searching in your podcast library for the episode titled: "Sexuality, History, and Family Memoir". Catherine was a guest on the Wide Open Air Exchange in July 2022 whilst a doctoral researcher at UTS nearing completion of a thesis titled, “The Family as Closet: Gay/Bisexual married men and their families in Sydney, 1970-2000″. Some of the primary sources that Catherine had been studying were her father’s personal correspondence and writings which document his experiences of having secret relationships with men and his reflections after leaving a 30 year marriage and claiming a homosexual identity. This is the radio version that was broadcast on 2SER 107.3FM Sydney.
Film chat with Davis Rivera
Catching up with film enthusiast Davis Rivera about what we've seen at the cinema in the past year and our recent streaming habits. We also draw on Davis' academic studies of film at the University of Oxford for an analysis of why 'Jeanne Dielman' (pictured) topped the critics list of best films of all time in the once a decade Sight and Sound poll.
Crystal healing and chakras, Emma Bellamy
Emma Bellamy shares what's involved in her crystal bed healing practice and the qualities that are ascribed to chakras in her wisdom tradition. This conversation was conducted in a spirit of agnostic curiosity and openness to learn about different world views and theologies.
Quit smoking facilitator, Natalie Clays
Natalie Clays had a vocational calling after quitting smoking at an Allen Carr's Easyway seminar and made a mid-career change from a successful corporate role to helping other people to quit smoking. Natalie is Director and Facilitator for Allen Carr's Easyway operations in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. I also credit Allen Carr's methods for my own success (Christine Gallagher) with quitting smoking tobacco and quitting drinking alcohol, and we share those experiences.
Einstein and relativity
Science and maths educator Selwyn Holland shares a lesson on physicist Albert Einstein and how his theories of relativity significantly changed our understanding of time and gravity with related findings about the speed of light and the concept of spacetime. You'll hear about Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity (and with it non-inertial motion, constant speed and time dilation) and his Theory of General Relativity (and with it gravity, acceleration and the curvature of spacetime) and how his famous equation E=mc2 fits in this story. Selwyn is also enthusiastic about Einstein the person and his humanitarian efforts and influence in the scientific community. This episode covers some of the historical context of his work, his contributions to debate about quantum mechanics and atomic theory, and his prediction of gravitational waves which was only recently confirmed.
Ocean swimming, Melanie Junghans
Melanie Junghans took up ocean swimming while recovering from a foot injury a few years ago and now she does charity ocean swim events with Can Too, a non-profit organisation raising money to fund early career cancer researchers. Mel swims regularly as part of an ocean swim community and enjoys the mindset of it and the variety of ocean creatures that she sees. The song featured in this episode is 'The Swimming Song' by O'Shea.
Transborderism, Dr Mitxy Mabel Meneses Gutiérrez
An introduction to transborderism and how living at a borderland region is a formative experience and specifically, in the thesis worked discussed, the perspectives of pupils and students at the Cali-Baja region who routinely cross the Mexico-U.S. border. Dr Mitxy Mabel Meneses Gutiérrez is a lecturer in International Relations and a researcher at Sheffield Hallam University with interests in postcolonialism and transborderism and a geopolitical focus on the Americas.
Nominate a nonagenarian
We are seeking to feature intergenerational conversations with people aged in their 90s who have some aspect of their vocational history or a special interest that would be a good fit for the Wide Open Air Exchange. Do you know someone who would be interested in sharing their experiences and insights? Find more information at wideopenairexchange.com
Film reviewer Michael Jones
Michael Jones has been reviewing movies for a morning radio segment since 1997 and here he shares his approach to film reviewing, what kinds of movies he enjoys, what it is about the cinema experience that appeals to him, some formative experiences watching movies, and other experiences and interests.
Travel writer Alex Carlton
Alex Carlton shares what it's like being a travel writer—a vocational speciality she's developed over the course of two decades working as a journalist. You'll hear Alex's experience of international travel at a time when the world is emerging from the Covid pandemic, and her tips for being prepared when travelling through airports.
Zero-waste innovator, Joost Bakker
Joost Bakker is a zero-waste activist and innovator who is the subject of the documentary film 'Greenhouse by Joost' about his Future Food System: a project of designing and constructing a zero-waste building installed with a self-sustaining urban food system.
