#1613 Who would have thought?

 

This week, we’re telling stories of fear and trauma, but not the kind you would expect. Two tales about surprising connections that will make you think huh… who would have thought?

‘Holes’ by Beth Gibson

Picture lots of little holes. A handful of straws from above. Honeycomb. Petrified wood. Crumpets. Does the thought bother you?

If you find the image disturbing, you may belong to a group that calls themselves trypophobics. But is your unusual aversion… real?

Supervising producing by Caitlin Gibson

Music:  ‘Black Eyed Susan’ and ‘Dark Matter’ by Podington Bear, ‘Cylinder Eight’ by Chris Zabriskie.

‘They clap for me’ by Heidi Pett

Most people have traumatic memories of their high school drama productions. The embarrassment of an on stage kiss, or slapstick screw-up.

But at Miller Technology High School in Sydney’s West, the annual school play is actually part of their trauma counselling.

Music: ‘Tip top’ by Borneo

Image: Flickr creative commons user rich.tee

#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

#1601 It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

An episode full of stories that, told at the pub, would trail off with “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time”. Like investing a significant chunk of your nation’s dwindling cash reserves in a musical re-imagining the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, in which Mona Lisa is the love interest who Leo knocks up. Or one of those relationships where you’re so in love that you’d do anything for the other person, and you’d let them do anything – or anyone – as well.

Impermanent Ink

We visit a laser tattoo removal clinic in Sydney’s inner west, to talk to a guy who deals in regret for a living. 

Producer: Heidi Pett

Music: Falcor by Luchi

Nauru and the West End Musical

In the mid twentieth century, Nauruans were the richest people per capita in the world. The money came from the islands phosphate mine, which is essentially seagull poop. But the phosphate began to run out and the Nauruan government made some pretty foolish investment decisions, including sinking a bunch of money into a failed musical. 

Producer: Selena Shannon

Music: Concrete and Clay by Unit 2+4,  You’ve Never Been In Love Like This Before by Unit 2+4 and Let Me Be A Part Of Your Life, a recording from Leonardo, A Portrait of Love

Wouldn’t Do It Again

Laura Brierley Newton has always known that before her mother, her dad had another wife; her name is Susie and they remain good friends. As Laura got older she learned they’d had an open marriage. It was the 70s and that was, apparently, what people did. So she sat down and asked her dad to tell her about it. And as soon as Susie got wind of that, she called up and asked if she could tell her side of the story. Turns out, that’s not quite how it went. 

Producer: Laura Brierley Newton

Music: Break It Up, by Patti Smith

Episode image by Flickr user Daniela

#1537 What Might Have Been

 

You see a familiar face on the street. It’s someone you knew a long time ago. You couldn’t place a name, but you remember being very fond of them. You near each other, your eyes meet, you’re about to pass, you open your mouth, and in a second they are gone, moving onwards in the opposite direction.

Neither of you stopped or even smiled. It might have been something – you could have asked then for a drink, placed their name while your fumbled for your phone. But the moment is gone. All you’re left with is what might have been.

This week on All the Best – missed moments, alternate paths, loves lost, whole cities never realised.

North Arm

There’s a place on the north coast of NSW called North Arm Cove. There are 400ish residents, no shop, no town water, but they do have a tennis court they built with money from the government’s GFC stimulus package a few years back.

But North Arm Cove was slated to be something much bigger. For a brief, shining moment, it might have been the capital of Australia, designed by Walter Burley Griffin. That didn’t happen, obviously. But plans were drawn up and roads carved through the bush, and due to a strange confluence of planning laws and economics, a small community lives in a perfectly planned city that’s mostly gravel boulevards and eucalyptus trees.

Produced by Heidi Pett

Brother

One of the biggest, strangest things about ‘what might have beens’ is the ways they could change not only the course of our lives, and what happened, but our identities. Things that happen or don’t happen ripple through us and form the people we become.

