#1235 A Few of Our Favourite Things

All the Best casts its curious eye back on 2012 and shares a few of our favourite stories from the year. A former drug dealer and addict comes back from the brink; a surfer girl dares to be different in the 1970s, and a mother dancing on an old family video forms a lasting memory for her daughter.

Tony Hoang
From the south-western Sydney suburb of Cabrammatta, Tony Hoang tells us his story: it’s about drugs, power and redemption. This story was produced through the Become a Radio Pro training project with support from the Community Media Training Organisation. The  project was devised by Jesse Cox and Brigitte Dagg with Nicola Joseph.

Produced by Thuy Nguyen
Supervising Producer: Gina McKeon.

That Summer of ’75
Forget the TV series and the book: the real Puberty Blues started in the summer of 1975. Shé Hawkes was 14, and had begun doing something absolutely outrageous on the beach. Shé- a girl- had started to surf. It wasn’t something that the other surfers were going to let her get away with.

These days, Shé is a writer and academic: read her piece about women breaking into the surf culture of 1970s Australia, and a fictionalised version of her summer of ’75.

Interview, recording: Kate Montague
Edited by Belinda Lopez
Music credits: Room with a view (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0; Instrumental – Restoration (Dan Warren) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0; Instrumental – The Buddha (Dan Warren) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Remembering Mum
How to you get to know someone when they’re not around? Before social media, it was through sheer detective work – asking questions, looking at old photographs, reading anything they’ve written or left behind. In the case of her mother, Madelyne Cummings’ own search led her to discoveries she could treasure forever.

Written and read by Madelyne Cummings.
Produced by Que Minh Luu.
Original music by Jamieson Shaw.
Technical production by Antonia Gauci.

Presenter: Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez
Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo and Eliza Sarlos
Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally

Photo: ‘Raindrops on Roses’ by Jon Bragg

#1234 The Scallywag and the Saint

Just in time for Christmas, All the Best brings you the story of a very unlikely pair of people— a nun and an ex-criminal— undertaking a very special project for those who face a festival season without love, family or presents. And we find out how the stories of your life could be preserved forever by the National Library of Australia through a new oral history project.

The Scallywag and the Saint
Sister Myree Harris and Vic Hitchcock are perhaps as different as two people could get. She’s a no-nonsense nun. He’s a larrikin ex-criminal. But the two of them work together every year to bring a bit of light to those who find Christmas to be the loneliest part of their year. As it turns out, their own story is something of a Christmas miracle.

Find out more about Sister Myree’s work here.

Produced by Kate Montague.
Music: ‘Indian Love Song’  and ‘Kim’s Dirt’ by The Dirty Three; ‘Writing Poems’ by Ludovico Einaudi, from ‘The Intouchables’ soundtrack; ‘Kolapot’ by Amiina; ‘Familiar Ground’ by Cinematic Orchestra.

This is Your Life
Host Georgia Moodie speaks to Nicole Curby from the Australian Generations oral history project about having your own life story preserved by the National Library of Australia for future generations. The project is seeks Australians from the country to the city, from families with a long history in Australia to the recently arrived, to share the stories of their lives.  The project is still looking for people born in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly men of this age!

Follow the project on Twitter, visit them on Facebook, and to participate, get in touch:

PHONE: (03) 9905 2206
EMAIL: kate.e.james@monash.edu
ONLINE: go to www.arts.monash.edu.au/australian‐generations and click on the orange headphones
WRITE: Australian Generations Oral History Project, Department of History, Building 11, Level 6, Monash University, Clayton Campus, VICTORIA 3800

Presenter: Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez
Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo and Eliza Sarlos
Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally

Photo by Kate Montague

#1233 Power Plays

All the Best takes you to places of power outside the hallowed halls of parliaments— in the most unpredictable of places. A disgruntled solicitor swaps her law books for a pole, emerging as one of Australia’s leading pole dancers and a candidate for parliament to boot; while a woman remembers her teenage crush and the undeserving pedestal she placed him on while reading the private diary she kept at the time.

