ABC Radio National

RN Drive this evening featured discussion on the Spice Girls and grab of their music? Why? Not befitting the station I feel.

This was followed up in the half hour by an interview with a WA musician, quite obscure and of poor quality - his work.

ABC Launches Barrier-Breaking Podcast It’s Not A Race

Beverley Wang hosts the podcast Australia needs right now

Blackface – what the heck? Asians – gather around. White people – you have a race too. A new barrier-breaking ABC podcast, It’s Not A Race asks Australia to talk about race.

Presented by executive producer of RN Drive, Beverley Wang, It’s Not A Race takes a fearless look at the deeply ingrained issues of race and identity that define and divide us across our multicultural nation.

“This is the podcast Australia needs right now,” says Wang. “Race, racism and difference are part of everyday life. We need the tools to acknowledge and talk about these subjects, especially if they’re out of our comfort zone. We also need spaces for people of colour to share their stories and experiences on their own terms. It’s Not A Race aims to talk it all out with humour and frankness.”

Hear experiences, opinion and insights from commentators, culture makers and influencers who provide their takes on where race sits on our national radar, and how it can and does influence our daily lives.

Featured guests include Stan Grant, Professor Marcia Langton, Bjorn Stewart, Alice Pung, Santilla Chingaipe, Tim Soutphommasane, Aamer Rahman, Nkechi Anele, Lucie Cutting, Robin DiAngelo, Caz Tran, Michael Hing, Allan Clarke, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Faustina Agolley.

Throughout the course of the program, It’s Not A Race will be reaching out to listeners to share their own anecdotes and accounts of race and identity. Write to us at or use the #notarace hashtag to join the conversation on social media.

Episodes 1 and 2 are now available. Subscribe to It’s Not A Race on the ABC Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.


ABC RN and the Wheeler Centre launch Talkfest: a smart, passionate and entertaining co-production

From ABC RN and the Wheeler Centre, Talkfest invites you to take a front-row seat for some of Australia’s most compelling moments in public conversation.

Talkfest presents an entertaining and thought provoking package of conversations that explore the ideas that underpin cultural debate in Australia, but from perspectives that can sometimes be overlooked. Traversing art, money, language, science and celebrity, Talkfest dives head-first into the stories that surround our daily obsessions, featuring a smart and passionate guest line-up with provocative and often surprising results. It’s like the best dinner party with your smartest friends.

Wheeler Centre Director, Michael Williams invites a different co-host each week to unpack themes and ideas in ways we promise you’ve not heard before. The first episodes will prime you with discussions covering Sex, Words, Space, Heroes and Failure.

Michael Williams says, “I’m not sure if it’s a peculiarly Australian concept to use the word ‘Talkfest’ as a pejorative, but honestly: who can begrudge the idea of a festival of talk? We’ve spent years at the Wheeler Centre exploring the ways in which smart conversation is an artform, an entertainment and a crucial part of a strong society. By partnering with the national broadcaster and Australia’s cultural home for smart talk, the Wheeler Centre can share our amazing conversations with a wider audience.”

Talkfest reaffirms the ABC’s commitment to delivering distinctive and high quality audio to audiences.

ABC RN Manager, Deborah Leavitt says, "We are delighted to announce the addition of Talkfest to both our linear and digital slates. Both RN and the Wheeler Centre are passionate about ideas and discussion. Talkfest is an example of RN working with another key cultural institution to make the most compelling local content available to more Australians. Furthermore, I’m excited about the opportunities Talkfest presents in creating engaging audience experiences, which speak to the diverse range of voices that reflects Australia in 2017.”

Talkfest: We’re all talk and none of it’s small.

Episode 1 of Talkfest is now available. Subscribe for weekly episodes on the ABC Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.

Talkfest can also be heard broadcast on ABC RN each Saturday at 10.00pm and repeated Sunday 4.00pm and Tuesday 1.00am.

Introducing Joel Werner’s ‘Sum Of All Parts’

New podcast tells extraordinary stories from the world of numbers

The latest addition to ABC RN’s chart-topping range of Science podcasts is a thrilling collision of stories, characters, drama, humour and… numbers. Sum Of All Parts unearths extraordinary narratives driven by numbers, measurements and data, and traces the effects of those numbers on real human lives.

From sporting triumphs and superstitions to pop stars and hackers, producer-presenter Joel Werner brings the skills he honed with some of the world’s top podcasts (99% Invisible, Radiolab, Freakonomics) to a brand new concept with a distinctly Australian flavour.

“I noticed that, whenever I tried talking to people about maths, or stats, or data – their eyes would glaze over. Maybe they’d had a bad experience with maths in high school, or maybe they weren’t that comfortable with numbers – but they were missing out on all the amazing stories from that world!” says Joel.

“What I wanted to do with Sum Of All Parts was bring these fantastical stories to everyone. Season 1 is a celebration of, in my opinion, super cool stories, each of which is in some way connected to the world of numbers.”
ABC RN’s Science Editor Jonathan Webb, who already oversees some of Australia’s most established and popular science shows, such as All in the Mind and The Science Show with Robyn Williams, said he was impatient to see Sum Of All Parts out in the world.

