#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

#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.


Camperdown and Out – Manly

Regina Spektor – Carbon Monoxide

Image Credit: Joi Ito


#1435 In the End

Frank Herbert was an American Science Fiction writer who died in 1986 and he famously said ‘There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.’

But that place can be frustrating. You know that feeling of finishing a really good story? You’ve been living in this other world for so long that when you emerge it feels strange to be amongst real things. Sometimes it feels like a loss, there are no more pages to turn, no more episodes to watch, no more podcasts in your feed.

This week, All the Best explores what happens in the end. The end of a life, the end of a book, the end of something that’s taken you a long time.


The End at Seven Years of Age

All of us ask the question of what happens ‘In the end’ at some point. For some it happens earlier than others, and our reactions vary, depending on the answers we get, or how easily we can distract ourselves from the question. For one girl, the void on the other side loomed large and early, and sparked a premature existential crisis.

Written by Caitlin Doyle Marwick


If I Could

If I could bring back that man you loved with words, I would do that here. If I could curl his easy smile across the page, I would do that here. If I could spread his eyes in pencil lines, and not in photos, I would do that here. But since I can’t, and since they’re gone, I do this here.

Written and Produced by Zacha Rosen

Music credits: ‘How Do You Slow This Thing Down’  by The Gothic Archies, ‘6/8 War ‘ by Leftfield, ‘Doll’s Polyphony’ by Geinoh Yamashirogumi, ‘The Society of the Crossed Keys’ by Alexandre Desplat, ‘The Lutz Police Militia’ by Alexandre Desplat, ‘Check Point 19 Criminal Internment Camp’ by Alexandre Desplat


Book Ends

That feeling that you get at the end of a really good book? The mix of satisfaction and devestation that it’s all over? Jess wondered if authors get something similar. What’s it like when you finish writing a book, and emerge into the real world?

Thanks to the authors who spoke to us for this story.

A.S. Patric is the author of short story collections Las Vegas for Vegans and The Rattler and Other Stories and a novella, Bruno Kramzer. For this story we spoke about his first novel, Black Rock White City, which will be published in April 2015 by Transit Lounge.

 Nicole Hayes is the author of Young Adult novel The Whole of My World, published by Random House in 2013.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan

Music credits: Johnny Ripper


Presenters:  Michael Brydon and Michaela Morgan

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: azrasta

#1430 Everyday

There are some things we do day after day after day. This episode of All the Best is all about those things. We have stories about waking up, going to work, singing quietly on the commute. Stories about the every day things that can make someone happy – and how they change over time. And a story about something we all use every day, and rarely think twice about.



Pip Rasmussen and Milly McGrath decided to take a look at the repetitive life circuit of the modern day worker who doesn’t even come close to a boundary, let alone over step it.

Produced by Pip Rasmussen and Milly McGrath


Toilet Renaissance

This is a story of design, and the people that use that which is designed.

The designer: Conrad Johnston of Fox Johnston.

The non-designer: Tiger Webb

The Design: Cockatoo Island Amenities.

Yes, it’s about toilets. This is a story about the most everyday of objects, one you never think twice about, and the thought that goes into making your daily deuce more pleasant.

Produced by Gordon Leibowitz

Supervising Producer: Tiger Webb

Music credits: ‘Se rayer provisoirement de la liste des vivants‘ by Melodium, ‘Emptykuerten’  by Melodium, ‘Eyes Closed’  by BadBadNotGood, ‘Confessions’ by BadBadNotGood



What makes you happy? Feta cheese? Getting mail? 7:15pm? Are the things that make you happy the same now as they were at 19?

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan

Music credits: ‘Gracie’ by Caitlin Park, ‘Out and Over’ by Johnny Ripper

Thanks to Giordana Caputo, Kate Montague, Leona Hameed, Lucie Robson, Michael Brydon, Pip Rasmussen and Scott Whinfield for sharing what makes them happy.