Pole Position
Today, Zahra Stardust is a Penthouse Pet, the Australian Pole Dance Champion and an award-winning stripper. But she was once  a full-time as a solicitor in a corporate law firm, and later swapped her law books for sparkles and hotpants. She believes her decision— like pole dancing generally— was more in line with her feminist beliefs.

Produced by Liam Knierim
Sound design by Belinda Lopez

Music: ‘I Touch Myself’ The Divinyls, ‘Closer’ Nine Inch Nails.

Dear Diary
Everyone has at least one teenage crush that has stayed with them: for the rollercoaster of emotions, for the way they consumed your thoughts— and for the sheer awesome power they possessed over you. That one person you’d placed on a pedestal. Niki Aken has one of those people. We hear about him through the diary she kept as a teenager, now shared with the world.

Recorded by Kate Ryan
Produced by Heidi Pett

Music: ‘Escale’ Les Zekoutzy Pourvoir.

Presenter: Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez
Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo and Eliza Sarlos

Photo: ‘Zahra Stardust’ by Dieter Knierim
Music: ‘In the Middle of the Night’ Martha Wainwright



#1232 Hope + Politics

‘Hope’ and ‘Politics’ aren’t two words you often hear spoken together in Australia. But All the Best shares a story about people inside and outside of Canberra who are hopeful— passionately hopeful— that they can make change happen.

The Parliamentary Friendship Group
Kate Doak is a political junkie, and wasn’t surprised by anything that happened down in Canberra- until finding out about a curiously-named ‘parliamentary friendship group’ including politicians across the spectrum. They have joined forces to help sex and gender diverse Australians who are stuck in a rut because of inadequate medical benefits and inconsistent state and national laws.

Read the Diversity in Health report mentioned in Kate’s story here.

Produced by Kate Doak.
Music: ‘Planet Zero‘ and ‘Sunday morning‘ by Jahzzar; ‘Folk jam’ by Ryan Shello; Corsica S

Presenter: Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez
Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo and Eliza Sarlos

Photo: ‘The Smashed Heart from Far Away’ by Paul G. 

#1231 Sixth Sense

All the Best goes on a journey of dreams, spirits and intuition, through stories that can’t be explained away in everyday terms. The lessons of nature are learned the hard way along the Murray River; ancestral spirits guide one woman from her broken childhood to become a leader of Sydney’s Aboriginal community; and one young woman discovers the possibilities and perils of lucid dreams— with the help of a smartphone app.

Swim Deep Only in Water You Know
The Murray River flowing near Mungabareena, on the border of NSW and Victoria, is fast and dangerous. The visiting crowds tend to opt for the safer, stiller spots downstream. But Tim Bishop loved that spot. His Dad taught him how to read the river, and why he should cherish and fear it. Other kids weren’t lucky enough to receive the same education.

Produced by Tim Bishop.

Spirit Guide
Aunty Marlene Cummins grew up in the outback, where she learned about the spirits that would get her if she didn’t come home before dark, or didn’t get her homework done. When she moved to the city, those same ancestral spirits helped her through difficult times.

Produced by Belinda Lopez and Liam Knierim.
Edited by Belinda Lopez.
Music credits: ‘Aboriginal Land’ by Nadeena Dixon; ‘Beacon’ by Stiff Gins.

We all dream: but some of us do it loudly and openly, revealing our subconscious worries, hopes and desires to the world.  Steph Halbisch talks in her sleep, and she decided to take a very modern-day approach to a sleeping habit that has baffled us for centuries. She downloaded a sleep-monitoring app for her smartphone, and bed down for the night.

Produced by Rachel Fisher and Elle Stokes.

Presenter: Belinda Lopez, filling in for Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez
Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo and Eliza Sarlos

Picture credit: Jon Nagi

Music credit: ‘Yandool’ by Stiff Gins.