Tim Ritchie on radio and music
Tim Ritchie got his first radio gig as a school student and went on to carve out a place for innovative music on the radio as a broadcaster and music curator in a career spanning 46 years to date. Tim shares insights from his vocational experiences, including how being an introvert made him suited to radio and being a club DJ, along with philosophical thoughts on the meaning of life. This episode contains short excerpts of music by Prince Far I, Robert Johnson, Status Quo, Captain Beefheart, Centriphugal, Derek and the Dominos (and The Pogues in our theme).
Thoughts on Angela Lansbury’s legacy
On hearing the news of the death of Angela Lansbury, I recorded this personal reflection about her influence as a role model of someone doing great work later in life. I quite often remind myself that I've not yet reached the age that Angela Lansbury was when she made Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and I think of what could be possible in the next few decades of my vocational life. Coincidentally I had been thinking of Angela Lansbury before going to bed last night and woke up to the news of her death this morning, Sydney time. I expect there will be others making similar reflections, but here's mine all the same. Thank you, Angela Lansbury, for being a role model of someone who happily did not retire.
Identical twins, Jaimee and Jesse Lynne
12-year-old identical twins Jaimee Rose Lynne and Jesse May Lynne share what it's like being a twin, and their mum Ali Gunn provides insights as a parent of twins. Jaimee and Jesse help us to understand their special bond as well as the challenges of being compared to your twin. We get to know Jaimee's and Jesse's individual personal qualities, values and interests, and also hear about their experiences with modelling and acting including on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder.
Towards a Black feminist theory of ecology, Lydia Ayame Hiraidē
Lydia Ayame Hiraidē is a doctoral researcher studying environmentalism from a social justice perspective and thinking about what it means to move towards a Black feminist theory of ecology.
Q&A with Professor Robin Dunbar
In this seminar-style podcast, evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar answers your questions about Dunbar's Number and his research on social bonding, friends, and religion. You can find the time markers for each question within the episode page at wideopenairexchange.com
Careers adviser Jenine Smith
Jenine Smith is President of the Careers Advisers Association of NSW and ACT and shares insights from her role as a careers adviser at an independent secondary school. Careers advisers assist students with understanding their skills, abilities and interests and with identifying post-school learning and vocational opportunities.
Papyrology, Dr Rachel Yuen-Collingridge
Dr Rachel Yuen-Collingridge shares insights from her studies of papyrology including ideas about cultural receptions to new forms of knowledge communication technology in antiquity and thoughts on ethical approaches to studying Ancient History.
Lower back pain management
Professor Paulo Ferreira is a physiotherapist with a PhD in management of low back pain and a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. This conversation includes insights from research on psychological interventions for lower back pain and draws on evidence of the importance of good sleep, exercise and functional movement, and maintaining social connections if you’re someone who’s managing lower back pain. NB. 150min exercise referred to in this conversation is per week.
Urbanist Dr Sarah Barns
"Urbanist" is only one of the vocational descriptors for Dr Sarah Barns who has an interesting and varied vocational life at the intersections of academic research, public art and creative practice, and policy and strategy, with some of her specialities being in Urban Research and Digital Futures. Here we discuss Sarah's early influences and interests and some of the thinking that informs her interdisciplinary approach.
Small bar owner Adam Parker
Adam Parker shares his vocational pathway to being a venue licensee starting out as a musician and a sound and lighting technician, along with thoughts on his business ethos as a small craft beer bar owner.
Getting to know Robin Dunbar
Oxford Professor Robin Dunbar speaks about his early life in Australia and East Africa, his early interest in philosophy, and his accidental pathway to making a world famous scientific discovery and becoming a professor of evolutionary psychology. Professor Dunbar will be our guest again in September 2022 for a seminar style discussion of his recent books, answering your questions. Listen to find out more.
Forensic taphonomy, Dr Maiken Ueland
An introduction to forensic taphonomy and the research of the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER). Forensic taphonomy is the study of human remains from the time of death to the time of discovery, and AFTER is a facility researching what happens after death with the help of donors who have given their bodies for scientific research.
