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Signal Boost 2020 Launch: Float


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‘Where do you get your ideas?’

It’s a common question, asked of all kinds of writers and storytellers – and of musicians, artists, journalists. Their answers typically involve some combination of curiosity, hard work and practice. Often, a simple prompt or idea becomes the seed of something unexpected and engrossing.

This event marks the opening of applications for Signal Boost – the Wheeler Centre’s new podcast mentorship and development scheme. This year, applicants will be asked to share a creative response to a theme (to be revealed at this event). To show us how it’s done, we’re inviting a range of accomplished audio makers to share stories, pitches and short audio samples interpreting the theme ‘float’.

Piloted in 2019, Signal Boost offers aspiring audio producers tailored mentorship, practical support, essential tools and professional development – with intensive workshops led by some of Australia’s leading podcasters and radio industry practitioners. It’s about offering time and guidance to develop a unique voice, and a strong set of audio and critical listening skills.

In a special online broadcast, we’ll be joined by an outstanding group of audio producers: Helen Zaltzman (The Allusionist, Answer Me ThisVeronica Mars Investigations; UK), Daniel Browning (Awaye!), Jess O’Callaghan (Audiocraft, The Party Room, Background Briefing, RN Fictions) and Elizabeth Kulas (Planet Money, 7am, Reply All) – plus musician Becky Sui Zhen, and 2019 Signal Boost pilot participant Ivy Shih.

Together, they’ll launch Signal Boost 2020, toast the open-ended power of audio storytelling and celebrate the act of creating great ideas from small beginnings. Hosted by Wheeler Centre audio producer Beth Atkinson-Quinton.

The 2020 Signal Boost programme is supported by the Ian Potter Foundation and LOM.

This event will be available to watch on this page.

It’s an uncertain moment for the arts, for writers and for everybody. If you’re in a position to support our efforts to bring you books, writing and ideas from a safe distance, you can make a contribution here. Thank you for your generosity.


Helen Zaltzman

Helen Zaltzman is the award-winning host and producer of the entertainment podcasts The Allusionist, Answer Me This and Veronica Mars Investigations. She has performed on stages across Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and the UK, and has been a correspondent on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 2,... Read more

Daniel Browning

Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster, sound artist and writer. Currently, he is produces and presents Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on the ABC’s specialist journalism and arts network Radio National. Awaye! surveys contemporary Indigenous cultural pra... Read more

Ivy Shih

Ivy Shih is a science writer based in Sydney. A former virus researcher, she now writes about all areas of science – from coconut-cracking megabats to giant viruses. Her work has appeared in Cosmos, Nature, Australian Geographic and The Best Australian Science Writing 2017 & 2019. She loves ... Read more

Jess O'Callaghan

Jess O’Callaghan is Festival Manager and podcast producer at Audiocraft, and producer at ABC RN Fictions. She has worked on news and documentary programs across commercial, community and public radio as well as independent podcasts. She likes crafting strong narratives in audio journalism, conju... Read more

Elizabeth Kulas

Elizabeth Kulas is an audio host and reporter. In 2019, she created and hosted 7am, a daily news podcast from Schwartz Media. Before that, Elizabeth lived in New York, where she worked for NPR’s Planet Money podcast and Gimlet Media’s Reply All. In 2016, while working at NPR, Elizabe... Read more

Sui Zhen

Becky Sui Zhen Freeman is a Chinese-Malaysian Australian artist, musician and creative producer working across audio, visual and interactive mediums. Throughout her discography and performances in her musical project Sui Zhen, loss is examined on multiple levels, from the death of our loved ones to ... Read more

Beth Atkinson-Quinton

Beth Atkinson-Quinton is the Wheeler Centre’s audio producer, and a broadcaster, audio producer, and artistic programmer living and working on the unceded lands of the Kulin Nation. Beth is the co-founder of podcast network Broadwave where she mentors emerging audio producers. Beth presents we... Read more

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