#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

#1921 Only a Whale

Look out off the east coast at the moment and you’ll likely see them – whales. 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


Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon

Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen

Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo

Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan

 Image Credit: Michael Dawes