Erin’s been wondering for a while what might have been if something in her family had happened very differently

Produced by Erin Rosenberg

Executive Producers: Heidi Pett

State Coordinators: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton and Bec Fary

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Image Credit: Google Maps

#1533 Does That Ever Work For You

People who knock on your door asking you to change your religion, or to believe in the impending apocalypse. Infomercials. Pick up lines. Detox diets, click bait and pop up ads. There are things that people try again and again that you think would never work but they must sometimes, or surely people wouldn’t bother. Today on All The Best we’re asking: Does That Ever Work For You?

Takedown

David Blumenstein is a Melbourne based cartoonist. On November 6 last year, he went down to St Kilda Pier to wait for Julien Blanc to arrive. Julien’s an American pro pick up artist and, when he tried to run workshops in Australia became the target of one of the most successful anti-PUA campaigns ever, collected around the hashtag #takedownjulienblanc. So successful that venue cancelled on him in the face of the outrage, and then he tried to hold the workshop on a boat. David sits down with our EP Heidi Pett to talk about his evening on a pier with pick up artists and protesters. You can get the comic book here

Produced by Heidi Pett

Mate

What does it mean when somebody you wanna date calls you mate? This story is from our mates (who we also probably wanna date) over at Private Parts, a brand new audio art project by Irit Pollak and Elin Andersson. They call it a collective memory bank that explores identity and perception from a gender perspective, and you can find them at partlyprivate.com and in iTunes. Go on.

Produced by Irit Pollak, Elin Andersson and Izzy Roberts-Orr

Music by The Twerps

The Dog Ate My Homework

There’s a program called Writing Workshop here in Sydney – they do workshops, on writing, for kids in school. It’s run by a guy called Bernard and  he’s got this great thing where if the kids miss a class, they have to write this totally outlandish excuse letter, telling the story of why they couldn’t make it. It probably works better than “the dog ate my homework”. We got them to come into the studio one Sunday and record them for us.

Thanks to all the kids who took part, Amy, age 12, Belle, age 16, Julia, age 18, Annalise, age 10

Produced by Zacha, age 38 & Lily, age 24

#1532 Then It Was Us – Syrian Refugees in Amman

 

I have a big mission coming in two days and they want to go to Za’atari and I said “If you want to go to Za’atari I will take you to the Dead Sea, and I will take a photo of you at the Dead Sea, because you are coming for tourism. Everybody that needs to go to Za’atari from the humanitarian community and the donor community has been there already.”

This week on All The Best we’re staying in the Jordanian capital, Amman.  While Za’atari, the huge camp in the north of the country that was at one stage home to more than 150 000 refugees – making it the fourth largest city in the country – receives the majority of media and donor attention, most Syrian refugees live in the capital. They’re struggling to work and live in a city where they are largely unsupported and often undocumented. With few prospects of going home, or limited possibilities of moving forward, they wait.

Domenique Sherab brings you the stories of Mohammad, Abeer, and Bu.

Producer: Domenique Sherab
Supervising producer: Heidi Pett
Music: Bu Kolthum, Nassif Shamma, and The Partysquad & Boaz van de Beatz
Translation: Sanabel Yousef and Eman Alajaj, voiced by Kate Montague
Image: Domenique Sherab

#1528 Naked

Avert your eyes. This week on all the best we’re tackling one of the biggest remaining taboos – getting naked.
Because as liberated as you may feel, as comfortable in your own skin, when it comes down to it you pulled a shirt on over your head before trotting off to work today. You probably even primed your body with underwear.
We delve deeper into nakedness than any TV show ever could on a Saturday morning and tell stories of nudity, past and present.
Naked Law
Produced by Heidi Pett
Phallic Interpreter
Written and performed by James Robertson Hirst
Produced by Michael Brydon 
Nude
Produced by Riley Harrison
Naked For Satan
Produced by Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

State Coordinators: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton and Sky Kirkham

Executive Producers: Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Image Credit: Handcuffed / Flickr

#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

#1504 Portrait of a Policy

 

Caitlin Doyle-Markwick meets 3 men who are living on some of the 29, 564 bridging visas issued since 2011, when the then Labor government announced that asylum seekers would increasingly be placed in the community while their claims were processed. Initially welcomed by refugee supporters because of the harmful psychological effects of long-term detention, Caitlin discovers that the uncertainty and restrictions placed upon them mean these men may live in the community, but cannot be part of it.

