From inspirational true stories, to politics and science, these are our top 15 podcasts portraying Australia’s diverse and bizarre culture.
Podcasting is the audio phenomenon that just keeps giving, sweeping the digital world and providing impressive and distinct insight into a plethora of different areas within Australian society. Just get a flashy new pair of headphones? Or maybe you just wanna know what the fuck everyone is talking about, don’t worry, you don’t need an excuse to plug into these amazing podcasts.
Here are our favourites to keep you in the know.
Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories
Delving into inspiring conversations with Indigenous role models and trailblazers, Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is written, produced, edited and hosted by Marlee Silva. Founder of ‘Tiddas 4 Tiddas’, Marlee Silva is a Gamilaroi and Dunghutti woman based in Sydney, dedicated to championing the voices and stories of Indigenous people.
Always our Stories speaks to the experiences of some of Australia’s many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models, their inspiring stories and investigates topics such as ‘The First Scientists’, ‘Aboriginal People and the Debutante Ball’, as well as one of Australia’s most infamous unsolved homicides, ‘The Bowraville Murders’. Insightful, informative and endearing, it’s the podcast galvanizing an influential look into Aboriginal culture.
Search Engine Sex
Got questions about sex but too awkward to ask your friends or parents? Well, then this one is for you.
As Australia’s first Spotify Original podcast, Search Engine Sex answers the internet’s most searched questions about sex and relationships, STIs and heartbreak. Hosted by Rowdie Walden, an Indigenous-Australian TV host, writer and podcaster, this series tackles those taboo topics with a fun and fresh take that’ll leave you with the knowledge and insight you’ve always wanted but have been too afraid to ask for.
Yes, the media has been saturated in coronavirus news since it plagued our world and yes, it still instils great anxiety and panic (at least in me anyway). But, what if I told you I had a podcast that would present the facts and navigate the misinformation circulating around the internet without freaking you out further. I present to you ABC’s Coronacast, the brief daily show deemed “An emotional lifejacket” for Australian’s throughout this pandemic.
Hosted by Tegan Taylor and Dr Norman Swan, Coronacast is spreading accurate and trustworthy news on the biggest story of our time in a conversational flow. Its aim? Keeping you up to date without the chaotic vibes that we can’t seem to escape throughout mainstream media at the moment.
A Rational Fear
In conjunction with Coronacast, we have another informative podcast but if you’re into a more light-hearted, comedic take on the daily news then A Rational Fear is right up your alley. Hosted by Dan Ilic, a self-titled investigative humorist, A Rational Fear is a deep dive into current affairs with an accessible, upbeat tone exploring the saddest of stories with a light-hearted touch.
The Zest is History
For any history buffs out there, here is a podcast by Melissa Mason and Josie Rozenberg-Clarke, former hosts of All Aussie Mystery Hour where the two spin 100% legit but 80% researched yarns on Australia’s incredibly “zesty” history.
From Shane Warne to Drop Bears, Steve Irwin and Beer and Sex Balls, this podcast will explore the wacky histories that you may have never heard about. It’s the history lesson without the arduous sounds of an old man with a croaky voice rambling on, that you never knew you needed.
Birds Eye View
Australian Podcast Awards 2020 podcast of the year victor, Birds Eye View is the series giving you an in-depth perspective on women in prison. Go behind bars and delve into the lives, backstories and everyday experiences of the women within Darwin’s Correctional Centre. Made and hosted by the voices hidden away from mainstream media, it showcases how they navigate life within a facility made for men.
Evoking raw, heartbreaking, inspiring and empathetic emotion within every listener, the show offers a rare look into incarceration providing a highly creative and ethical sonic journey that is setting a remarkable benchmark for Australian podcasting.
Taking home the ‘Best Radio Podcast’ at the Australian Podcasting Awards, Take 5 is the show providing an engaging and intimate portrayal of some of the most defining moments in music history. Hosted by lifelong music nerd Zan Rowe, with her incredible yet modest expertise and groovy knack for creating a strong rapport with guests, Take 5 attracts a new person and theme for each show.
Taking your favourite artists and flipping them into fan mode, Rowe offers a rare insight into the creative hearts of some of her famous friends.
Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg
Despite his appearances hosting the Bachelor, Osher Günsberg is a remarkably deep and intuitive interviewer. He has hundreds of podcasts on his channel and is dedicated to updating it weekly with Australian and International personalities from all walks of life.
Funny stories from weird and whacky people… and Osher actually steps away from the mic to let his interviewees do the talking.
The Party Room
Even if you’re only remotely interested in politics or you have a particularly outspoken friend, The Party Room will keep you well informed in a breezy manner.
Join Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas in The Party Room as they make federal politics as interesting as ever. They analyse all the latest news from the Parliament House with some of the sharpest minds in journalism.
The Weekly Planet
If you’re a geek, then The Weekly Planet has all your nerd news covered. Hosts James and Nick have great chemistry, making this podcast less like tuning into a news segment and more like kicking back with a couple of mates.
You will get a chunky update on nerd culture and news before the duo goes in-depth on a particular theme: a movie they’ve seen, or a new game, either way, it’s all good.
Felon True Crime
Tales of true crime from the underbelly of Australia. They focus on popular cases you may or may not have heard of. Often told in narration, sometimes offering real audio, these are grim stories of the darkest minds Down Under.
The most gripping part? These stories are brutal and violent so prepare yourselves for the worst.
The Real Thing
If you’re a fan of TV shows like Australian Story (let’s be honest who’s not?) then The Real Thing is perfect for you. It can be both uplifting and gut-wrenching.
Using the resources of the ABC to tell both sides of every story the podcast aims to deliver unique Australian tales straight to your ears. Also, they use some amazing sound effects to keep you fervently enthralled from beginning to end.
SBS The World Game Football
When The World Game TV show departed from SBS many years ago Australians have been forced to seek alternative sources for their jab in the arm of football adrenaline. The podcast version has solved all problems with A-League post-game analysis, news updates and game scores from around the globe.
The podcasts are relatively sporadic but there is still plenty of gold to tap into during the offseason. Complimented by the likes of hosts Lucy Zelic and Crag Foster, if you’re a football nerd or just want to learn a little something extra about the beautiful game then this gem comes highly recommended.
Pheobe’s Fall follows the unfortunate misgivings of one Australian woman and the failings of our judiciary system. The coroner declared 24-year-old Phoebe Handsjuk had died by misadventure after jumping down the garbage chute of her building while on drugs and alcohol.
Ever since, though, her family have been trying to appeal the decision in court. Two reporters from The Age delve deeper into this case with sinister and mysterious shortcomings. Another gripping tale of our justice system failing its people.
This podcast is a trick question because it actually started out as another brilliant ABC podcast before being picked up by American company Gimlet Media. So technically it still belongs on this list.
Hosted by Aussie Wendy Zuckerman, her team research a host of current ideas and issues such as sharks, the female brain, e-cigarettes, ghosts, climate change, DNA and so much more. Science Vs will stimulate your brain in all the best ways.
One of the certifiably funniest people of all time, Wil Anderson interviews a swathe of recognisable names with a collection of funny, stupid and serious questions to try and plunder the meaning of life.
Delving to the core of the individual, Anderson gets Wilosophical with names like: Todd Sampson, Tim Minchin, Josh Thomas, Osher Günsberg, John Safran, Charlie Pickering, Annabel Crabb, Jen Kirkman, Alice Fraser and Myf Warhurst among a smattering of others.