#1632: Small Towns of Australia

This week All The Best is putting small towns on the map as we play tourist around Australia. We visit a tiny sheep farming town where a single classroom hosts Kindy to Year 6, with only 11 students all up. Then we jump on the Trans Australian Rail, stopping off in Cook, South Australia. Not as much a town as a railway station – the bullseye of the Nullabor. Lastly we make it to Bello, a hippy haven in conservative countryside dominated by Nats and farmland.

‘Jerangle, Snowy Mountains’

Jerangle Public is what’s known as a ‘Small school’, a classification of school that is pretty self-explanatory: the school has only 11 students, spread from Kindy to Year 6, all in one classroom. Sonja Sim is the superhero teacher running the show, with help from the community and a sheep called Hannah.

Music: ‘Little hands’ and ‘Morning forest’ by EMI production music

‘Cook, Nullabor’ by James Purtill

Australia is actually home to the longest straight stretch of rail in the world. It tracks through thinly spread small towns, across the wide desert, from Perth to Sydney. A journey of four days, three nights, 4000 kilometres all up.

Producer James Purtill hopped on in Kalgoorlie and rode all the way up to Sydney. We join him halfway across the Nullabor in the small town of Cook, South Australia.

‘Bellingen, mid-north coast of NSW’ by Alexander Darling

Alexander Darling got a bit of a shock when he moved from Melbourne to the conservative mid-north coast of NSW. He found  a tiny piece of inner city vibes and, initially, didn’t know what to make of it.

Sound design and original music by Harry Domanski

Original poetry by the Bello Bards


Executive Producer: Selena Shannon

Presenter: Jess Hamilton

Vic State Coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Community Coordinator: Chloe Gillespie

Episode Compiler: Tegan Nicholls

Image by Sonja Sim

#1631 LIVE! From the National Young Writers Festival

Earlier this month All The Best teamed up with the National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle to host a night of Poetry and Music at Vinyl Cafe. We brought musicians and poets together to perform under the theme ‘The Body as a Map’, and the result was a beautiful and spontaneous evening of stories.

A Night of Poetry and Music was hosted by Selena Shannon and Bethany Atkinson-Quinton.

‘Through Streets and Silhouettes’

Poem by Jakob Boyd, with music by Tom Albert

‘Moon Street’

Poem by Magan Magan, sound design by Bec Fary

‘Reflection in Remembering’ and ‘Lovers Once’

Poems by Laurie May, with music from James Maher and Sarah Monk.


Executive Producer: Selena Shannon

Vic State Coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Community Coordinator: Chloe Gillespie

Episode Compiler: Tegan Nicholls

Image by Flickr Creative Commons user OZinOH

#1630 It’s a Man Eat Man World

It’s unpleasant to think that we live in a man eat man world, a society where our actions force us to eat or be eaten. But this week on All The Best, we are taking this expression to the extreme with two slightly unusual stories.

‘Zedtown Dead South’ by Tegan Nicholls

Zedtown started out on a uni campus, now it’s the biggest real life Zombies v Humans game in the world. Over 6 hours, armed with NERF guns and foam darts, alliances are made and broken, witches and super zombies are released, and survivors turn on their fellow humans. To get a taste of green blood, All The Best producer Tegan Nicholls takes us deep into the game as she fights to stay alive.

Look out for the next game at http://www.zedtown.com/

Made with special thanks to the creator of Zedtown Dave Harmon.

Music: ‘Killing in the Name’ – Rage Against the Machine, ‘Zombie Love Song’ – Your Favourite Martian, ‘You are my Sunshine’ – Johnny Cash, ‘Enter Sandman’ – Metallica

‘Kitchen Cannibal’ by Bonnie Tai

Last week on the show we were telling stories about food and how it brings people together. This week we’ve got something a little different.

Inherently, we’re all aware that food is for survival, but generally humans eat more than their fill, and more often than not we’re motivated by taste. But how weird can one person’s tastes get?

All The Best producer Bonnie Tai spoke to Jack who has some pretty unique views about animals, including which ones should end up on your plate.

Supervising producer and editing by Selena Shannon

Music: ‘Drama’ and ‘Some Kids Get it All’ by EMI production music


Executive Producer: Selena Shannon

Community Coordinator: Chloe Gillespie

Presenter: Jess Hamilton

Episode compiler: Tegan Nicholls

Image by Omnes Photography

#1629 Taking Refuge in Recipes

It’s been said before, but food is full of meaning. It can transcend borders, cultures, language and class. This week on All The Best, we bring you two stories of how peace and refuge were found through the ritual of cooking and eating.

‘A Recipe for Refuge’ by Carly-Anne Kenneally

Does the smell of a certain meal remind you of home? What if your home was a war torn country and those memories are full of pain?

Kway Nguyen is a Melbourne-based artist who was recently commissioned by the Maribyrnong Council to design an artwork for The Little Saigon Project in Footscray, a western suburb of Melbourne. He designed the installation to reflect contemporary Vietnamese culture as a kind of east meets west marriage.

All The Best producer Carly-Anne Kenneally met up with Kway and his Sydney-based collaborator My Le Thi to talk about cultures, language, art and, of course, food.

‘From Waste to Plate’ by Alice Rennison

It’s estimated that around 5% of the Australian population experiences food insecurity. It’s a pretty broad term that covers a range of scenarios, but the crux of the matter is Australians are going hungry and we’re not really talking about it. But there are a number of fantastic organisations out there across the country making sure Australians going hungry can get a meal or food for their family.

Contributor Alice Rennison decided to meet some of the people behind the food donations services and find out how they operate.

If you would like to get involved or donate, you can read up on the different organisations here: http://www.ozharvest.org/, http://secondbite.org/ and Wesley Mission Food Drive.

Supervising Producer: Bec Fary 

Music: ‘Skull-sized kingdom’ and ‘Shooting Star’ by Richard In Your Mind. 


Executive producer: Selena Shannon

Vic State Coordinator: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

Presenter: Jess Hamilton

Episode compiler: Tegan Nicholls

Image  by Flickr Creative Commons user Thy Khue Ly

Music: ‘Pickles from the jar’ by Courtney Barnett