If you want to ease the transition for asylum seekers and refugees living in your community, there are plenty of organisations you can donate to and volunteer with. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne, and Settlement Services International in Sydney are both good options.

Producers: Caitlin Doyle-Markwick and Domenique Sherab

Features Executive Producers: Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett

Presenters: Pip Rasmussen and Michael Brydon

Music credit: Mammals – Move Slower and Touch Sensitive – Pizza Guy

Image credit: Siobhan Marren

#1444 What Is Cool?

What defines “cool”? Is pop music cool? Or vintage vinyl? Is wearing grandma’s doily as a reworked cardigan cool? Or is that daggy? What makes something cool, and who decides when its time is over? When you were little, the answers to these questions were easy. Obvious, even. You knew with so much certainty that it hurt.

Pip heads to a couple of primary schools and asks some small people what’s up. We hear from FBi broadcaster Hannah Reilly about that time she bought shares in Hypercolour tshirts, and from our resident finance guy Rob D’Apice about why investing in cool is mostly a terrible idea, and Tess Lawley sits down with our Features EP Jess O’Callaghan and explains how the Kim K game used up all her data, ruined her sleeping patterns, and taught her about her identity.

Music:

Camperdown and Out – Manly

Regina Spektor – Carbon Monoxide

Image Credit: Joi Ito

 

#1432 Borrowing Sugar

There’s a lot of mythology around neighbours. A good neighbour can turn into a very convenient friend, one who lends you a cup of sugar when you run out mid-bake, or who’ll water your plants when you’re out of town.

Then there are the neighbours who are a pair of eyes over a back fence, or a passive aggressive note stuck to your front door. The people who steal your newspaper subscription. The mysterious Boo Radley at the end of your street.

This episode we found out that when it comes to neighbours, the truth is much more interesting that fiction. Some of our listeners should probably move house. Or at least have quieter sex and parties.

 

All My Neighbours Are Dead

We’ve all had bad neighbours, right? The loud ones, the ones that are up all night playing awful guitar, the ones that host endless parties. Well Yasmin Parry moved house earlier this year and she thought  she’d scored the perfect place. It was big, with lots of light, in a good neighbourhood.

And it was quiet. Really quiet.

Produced by Yasmin Parry

Music Credits:

Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) by Camille Saint-Saëns, Get the Party Started by Pink, Smile Like You Mean it by Mika, Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

 

Sex sounds, torn up trees and marriage

We asked for stories about your neighbours. Stories about people who really did fall in love with the girl or boy next door, current affair style feuding neighbours, and the neighbours you actually do borrow things from. Turns out most of you guys hate your neighbours.

 

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Johnny Ainsworth

#1426 How Are You Still Alive?

Today we’re asking: How Are You Still Alive? You’ll hear stories of near misses, close shaves and fortunate lives. People who were unlucky, and then lucky. People who throw themselves from high places, and kids who get lost in the wilderness. People who risked their lives just by being born.

If it wasn’t wild, I wouldn’t do it

You might already know about BASE jumping – it’s a sport where people jump from a fixed object – it’s like skydiving, except without a plane. To properly call yourself a BASE jumper, you need to jump from a building, antenna, span (like a bridge) and earth. Our Features EP Heidi Pett chats to Evan, who’s been obsessed with flying since he was a little kid, and at the age of 24 has done over 300 BASE jumps.