Episode song: ‘Avant Gardener’ by Courtney Barnett


Presenters: Michael Brydon and Michaela Morgan 

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

Image Credit: Klaus Friese


#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

#1423 Fire

Is there anything better than huddling around a fire in winter? Holding the palms of your hands just far enough away from a flickering flame that it doesn’t ignite? Fires have comforted, protected, scared and destroyed for thousands of years.  We suspect they’ve inspired stories for just as long, including the tales we’re telling on this episode of All the Best – stories of sitting by the fire, of fiery red hair, of spinning and eating fire, and learning to live through it’s destruction.

Fire Twirlers

“It’s a medium that can easily get out of control…anybody who’s been through a house fire, a bush fire, anything like that can tell you exactly how ominous it is and how it can strike fear into you straight away. It’s about safety and respect for the flame, and what it can do.”

Philippe Perez met some people who don’t run scared from fire – they respect it and tame it.

Produced by Philippe Perez

Music Credits: ‘Plying With Fire’ by the Rolling Stones, ‘U Don’t Know’ by Jay Z


City Fire

Michael and Jess talk about how nice it is to have a fire in the middle of the city of Melbourne, if only for a month. Jess talks to the fire’s designer, Rob Bundle. The fire was part of Federation Square’s festival The Light in Winter.


The Girl with Flame-Coloured Hair

Bec’s immediate association with ‘fire’ is her flame-coloured hair. Although she doesn’t have the stereotypical ‘fiery personality’, her hair colour is her most vibrant characteristic, so she spoke to her mother, her best friend and her brother about whether or not hair colour, or physical appearance, really reflects on who we are, and whether the heat of the hair colour radiates.

Produced by Bec Fary

Music Credits: ‘Driftwood’ by Podington Bear, ‘Afterglow’ by Podington Bear


Music Credits: ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)’ by Charles Bradley

Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

 Image Credit: Percitta

#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

#1406 These Women

Everyone can tell the story of an awesome woman. A mother, grandma, sister, friend, or teacher. This year International Women’s Day is celebrating women who inspire change, and today All the Best tells the stories of awesome women doing this in all sorts of ways. From a celebrant to a beekeeper, a journalist to young women sharing stories online, we look at the stories of Australian women.

Judy Aulich

Briefly, in December 2013, same-sex marriage was legalised in the Australian Capital Territory. Judy Aulich, a Canberra-based celebrant, performed 11 same sex marriage ceremonies in the five days it was legal. She tells that story to Farz Edraki, as well as some of the stranger weddings she’s performed in her time as a celebrant.

Produced by Farz Edraki

Music Credits: ‘Love is in the Air’ by John Paul Young, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’ by ABBA, ‘Lovefool’ by Cardigans, ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ by Dusty Springfield, ‘Love Me Tender’ by Elvis Presley, ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’ by Nina Simone

Creating Feminism

Feminism can sometimes seem like an exclusive club. Josie Wright looks at the ways that young women are making feminism more accessible, through creating, writing, and making.

Produced by Josie Wright

Uh huh honey

Melbourne City Rooftop Honey is a coalition of beekeepers who are introducing honeybees to the city in an effort to protect them from the ravages of disease and human habitation. Their honey is used and sold in restaurants across Melbourne. Vanessa showed us some of their hives nestled high above Federation Square in the CBD.

Produced by Leona Hameed

Music Credits: ‘Yeezus’ by Kanye West, ‘Sweet Nothings’ by Brenda Lee, ‘It’s Dope’ by J Dilla, ‘Slow Like Honey’ by Slow Like Honey, ‘The Birds and the Bees’ by Dean Martin

Woman to Woman

The next woman you’re going to hear from received a letter last year. She opened it standing in her kitchen, in the semi-darkness, after a long day of work. Joanne McCarthy, is journalist with the Newcastle Herald, a newspaper in the Hunter region on the New South Wales central coast. The letter was from another Australian woman, and it’s already become a celebrated part of Australian political history.

