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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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Thursday
May172018

SMS4dads

With special guest: 

  • Dr Chris May

Who ya gonna call? 

Our guest today is Dr Chris May from the University of Newcastle and he has a simple message for new Dads with mobile phones. Sign up for SMS4 dads and you will get the advice you need to deal with the new challenges we face as a Dad. This is not limited to young Dads. The age range of Dads already accessing the service extends to the over 50 year olds. 

A really good aspect of this service is that it is available to Dads in remote locations that find it particularly hard to access help. The NBN is opening up the most remote areas to better communication and this will make access easy. 

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Thursday
May102018

Albanese – Telling it Straight

With special guest: 

  • Karen Middleton
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Everybody loves Albo - even many of his opponents in the national Parliament.

We can identify the three drives he lists as having influenced his development, namely the Catholic Church, South Sydney Rugby League team and the Australian Labor Party. These drives were all inherited from his fiercely loyal and protective mother Maryanne but behind the relationship between Albo and his mother is another fascinating story that has never been revealed until the release of Karen Middleton’s book Albanese - Telling it Straight.

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Monday
May072018

The Shepherd’s Hut

With special guest:

  • Tim Winton
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

For our regulars this week’s interview is a bit different. Due to technical problems we do not have a sound file of the interview with Tim Winton. However set out below is a transcript which we hope you will find interesting. In the interview we talk about Tim’s latest book The Shepherd’s Hut and also explore some of the issues raised in the book in a wider context. In particular we are interested in Tim’s thoughts about his characters, where they come from in his mind and the relationships between them.

Tim has often explored the relationships that boys form. In this book Tim’s feral young male comes to an uneasy and difficult peace with an old man living in the wilderness as a hermit. The relationship is set against the timeless and beautiful West Australian remoteness described in Tim’s usual colourful language even as his characters speak in a less literate way.

The attached sound file is an excerpt from a speech Tim presented in Melbourne earlier this year kindly made available to us by Tim’s publishers Penguin Random House.

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Thursday
May032018

Moment of Truth

With special guest:

  • Prof Mark McKenna
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In the Quarterly Essay Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future Professor Mark McKenna presents a significant contribution to the general debate and he is our respected guest in today’s program. At a time when Australians are searching for their national identity on Anzac Day and there is talk of a Republic once again Professor McKenna asks why has a dispute arisen regarding Australia Day?

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Thursday
Apr262018

The Diggers of WW1

With special guest:

  • Andrew Tink AM
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

No book on Australia covering the early years of the twentieth century could overlook the 61,500 of our men killed or listed as “missing” in World War 1. Another 156,000 had a fate that was sometimes worse, they were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.

In his new book Australia 1901-2001: A narrative history, Andrew Tink, former Member of State Parliament, tells us that like the school children of Villers-Bretonneux France we must never forget the heroism of our soldiers, the diggers of World War 1.

Why did our young men volunteer for the sheer hell of war in the muddy fields of northern France? Australia at the time had a population of fewer than 5 million when this chunk of our finest was lost to the future of Australia. With 80% of our soldiers single when they left our shores how many of our best men would never be fathers? How many poets, musicians, writers, inventors, businessmen, teachers and leaders were gone for all time? This has accurately been called a lost generation.

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Thursday
Apr192018

An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation

With special guest:

  • Dr Craig Childress
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Why is parental alienation such a controversial topic?

Nearly everyone knows someone who has had a child turned against them after separation of the parents. It happens unfortunately all over the world and looks remarkably similar wherever you find it. The construct was defined and given a label, “parental alienation” some thirty years ago by Dr Richard Gardner. More recently there has been a strong push to have it included as a separate diagnosis in the therapists’ “Bible” the DSM-5.

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Thursday
Apr122018

Men of Honour

With special guest:

  • Glen Gerreyn
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is Glen Gerreyn a man by choice as distinct from being born male. This personal development did not happen when he became a champion athlete but rather by some important choices that Glen has made in his life. So what does it mean to be a man, a real man? And what are these choices?

Glen has spoken to groups around Australia and around the world on the topic of men of honour and some of the content probably comes under the heading of “secret men’s business”. In these talks no subject is taboo. Because so many fatherless boys in our community do not have a mentor they can confide in, Glen often finds that no-one else has ever spoken to our young men so frankly in language they understand.

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Thursday
Apr052018

Help! My Son Hates School

With special guest:

  • Janet Allison
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

After listening to this show many men will be wishing that they could have had Janet Allison as their teacher in years gone by. Janet speaks to us from Portland Oregon in the USA where she has founded the organisation Boys Alive! to benefit teachers and children in the education process. Janet’s warm style is engaging and inspiring.

It may even sound a little funny to hear a boy say “I hate school” but behind that assertion are some worrying realities in the USA as mirrored in Australia. These include that boys far outweigh girls in every negative statistic as for example more boys than girls are expelled from preschool! More boys than girls have behaviour issues in elementary school; more boys drop out of high school than girls and on it goes.

