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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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Gentrification in Redfern-Waterloo and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Over the past decade, Sydney has become one of the least affordable places in the world to buy a house. Indigenous architect Joel Spring comes into the studio to chat about gentrification and its impact on local communities in Redfern and Waterloo. Later, we welcome in author and race scholar Randa Abdel-Fattah to talk about the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict after nearly 60 Palestinians were killed in the Middle East when Israeli troops fired shots during a protest last week.

Budget Special, Confucius Institutes, and Aboriginal deaths in custody

This week, hosts Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das discuss all things federal budget. Who are the winners and losers this year? What sneaky cuts has Scott Morrison introduced? Later, Jackson Kwok, policy analyst at China Matters, drops by the studio to chat about the NSW government's relationship with Confucius Institutes. Gavin Walker, an activist co-chairing this week's FIRE rally, also comes in to discuss Aboriginal deaths in custody.

USYD's arms investments and pokies peril

Hosts Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das bring you the freshest wrap of news this week, including the latest in the banking royal commission, Australia's first pill testing trial, and free TAFE in Victoria. We welcome Jodie Pall from the University of Sydney into the studio to discuss the university's investment in arms manufacturing after her protest video went viral earlier in the week. Drew Rooke, the author of One Last Spin: The Power and Peril of Pokies, also drops by the studio to chat about Australia's pokies epidemic.

Pill testing and NDIS

A new era of Backchat begins! It's our first show off the block with new hosts Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das. First up, we chat about this week's Korean Summit - making history as the first time North Korea's Kim Jong Un crossed over to the DMZ to meet South Korean president Moon Jae-in for peace talks. Next we welcome Brad Esposito from Buzzfeed into the studio to talk us through pill testing and the trial at Groovin the Moo festival. We also have Robin Eames, one of the Disability Officers at the University of Sydney, chat to us about the NDIS.

Farewell to Osman and Ariel!

It's a big one on Backchat this week - we're saying goodbye to our longtime hosts Osman Faruqi and Ariel Bogle! We give a warm welcome to our new presenters, Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das. Plus, we run through the hottest news in politics from the past few days, including the banking royal commission and the weed legalisation debate.

Commonwealth Games and the US-Syria conflict

This week, hosts Osman Faruqi and Ariel Bogle discuss the disappearance of athletes at the Commonwealth Games, suspected as a bid to gain asylum in Australia because of human rights concerns in their home countries. Later, we welcome in lecturer at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Gorana Grgic, to discuss the latest developments in the US-Syria conflict and deteriorating East-West relations.

Big government and Indigenous incarceration

This week, hosts Osman Faruqi and Ariel Bogle discuss Richard Di Natale's pivot to big government policy, including his Universal Basic Income proposal and interventionist push into the housing market. Later, we talk to Karly Warner, Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, about the ALRC's recent inquiry concerning Indigenous incarceration.

Rebecca Walker on feminist movements in the #MeToo era

American feminist activist and writer Rebecca Walker joins Backchat to discuss feminism, race, and power. She talks about growing up as a child of the civil rights movement, intersectional feminism and the #MeToo era, and reframing beauty as a form of resistance.

Sydney University debating society and Cambridge Analytica

This week, hosts Ariel Bogle, Swetha Das, and Maddison Connaughton discuss Obama's visit to Australia and University of Sydney debating society's affirmative action policies. Later, we turn to the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal. Could this be the beginning of the end of Facebook?

Trump's tariffs and Australian gun lobby groups

This week, Osman Faruqi and Ariel Bogle plus special guest Maddison Connaughton talk about tampon tax cuts and Greg Norman's involvement in tariff lobbying with Trump. Later, we welcome in Guardian reporter Michael McGowan to discuss Australia's gun lobby groups and their links to far-right anti-Islam organisations.

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