It was a month into living in Australia, and I was casually scrolling through my podcast feed. I had some boring chore or other to do and I wanted something to listen to to make the time pass more enjoyably. Then I realised. I had absolutely zero Australian podcasts to choose from.
Why was this particularly important?
Well, I chose to live in Australia because I want to experience a different culture. I would argue you’re not really going full immersion into your new country of residence if the online content you’re consuming doesn’t match up. That’s just my personal view, I don’t necessarily expect you to agree.
So I took it upon myself to find some decent Australian podcasts to listen to while I walk, clean, or get ready in the mornings. And here for you today is the resultant list of Australian podcasts I have found that I enjoy. You might enjoy them, too. I’ve listed them in order of genre, rather than preference. Because not everyone is in the midst of a true crime phase like I am…
I have linked to the website of the podcast where possible; but basically I suggest just searching for the titles in whatever way you choose to listen to your podcasts. Quite a few of these are produced by, affiliated with or otherwise associated with the ABC, which is the national broadcaster, funded by Australian taxpayers but specifically independent of Government. Just in case that informs your choice at all, I’ve noted it.
This is one of those podcasts where I listen to the episodes as soon as they are released. It’s hosted by Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb (sometimes both, sometimes just one), who cover various topics all vaguely related to the criminal world – one week they’ll interview a journalist who accidentally got addicted to meth whilst researching a story, the next they’ll interview an ex-detective about her PTSD, or they’ll discuss the issue of sexual assault on Australian university campuses. It’s varied and done with genuine passion and interest – and it’s usually interview based. I’d recommend this podcast for those who are interested in crime but don’t necessarily want a straight retelling of a serial killer story.
This is a podcast that deep dives into one particular case and gives you a very well researched and unbiased account of what really happened. There are no interviews on this – sometimes primary sources are used (such as emergency call recordings) but more often than not it’s the main host guy reading out or otherwise recapping the evidence. That sounds a bit dull but he has the spookiest voice ever (which is quite amusing when he does the sponsored ad bits). Whilst the host is Australian, he doesn’t cover solely Australian crimes. I’d recommend this if you like very well researched, very detailed accounts of true crimes – with no holds barred.
Er, true crime
This is a series based show investigating the murder of Maria James. I think it’s vaguely trying to be Serial – each episode progresses the story a bit further and gives additional evidence and revelations. It’s really well done, and you can tell the presenter (ABC investigative reporter, Rachael Brown) gets really invested in the case. Whilst the murder happened in 1980, there’s a developing nature to the case which I won’t spoil. There have only been 5 episodes so far, with a couple of bonuses, so it’s a relatively quick listen. It started in June of this year and the last update episode was in September, so I think it’s fair to say this is still live. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a Serial-type investigation, or who wants a quick listen.
Varies per series
This is another series based show but each series tackles a very different theme. Series 1 seems to cover various high school related experiences, and series 2 various issues relating to minorities, but I haven’t listened to either of those yet. I have however listened to series 3, which is a more cohesive suite of episodes. It investigates a series of gay hate murders that occurred in Adelaide in the 1990’s. It’s very well done by investigative journalist and writer Mark Whittaker, and it really draws you in to the Adelaide of the 90’s. I’d recommend this to the same people I’d recommend Trace to.
Tech and gadgets
I always enjoy indulging my inner gadget geek, and this magazine-style format of podcast is great at covering a number of topics in just enough detail to keep you well informed, without completely losing those of us who aren’t exactly experts in the field. It’s hosted by Marc Fennell who is joined by a revolving panel of experts, and the whole thing is done in a light-hearted fashion. I would recommend this for anyone interested in the latest news and developments in the world of technology
Of course I found a travel podcast. This is another magazine style format where the host, Ben Groundwater, is joined by a small panel who discuss travel hot topics. The episode I’ve linked to covers travel scams, but they also talk more generally about travel trends, their favourite destinations, and share stories and experiences. This is great for me because they talk about travel topics specifically geared towards people living in Australia, such as short breaks you can do within the country or international destinations more easily accessible from here. I’d recommend this podcast to anyone who wants to feel like they’re having a good old chat about travel with friends.
Personal stories and experiences
Upon googling this to link to it I’ve just discovered this is ABC’s most popular podcast, and I can see why. The host, Richard Fidler, has knack of making even the strangest sounding topics interesting. The strapline of the podcast describes it best, so I’ll leave it to the pros: “Conversations with Richard Fidler draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may, or may not, have heard about – someone who has seen and done amazing things”. Most recently I’ve listened to a live interview with two people who investigated The Family (an Australian cult), with the public health worker behind a significant amount of Australia’s anti smoking policy, and the story of a bully turned victim. I’d recommend this podcast to anyone interested in an immersive experience in a topic they likely have little knowledge of. Perhaps someone who has a particularly boring job to get done.
Current affairs (politics, loosely)
The inimitable Tom Ballard hosts this podcast, the format of which is an interview with an interesting person each week. S and I actually went to a live taping of this, where we saw Tanya Plibersek (Labor party politician eg left leaning) and Caroline Marcus (Sky News journalist eg right leaning) being interviewed. Tom did a good job despite differing opinions with both – his politics are left, and whilst he had some challenging questions for both, it was generally a more amicable chat. I’d definitely recommend this podcast for those who are interested in finding more about current Australia politics and current affairs without having to listen to a stressful shouting match.
Lucky dip (arts?)
I have no idea what to even describe this as. Every episode is totally different but has a definite bent towards arts and music. The most recent episode I listened to talked about putting on an opera in the ladies loos of the QVB (a famous heritage shopping centre in Sydney). So I think that probably sums it up. This is hosted by Patricia Karvelas, who sometimes interviews guests too. I’d recommend this podcast for those with an interest in the arts, particularly music, especially if it’s a little offbeat, and who likes podcasts that do a deep dive into one particular topic each episode.
I got super into listening to Dave Ramsay’s podcast for a while, and I still recommend it to others. However, whilst the principles Dave talks about are universal, the products he specifically mentions are US only. So I wanted to find a podcast that talked about stuff I can do with my money here in Australia. This doesn’t quite do what I expected – it’s more current affairs with a finance slant, rather than hardcore personal finance stuff. Regularly hosted by Marc Terrano, Adam Smith and Liz Barry, plus one special guest, I’d recommend this podcast for anyone interested in a gentle introduction to all things finance.
What are your favourite kind of podcasts? Serious? Funny? True crime…??