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Welcome to the Dads on the Air archives, with hundreds of programs dating back to 2003. You can browse by month or year, or search the entire archive for a specific topic or name. Find a show you heard a long time ago, download or stream individual programs, or just poke around by clicking “Click to read more…” next to each program for a detailed show description.

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2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Thursday
Nov162017

A Fresh Look at Mental Health for Men

With special guest:

  • Rae Bonney
    … in conversation with Glen Poole & Pete Nicholls

Rae Bonney is an integrated wellbeing specialist who works with organisations to develop and deliver workplace mental health initiatives. She hosts two shows on 94.1FM 3WBC, a community radio station in Melbourne.

Rae is also a men’s issues advocate and is speaking at the I’m Just A Man Men’s Mental Health Awareness Gala in Melbourne alongside Movember founder, Adam Garone; AFL player, Tom Downie; and I’m Just a Man founder Dr Jim Skivalidas.

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Thursday
Nov092017

The Power of Good People

With special guest:

  • Para Paheer

Para Paheer was five years old when civil war between Tamils and the Sinhalese government started in Sri Lanka and continued for the next twenty six years. At the time Para did not know that the causes went back to 1830 when the Tamil people were imported to Sri Lanka to work on the plantations in conditions that were not far off slavery. Para had spent his childhood in poverty by Australian standards but when the war began conditions got even harder. Survival required courage, ingenuity and in Para’s case the kindness of strangers.

The inspiring part of Para’s story, as told in The Power of Good People: Surviving the Sri Lankan Civil War, is that he describes accurately and fully some of the horrors he witnessed and experienced personally yet he can focus his attention on the good things that people he has met along the way have done for him and his family.

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Thursday
Nov022017

The First Casualty

With special guest:

  • Peter Greste

Our guest is Peter Greste who in the last two decades of reporting has journeyed through wars in some of the world’s most dangerous countries but does not describe himself as a serious risk taker. Over the years he has developed another sense of when he needs to take extra precautions for his own safety giving his family a certain degree of comfort. In any event there has always been an understanding that foreign correspondents are seen as outsiders which presents a way out of sticky situations.

When Peter arrived in Egypt in 2013 he had never been arrested for anything and he was planning to be in the country for three weeks doing what he called “vanilla journalism” meaning nothing controversial. All that changed after the dreaded knock on the door when a group of heavy set men shovelled him backwards and started searching the room for evidence of something, anything, they could accuse him with.

Peter’s book The First Casualty: From the front lines of the global war on journalism is a gripping account of life in a foreign prison and the role of his family both in Egypt and on the world scene. From inside the prison family members helped smuggle out letters and notes and they led a social media onslaught of three billion tweets to get him and his colleagues from Al Jazeera released.

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Thursday
Oct262017

Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family

With special guest:

  • Dr Anne-Marie Slaughter

When our guest today Dr Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote an article for The Atlantic magazine in 2012 it created what could be described as a firestorm. The article had an estimated 2.7 million views and sparked intense debate. Someone seen as a leading light in feminism was questioning the feminist narrative.

The article was called “Why women still can’t have it all” but clearly there was some unfinished business and this became the title of her new book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family in which she uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle.

Anne-Marie is clearly a gifted communicator as demonstrated in several high-powered careers, most notably her time as Director of Policy Planning in the US State Department working alongside Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State.

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Thursday
Oct192017

Leading Women for Shared Parenting

With special guest:

  • Molly Olson

Why would leading women want to join a group that is striving to achieve the sharing of time that children spend with both parents after separation or divorce? If the approach of the Courts and the legislature has always been that the mothers are essential, fathers not so, why would these women work tirelessly to make changes?

Molly Olson is one of the fair-minded women found around the world who can see the benefits to the children as well as to the parents if the allocated time is shared. After listening to Molly it becomes a no-brainer that in her words the system has to change and it will change.

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Thursday
Oct122017

Understanding Parental Alienation

With special guests:

  • Karen & Nick Woodall

Everyone seems to know someone who has been affected by parental alienation, even if the name of the condition may not be recognised. We have all seen children, following a separation, who reject a parent and cling to the other parent when there is no good reason for doing so.

We would expect therapists working in this area to be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs that a child is fully alienated. However because of a galling lack of understanding of the condition this is not always so. Even the early signs may be missed such as when a child who is usually happy to come to your house or come with you on trips begins to find it difficult to do so.

Once the alienation has taken root it is obvious to any thinking person that there is something wrong because the child’s reality has been distorted. At that point the worst aspect of a separation with another parent may take place, namely, you lose your child.

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Thursday
Oct052017

Dadvice

With special guest:

  • Dr Luke Martin

Seriously! Becoming a Dad can be a white-knuckle ride and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When you leave the hospital carrying a new baby it might be the first time it hits you that you have taken on an enormous responsibility and yet you are not issued with an instruction booklet.

