Kangaroo wearing hat, Emu wearing tie

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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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.

Buy Now, Pay Later and Kin Fertility

More and more 'buy now, pay later’ options are emerging, and young adults are putting themselves deeper into debt than they realise. Paridhi Jain, founder of financial training service Skilled Smart, joins us to talk about better managing our finances. Later, Kin Fertility is a new startup, looking to revolutionise reproductive healthcare in Australia, and educate people with a uterus about how to best access the healthcare they need. Co-Founder Nicole Liu joins us to talk about their work.

Microclimates and Individual Carbon Output

Earlier this year, Penrith was the hottest place on earth, and microclimates in Sydney’s urban sprawl are creating temperature disparities of over 10°C. Dr. Sebastian Pfautsch, a climate expert from Western Sydney University, joins us to talk about his work with Penrith City Council to quantify temperatures and mitigate the climate crisis. Later, while trying to hold the government, and corporations to account for the climate crisis, how much individual responsibility to we each bear? Madeleine Morris, ABC News finance reporter, joins us to talk about reducing your individual carbon footprint.

we are the mainstream and Sweaty City

we are the mainstream is an emerging collective for Black, Indigenous and Womxn of Colour, exploring what it’s like to be a woman of colour across various industries and, within the context of every day Australian society. Founder of we are the mainstream, Priyanka Bromhead, joins us to talk about the collective, and their upcoming symposium on Feb 29th. Later, Sweaty City is a new publication focusing on environmentalism and urban ecology, aiming to chart the stories of Sydney's residents affected by climate change and rapidly expanding urban sprawl. Founder Angela Heathcote joins us to discuss the new magazine.

Health Star Ratings and AustraliaSim

Recent reports indicate that the Health Star Rating System isn’t that reliable. Choice, Australia’s largest consumer advocacy group, has accused food manufacturers of "gaming" the system, by picking and choosing which products to put stars on, leading to a bias towards those products. Linda Przhedetsky, a food policy expert from Choice, joins us to explain. Later, we look into the recent ‘Yes’ vote on the referendum for Australia to become a Republic. Not for real Australia, but the alternate reality one which plays out on the Subreddit, ‘AustraliaSim’. Buzzfeed News reporter, and former Backchat producer Cameron Wilson joins us to talk about this bizarre pocket of the internet.

Rap in Sydney's Wast and Villawood

Grime and Drill music are becoming increasingly popular, and many are finding ties to Sydney’s Western Suburbs. Writer and host on Vice’s Violent Times, Mahmood Fazal, joins us to talk about the special connection between rap music and Sydney’s West. Later, it was recently reported that Villawood, one of Australia’s major immigration detention centres, has been scolded by a tribunal for repeatedly bringing detainees to their hearings too late. This is just one in a host of problems faced by detainees at detention centres. Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Ryan joins us to discuss lengths the Australian government has gone to in order to keep sick refugees away from our shores.

Syrian Ceasefire and Consent Laws

After the ceasefire between the US and Turkey ended, Turkey has indicated they intend to remain in Syria, meanwhile Donald Trump announced US forces with also remain to protect oil fields from Islamic State. Dr Mehmet Oz-alp, Director of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University, joins us for insight on the situation. Later, it’s been two years since same-sex marriage was passed, but beyond the law, how much has changed? Backchat reporter Olivia Stanley takes a look into the treatment of LGBTQI+ Australians in the church. Finally, daft proposals to change the NSW consent laws were submitted this week. They clarify that sexual consent hasn’t been given, if a person “freezes” or doesn’t give any direct, verbal indication of consent. Many experts are saying they’re still not strong enough. Academic and researcher Dr Rachael Burgin who specialises in sexual assault law in Victoria joins us to discuss the proposal.

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