“This is Joel’s brainchild and he’s been working towards it for a long time now. I keep teasing him that it’s a maths podcast – because it’s definitely not that. It’s so much more! It’s about people and places, ecstasy and calamity, mischief and heroism. These are real, ripsnorting stories – and importantly, they sound amazing. It’s genuinely something new and I’m really excited about it.”

The first two episodes of the season are now live. Shoal Attack! tells the story of how a school of fish helped the Australian netball team win a gold medal. And a musician gives up the rock n’ roll dream for number theory, and a glimpse of the infinite, in The Infinite God.

Joel Werner is a producer with the ABC RN Science Unit. Joel was almost lost to a career in health and medical research before joining the ABC in 2011. In 2012, he created RN’s environment/outdoors program, Off Track, which he hosted for two years before moving to the U.S. Based in New York City, Joel worked for some of your favourite podcasts, including Radiolab, On The Media, Freakonomics, and 99% Invisible, with whom he won the Best Documentary (Bronze Award) at the Third Coast International Audio Festival 2015. He’s also worked for BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and FiveThirtyEight. Joel currently produces the ABC RN Health Report, and the science podcasts Cosmic Vertigo, and Sum Of All Parts.

Listen to Sum Of All Parts now:

George was a high-profile guest today on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program, where Kelly was invited on to discuss his upcoming tour with Culture Club.

ABC Radio National announces 2018 lineup

In 2018, ABC RN will continue to nurture the intellectual and cultural life of all Australians by introducing dynamic new voices and programs to its impressive suite of specialist content.

New programming

ABC RN will introduce a new daily Arts offering: The Hub. Presented by a different specialist at 10am each weekday with contributions from an ensemble of artists, makers, writers and critics, The Hub will delve into the creative worlds of the visual arts, theatre and performance, literature, film and TV as well as popular culture.

ABC RN’s Arts, Culture and Society Editor Dina Rosendorff says “The Hub is an exciting evolution for Books and Arts because it will allow our expert presenters and producers to really home in on their respective specialties. Current presenter Michael Cathcart will spearhead this new model each week and is incredibly excited about concentrating on his passion for theatre and all that it encompasses.” Sarah Kanowski will continue to be heard on RN as she will share presenter duties with Richard Fidler on Conversations in 2018.

MONDAYS: The Stage Hub. Michael Cathcart will explore all the news from the world of theatre, opera, dance and musicals. With contributions from choreographer Gideon Obarzanek, actor Kate Mulvany and soprano Emma Matthews.

TUESDAYS: The Book Hub. Claire Nichols will share all the literary news and author interviews. With contributions from authors Annabel Crabb, Tara Moss and Michael Robotham.

WEDNESDAYS: The Art Hub. Musician Eddie Ayres will return to radio presenting. With contributions from art critic Sebastian Smee, visual arts specialist Daniel Browning and artist Ben Quilty.

THURSDAYS: The Screen Hub. Jason Di Rosso’s half-hour film digest The Final Cut will evolve to an hour-long program, covering film and television. With occasional guest contributions from film critic David Stratton.

On Fridays, The Hub will present Stop Everything!, Beverley Wang, Benjamin Law and Dr Lauren Rosewarne’s savvy, critical take on popular culture. Their conversations will be a sophisticated analysis of what our cultural products and predilections say about our world right now.

Also on Fridays, Kate Evans and Cassie McCullagh will get together for a chat about the books they’re reading and loving on The Bookshelf. Kate’s program BooksPlus wraps up at the end of 2017 as she moves onto The Bookshelf.

Earshot, and its diverse array of documentaries heard twice a week, will evolve to one contemporary (on Mondays) and one historical (on Tuesdays) documentary a week. New history program The History Listen takes the Tuesday 11am timeslot. With audiences responding to history told in contemporary ways, The History Listen’s social, political, family, and predominantly Australian stories will connect with current and new audiences.

Bringing together the best of the stories told across RN each week, In Case You Missed It with Rudi Bremer is a curated catch-up, featuring the week’s most impactful stories from RN Breakfast, RN Drive, The Drawing Room, Saturday Extra and Sunday Extra.

RN will also broadcast a new 25-minute regional current affairs show on weekdays at 7:30pm. The new conversational-style program will analyse the latest regional and rural news from around Australia and will also provide information on the key local stories from around the nation. More information about the program including the presenter will be announced in the new year.

Other lineup changes

Science Friction, the space where science and culture meet, hosted by Natasha Mitchell, debuted in 2017 with three popular seasons. In 2018 it moves to an ongoing program, incorporating special events and festivals into its weekly offer.

Also getting a new format is Ockham’s Razor – the soap box for all things scientific. Its short talks about research, industry and policy will change to a live-recorded format, performed in front of an audience at live events.

Hamish Macdonald is filling in for Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast, who is on leave until July 23.