Janet describes this statement from boys as a Red Flag and says that the current situation has reached crisis proportions. While Janet is herself the mother of two girls she sees this as a problem for everyone in the community. And Janet is well placed as an experienced educator and Family Coach to suggest activities that all parents and teachers can adopt.

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Thursday
Mar292018

From Poppy with Love

With special guest:

  • Rev Dr John Killinger
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In today’s program we are invited into the usually private world of conversations between a grandparent and his grandchildren. Strangely we can get the message very clearly from the other side of the world but the grandchildren themselves are completely unaware of the one way conversations in the letters written to them, letters that are so tender, thoughtful, wise and loving.

In his book From Poppy with Love: Letters from a Grandfather to the Grandchildren He Isn’t Allowed to See Dr John Killinger addresses his pain at being excluded from his four grandchildren in the best way he knows how by writing letters setting out the lives and dreams and personalities of the grandparents they were prevented from seeing. This has by no means been an easy task as it is a constant reminder of the separation. However John has benefitted from the cathartic effect of his writing and he hopes that one day his grandchildren will have the opportunity to read the letters contained in three volumes published by The Intermundia Press. In this way they will be able to get an understanding of their provenance.

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Thursday
Mar222018

SHINE for Kids

With special guest:

  • Dennis van Someren
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Dennis van Someren is getting the word out that we have a crisis in the community, a crisis involving some of our most vulnerable children that impacts on all of us.

Governments have responded to concerns about crime rates by building more jails with there being nearly 40,000 inmates in overcrowded jails around the country. This is up from 21,000 inmates only 10 years ago. At a cost of $292 per inmate per day the numbers are frightening. But when you consider that these inmates have in the order of 60,000 children and that the children of prisoners are 6 times more likely to end up in prison themselves you can see the problem.

Dennis van Someren decided some 9 years ago that he could no longer stand by and watch the situation worsen. He realised that he had something special to offer to the children with a parent or both parents in jail after hearing by chance a radio interview with a representative from SHINE for Kids. Dennis offered his services and was welcomed by the charity that has operations in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.

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Thursday
Mar152018

Letting Go

With special guest:

  • Dr Charlie Corke
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is Dr Charlie Corke who as an intensive care specialist regularly sees people who are reaching the end of their lives, where a decision has to be made, care or cure?

Unfortunately many of us have not thought about our own death and how we can make it a good death until it is too late. We are not going to live forever so we need a Plan B and Dr Corke’s new book Letting Go: how to plan for a good death provides a guide on how to do that planning.

Because many of us now live into our eighties and beyond, decisions have to be made about the use of medical technology. Intensive Care Units only began in Australia in the 1960’s and since then patients can be kept alive in one sense of the word but often with no quality of life and with little or no prospect of a cure. This is where a decision needs to be made, usually by family members if the patient is unable to communicate. Should the switch be turned off?

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Thursday
Mar082018

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

With special guest:

  • Quentin Kenihan

Quentin crashes Dads on the Air?

Our guest today is Quentin Kenihan who first came to public attention over thirty years ago when he was interviewed by Mike Willesee for national TV. All these years later we hear again from Quentin about a series of extraordinary experiences, superhero adventures and also trips to the other end of the spectrum when it all seemed very bleak.

At times Quentin has battled depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety and pain. But Quentin has never let disappointment keep him low for long. Before you know it he has his zest for life back again and he is off chasing another goal from his bucket list that is constantly being updated.

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Thursday
Mar012018

Working Class Boy

With special guest:

  • Jimmy Barnes

Normally we expect to listen to Jimmy Barnes’s creative output as the lead singer and one of the main songwriters for iconic Australian rock band Cold Chisel. But Jimmy has now produced Working Class Boy which has become an Australian bestselling book.

This is not the story of that well-known band or his more recent exploration of the soul music catalogue. In today’s program we hear about Jimmy’s family upbringing and the influence that had on him in his adopted country.

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Thursday
Feb222018

Fathers Reaching Out

With special guest:

  • Mark Williams

Our guest in today’s program is Mark Williams who has been awarded “Inspirational Father of the Year” at the Pride of Britain awards. This is impressive enough but it also shows how far he has come since the birth of his son Ethan in 2004.

Both Mark and his wife Michelle suffered crippling anxiety after the birth and Mark hit rock bottom when he began to experience suicidal thoughts. And yet the reason for the torrent of negative emotions and spiralling depression had less to do with their son than the mental health issues that were confronting them. In hindsight Mark recognises that he had experienced a condition long recognised in mothers, that of post-natal depression.

