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The science of astronomy has existed for thousands of years and forms a vital part of Indigenous Australian culture. Ben Ashmole/flickr

Speaking with: Duane Hamacher on Indigenous astronomy

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have between 40,000 and 60,000 years of pre-colonial history that includes stories of constellations they observed in the night sky and traditions that align…
Australia needs look at inclusionary housing policies to boost the number of affordable housing options. AAP/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Nicole Gurran on affordable housing

Australia’s residential house prices rank among the highest in the world, and an increasing number of aspiring home owners are finding themselves locked out of the property market. While low interest rates…
Detroit, a thriving manufacturing city 50 years ago, is now bankrupt. ifmuth/Flickr

Speaking with: George Galster on revitalising Detroit

Speaking with: George Galster. CC BY-ND18.9 MB (download)
Detroit is in turmoil, officially bankrupt and home to some of America’s poorest citizens. But 50 years ago it was thriving, boasting a booming manufacturing sector and a steadily growing educated middle-class…
US President Barack Obama speaks during the Climate Summit 2014 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 23 September 2014. JUSTIN LANE/EPA

PODCAST: Speaking with Nick Watts from the UN Climate Summit in New York

Speaking with Nick Watts, Director of the The Global Climate & Health Alliance, from the UN Climate Summit in New York. Listen in as he explains the links between climate and health, what we have to…
Friends of assassinated rights activist Munir Said Thalib within Joko Widodo’s circle can influence the president-elect to re-open the murder case. EPA/MAST IRHAM

Audio Q&A: Activist’s murder case a test for new Indonesian president

Indonesian human rights activist Usman Hamid says president-elect Joko Widodo could do better than the outgoing Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in solving the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib, despite…
The LGBTI community has unique needs that are often overlooked during the response and recovery stages of a natural disaster event. euphoriadev via Flickr

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon on LGBTI issues during natural disasters

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon.
When natural disasters strike, the impact varies significantly across different social groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities are poorly accounted for in disaster…
‘I wouldn’t call it a miracle, I’d call it an accident’ – Gessen on Putin’s formative experience with the KGB. Christchurch City Libraries

Speaking with: journalist Masha Gessen on Putin’s Russia

Russian-American writer and LGBT activist, Masha Gessen has covered every major development in Russian politics and culture of the past two decades. She is the author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion…
Social and digital media perform a function that is humanising by connecting people and allowing freedom of expression. Icons from Shutterstock

Speaking with: Robert Picard on democratising the media

Speaking with: Robert Picard. CC BY-ND21 MB (download)
Is social media really delivering on its promise of democratising communication? Or have we just replaced one model that privileges those with power for another? Dr Andrea Carson speaks with Professor…
‘Shoehorning your imagination into the condition of another human being is the A game in songwriting.’ Mark Seymour, AAP/ MG Promotions

Speaking with: singer-songwriter Mark Seymour

Speaking with: Mark Seymour. CC BY-ND22.7 MB (download)
At the Melbourne Writers’ Festival this week, a panel of poets, writers and performers will read and reflect on the poetry of the first world war. Among them is Mark Seymour, the former frontman of Hunters…
‘Cooking is what makes us human’. Flickr

Speaking with: food critic Ruth Reichl

Speaking with: Ruth Reichl. CC BY-ND31.4 MB (download)
Ruth Reichl, the former restaurant critic of The New York Times and author of best-selling gourmet memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples, is known for describing, in vivid detail, how food…
Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Michael Darcy on housing affordability

In the past six months the federal government has cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and announced an inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. In both cases the government…
Andrew Lock personifies the meaning of ‘grit’. Melbourne Writers' Festival

Speaking with: mountaineer Andrew Lock

Speaking with: Andrew Lock. CC BY-ND27.4 MB (download)
Andrew Lock is the most accomplished high-altitude mountaineer in Australian history. He is the only Australian, the first person in the Commonwealth, and just the 18th man in the world to climb all 14…
American comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black. Foxtel

Speaking with: The New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum

Speaking with: Emily Nussbaum. CC BY-ND26.3 MB (download)
Over the past decade we have witnessed the rise and rise of long form television – from The Sopranos to The Wire, Game of Thrones to Orange Is the New Black – and no one has been watching this transformation…
Chris Hadfield spent nearly five months on the International Space Station. NASA

Speaking with: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield

Speaking with: Chris Hadfield.
Colonel Chris Hadfield is one of the most famous astronauts on Earth. Through the creative use of social media, he’s made space exciting and accessible to new generations of enthusiasts, most notably through…
Not amused by reports linking him to a suppression order, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demanded transparency. AAP Image/Yuli Seperi

Audio Q&A: Indonesia’s reaction to suppression order

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently called for Australia to be “transparent” following its attempt at protecting international relations by suppressing details of an international bribery…
Prabowo Subianto is to challenge the presidential election result in Indonesia’s Constitutional Court. AAP/Gabrielle Dunlevy

Audio Q&A: Prabowo’s appeal to the Constitutional Court

International leaders have begun congratulating Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo. But losing candidate Prabowo Subianto is yet to concede defeat. After a dramatic withdrawal from the vote-counting…
A Bharatiya Janata Party official said people who don’t vote for Narendra Modi have no place in India and should move to Pakistan, taking campaigning to a new low. EPA/Divyakant Solanki

The meanest election India has ever seen

With results due in next week, campaigning for India’s 16th Lok Sabha (lower house) election is in its final stages. Commentators are calling this the meanest election India has ever seen, with mudslinging…

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