Men have lots of different reactions when they hear that they are about to be joined by a new family member who will need 24-hour support. Some jump around, some think about the meaning of life and some might even feel depressed. The main thing to remember is that whatever feelings you experience you will not be the first. This is where Dadvice comes in, a new mental health campaign for new Dads developed by beyondblue and funded by the Movember Foundation.

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Thursday
Sep282017

The Fathering Project

With special guest:

  • John Bond

Our guest today is the son of a very famous father, Alan Bond, who is forever linked with Australia winning the America’s Cup in 1983. John Bond was there for this hugely significant event in the USA, one which lifted the whole country. Where to after that?

John Bond returned to Australia and got his motivation when he heard an address by Professor Bruce Robinson which inspired him to support the most powerful force for reducing the chances of our kids falling victim to drugs, suicide and crime. Having an effective father or even a father figure leads to reduced incidence of crime, alcohol and drug abuse; it enhances mental health and self-esteem, leads to improved school engagement and performance, social competence and improved health behaviours generally. Professor Robinson, who has previously been a guest on Dads on the Air provided the research which is compelling.

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Thursday
Sep212017

Dads and their Babies

With special guest:

  • Dr Dawson Cooke

We will all readily make the assumption that the bond between mothers and their babies is important for the health of the family but what about the dad-baby bond? Our guest today is Dr Dawson Cooke who is able to discuss that relationship based on the findings in his study recently published in Infant Mental Health. Dr Cooke has been working with parents and particularly fathers for the last 15 years both in his practice and as a researcher at Curtin University in WA. In his latest study which involved 451 families he has made some findings that have caught the attention of the media.

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Thursday
Sep142017

Parents Beyond Breakup

With special guest:

  • Pete Nicholls

Who are Parents Beyond Breakup?

If you have not heard already about Parents Beyond Breakup it is very likely that you will soon because the word is getting out from our guest today Pete Nicholls who has been instrumental in raising awareness in the community. Parents Beyond Breakup is a national charity working in many communities around Australia focussing on suicide prevention in one of the demographics most at risk, namely separating parents.

Parents Beyond Breakup is the parent body for the well-known Dads in Distress who have been guests on the program many times previously and provided presenter Phil York for several years. But as our guest today Pete Nicholls explains a demand has grown for helping mothers in times of crisis and so Parents Beyond Breakup now incorporates both Dads in Distress and Mums in Distress as part of its operations.

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Thursday
Sep072017

#DADUP

With special guest:

  • Nick Thorpe

Scotland has become a hotbed of reform in supporting dads.

After the highly successful Year of the Dad campaign in 2016 Fathers Network Scotland has again joined with the Scottish Government in the 2017 campaign called Dad Up. In today’s program we cross to Edinburgh to speak to Nick Thorpe who is the Head of Communications for Fathers Network Scotland to hear directly about the successes and what has been learned through these initiatives.

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Thursday
Aug312017

The Dust of Uruzgan

With special guest:

  • Fred Smith

It is difficult to categorise Fred Smith. After completing University qualifications he became a diplomat but he is also a musician who has made “seven or eight” albums. When a diplomatic position in Afghanistan became available he decided to apply against some professional advice because he looked on it as a type of therapy. So after being selected to represent Australia in this beautiful but troubled land it was off to Kabul with guitar in hand.

It has become Australia’s longest war and Fred presents the first comprehensive on-the-ground account of Australia’s mission in his book The Dust of Uruzgan. Today we get to speak with Fred Smith about his role with the competing interests in that country, the Government, the tribal leaders, the insurgent factors, drug lords, the general population, the national security forces and the internationals. When Fred was not busy dealing with all these interests he wrote candid, in some cases heart wrenching, music about his experiences and those of his countrymen far from home. Fred’s website has information about how to obtain Fred’s music and a lot more besides.

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Thursday
Aug242017

Terry Virts Astronaut Father

With special guest:

  • Terry Virts

In today’s show we reach for the heavens.

Our guest is Terry Virts an American Air Force Colonel and test pilot who was selected by NASA to be an Astronaut in 2000 and subsequently made his first flight into space as the pilot of space shuttle Endeavour STS 130. In 2014 Terry launched into space again from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to ride to the International Space Shuttle where he was to be the Commander and he stayed on the station for 200 days.

Terry has lots of stories to fascinate those of us who may have never been in charge of going higher than the attic. We are also interested in the family man and the effect on his family of these long absences when he is doing dangerous exciting work with the world media watching. As Terry tells us children have a way of bringing you back to earth if you get too caught up in your own world and his stories about reunions with his family are heart warming. The love of Terry’s daughter is preserved forever after she arranged with a car manufacturer to draw a 5 square kilometre message saying that she loved her dad.

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Thursday
Aug172017

Didge Group Connection to Culture

With special guest:

  • Stuart McMinn

Stuart McMinn is working in a program that draws on tens of thousands of years of culture to benefit our youth, in particular our young Indigenous men.