Gaming and Tech Exploration with Jeremy Ray
Jeremy Ray is a video game critic aka "Junglist" and content strategist for the blockchain tech company Enjin. You'll hear about Jeremy's aptitude for problem solving and his interest in systems exploration which are qualities that have informed some of his vocational choices. We also discuss Jeremy's use of the Zettlekasten system of note taking and his research interest in the relationship between wait time and toxicity in gaming. Jeremy has been a guest on the Wide Open Air Exchange a few times and most of his episodes were archived along with the first few years of the program when the Wide Open Air Exchange found a radio home at 2SER 107.3FM in 2022. This conversation introduces Jeremy to new listeners who have recently found the program and covers new topics as well.
High school teacher Rowan Barrow
Rowan Barrow is a special needs high school teacher in Darwin with a background in Sport and Recreation including school sports administration in Arnhem Land and Penang. The conversation follows Rowan's vocational pathway from being a competitive school age swimmer and triathlete to professions as a school sports coordinator and high school teacher and overcoming classroom presentation nerves along the way. The feature photo is Rowan at Nawurlandja lookout Arnhem Land escarpment, Kakadu National Park. We pay respects to the Bininj/Mungguy people traditional custodians of Kakadu.
18 July is United Nations Nelson Mandela International Day and on 2SER Breakfast we reflected on Mandela’s social justice legacy through the prism of pop culture.
Sexuality, History, and Family Memoir
Historian Catherine Freyne is nearing completion of a doctoral thesis at UTS, titled: "The Family as Closet: Gay/Bisexual married men and their families in Sydney, 1970-2000" which places her own father’s story and her family's experience in an historical context.
Introduction to Vaporwave
Max Mahood shares his special interest in the multimedia music genre Vaporwave
Medical cannabis research, Cilla Zhou
A conversation about cannabinoid science and developments in medical cannabis research with Cilla Zhou from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.
Social enterprise founder, Yvonne Kelly
On World Refugee Day, we hear about a social enterprise that is connecting refugees and new migrants with career coaches and mentors. Yvonne Kelly is a recruitment specialist and careers coach with 25 years experience who founded a social enterprise called Glow Up Careers that trains corporate coaches and mentors to help nurture diverse talent.
Media presenter and writer James Jennings
A conversation with James Jennings about some of his many encounters with the creative people he's met or interviewed over the years as a film and music journalist, including Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cyndi Lauper, Ice Cube, Grandmaster Flash, Mark Ronson and others. James is a host of The Australian Ghost Whisperer podcast and you'll hear about his experiences with the supernatural and paranormal.
Workplace diversity and inclusion
Research by academics from Business Schools at UTS and Macquarie University finds that Diversity and Inclusion programs in organisations may actually be perpetuating inequalities. Professor Alison Pullen is a Professor of Gender, Work and Organization at Macquarie University and a chief investigator in this ARC research project.
Danny Chifley aka Banga
Talking comedy, hip hop and radio with MC and broadcaster Danny Chifley aka Banga. It takes a few minutes to wrangle the conversation from Banga comedically riffing about his form as an altar boy to getting deeper into his experiences with music creation and radio broadcasting. Banga has been making music for more than 20 years including hip hop with Chaos Maths and Dirtbox Kings and more recently making electronic, ambient and experimental sounds with Vape Dadz.
Boating and maritime heritage, Chris Farquharson
Chris Farquharson shares insights from a lifelong interest in boating and most recently in his experience as a volunteer with the Sydney Heritage Fleet helping to restore and run heritage boats. After being born in Zambia, Chris was raised on the west coast of Scotland and the south coast of England and he now lives on the east coast of Australia.
NLP and machine learning, Professor Massimo Piccardi
An introduction to Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning with Professor Massimo Piccardi including a discussion of some of the applications of NLP and how machine learning relates to artificial intelligence. Professor Piccardi is Head of Discipline, SEDE Signal Processing and Analytics at UTS and leader for the Big Data Analytics program of the Global Big Data Technologies Centre. This conversation was recorded in May 2022. There is a later episode titled "What are the concerns about NLP?" shared in January 2023.
Birth educator and doula Ann Bridges
Ann Bridges is a birth educator, registered nurse, doula, clinical hypnotherapist and author of the book Gentle Birthing which is a practical guide for having a positive birth experience through the power of thought and preparedness.
