Performing arts & pop culture


Podcast episodeCover image for of Broadly Speaking: The Mother Load: Motherhood, Trauma and Resilience

The Wheeler Centre

Broadly Speaking: The Mother Load: Motherhood, Trauma and Resilience  /  Radio & podcasts

‘The first person you encounter as a human being is generally your mother. That’s the first source of knowing that you have. How valuable is that? And how painful is it to lose that in circumstances outside of your control?’

In this Broadly Speaking podcast, Amani Haydar, Alice Pung and host Susan Carland discuss the extraordinary resilience mothers and children demonstrate in the face of trauma.

In her memoir The Mother Wound, artist, lawyer and advocate Amani Haydar tells the heartbreaking story of her mother’s death through a brutal act of violence perpetrated by her father. Award-winning writer Alice Pung’s latest novel, One Hundred Days, examines the faultlines of love and control in a complex mother-daughter relationship.

Both women are mothers themselves and write with nuance and compassion about the intersections and complexities of culture, class and family. 

What happens when trauma intersects with motherhood – and how do mothers and children find the strength to endure, survive and thrive? 

Content warning: This podcast includes discussion of family violence and other topics listeners may find confronting.

The Broadly Speaking series bookseller is Neighbourhood Books

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

This conversation was originally scheduled to take place live on Monday 2 August 2021 and was cancelled in response to Victorian Government COVID-19 health advice. We are now presenting this discussion exclusively in podcast form.

Podcast episodeCover image for of Bonus Episode 11 Pill Pop Live: Growing Up Disabled in Australia

Pill Pop

Bonus Episode 11 Pill Pop Live: Growing Up Disabled in Australia  /  Diversity

Pill Pop hosts Izzie Austin and Silvi Vann-Wall alongside Jane Rosengrave, Lucy Carpenter and Carly Findlay.

‘This book will change history. It’s the first of its kind in Australia. And I hope it won’t be the last. We deserve better representation in literature.’

Edited by writer, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay, Growing Up Disabled in Australia captures the complexity and nuance of life with disability, reflected by its diverse range of more than 40 contributors. The landmark anthology offers disabled people of all backgrounds and life experiences a chance to see themselves reflected on the page, in a world that should – but often doesn’t – accommodate impairment as an expected aspect of human diversity.

In this live Pill Pop event, recorded at the Wheeler Centre, hosts Silvi Vann-Wall and Izzie Austin were joined by Growing Up Disabled in Australia editor Carly Findlay and contributors Lucy Carpenter and Jane Rosengrave to discuss the anthology and the experiences explored within.

Content warning: this episode includes discussions of physical and mental illness.

Further reading
Growing Up Disabled in Australia, edited by Carly Findlay. A rich collection of writing from those negotiating disability in their lives – a group whose voices are not heard often enough. Contributors include senator Jordon Steele-John, paralympian Isis Holt, Dion Beasley, Sam Drummond, Astrid Edwards, Sarah Firth, El Gibbs, Eliza Hull, Gayle Kennedy, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Fiona Murphy, Jessica Walton and many more.  Get in touch

We want to hear from our listeners! Tweet us your own love stories while chronically ill at @PillPopCast, or send us an email at

In this episode

Hosted, produced and edited by Silvi Vann-Wall and Izzie Austin, this episode celebrates the release of Growing Up Disabled in Australia.
This podcast was recorded live at the Wheeler Centre on 15 April 2021.

This series is produced in partnership with the Wheeler Centre's Signal Boost programme. Mentorship and production support from Jon Tjhia, Beth Atkinson-Quinton and Bec Fary.

Music: 'Dip Dop' by Barrie Gledden


A transcript of this episode will be available soon.

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Portrait of Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson  /  Children’s books

Having grown up in London and studied Drama and French at Bristol University, Julia worked for a few years in publishing and as a teacher. At the same time, she was also writing and performing songs and street theatre with her husband Malcolm, and writing and directing two musicals for children. She then combined a career writing songs for children’s television with bringing up a family.

In 1993, one of her songs was made into a book, A Squash and a Squeeze. Since then, she has written over a hundred books and plays for children and teenagers, including the award-winning rhyming stories The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and Zog, all illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which are among the UK’s best selling picture books.

Julia has also worked with different illustrators, among them Lydia Monks, Nick Sharratt and David Roberts, and has written several young fiction titles, including three books about Princess Mirror-Belle, who is the badly-behaved reflection of a well-behaved girl. Her novel for teenagers, Running on the Cracks, came out in 2009 and won the Nasen Inclusive Children’s Book Award.

She is also the author of many educational books, including the 60 books which comprise the phonic reading scheme Songbirds. This series is part of the Oxford Reading Tree published by Oxford University Press.

Julia still loves writing and singing songs, and has produced three books of these, each one with a CD on which she is accompanied by some great live musicians. Her passion for drama is kept fresh by her frequent dramatic performances at book festivals and theatrical events, where she talks, acts and sings with her audiences.

For three years, she was writer in residence in Easterhouse, helping local children write and act. She is now patron of the charity Artlink Central – which engages artists to work in hospitals, prisons and schools.

She lives in Bearsden, Glasgow, with her husband Malcolm and two cats.

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