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Entries in International Perspectives (132)

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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Thursday
Dec152016

The Lion, The Switch, and the Cuckoo: Adultery in a test tube

With special guest:

  • Jonathan Grindon

A cuckoo has achieved its notoriety due to its practice of laying its eggs in the nests of other species, tricking parent birds into raising unrelated offspring when they hatch. Our guest today is Jonathan Grindon who due to the deception of his then wife, Annette, experienced firsthand that this behaviour is not confined to the animal kingdom.

This is not the usual way that husbands may be cuckolded. Jonathan was a sperm donor, the biological mother is an unknown Spanish woman and the embryo was placed in the womb of Annette. But wait, it was revealed some six years later that in fact the sperm had been substituted, the biological father of the child was not Jonathan at all but a previous boyfriend of Annette’s who happened to be in the vicinity of the IVF clinic when they were implanting the seed.

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Thursday
Dec082016

From Poppy with Love: Letters from a Grandfather to the Grandchildren He Isn’t Allowed to See

With special guest:

  • Rev Dr John Killinger

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
Nov172016

International Men’s Day 2016

With special guest:

  • Diane Sears

Today we are lucky that we get the chance to go to the heart of an international movement by speaking to Diane Sears in the USA about the 2016 International Men’s Day (IMD). Diane is the USA Co-Ordinator for IMD and is a dynamo in the movement with a special interest in caring for the increasing number of incarcerated men and boys.

The theme for IMD this year is “Talk About Male Suicide”. Throughout the world the number of deaths by suicide is in the order of 800,000 per year. And in 99% of countries the majority of these people are the men and boys of the community. In the USA and Australia the ratio of men to women who take their life by suicide is three to one. We must find out why we are losing so many men and boys leaving others to grieve when even one death is too many.

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Thursday
Nov102016

Stop Men Dying Too Young

With special guest:

  • Sam Gledhill

Movember is a classic example of someone having a great idea.

In 2003 a few blokes came up with the idea of combining fundraising with a fashion statement for men and 13 years later that idea has led to over $700m being raised to benefit men’s health in some areas that are not fashionable.

Our guest today is Sam Gledhill who is the Men’s Health Program Manager at Movember. We had a fantastic interview with Sam last year in Movember and this year there is a lot to talk about as the movement keeps expanding.

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Thursday
Oct202016

Help Change the Debate

With special guest:

  • Bettina Arndt

When Bettina Arndt talked about sex on Australian national television and radio it was relatively easy to get the truth out in an area that tends to be covered up.

But our guest today must sometimes feel like a voice crying in the wilderness when she turns her attention to the domestic violence industry. It is hard to get the real story out when institutions such as the ABC and the daily newspapers generally contribute to the beat-up regarding domestic violence in our community.

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