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Backchat | Podcast

Your alternative to talkback.

Informed and approachable politics and current affairs. We do interviews, discussion, news, lols and longform features with a different guest host each week.

First broadcast live Saturdays at 11am on FBi Radio. Find playlists and feature content here.



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The Arts Industry and Future of Drag

The art industry is on high alert after the NSW Government withheld an annual grant from Australia’s biggest multi-arts venue Carriageworks, forcing it to go into voluntary administration. Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Esther Anatolitis discusses how COVID-19 has affected the arts industry. Since the pandemic venues have been shut down, meaning drag queens are unable to perform live in person, in front of large crowds until further notice. Drag Artist, Etcetera Etcetera talks about what the drag community is currently doing online and the potential future of drag.

Social Wellbeing After Lockdown

A survey by the ABC has found only one-in-eight Aussies would feel comfortable attending a large event, one-in-five would consider flying on a plane, and only 40% would dine-in at a restaurant. Dr Rachael Murrahee, clinical psychologist and the director of the Kidman Centre joins us to talk about what social wellbeing will look like after lockdown.

COVID-19 Racism and Sustainable Fashion

The coronavirus pandemic has seen racism against Australia’s East Asian community increase in recent months. A survey by the Asian Australian Alliance revealed 178 incidents of coronavirus-related racism in just a two week window. Osmond Chew, a research fellow at social justice and inequality think tank Per Capita, joins us to talk about this spike. Later, the fashion industry is turning on its head—small businesses have closed up shop, global imports have been impacted and yet online shopping has skyrocketed during quarantine. Natalie Shehata, eco-stylist and founder of ethical fashion platform, tommie magazine, joins us to talk about unethical consumerism and the uncertainty for the future of fashion.

COVIDSafe and the Economic Future

The government’s COVIDSafe citizen tracking app launched last week. Naturally there are concerns over privacy, and exactly how it’ll work. Professor Kimberlee Wetherall, specialist in technology law, joins us to discuss exactly what this new app is all about. Later, as the coronavirus continues to hammer the Australian economy, young people are going to bear the brunt of the downturn in the future. Ed Miller, Economic Fairness Campaigns Director at GetUp, joins us to talk to us about the economic cost of the pandemic and how we’re going to be paying for it in the future.

Domestic Violence in Lockdown

As families are urged to self-isolate, survivors of family violence are being forced even closer to their abusers, causing an increase in cases of domestic and family abuse. Jess Hill, investigative journalist and author of See What You Made Me Do, joins us to talk to us about how survivors of family violence are being affected by the coronavirus lockdown orders. If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT or visit

5G Conspiracies and Eating Disorders in Isolation

Of all of the COVID-19 news, perhaps none is absurd is the backlash against 5G data technology. Joining us first is Cameron Wilson, Buzzfeed Internet Reporter and former Backchat producer to chat with us about the conspiracies behind Coronavirus and 5G technologies. Later, Winnie Dunn is the General Manager of Sweatshop, a literacy movement which supports writers in Western Sydney. She’s got some news about Sweatshop’s new anthology. She’ll also be speaking to us about her experience living with an eating disorder in coronavirus isolation.  If this content was troubling, or you’re struggling through this crisis, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 44 or visit for support.


Isabella Kwai is a reporter for the New York Times who spent several weeks in Hong Kong covering the Coronavirus first-hand. She joins us to talk about watching the virus unfold from near the heart of the pandemic. Later we’ve heard about the effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry, hospitality and retail, but what about sex work? Cameron Cox, CEO of the Sex Workers Outreach Project joins us to talk about how the virus is effecting the industry.

Climate Change Bill and Health Insurance

The effects of the climate crisis are clearly showing, and while our country burns, our government seems to be doing very little. Federal member for Waringah, Zali Steggall, is introducing a new bill to parliament, which will ensure Australia has a clear national response to our climate challenges. Backchat producer Eden Faithfull sat down with Steggall to find out more about the bill. Later, more and more young Australians are turning their backs on private health insurance, and many of us feel like we’re not getting value for money. We’re joined by Dean Price, Senior Campaigns & Policy Advisor at CHOICE, to unpack health insurance, and whether or not we really do need to be covered.

All About Women

The All About Women festival was held at the Opera House on the weekend, for International Women’s Day. This week we speak with two incredible artists who were featured at the festival. First up, we’re joined by Stanislava Pinchuk AKA Miso, a Ukrainian-born, Melbourne-based artist, that maps areas of conflict around the world, using traditional materials like textiles, as well as tattoos. Later, Sarina Masukor is a writer and filmmaker living in Sydney, whose work explores what it’s like to live in the twenty-first century. Sarina joins up to discuss her work, as well as the importance of diversity in the arts across Sydney.

Urban Farming and Mardi Gras Coporisation

As the ongoing droughts make fresh produce more difficult to farm, it’s past time we start looking at alternative farming methods. blakthumb is a startup working to create small, networked farms in unused urban spaces. Co-founder Mel Fyfe joins us to talk about future-proofing our cities with urban farms. Later, with Mardi Gras about to kick off, there’s a lot of chatter about corporations co-opting pride. Queer activist Aiden Magro joins us in the studio discuss the corporatisation of Mardi Gras, and how it might be taking up space from more important queer conversations.

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