#1606 Lead Affected

 

“I felt betrayed, because I loved Broken Hill and I loved my house and I loved the town, and I loved the streets and I loved everything about it. And to think that my lovely town was poisoning my beautiful baby was heartbreaking.” 

Broken Hill sits on the world’s largest known deposit of silver, lead and zinc, which they’ve been mining continuously since its discovery in 1883. It’s a town built on mining. The streets are named after the minerals dug from the earth and the people who live there are proud of their history of unionism and industry.

It’s also a town with a lead problem. Over a hundred years of mining and a few years of smelting have scattered the toxic substance into the environment. It’s in the dust, building up in people’s ceiling cavities, on their water tanks, the lounge room carpet. From there it gets on kids hands, into their mouths, their blood and then their brains, where it leads to intellectual and behavioural problems.

Sometimes, when a town is reliant on a single and damaging industry, a sort of wilful blindness develops. It’s called industrial capture.

Producer: Heidi Pett

Music in order of appearance: 

Unknown punter singing ‘Better Be Home Soon’ by Crowded House, recorded during karaoke at the Palace Hotel, formerly ‘Mario’s Place’

‘Tainted Love’ by Ed Cobb, covered by Lead Affected and recorded at band practice in Broken Hill

‘How’s Your Wife’ by Caitlin Park


Kate and Daniel

Daniel Farrugia and Kate Marsden with their children Greta and Avie. They left Broken Hill after they couldn’t lower Avie’s blood lead levels

Slag heap from the Palace

Looking over the slag heap from the balcony of the Palace Hotel on Broken Hill’s main street

Esther La Rovere

Esther La Rovere is one of the owners of the iconic Palace Hotel. As a local business owner, she’s hesitant to speak up about the issue

Dulcie blood lead level
Dulcie O’Donnell’s boys had elevated blood lead levels as children. She’s kept their childhood records which she’s hoping to present in court

Dulcie O'Donnell
Dulcie blames childhood lead exposure for her boys behavioural problems. She says she’s had a hard time with them since they were kids; they were in trouble at school and now in the justice system

Lead Affected 2
Serge, Darren and Donny from local band Lead Affected

CAMA5263
The rail line heading west to South Australia

Joanne Boog
Joanne Boog received death threats for her role in the campaign to have children’s blood lead levels tested in the early 90’s. She’s since moved to Dubbo

#1605 Temporary Communities

 

This episode was brought to you with thanks to Squarespace

Visit a collection of temporary communities in this week’s episode of All The Best.

Her Game

Producer Bethany Atkinson-Quinton dives into the world of women’s AFL in her new audio series Her Game. The series unpacks how some people experience their gender in the traditionally hyper-masculine world of Australian Rules Football. Her Game looks at the stories of players, coaches, presidents, supporters and reporters. Featured in this week’s episode of All The Best, we hear from a female coach about her under 12 girls team. Life lessons in personal space, strength, and confidence sown with the seeds of AFL.

Producer: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Music: Sports! by Young, Tough, Terrible

Twelve hours on the Hell90

On Sydney’s Northern Beaches, a genre of local tale exists in the form of “L90 stories”: larger-than-life recounts of overzealous community figures, insane drunken interactions, friendships forged and punches thrown. ATB producers Aidan Molins and Matt Kearns wondered, has the legendary and infamous bus created a community of its own? They grabbed a recorder and took to the bus for 12 hours one Friday to find out.

Producer: Aidan Molins 

Supervising producers: Heidi Pett and Selena Shannon

Music: Far Away by Amorph

College life

Living in a university college is often described as the best time of your life. The media on the other hand, usually tells a different story. One of brutal hazing ceremonies, dangerous initiation games and serious mistreatment of women. But what was it really like for the students themselves? How did three people who experienced the same type of community, in their own way, feel about it? We asked three students to paint their own picture of college.

Producer: Selena Shannon

Music: Springtime by Podington Bear

 

Executive Producer: Heidi Pett

Vic State Coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Community Coordinator: Aidan Molins

Presenter: Pip Rasmussen

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons user Stuart Boreham

 

#1604 Doggie

 

Sometimes a radio show just needs to bask in the glory of dogs. Because dogs are great. Open your ears to stories of the unbreakable bond humans have with their four-legged pals, and the lengths some people will go to for an animal they love.

Music: ‘808 and Moog Out’ by Podington Bear, ‘Dogs Are Everywhere’ by Pulp

Excerpt: Youtube video ‘Dog Hoards Tater Tots’ by America’s Funniest Home Videos

Eau d’Wet Dog

Meet David Capra. David is a performance artist from Fairfield in Sydney’s West, and Teena is his sausage dog muse. Together they have bottled her scent and made a doggie perfume. But the world may not be ready for David and Teena, as they blur the lines between performance art and real life.

Producer: Caitlin Gibson

Supervising producer: Kate Montague

Music: ‘I wonder, I wonder, I wonder’ by Eddy Howard 

Safe beds for Pets

Pets can make us feel safe and grounded. In many cases they’re integral to our sense of home and people will go to great lengths to protect them – even, in some cases, at their own risk. But it doesn’t have to be that way, sometimes people and their pets just need a little help with their exit strategy. In this story we visit a special shelter at the RSPCA that provides a safe bed for pets, only not in the usual way.

Producer: Selena Shannon

Executive Producer: Heidi Pett

Presenter: Pip Rasmussen

Music: ‘Showers’ by Podington Bear

Image by Aidan Molins

#1603 Ew, Gross

Whether it’s spiders, smelly feet, or maybe even Donald Trump that sets you off, we all know the feeling. Your stomach is churning, your heart is racing, your face is all screwed up and you just want to go: eeearrrghhhhhhh!!!!

Get your vomit bucket ready, because today on All the Best, we’re going feral.  Producer Beth Gibson looks at the various things that make us turn up our noses – and why.

Slurp (Heavens, No!)

For one of Beth’s friends, even reading the word is enough. Don’t get her started on the sound.

Music: Meetin’ & Movin’ by Merkel & Fritzemeier and Cylinder Eight by Chris Zabriskie

Swimming In Shit

When it comes to things that gross us out, there is hardly a better example than….poo. We poop almost every day, and yet we try to stay as far away from the stuff as possible. We flush it down, cover up the stench, and absolutely do not bring it up at the dinner table. But what if your job was to literally dive into the stuff?

Tomato
Beth’s boyfriend hates tomatoes. Actually, Beth’s boyfriend is revolted by tomatoes. The little seeds, the slimy texture, the general vibe. But he’s making a real effort to overcome his disgust, and to that end has invited his friends around to squish them on him, while he attempts to perform a monologue. Oh yeah, and he’s going to try to eat one.

Music: Night Owl by Broke For Free

Pits on the internet

So far we’ve heard stories of disgust from the disgusted. So how does it feel to be the object of disgust? Beth talks to

Music: Afterglow by Podington Bear and Enthusiast by Tours
Episode producer: Beth Gibson

Supervising Producer: Bec Fary

EP: Heidi Pett

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Vic State Coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Community Coordinator: Aidan Molins

Episode image by flickr user Tony

Music: Sick Things – Alice Cooper