#1516 Only A Whale (repeat)

“These are animals that are even larger than some of the dinosaurs we’re so excited about. and they’re travelling through water they’re going up and down they’re jumping they’re splashing about.. And it’s all these things that change the ocean.”

The start of May means the start of whale watching season. Look out off the east coast at the moment and you’ll likely see them, parading south.

This week on All the Best, come whale watching with us – on the edge of cliffs in Sydney, in 1850s Byron Bay, from the decks of the First Fleet and in a Melbourne theatre. But remember, all you’re looking at is big, sea dwelling mammals – the whale is only ever just a whale.

Shifting Baselines

Writer and biologist Mary Gardener is piecing together stories and find an answer to the question – when someone looked off the coast at Byron Bay 300 years ago, what would they see? Closer to shore, as recent as 60 years ago, they would have seen a long jetty with whales being hauled in, harpoooned. Mary wrote about when Byron was a whaling town in the Byron Shire Echo. You can hear some more of Harry Roberton, whaling folk singer, here.

You don’t have to wait for the boom of a harpoon to see a whale these days – follow @WildAboutWhales or #WhaleOn to know when to rush to the shoreline.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan


The Whale is Just a Whale

Moby Dick: Show Thyself combined humour, history and literature. A tumultuous, seasick production of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick recently played at Melbourne University’s Union Theatre. The play, adapted for stage and written by Rohan Byrne, and performed by independent company Until Monstrous, is set to be reworked and reimagined for a follow-up performance run in 2015.

Produced by Bec Fary

Music Credits: ‘Overture’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe, ‘Death to Moby Dick’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe and ‘The Sea Claims Another’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe


Whale Stories

Stories of whaling in the Southern and Pacific Oceans with Laura’s dad – John Newton, the author of A Savage History. We had him tell all our favourite whaling stories – stories of sperm whales as far as the eye can see, whaling boats alongside the First Fleet, baby whales breaking hearts, killer whales being border collies.

Produced by Laura Brierley Newton

Music Credits: Sigur Ros – Glósóli


Presenter: Michaela Morgan 

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

#1515 A Walk In The Park


When 17-year-old Masa Vukotic was murdered in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster while out for a walk in a park near her house, the Victorian Homicide Squad Chief responded to the tragedy by suggesting this: “…people, particularly females, they shouldn’t be alone in parks…I’m sorry to say that is the case.”

And it hit a nerve. Because women shouldn’t be afraid for their lives walking in a park. A walk in the park should be a walk in the park. An evening run should be an evening run, a night out should be a night out, a drink should be a drink, a date a date. Riding a bike home should be something we can do without fearing for our lives.

This week on All the Best we look at the chasm between a walk home for women and a walk home for men. We tell stories of street harassment, violence against women, and varying experiences of public places.

Women are already walking in fear – what does it mean when those in authority suggest they shouldn’t be walking at all?

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this episode: Lucy Watson, Ebony Bennett, Jane Gilmore, Jenna Price, Lily King, Hannah Reich, Bec Fary, Rose Randall, Josie Smart, Izzy Roberts-Orr, Bethany Atkinson Quinton, Tess Lawley.

Original sound design on our walks home was by Alyx Dennison.


The Hoopla published an extended version of Jane Gilmore’s Facebook Status, titled ‘Don’t, Don’t, Don’t Get Yourself Killed’

You can read Lucy Watson’s story ‘Reflections On My Assault, One Year Ago Today’ on New Matilda.

Here’s Jenna Price on shouting back at street harassers.

And a break down of that report by the Australia Institute on Australian women’s experiences of street harassment.


Features Executive Producers: Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Image Credit: A public space text-based projection by Melbourne artist Stephanie Freda Leigh

Music Credits: Original sound design on our walks home by Alyx Dennison. “Take It All” by Evelyn Ida Morris. White Sheet Beach. 

#1514 Grapes of Ridicule

What are you looking for when you buy a bottle of wine? If you’re alone do you reach for the cleanskin? If you’re sharing it with friends maybe you want something a bit more fancy, a wine to show off, mark you as someone who knows their shit.

If you’re taking it to your parents house or giving it as a gift perhaps you’ll look closer to the top of the shelf, or judge the wine by it’s cover. Maybe you’ll look for the award stamps that mean other people have swirled and spit out your cabernet and judged it to be worth your time.

This week on All the Best, producer Yasmin Parry delves into the world of wine, and the stories that come with each bottle.

Image Credit: Evan Wood

#1513 Things and Stuff

Do you have too much stuff? Clutter, collections, clothes, books, toys, old stuff, new stuff?

This week on All the Best we look at the complicated relationship humans have with the things they own. We meet a woman who left behind all her things and life in the city to live in the New South Wales bush for a year. We help people with an unmanageable amount of stuff pack their things away, and go buying with a vintage store owner who leans into the clutter, and the finds treasure in other hoarders’ cast-offs.


The Psychology of Hoarding 

I’m sure we’ve all had a friend who has excused their messy house by saying they’re a hoarder. And then you get there and there are a couple of magazines stacked on their coffee table, maybe a few too many chipped mugs in the kitchen. What makes these people different from the hoarders we see in the paper or on TV, the ones where bric a brac spills out the windows and onto the front lawn? Zacha Rosen asked his brother to explain. He was part of a task force that looks at hoarding as a mental illness.

Produced by Zacha Rosen

Music Credits: ‘Open/Avocado’ by Kim Boekbinder, ‘Anyone at All’ by Kim Boekbinder, ‘Paloma Negra’ by Lila Downs & Susanna Harp – , ‘Tirineni Tsitsiki’ by Lila Downs & Susanna Harp


When a Loved One Goes Over-Hoard

Some people have more trouble getting rid of their things. So much trouble that they hire some help.

Produced by Heidi Pett

Music credits: ‘Same Suburb, Different Park’ by Firekites


A Year Without Things

In 2010 Claire Dunn was living in the city with a job, a partner, and a life very removed from the wild. She left it all behind for a year to live without things, and the people she knew, deep in the New South Wales bush land. She told Jess O’Callaghan about her year without matches.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan


Fat Helen’s

If you keep going down Chapel Street, past the designer stores, froyo bars and nail salons you’ll find an chaotic shop overflowing with vintage clothing, jewellery, paintings and bric a brac. Inside you’ll find owner Helen Round, equally as eclectic and colourful as her wears. Jess and Lily chatted to her about her obsession with collecting.

Produced by Lily King and Jess Fernandes


Features Executive Producers: Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Image Credit: rockandrollfreak