Podcast news and previews
An update on what's happening with the Wide Open Air Exchange podcast schedule at the moment, and previews of forthcoming conversations with doula Ann Bridges (about gentle birthing) and with music radio presenter Tim Ritchie (feat. music of Robert Johnston, Status Quo, and Centriphugal). Subscribe to receive forthcoming episodes via iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or your preferred podcast platform.
Hospital volunteer Bernadette Gallagher
Insights from a long-serving hospital volunteer who has shared many profound experiences with people in their final days of life in palliative care wards. Bernadette Gallagher had been a volunteer for more than 30 years in Sydney hospitals, including as a patient escort and giving pastoral care, until the Covid pandemic put that on hold. Like other seniors who volunteer, Bernadette would like to return to her meaningful work and community connections.
Material culture and museology, Matthew Connell
Matthew Connell's early interests in science and culture led to a 30+ year career as a museum curator specialising in computing and mathematics. We hear about Matthew's early influences, his thoughts on the relevance of museums and material culture, and his concerns about the trappings of technology.
TikTok creator Tracy Taylor aka everydaytrace
An introduction to TikTok as a forum for special interests and for community-building. Tracy Taylor aka everydaytrace joined TikTok during the first Covid lockdown and found communities of like-minded people in comedy and lesbian TikTok channels.
Scriptwriter and author, Clare Atkins
Clare Atkins shares her experiences of scriptwriting for television and researching for novels as well as insights from her role as a development executive assessing proposals for new television programs.
Plant scientist, Oula Ghannoum
Plant physiologist Associate Professor Oula Ghannoum is working on solutions to problems of climate change and food security. Her research aims at discovering ways of enhancing photosynthesis and optimising protected cropping. As well as explaining her research interests, Oula shares personal and vocational experiences such as migrating to Australia from war-torn Lebanon and how being vision-impaired informed some aspects of her career choices.
Artist Tom Swain aka Dript.
Visual artist Tom Swain aka Dript shares his experience of discovering an expression through art after struggling at school with ADHD and dyslexia. Tom shares his experience of realising he’s an artist and the stories behind some of his artworks.
Nixon in China 50th anniversary
Jingdong Yuan was a student in China when US President Richard Nixon made an historic visit for diplomatic meetings, and these days he's an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney specialising in China's defence and security policy and Asia-Pacific security. In these respects Jingdong is the perfect guest for discussing the historical significance of the event as well as the legacy of the visit in the context of current US-China relations and China's place in the world.
Immunologist Dr Kumi de Silva (not about Covid!)
Dr Kumudika (Kumi) de Silva is a senior immunologist developing vaccines for livestock and advocating for cultural diversity in higher education leadership.
Philosopher Dr Tim Dean
Dr Tim Dean describes his approach to philosophy communication and explains his interdisciplinary research on the evolution of morality including some of the ideas explored in his book, How We Became Human: And Why Need to Change
Carpenter Allan Killick
Allan Killick is a carpenter and joiner with more than 37 years experience as a contractor in the construction industry. You'll hear a discussion of the culture of worksites and the importance of mentoring when learning a trade.
Getting educated about Aboriginal histories
A resource for learning about the ongoing impacts of colonialism on First Nations peoples
Astronomer and astrophysicist Sarah Caddy
Sarah Caddy is an astronomer and astrophysicist working on the Huntsman Telescope. Includes foundational knowledge about the universe, ideas about life on other planets, and the potential for space tourism to change humanity for the better.
Music composer and cabaret performer, Tim Hansen
Tim Hansen is a music composer, youth arts tutor, and satirical cabaret performer. Tim advocates for investment in the arts and is optimistic that Covid lockdowns have reminded people of the value of shared cultural experiences.
Sharing some news…
The Wide Open Air Exchange is now a radio program on 2SER. Click through to hear what this means for the podcast.
Film Club discussion: small town movies
Discussing movies with small town themes with Davis Rivera and with thanks to our contributors from around the world: Astrid (Poland), Lachlan (Australia), Betsy (United States), Natalie (England), Chanan (Israel), Rachael (Australia), Anne-Marie (Australia).