Produced by Heidi Pett

Ele’s Christmas

When Ele’s sister crashed the family car, she got in a lot of trouble. When Ele crashed it again, it was a different story.

Produced by Zacha Rosen

Sound Design and original music by Bryce Halliday

Birth Day

Tiger will be turning 25 soon. In this story he tells us about being born 15 weeks too early.

Produced by Tiger Webb

Music Credits: White Sheet Beach, by Fishing

The Wrong River

Tom Carew-Reid is constantly telling stories that end in his friends asking ‘how are you still alive’ Some of them are obviously exaggerated, some of them are probably true to the word, but all of them are full of near misses and heightened drama. His friend, Features Executive Producer Jess O’Callaghan, asked him about one of his favourite stories – about the time he jumped on a lilo and wandered through the New Zealand countryside.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan

Music credits: ‘Driftwood’, ‘Lilac’ and ‘Fading Prospects’ by Podington Bear

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

 Image Credit: Al Hikes AZ

#1416 That Girl

 

“I didn’t want to be That Girl Who Had An Abortion, because I’m not… When you look at the statistics, there are many of those girls”

We have so many conversations about abortion, but most of the time they’re abstract and political, they’re not about the lived experiences and choices of women who’ve terminated a pregnancy. A lot of the time it’s because those women are reluctant to put their head above the parapet. This week on All The Best we wanted to create a space for those conversations, a space for doubt, for relief, anger and even humour. A space for women’s stories.

Thanks to everyone to spoke to us for this episode – Dawn, Kerz, Jane, Gen and Heidi. You can hear all their stories in full, alongside extra stories on our blog.

 

Produced by Heidi Pett

Supervising Producer Kate Montague with assistance from Jess Bineth and Jess O’Callaghan

A special thanks to designer and illustrator Leah Goren for the use of her beautiful artwork.  There’s heaps more on her site.

Music Credits: ‘Cauliflower Jack’ by Caitlin Park, ‘How’s Your Wife?’ by Caitlin Park

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

#1412 Squeezing the System

 

Ever think about where your $10 t-shirt came from? On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, All The Best brings you stories from the supply chain.

Sumi Abedin is twenty years old. She was a garment worker at the Tazreen Fashions factory, and jumped from the building the day it caught fire in 2012. Emilia speaks to journalist and activist Lucy Seigle about what the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accords mean, and how we can be ethical consumers. We hear from Ceridwen Filer, a former sourcing agent speaking out about her work for major Australian brands, and we talk to Carlie Ballard, an ethical designer who makes clothes that aren’t weird and asymmetrical or made out of hemp. That is, she makes ethical fashion that’s fashionable.

Plus, we’ve got a little extra this week: Avani Dias chats to model and freshly minted activist Ollie Henderson about #StartTheRiot, and the catcall that sparked the beginning of her very own fashion revolution.

Music: ‘Little Do’ by Podington Bear, ‘Fashion’ by David Bowie, ‘Highschool Lover’ by Air

Episode Producer: Emilia Terzon

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon 

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo 

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

#1408 Did I Ever Tell You?

All grandparents have stories they tell over and over again. The time your mum was late to school. The time your uncle got his toe broken in a sliding door. The time you were really scared of an emu. But what about the stories they don’t tell us? The lifetime of stories they think we wouldn’t be interested in? In this weeks episode, we asked our grandparents to tell us stories they’d never told us before.

Zipper

All the Best presenter Michaela Morgan talks to her Great Aunty Noelene about sewing ball gowns to dance in Sydney, 1952.

Produced by Michaela Morgan

Music credits: ‘The Sheik of Araby’ by Fats Waller & His Rhythm, ‘Diga Diga Doo’ by Artie Shaw, ‘King of the Trocadero’ a recording from National Film and Sound Archive, ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas’ by Frank Coughlan

Sandwiches in the Park

Pip Rasmussen spoke to her grandmother about a time in Australia when there was a great fear of HIV, but she looked past the misconceptions and held out her hand to her friends who were suffering.

