Health, medicine & psychology
Introducing our newest podcast series, The Messenger
To begin 2017, in partnership with volunteer-run oral history project Behind the Wire, we launched a new podcast series. It's called The Messenger, and we'd like to share its first episode with you.
The Messenger brings you into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island – and reveals, in intimate detail, one man's experience of what it's really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat. It's reported almost entirely via WhatsApp voice messages sent from a smuggled phone. You might remember it from last year's podcast competition, So You Think You Can Pod; it was the winning entry.About the episode
As a journalist, Michael Green had spoken to a lot of people who’ve been held in detention centres. Some were there for a few weeks, and others for as long as six years.
But he’d never spoken to someone who was still inside a detention centre, and that’s because Australia’s immigration department, and the governments of Nauru and Manus, have traditionally made it very difficult for journalists to communicate with detainees. Visitors aren’t allowed to make recordings, and the people who came by boat weren’t initially allowed to use their own phones
Then, early last year, Michael was given the phone number of a man who was still in detention on Manus Island. His name was Aziz. He was from Sudan, and he had a smuggled phone. But that was all Michael knew. So he sent him a text message saying hello, and he asked if we could speak on the phone. Aziz wrote back saying the reception in his room was too weak for calls.
Michael thought they’d have to communicate entirely by text. Then he realised that on WhatsApp, you can send little voice messages that get delivered whenever you’re in range.
And so, in March 2016, Michael and Aziz first made contact.
The Modern Family
Remember that old Ford ad: ‘The average young Australian family has 2.3 children’? Today it seems quaint and dated; it probably seemed dated to a lot of people when it first aired back in the 1990s.
The traditional nuclear family – with two heterosexual parents and two or more children – is on the decline. Reduced birth rates, the rise…
Technology and the Brain
Socrates railed against the invention of the alphabet, worrying that the written word would erode human memory. Imagine how he would have felt about Google Maps and iPhone calendar alerts.
Technological revolutions have always spawned both opportunity and panic. Today, digital technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and research into its effects on the human brain is struggling to…
Kate Grenville: The Smell Test
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Footy Fan Club
Here’s a free kick for the school holidays: a morning of footy talk and fun at the Wheeler Centre.
Alicia Sometimes and Nicole Hayes are writers, broadcasters and mad football fans. They’re two voices from the cult Outer Sanctum Aussie Rules podcast and the authors of a new book for kids, The Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017…
A League of One’s Own: The AFL, and Women’s Sport
There’s nothing new about women playing Australian Rules Football – they’ve been doing it for as long as men have. Local clubs for girls and women have existed for decades; there are now almost 1,000 of them around the country. Last year, participation jumped by 19% – with 380,000 Australian women playing throughout the year.
It’s always been clear that…
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