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Entries in International Perspectives (137)

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
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
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
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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Thursday
Jun082017

Mates4Mates

With special guest:

  • Simon Sauer AM CSC

Mates is a word Australians have felt comfortable with for a long time. It resonates with young and old, male and female as a description for someone we will be there for, to lend a hand if necessary. So when Mates4Mates began in 2013 as an initiative of the Queensland RSL most Australians knew what their activities would consist of.

Our guest today is Simon Sauer, the CEO of Mates4Mates who prior to this had a distinguished career in the RAAF and now supports his injured Defence Force Mates.

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Thursday
May252017

How You Can STOP MALE SUICIDE in 7 simple steps

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole

Step one if we are going to stop male suicide is to know the facts. This is when it hits home just how appalling the current situation is in Australia and around the world. Eight people a day die by suicide in Australia and six of them are men and boys.

Our guest today is Glen Poole who presented at the National Men’s Health Gatherings in Brisbane (2013) and the Central Coast of NSW (2015) before travelling around Australia presenting seminars and finding out first-hand what is driving men and boys to this level of despair.

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Thursday
Apr132017

THE RED PILL

With special guest:

  • Bettina Arndt

Today we go to the movies to find out if taking the red pill is dangerous.

In Melbourne a film screening of THE RED PILL was banned on the grounds that Australians should not see a film that expressed a contrary view and it was argued by people who had never seen the film that it contained some violence. This is not the 1950’s, it happened in October 2016.

Our guest today is Bettina Arndt who was so outraged by this denial of this ordinary right to see a documentary film that she has taken up the cause to let Australians decide for themselves what the fuss is about.

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Thursday
Apr062017

The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS

With special guest:

  • Suzanne Venker

Do you know any Alpha Females? We know them when we see them but it may be difficult to work out how to relate to them because of some of their defining characteristics. Equally the alpha females may need some guidance to find out what is missing in their lives even if the culture says they have everything. And our special guest today, Suzanne Venker has answered the call with her new book The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS.

Suzanne argues that the culture in which we live is designed to make marriages fail. Women are encouraged to become “maximisers” rather than happy and fulfilled. Many women today, both those looking after their families in the home and those in the workforce, will ignore the wisdom of their grandparents in trying to find out how to make a successful marriage.

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Thursday
Mar302017

Albanese – Telling it Straight

With special guest:

  • Karen Middleton

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.

Up until now there was no mention of a Mr Albanese, Albo’s father. Albo has said that being raised without a father did not bother him and in fact made him more self-reliant. But we question if this is really the case, and Karen Middleton has spoken to over 40 people in Albo’s life to get an answer.

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Thursday
Feb162017

The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men

With special guest:

  • Prof Barry Golding AM

When we think of great Australian inventions we might be referring to the Black Box Flight Recorder, electronic pacemakers, cochlear implants or even the stump-jump plough. But today we talk about another Australian invention that has spread internationally and saved thousands of men’ lives.

Our guest today is Dr Barry Golding who is the honorary patron of the Australian Men’s Shed Association and he provides a fascinating insight into the development and growth of this iconic Australian success story. Barry Golding gives us the benefit of his fifteen years of research in his new book The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men. In talking to us today Barry lets us discover what actually goes on inside the Men’s Sheds we see as we pass through so many country towns.

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Thursday
Jan052017

Help! My Son Hates School

With special guest:

  • Janet Allison

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.

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Thursday
Dec292016

Still a Pygmy

With special guest:

  • Isaac Bacirongo

When you are born and raised in Australia you know little about life as a refugee despite it being a frequent topic for conversation and opinion. Most of us have never spoken to a refugee.

Our guest today is Isaac Bacirongo who arrived in Sydney in 2003 with his wife and ten children as refugees after surviving the effects of Rwanda’s civil war in his own country, Congo.

In his book Still a Pygmy Isaac tells us about his struggles to save his identity as a Pygmy from extinction. In Africa Pygmies are regarded by some other groups as less than human. Against that background Isaac fought to go to school and get an education. He went on to establish successful businesses, owned several properties and a fleet of cars but all that was lost when the invading army arrived.

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