Produced by Pip Rasmussen

Music credits: ‘Youth’ by Daughter, ‘A World Alone’ by Lorde, ‘Far from View’ by Jack Cowell and the Owls and ‘Autumn Breeze’ by Exit Strategy.

 

A 1950s Love Story 

In 1951, a holiday to the sleepy town of the Gold Coast saw the beginning of a love story between Yvonne Hoffman and Hal Leslie. Yvonne was on holiday from Sydney with her mother and grandfather in Burleigh Heads, Queensland when she met Hal. He and six of his friends from Narrabeen, NSW were in town for a Surf Life Saving competition. Yvonne reminisces about her holiday with Hal and his mates on the Gold Coast 62 years ago.

Produced by Sydney Pead

Music credits: “Sweetheart Swing” by Tim Garland, published by Audio Network

 

His Story’s in the Suitcase

There have always been unanswered questions about Flynn’s refugee grandfather. Flynn’s mum describes him as a polymath “admired by people from all walks of life and disciplines”, who would join him in his study for intense discussions that would last hours. He arrived in Australia in February, 1951 on board the S. S. Castelbianco. The family mythology holds that he was born in Russia, and raised in a military academy after returning home one day to find his mother frozen to death. That’s all he ever said about his parents, apart from the fact they were Russian. A few weeks ago, Flynn found a suitcase full of documents that might answer some of those questions.

by Heidi Pett

Music credits: ‘Transnautica – Wintercoats remix’ by Guerre, ‘Mazu Heart Sutra – Namine remix’ by Guerre

 

She Got A Free Holiday 

Lucie sat with her grandfather by the fire and he told her the story of crazy Aunt Jess, and how she fell in love.

Produced by Lucie Robson

Final song: ‘Jack, Where You At’ by Caitlin Park

 

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo & Belinda Lopez

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Something Something Free Parking

#1407 Internet History

The internet has changed so much in the past twenty years that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Even harder is remembering what the internet used to be like, in its many incarnations. When we first brought up the topic of internet memories, a bunch of  producers started to talk all over each other, excitedly. When everyone calmed down, we found each person seemed to be talking about very different internets. The internet that Ian remembered, a private club where coding was necessary and ‘netiquette’ was expected was very different from Pip’s take on Tumblr culture and Heidi’s memory of MySpace songs.

In this episode, we bring you stories from the internet, past and present.

None from the future. That’s a bit too terrifying.

Eternal September

Today the internet is available to almost anyone – on your phone, on your watch, even in your fridge. But all All the Best contributor Ian Woolf remembers when the internet was just for the initiated – those who knew the rules. That was, until the day the internet died.

Produced by Ian Woolf

Music Credit: Podington Bear

Black Book

Well before Tinder, Grinder, Blender or any of those matchmaking websites took off, Tiger Webb and his girlfriend at the time were pioneers in online dating. Too awkward to talk in person, they interacted online – their high school romance played out over email. Tiger kept all of those emails, printed them all out and collated them for her for their first birthday together. What happens when your internet history is a tangible object? Does it make any difference?

Produced by Tiger Webb

Music Credits: ‘Computer Camp Love’ by Datarock, ‘Knocked Up’ by Kings of Leon

Letters to my Former Internet Self

We asked some of our favourite writers to think of their Former Internet Selves, throw their pride out the window, and offer that person some advice. Thanks to Sally Whyte, Michelle See-Tho, A.H.Cayley, Sam Ryan, Josie Wright and Tom Joyner for obliging. We became a bit obsessed with your internet memories, so you can hear all the letters in full at our blog.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan and Heidi Pett

Music Credits: ‘Steppin Intro’ by Poddington Bear

Imposter Syndrome

On the internet, everyone always seems to be somewhere cooler than you are. Parties look more fun than the one you’re at, clothes are crisper, countryside more pristine. Imagine if, somehow, you managed to slip into the life of someone who seems on Facebook to have all the fun. This story is fiction, by Zacha Rosen.

