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Many cities are starting to recognise that street art has both a cultural and economic value. SalTheColourGeek/Flickr

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on graffiti, art and crime

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on graffiti, art and crime. CC BY-ND21.2 MB (download)
Is graffiti art or crime? While many cities have adopted tough legal measures to prevent graffiti, they are also beginning to recognise the cultural and economic value of street art.
A traditionalist view of childhood has created certain fears among adults regarding children and technology. www.shutterstock.com

Speaking with: Joanne Orlando on children and technology

Speaking with: Joanne Orlando on children and technology. CC BY-SA25.7 MB (download)
Should we be worried that ever more devices and software applications are made specifically for an increasingly younger audience?
Mike Baird concedes there are ‘challenges’ facing the federal Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott (right), but says voters want him to focus on state issues. AAP/Paul Miller

NSW Premier Mike Baird on health, privatisation, and Abbott’s shadow

'There's no doubt there's challenges in Canberra ... I would like Canberra to get on with the job of actually looking after the people it's supposed to be representing.' – Mike Baird
Asked about what he would consider a good result at the upcoming state election, Mike Baird joked he’d be happy with a win. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

In Conversation with Mike Baird: full transcript

'I would be incredibly disappointed, I can’t tell you how disappointed I’d be, if I didn’t have the opportunity to continue beyond March ... [these are] some of the most exciting times in politics'.
Many Australian films have significant cultural capital that should also be considered when measuring their level of success. Shutterstock

Speaking with: David Tiley on funding Australian films

Speaking with: David Tiley on funding Australian films. CC BY-ND23.2 MB (download)
Vincent O’Donnell speaks with David Tiley, editor of ScreenHub magazine, about financing film production in Australia and looking beyond box office numbers to measure a film's success.
Australia has changed from primarily being a destination for permanent settlers to having an increasing number of temporary arrivals. Ben Beiske/Flickr (modified)

Speaking with: Shanthi Robertson on the changing face of migration

Shanthi Robertson on the changing face of migration.
Immigration is a contentious topic in many parts of the world, and the debate in Australia has been predictably framed around asylum seekers, the burdens on taxpayers and the protection of local jobs…
Religious institutions have consistently struggled to respond to child sexual abuse cases appropriately. L'Osservatore Romano/EPA

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions. The Conversation21.6 MB (download)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses…
Australia’s ability to influence China will largely depend on how it engages with China’s complex and growing diplomatic machinery. Shutterstock

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy.
The emergence of China as a 21st-century superpower has already had profound impacts on Australia. As China reshapes the balance of power, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally, its influence…
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…

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