The problem at the time was that Mark felt he could not speak to anyone about his stressful condition and ultimately it led to a breakdown. There is still a stigma attached to men admitting that they have post-natal depression and this makes them reluctant to seek help or even talk to their friends and loved ones about it.

Eventually Mark was put on medication and took a course of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness which turned things around. Now Mark and Michelle are closer than ever as a couple and have a fantastic bond with their son. Mark wants to get the message out about the condition and the help available.

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Thursday
Feb152018

The Greatness of Dads

With special guest:

  • Kirsten Matthew
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Kirsten Matthew was inspired by her father to take on the Big Apple where she worked as a journalist for ten years. This is a huge achievement considering that she arrived in New York without even a green card, no job offers, not even any friends. At a low point Kirsten rang her father who gave some simple advice to get on with it and that was enough to get her established.

After that experience and lots of other insights, wisdoms and truths from her father Kirsten realised that the universal threads of fatherhood can be found the world over. So she set about the task of recording some quotes, song lyrics, artwork and images of dads throughout history and around the world. The result of these efforts is a beautifully presented book The Greatness of Dads.

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Thursday
Feb082018

Youth Express

With special guest:

  • James Winter
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Making a living in the Australian theatre has never been an easy task. Our guest today is James Winter an actor and director who has raised the level of difficulty significantly.

James draws on his over 20 years’ experience in the arts industry to create performance with non-performers, particularly the marginalised and at risk youthful members of our community. In doing this work through the Belvoir St Theatre’s Outreach Program, Youth Express, James engages with young people who may be homeless and find themselves excluded from mainstream education.

Youth with these challenges come from a number of support organisations including Key College, an accredited High School in Redfern Sydney run by Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets. Belvoir’s Youth Express provides them with access to a professional theatre company and its artists.

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Thursday
Feb012018

The Equal Parent Presumption

With special guest:

  • Dr Edward Kruk
     … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today has produced a book of 167 pages, The Equal Parent Presumption: Social Justice in the Legal Determination of Parenting after Divorce, that should be required reading for everyone who works in the space of parenting after divorce; and that includes Judges who routinely make sole parenting orders, Psychologists who offer family therapy, and all the other institutions that influence family relationships.

The trouble really arises because although there is a mantra of acting “in the best interest of the child” this becomes a discretionary assessment by a Judge who has no training in the area of child development or family dynamics and furthermore the Judge takes no interest in reviewing the outcome of the decision. Dr Kruk invites us to take the child’s position.

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Thursday
Jan252018

Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager

With special guest:

  • Dr Tim Hawkes

What the world needs now is leadership and that is our topic today.

Our guest in this program is one of Australia’s leading educators whose new book Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager takes a different approach to the topic of leadership. This book is not addressed to the business people trying to get higher on the greasy pole of corporate success. Dr Hawkes writes for mums and dads to share some wisdom with their teenage children.

Based on his great experience from many years teaching and leading thousands of students Dr Hawkes provides parents with realistic expectations and their children with challenges that the contemporary teen can reasonably be expected to achieve.

In our discussion today we ask Dr Hawkes if leadership is born or can it be learned. We learn about the concept of “servant-hearted leadership”. We ask if everyone can be a leader. Can someone be a leader all the time? You can learn a lot by listening to this leader.

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Thursday
Jan182018

Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood

With special guests:

  • Richard Aston & Ruth Kerr

On this program we get to talk to good people who are making a difference in our society. Our guests today, Richard Aston and his wife Ruth Kerr, fit this category and they speak to us from across the ditch in New Zealand.

For fifeen years Richard and Ruth through the Big Buddy program have been providing fatherless boys with a buddy, someone who can show them the way to manhood. These buddies are volunteer mentors who are carefully chosen by going through a detailed screening. The boys know they can rely on their buddies to turn up when expected and listen to what is happening in the boys’ lives. And they get to do fun things.

Having seen up close and personal what makes boys tick Richard and Ruth have distilled for us what works and what does not work when the aim is to develop our boys into adults. This is practical and down to earth advice set out in their new book Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood.

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Thursday
Jan112018

Are Fathers Important for Adolescents? 

With special guest:

  • Dr William (Bill) Fabricius

Most studies in the area of children and families concentrate on the influence of mothers. Fathers are understudied in this area. For this reason we welcome the results of a paper on the role of fathers and we have the opportunity today to speak with one of its lead authors, Associate Professor Dr William Fabricius who joins us from New York. The title of the paper is Effects of the Inter-Parental Relationship on Adolescents’ Emotional Security and Adjustment: The Important Role of Fathers.

This new study looked at hundreds of adolescents, a balanced mix of those living with biological dads and those with stepdads studied in three waves from Grades 7 to 12 across ethnic and gender lines. The research measured the effect of non-violent parental conflict, Intimate Partner Violence and demonstrated affection. The findings revealed the importance of marital quality, namely the level of parental love and closeness, and interestingly “mattering to father.”

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