Following on from the vision of local Indigenous man, Uncle Bob Williams from the Mingaletta Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, Interrelate Central Coast supported the establishment of the Young Boys Didgeridoo and Cultural Group, ‘Didge’, in mid-2011. This new group offered cultural and other supports which had an immediate and significant impact.

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Thursday
Aug102017

SHTUM

With special guest:

  • Jem Lester

In this program we cross to London to discuss with author Jem Lester his novel SHTUM. For anyone who has missed the British television shows and is not sure what “shtum” means Jem tells us that it means “silent or uncommunicative”. That is what a loving father may face when he has a child with profound autism.

The book SHTUM won the 2013 PFD/City University Prize for Fiction but in writing the book Jem tells us he draws on his own experiences having raised a boy now nearly 16 who is profoundly autistic.

This is one of those books you do not want to put down. One of the characters refers to the power of words and yet the most eloquent communication between a father and a son is a non-verbal moment where the connection is “hilarious, fleeting and precious.”

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Thursday
Aug032017

Is There Anything Good About Men?

With special guest:

  • Prof Roy F. Baumeister

Something we have always wanted to know but never been game to ask.

This book’s title Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men leads on to a whole range of surprises. We often accept without questioning that women are better networkers than men and that women are better at multi-tasking but is this supported in the research? At a practical level will women succeed in the current push for much more representation on the Boards of major companies?

Professor Roy Baumeister has examined human behaviour as our culture developed. This culture brings humans enormous advantages not available to other primates. You just have to think of us being able to shop at supermarkets, sleep in a warm bed every night and being able to find out on our computers everything ever learned in human history.

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Thursday
Jul272017

Sam’s Best Shot

With special guest:

  • Dr James Best

How many Dads will walk away from their jobs for six months, sell their home and then travel to the wilds of Africa in the hope that it will be good for their son?

We like to think most Dads would do it. Today we get to speak to Dr James Best who did exactly that with his 14 year old son Sam. Sam said he went away as a boy and came back as a person summing up what his parents had hoped for when they embarked on this adventure.

Sam has special needs because he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Sam is around about the middle of the spectrum not at the extreme end of either those who cannot talk or the savants. Sam can read and write, he is good at maths and music. He comes out with quirky interpretations of what others see and is often described as a charmer. Sam’s greatest difficulty is with social communication, maintaining eye contact and focussing on a task. He is prone to outbursts, even violent outbursts when frustrated.

Behind the thinking of James was that they had tried all the conventional approaches to dealing with autism and yet they still worried whether Sam would be able to form relationships, get a job and to all the other things we regard as normal in Western society. So having done a lot of scientific research on their own and with the support of the experts in the field Sam and his wife Benison decided to take on something different.

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Thursday
Jul202017

Families are like Fingerprints: They are all Different

With special guest:

  • Clint Greagen

It is time to check in again with our favourite Stay-at- Home Dad namely Clint Greagen, the Reservoir Dad.

We last spoke to Clint after the release of his book Reservoir Dad which described his experiences after he quit his job while his wife Tania returned to the workforce. This decision meant that Clint became the parent of first resource, the glue in the family and exchanged a career outside the home for all the benefits that come from a close relationship with one’s own children. Clint and Tania now have four children ranging from age 5 through to age 12.

Clint can speak with authority about the recent study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies on stay-at-home parents. Clint is especially motivated to speak up because of the treatment given to the results of the study by the media. Headlines such as “Do stay-at-home Dads have to lift their game?” are misleading about the study findings and what is really going on.

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Thursday
Jul132017

BuildingBoys.net

With special guest:

  • Jennifer Fink

Are our boys failing school or is school failing them?

This is a question for everyone because while kids haven’t changed much over the last 100 years there has been a fundamental change in the performance of boys and girls in their education.

In the USA, Australia and 70 other developed countries according to UN figures, boys now lag behind girls on every single academic measure, they get into trouble and they drop out of school more frequently than girls. There are fewer boys at University and there are far more lost 20-something boys than 20-something girls. For the first time in the history of the United States boys are less educated than their dads. So what is going wrong and what can we do about it?

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Thursday
Jul062017

Protecting Emilie

With special guest:

  • Lisa Heim

A check in the index of topics will reveal that we have explored parental alienation from different angles by talking to academics, psychologists and researchers. Today we cross to Florida in the USA to hear a very real account of what this type of psychological child abuse looks like to those who are personally caught up in it.

Lisa Heim is the author of Protecting Emilie and in this book she tells the story of what happens to people catapulted into this nightmare world of parental alienation, something that could happen to you, your neighbour or parents on the other side of the world. Lisa gives an account of her relationship with her husband, his daughter Emilie, in the title of the book, and her own daughter, as it was affected by the conflict instigated by Emilie’s mother.

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