The Wheeler Centre
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So You Think You Can Pod 2017
In deciding the winner of the second annual So You Think You Can Pod competition, we invited three Australian podcast hopefuls to have their pitches prodded, workshopped and sharpened by our panel of audio producers in front of a live audience – with a Wheeler Centre mentorship and prize pack worth $8,000 up for grabs. Listen in as the judges – Eric George (Australian), Kate Montague (Audiocraft) and Julie Shapiro (Radiotopia, USA), alongside Sophie Black and Jon Tjhia from the Wheeler Centre – delve deep into new audio ideas.
Joining us as finalists for this event were Coel Healy (Perth, via Skype), Penelope Bartlau (supported by team members Darius Kedros and Patrick Humbert) and Melanie Thomson (with Nick Henderson of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives).
Listen to part one, featuring Julie Shapiro and Sophie Black in conversation, here.
Jon Tjhia was the Wheeler Centre’s Senior Digital Editor.
He worked on the Wheeler Centre's multimedia, editorial and digital projects from 2010–2020, including #discuss, the short-form multimedia series Housekeeping, and long-form podcast series Better Off Dead and The Messenger, which won several awards. He's a co-editor and co-founder of the Australian Audio Guide, and has been a member of Audiocraft's programming committee, the Walkley Awards' Radio/Audio Feature judging panel, the New York Festivals Radio Awards Grand Jury and ABC RN's Ian Reed Foundation committee for audio fiction/drama.
Elsewhere, Jon produces the Paper Radio literary fiction and creative non-fiction podcast, makes the occasional radio thing, writes essays and plays music with Speed Painters. In 2016, he was a top-ten finalist in Radiotopia's Podquest competition.
Better Off Dead was named Finalist at New York Festivals Radio Awards 2016. The Messenger was awarded the Grand Trophy and two Gold Medals at New York Festivals Radio Awards 2017; the 2017 UNAA Media Award for Best Radio Documentary; the 2017 Walkley Award for Radio/Audio Feature; and (with Behind the Wire's They Cannot Take the Sky), the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission Media Award. It was also a finalist at the 2017 Quill Awards, and runner-up for the 2018 Whicker's Documentary Audio Recognition Award.
Previously, as a digital producer at ABC Radio Australia, Jon developed websites in seven languages, interviewed musicians from around the Pacific Islands, and provided multi-platform coverage of that region’s largest music festival, Fest'napuan. He’s occasionally involved in art and sound projects (including a collaborative residency in Wiluna, Western Australia, Eavesdropping at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, and the Soundhouse programme at London's Barbican Centre) and has presented, suggested and advised on sound design and audio storytelling at an armful of festivals, conferences and email threads.
He holds a BA (Cultural Studies) and MMm. The latter is an actual postnominal, although your cooking is indeed good.
Julie Shapiro is the executive producer of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts.
From 2014–15, Julie was the executive producer of ABC RN's Creative Audio Unit. In 2000, she co-founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival – where as artistic director she shaped the Festival's creative trajectory and prioritised innovative audio and a cross-pollinating international listening culture.
Julie has taught radio to university students, presented at conferences all over the globe, and produced stories for the airwaves and podcasts in the US and beyond. She lives with her husband and son in Arlington, MA.
Kate Montague is the Founder and Director of Audiocraft – an organisation for Australian radiomakers and podcasters.
She has made audio stories for ABC RN’s Earshot, This Is About, Pocketdocs and Long Story Short programmes, the CBC's Love Me podcast, NPR’s Snap Judgement, FBi Radio’s All The Best, online publications such as Narratively, and exhibitions such as The Pool.
Kate is currently doing a practice led PhD at Macquarie University researching personal storytelling in radio documentaries and podcasts.
Sophie Black is head of publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the national to writers scheme The Next Chapter, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up titles such as Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Daily Review and SmartCompany. In 2013, she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights publication Right Now.
Eric George is a multiple Walkley Award-winning podcast producer and the Australian's Multimedia Editor. He produced the investigative documentaries Bowraville and Ballarat's Children and launched the newspaper's weekly business podcast, The Money Cafe.
Eric also covers netball for the Australian, and hosts Three Feet Away, a netball podcast. He has worked with SBS, Business Spectator and Eureka Report. Prior to journalism, Eric pursued a career as a winemaker.