Produced by Zacha Rosen

Music Credits: ‘Choy Lin’ by Fishing, ‘Get By’ by Talib Kweli, ‘Corporate World’ by The Dust Brothers, ‘Oraculum’ by Trent Reznor, ‘Shake Break Bounce’ by The Chemical Brothers, ‘White Sheet Beach’ by Fishing.

Presenters: Michael Brydon and Michaela Morgan

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producers: Giordana Caputo & Belinda Lopez

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Eris Stassi

Music Credit: ‘Paddling Ghost’ by Dan Deacon

#1403 The Most Important Thing

Schools are made for learning, and everyone can name a few things they learnt in school. This episode is about the opposite. We asked a bunch of people “What’s the most important thing school never taught you?” The stories we heard in response feature a whole range of answers including taxes, testicles, failure, continents, conviction, and coding.

How to Learn

Leona Hameed asked her mum and two aunties about the most important things school never taught them.

Produced by Leona Hameed

Music Credits: ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’ by Rogers and Hammerstein

How to Fail

Heidi Pett was very good at school. But it failed to teach her one vital lesson.

Produced by Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Music Credits: ‘The Future Wouldn’t That Be Nice’ by The Books

Taxes, Coding, Click-bait  

The question ‘What’s the most important thing school never taught you?’ was weighing on our minds for a while, so we collected the answers of just about everyone we know. Michael and Jess trawled through the responses, and there were some things that popped up again and again.

Produced by Michael Brydon and Jess O’Callaghan

Responsibility

We wanted to find out what a teacher thought their biggest lesson outside of school was, And whether they would try to teach it in their classes. Michael Brydon spoke to Kristen, a Primary School teacher from New South Wales.

Produced by Michael Brydon

Music Credits: ‘Suite 1’ by RJD2, ‘Circles From The Rue Simon – Crubellier’ by Max Richter

Identity

The most important thing Sharon never learnt at school was identity. Producer Bethany Atkinson-Quinton spoke to her about the things school never taught her about gender.

Produced by Bethany Atkinson-Quinton

To be comfortable in my own skin

Sometimes, what you don’t learn in school is something that you have to find out for yourself. Something that can’t be taught.

Produced by Michael Brydon

Music Credits: ‘Bobby’ by Bell Gardens, ‘On Dancefloors’ by Metronomy and ‘Fire it up’ by Modest Mouse.

Melbourne Features Executive Producer: Tess Lawley

Production Manager:  Carly-Ann Keneally

Executive Producers:  Giordana Caputo & Belinda Lopez

Feature’s Executive Producer:  Merran Winchester

Image Credit: Elizabeth Albert

#1307 Everyone Needs Music I (feat. The Lifted Brow)

All the Best presents literary mag The Lifted Brow in musical form: featuring Woody Allen and, of course, his clarinet. And when two stroke victims find their ability to speak severely affected, a speech pathologist with a penchant for singing tries an unorthodox method to help their recovery.

BrainWaves
Spread around the city of Newcastle, NSW, were a number of stroke victims, fighting their own private battles after losing their speaking abilities.  Speech pathologist Bernadette Matthias had an inkling that one of her own passions – singing- could help bring a group of strangers together, and help them cure each other.

Media coverage of the BrainWaves choir.

Produced by Lucie Robson.
Sound and production supervision by Belinda Lopez.
Music credits: BrainWaves choir recordings from Bernadette Matthias; Edelweiss – Piano by Calikokat ; Can’t Help Falling in Love with You- Piano Instrumental’ by Macgyver; ‘Piano 48 from Copenhagen Studio’ by Feather Drug.

