Resilience is a powerful tool and it intrigues me that humans can endure the hardest of times and find the strength to pick themselves up, dust off and continue living. As the world takes a catastrophic blow from the leviathan beast doing the Global rounds and leaving its indelible mark on us all, the extraordinary nature of the human spirit leaves me with hope that in time our resilience will win and together we will emerge from isolation with optimism, fresh ideas and renewed opportunities.
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb
These new circumstances give us time to listen and be inspired by the diverse stories and ideas of others. There are hundreds of Podcasts covering a multitude of interesting subjects from art, politics, comedy, science, music, parenting, teen life, kids books, true crime, fiction, stories on life…
Here’s a few that I have explored, as well as some on my bucket list and a few more.
Maria Stoljar notes an appreciation for the spoken word, her Talking with Painters podcast relays the conversations she has had with Australian painters. Stoljar’s interviews share stories of the lives of artists, what inspires them to create, the processes for their work, and the difficulties they sometimes face. There are currently 88 episodes available on Talking with Painters. The 2020 line up so far includes conversations with artists Philip Wolfhagen, David Griggs, Peter O’Doherty, Davida Allen & William Robinson together, as well as interviews with art historian Claire Roberts co-editor of the book ‘Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters’, and artist Ann Thomson who, who across two episodes share what they know about the extraordinary life and work of artist Ian Fairweather (1891-1974).
Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski connect us to the fascinating lives of others with compassion, sensitivity and humour with the Conversations podcast available on ABC Listen. Here, to name only a few, you will find stories of the complexities of Australia’s homeless with an exchange between Fidler and nurse Erin Longbottom. Comedian, actor and writer Matt Okine tells Kanowski what it was like growing up, when everything was falling apart. Jamie Simmonds talks about his involvement in helping to rebuild the town of Grantham in Queensland and the incredible strength of the community to move a town to the top of a hill. Singer songwriter Archie Roach speaks of his heartbreaking story as a child of Australia’s Stolen Generation. The artist recounts his young life and talks about family connections, music and what inspired him to write his book ‘Took the Children Away’.
The ABC Listen app is also host to a variety of topical programs including Ladies We Need to Talk about the important but sometimes cringeworthy issues for the ladies, true crime investigations in Unravel and Trace, audio fiction created by emerging and established Australian writers for Radio National Fictions, and the rise and fall of Gough Whitlam in The Eleventh. Maggie Dent shares tips on some of those gritty parenting subjects like screen time, homework and tantrums and some of the practical stuff too with Parental as Anything. Imagine This will feed the most curious of minds, while Little Yarns for pre-schoolers brings the diverse languages, stories and countries of Indigenous Australia to little ears, and Classic Kids takes the young ones on a musical journey. Plus there is more.
TED Talks – Ideas worth spreading is a platform for new ideas that could change the world, to be heard. TED invites people from all walks of life to the stage with some of the best, and at times outrageous ideas depending on who is listening. Because seriously How close are we to uploading our minds? From science, business, nature, technology, climate change, spirituality and food to gender, sexuality, money, trauma, career, politics, bees, robots and every other possible subject you could think of, it’s all there across 3300+ talks with each one delivered in under 18 minutes.
National Museum of Australia Audio on demand invites listeners to press play on recordings of the lectures, forums and symposiums that have taken place at the museum, and to discover how the museum is enlivened. The Stories Explorer is packed with audio, written texts and imagery illustrating the histories of the world’s oldest living Aboriginal culture, as well as insights to the making of contemporary Australia.
The National Gallery of Australia Podcast invites listeners to enjoy the Contemporary Architect Speaker series 2011-2019. And to listen to James Gleeson’s oral history collection of 98 interviews with some of Australia’s most well-known artists, among them Russell Drysdale, Grace Crowley, Roger Kemp, Rosalie Gascoigne, Judy Cassab and Charles Blackman, as well as a series of Exhibition Audio tours and Lectures.
For some all-round family downtime Audible is streaming a range of free children’s book titles, available for as long as schools are closed. Kids can enjoy the books on desktops, laptops, phones and tablets. And it is as simple as clicking on the link, making a selection, and letting the narrator do the rest.