Produced by Jacqueline Breen

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: Rebecca O’Callaghan

#1404 Bravery

There are many different ways to be brave. In fiction, stories of bravery are told as grand gestures and epic battles – these three stories are about real, everyday bravery, the kind we find in our friends and family. A text message from a friend, a soldier standing by his daughter, and a band who packed up everything and headed for the east coast. From standing up for what you believe in, to being yourself no matter what it takes and chasing your dreams – a few brave souls have agreed to share their stories with us.


We Shall Overcome

War has for centuries been an arena for a particular type of bravery. Our first story is about the bravery of one particular soldier, though not on the battlefield.

Produced by Michael Brydon
Music Credit: ‘We Shall Overcome’ by Pete Seeger, ‘Rooftop’ by Duke Ellington

My Friend Frankie

Shaping your identity can be a scary experience, especially when you don’t fit within certain specifications. Tess Lawley shares the story of Frankie, who has been making some pretty brave decisions on the way to working out their identity.

Produced by Tess Lawley
Music Credits: ‘Cauliflower Jack’ by Caitlin Park

Ensemble Formidable

Bravery often rears it’s head when there is a decision to be made, and many of us face our most difficult decisions when thinking about our careers. This story is about the band Ensemble Formidable, and the fun, stupid, brave decisions you have to make when you’re a musician.

Produced by Emily Woods
Music Credits: Ensemble Formidable


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: Washington Area Spark

#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


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


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

#1402 Adaptation

Fires, floods, melting ice and strange weather patterns. The effects of climate change can already be seen in a lot of ways, from the way someone farms, to the way a house is built, to the place someone parks their car to drink a coffee and look out over the ocean. In this episode, we bring you stories of adaptation, the small and the large.

The Great American Adaptation Road Trip

When Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein finished studying at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, they set off on a three month road trip in Kirsten’s Mum’s minivan. Driving clockwise around North America, they documented the ways different communities are adapting to changes in their climate.

Stories from Kirsten and Allie’s road trip can be found on their website.

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan

Music Credits: ‘Lola’ by Podington Bear, ‘Another Travelling Song’ by Bright Eyes


Even today, signs of the big 1974 flood still stand around the town of Lismore, in regional New South Wales. They serve as a reminder of the threat of the river. Wally, a Lismore resident, talks about the way the community lives when floods are often imminent.

Produced by Emma Jensen

Not a Dystopian Future

Floods and fire have been part of the landscape of Australia for a long time, but with climate change making things more extreme, what will the way we live look like? When will the way we live shift from being green to surviving in this new world? Michael Brydon tried to find out.

Produced by Michael Brydon

Music Credits: ‘Ritual Road Map’ by Calexico, ‘Sapphire’ by Bonobo, ‘Woodenmen’ by Plutonic Lab, ‘Fruitcup’ by Bell Gardens

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: JCSullivan

#1401 Prime (feat. Voiceworks)

border collie with a ball

All the Best’s Melbourne Collective teams up with literary magazine Voiceworks to bring you stories from their latest, ‘Prime’. A man spends his days feeding his favourite tiny shark, Hashbrown, and never asking why. A scientist insists on a future where old age is eradicated. One poet wonders who is haunting his house and another has gone to the dogs.

Tiny Sharks

It must be a pretty neat company that requires an employee to care for eleven tiny sharks. Just don’t ask what they’re for.

Written and read by Josh Barnes

Produced by Tess Lawley

Gone to the Dogs

A poem about power dynamics, love in excess, misplaced loyalties and border collies.

Written by Jessica Yu

Read by Jessica Yu and Samuel Howard

Produced by Emma Jensen

The Haunting of 137 Peel St

Have you ever thought about the history of your house? Melbourne poet Jacob Sutherland has. This is his poem, about the haunting of 137 Peel St.

Written and read by Jacob Sutherland

Produced by Matt Radin

Prime of Your Life

As a young science undergrad student, Hilary Bowman-Smart met Aubrey De Grey, a biologist who envisions a world without old age. In this story, she asks if it’s possible and what a world where no one gets old would look like.