Woody Allen at the Cafe Carlyle
For two seasons a year, Woody Allen plays clarinet in the Eddy Davis band on Monday nights at the Café Carlyle in New York City. While on his travels, Nick Marland decided it was his one chance to meet his hero, face-to-face. With a creased suit straight out of a backpack, a $210 ticket made more expensive because of French champagne consumption, and throngs of adoring fans to compete with, what could possibly go wrong?

Written and read by Nick Marland. Nick’s piece was featured in The Lifted Brow 15. Buy it here. All the Best says thank you to editor Sam Cooney.
Produced by Heidi Pett.
Music/sound credits: ‘New Orleans Percussion’ by Larry Salzman‘Party Crowd’ by Robinhood76/Freesound. 

The Lifted Brow’s upcoming Music edition will be released in late April. Keep an eye out for it via Facebook and Twitter.

Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally.
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez.
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.

Photo credit: Hellerhoff
Music credit: ‘Tears’ by Django Reinhardt; ‘Music is Crap’ by Custard.

#1306 Fight Club Vol. 2

All the Best jumps back into the fray — and this time the fight takes place in hearts and minds, in beds and cancer wards. A share house turns into a battleground when an army of bed bugs invades, and two lovers face themselves and each other when multiple sclerosis and cancer enter their lives.

Battle of the Bugs 
In the inner-city Sydney suburb of Newtown, share houses are filled with second (and third, and fourth)-hand furniture of questionable origin. One of these pieces found its way into the home of Heidi Pett, like a Trojan horse. Inside, an army of microscopic beasts was waiting.

Produced by Heidi Pett.
Music credits: ‘Lance Jr’ by Courtney Barnett; ‘All the Rowboats’ by Regina Spektor; ‘Opposing Forces’ by Frederic Taigorn.

Lovers and Fighters
Tessa and Patch are lovers, who fight. Between the everyday battles of love and life, they find themselves fighting multiple sclerosis and cancer- together.

Produced by Tessa Dowdell.
Music credits: ‘Setting Sail’ by Brombaer & Phole & Fljóta; ‘Dramamine’ by Modest Mouse; ‘2:45am’ by Elliot Smith; ‘Metal Heart’ by Cat Power.

Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally.
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez.
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.

Illustration: ‘Thyroid Cancer’ by Patch Sinclair.

#1303 Who Da Man?

All the Best brings you stories that turn masculinity on its head.  Alpha males are taught a lesson by beta males in the Army Reserves, an aggressive, alcoholic father finds himself on the wrong end of a shotgun, and a man finds out how to monetise his beard on the Internet.

Beards, And the Men Who Love Them
There are people on the Internet who fetishise beards. Melbourne photographer Jackson Eaton happened to have exactly the kind of beard that they wanted. (Below, for your own enjoyment: The growth of Jackson’s beard from clean-shaven to Internet trophy).

Produced by Fiona Pepper.
Sound design by Belinda Lopez.
Photo credits: Jackson Eaton.
Music credits: ‘Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas’ by Penguin Cafe Orchestra; ‘Warwick Pro Series Star Bass 5‘ by Bass People Sydney; ‘I’ve Still Got My Beard’ by The Beards.

Revenge of the Weekend Warrior
Even in the Army Reserves, hierarchy is everything. Private Paddy Jacob, dedicated weekend warrior, knows that. So when one particularly authoritarian Sergeant pulls rank on him and insists that they do not communicate during a drive together, Paddy obeys him to the letter.

Written and read by Melissa Jacob.
Produced by Heidi Pett.
Music credits: ‘Send for the Man’ by AC/DC; ‘Talk (feat. Giorgio Tuma)’ by the Townhouses;  ‘Midriffs’ by Sui Zhen.

My Best Friend’s Dad
Growing up in Manildra, central west NSW, Shaun had only one friend. But his best friend’s dad was an abusive alcoholic,  who was aggressive towards both boys. Shaun practically wished him dead.

Performed by Shaun Prescott at Confession Booth at World Bar in Sydney.
Recorded by Kate Ryan.

Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally.
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez.
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.

#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