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His farewell speech:

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RN host Patricia Karvelas has been kicked out of Federal Parliament today during Question Time, for apparently showing too much flesh. She was sitting in visitors gallery when she was asked to leave.

Really? The dress code just doesn’t get in touch with the times.

People have been sharing pictures of Julie Bishop in parliament baring shoulders.

Seem the dress code is very selective :unamused:


If only Julie Snook was near, she could have loaned Patricia a black jacket :wink:


Thanks @JohnsonTV for posting, smart move by parli. Patricia was wearing a shoulder capped top.

Interestingly, received a question tonight on if QTQ’s Melissa Downes was going out in sympathy with Patricia as was presenting Tuesday’s bulletin with sleeveless attire.

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ABC RN announces new shows and voices in 2019

ABC RN will explore the issues and ideas that matter to Australians in 2019 with new thought-provoking national shows and presenters to stir the mind and spirit across sport, religion, culture, work and life.

ABC RN Manager Cath Dwyer said: “Amid the constant churn of the 24-7 information and misinformation cycle, Australians need a forum where important issues and ideas are explored in substantial and meaningful ways.

“ABC RN will continue to nurture the intellectual and cultural life of all Australians in 2019 by welcoming new voices and conversations to our extensive schedule of programs and podcasts.”


Sporty (Saturdays 10.30am, replayed Mondays 5.30am)

RN will return to the playing field with the launch of Sporty , a new program for sports enthusiasts and anyone interested in general fitness. Presenter Amanda Smith, current host of RN’s Life Matters, will debate and celebrate the social and cultural significance of sport, its health implications and the big business of physical activity.

In 2019, Life Matters , your guide to contemporary Australian life, will be presented by ABC Melbourne Saturday Breakfast’s Hilary Harper, who will bring her warm and engaging style to national audiences Mondays to Thursdays from 9am. Life Matters’ Michael Mackenzie will present the program on Fridays at 9am and Weekend Life Matters on Saturdays at 3pm.

Soul Search (Sundays 6pm, replayed Thursdays 12pm)

RN’s new Religion & Ethics program Soul Search will explore the growing desire for meaning in our lives, examining what people believe and why. Presenter Dr Meredith Lake will host a national conversation on faith and meaning in Australia.

Soul Search will replace The Spirit of Things, following presenter Dr Rachael Kohn’s decision to retire from the ABC. Soul Search will take up where The Spirit’ s journey leaves off, ensuring that religion and ethics remain central to Sunday evenings on RN.

“Over 21 years on The Spirit of Things I have spoken with people about every kind of spiritual experience and religion, and have been profoundly touched,” Rachael says. “I have been blessed to have that privilege and wish to thank the ABC for their continued commitment to stories about religion, spirituality and the search for meaning.”

This Working Life (Tuesdays 11.30am, replayed Sundays 8.30pm)

In 2019, Best Practice will become a broader discussion about the social and cultural aspects of workplaces and how work impacts us under the new title This Working Life . The show is for all workplaces and workers – regardless of their rung on the corporate ladder – with coverage of different organisations and business leaders.

This Working Life will be hosted by Lisa Leong, a broadcaster, CEO and former lawyer. Best Practice presenter Richard Aedy will turn his talents to creating in-depth feature series for the ABC in line with his successful Class Act series in 2018, which examined growing inequality in Australia. Richard will also continue presenting RN’s The Money .

Extended Sunday Extra (7am Sundays, replayed Mondays 2am)

Sunday Extra will be extended by 30 minutes to include features and interviews from the ABC’s extensive network of international correspondents, as part of its mix of current affairs, analysis and investigations. The international reports on Sunday Extra will replace Correspondents Report, with presenter Hugh Riminton, himself a former foreign correspondent, bringing listeners the best of our overseas storytelling.

World Docos (Saturdays 7pm, replayed Fridays 1am)

The world’s best radio documentaries will be showcased in a new program that draws on the archives of the ABC and our broadcast partners. World Docos brings to life stories about people, society and cultures from Australia and the world.

The Arts on RN (Mondays to Fridays 10am)

In 2019, RN will continue to lead national conversations about arts and culture under a new series of names. The Book Show (formerly The Hub on Books ) will move to Mondays, with literary interviews, news and analysis. On Tuesdays, The Stage Show ( formerly The Hub on Stage ) will cover theatre, dance, comedy, opera and musicals. On Wednesdays, The Art Show (formerly The Hub on Art ) will be the “go to” place for issues affecting artists and audiences. On Thursdays, The Screen Show (formerly The Hub on Screen ) will explore the worlds of film and television.


Listeners will continue to enjoy their favourite RN returning programs and podcasts in 2019 .

The full schedule for next year

Is the audience happy with that? If you’re a listener, do you like it?

She also said Radio National’s drive presenter Patricia Karvelas would be filling in on her 6am slot (on RN) for the next two weeks, before Hamish Macdonald and Geraldine Doogue take over the position for the rest of the year.

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