Written and read by Hilary Bowman-Smart

Produced by Cassandra Wright & Jess O’Callaghan

Music & sound credits: ‘Free Radicals’ by Podington Bear, ‘Wonder’ by Podington Bear & ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ by the Drums.

All stories in this episode can be found in Voiceworks’ Summer 2013-14 issue, #95 Prime. It can be found here.


Melbourne Features Executive Producer: Tess Lawley

Production Manager:  Carly-Anne Keneally

Executive Producers:  Giordana Caputo & Belinda Lopez

Features Executive Producer:  Merran Winchester

Picture Credit: Roberta Baker – Border Collie

#1316 America (feat. The Lifted Brow)

All the Best ventures beyond our big brown land to the home of the free and the land of the brave. Beneath the joyful strains of the Star-Spangled Banner, the idea of America is pitted against its realities. We’re looking at the United States through a decidedly Aussie lens, and neither Lana Del Rey, nor the US political system, nor Oprah will be spared.

Dragging Out History
Writer Briohny Doyle casts her pop-scholarly eye on Lana Del Rey’s National Anthem music video. It’s a reinvention of the 1964 JFK assassination, complete with President A$AP Rocky and Marilyn Monroe. What happens to history, Doyle asks, when ‘vintage is the vantage point, and authenticity is a shade on the palette?’

Produced by Jess O’Callaghan.
Music & sound credits: ‘National Anthem’ by Lana Del Rey; Film projector by Rock Savage.

‘Dragging out History’ featured in the latest edition of The Lifted Brow (titled: ‘Music’). You can order a copy here.

My American Dream
Madelyne Cummings is half-American, and her ideas about the United States were pieced together by nostalgic childhood memories of summers spent there. At the age of 21, she decided to pursue her American Dream: to live in the country as an adult.

Produced by Madelyne Cummings.
Technical supervision and sound design by Belinda Lopez.

Music credits: ‘Star Spangled Banner‘ by LaiYouttitham; ‘Someday soon’ by Tanya Tucker; ‘Nostalgia’ by Akira Kosemura & Haruka Nakamura, ‘Two Moons’ by Toe.

This Place is Yours
Seraphina Reynolds grew up in Los Angeles, worshipping Oprah for creating a culture of openness and a space to talk about personal issues. While American culture celebrated confessional storytelling, her own family was silent about the serious problems that plagued it. When depression hit Seraphina as an adult, she decided it was finally time to open up, and help others do the same.

The result was This Place is Yours. A new media project with heart, it is launching at Vivid Festival on May 26th, 2013. Buy a ticket here.

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

Picture credit:Lana Del Rey by Paulo Ribeiro


#1216 24 Hour Challenge

This week we set our contributors a challenge. Make a radio story in 24 hours. The day we picked was Sunday August 5.  The time to begin midday.

Windsurfing under the flightpath
Produced by Miles Martingoni

For as long as he can remember, Miles’s father has been trying to drag him out onto the water. Sailing, fishing, swimming… anything that meant getting out onto any beach, lake or river… well recently his dad started doing something different… and we thought it was the perfect thing to capture for our recording day….

Trawling the Vic Markets
Produced by Madeline Rebbechi

I am number 132

Produced by Zacha Rosen
All around the country, on any given afternoon, groups of people get together. They want to work out how to change the world. And on the day we made this there was a meeting in Sydney of mexicans about a movement called ‘I am 132’ – Zacha went along

The Accidental Busker
Tess Lawley

Countrylink to Port Macquarie
Produced  by Jess O’Callaghan

Pie Suit Memories
Produced by Lucie Bell

Breaking the Fast
Produced by Georgie Moodie

Presenter: Georgia Moodie
Features Executive Producer: Jesse Cox
Technical Producer: Damian Enemark 

Picture credit: Lucie Bell in her pie suit circa 1990s