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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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.
Universal Job Guarantee and Fast Fashion
There are currently seven hundred thousand people in Australia actively looking for a job, and a market with only two hundred thousand vacancies. Not to mention the further million who are under-employed. Edward Miller, a Campaigns Director for Economic Fairness at GetUp joins us to discuss the possibility of an Australian Universal Job Guarantee initiative.
Later, ‘fast-fashion’—single-wear wardrobe fillers from brands like Zara and H&M may be cheap, but they come at other costs. Natalie Shehata, founder and editor of Tommie Magazine joins us to talk about slow-fashion, recycling, and making ethical choices with your wardrobe.
Social Media Data and Problem Gambling
The more information we give to social media, the more power they have to influence us. Lyndsey Jackson, a digital rights expert from Electronic Frontiers Australia, joins us to talk about the ways in which our favourite social media apps are changing, and what that means for our online security.
Later, Australians gamble $24 billion a year, and growing concern for problem gamblers has helped launch the Community Benefit Payment Scheme. Backchat reporter Eamonn Snow looks into gambling issues in Australia, and what the government is actually doing about it.
If you or somebody you know suffers from a gambling addiction, you can reach out to the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service on 1800 856 800 or to Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14.
Refugees in Uganda and Gossip Journalism
According to the United Nations’ Refugee Agency’s 2019 report, there are currently more than 70 million displaced people around the globe. Lynn Dang is a former refugee, board member of Australia for United Nations Refugee Comission, and head of talent acquisition at Microsoft Australia—she recently travelled to Uganda to understand the progressive programs they’ve implemented to support their 1.3 million refugees. She joins is to share her insight into refugee policy in Uganda, and what we in Australia could learn from them.
Later, we take a quick look inside the glossy pages of gossip magazines at celebrity rumour journalism.
Congestion Crisis and Child Modelling
Congestion in Sydney is an ongoing problem, but over the next decade the city’s population is expected to grow to over 7 million people, pushing us into a congestion crisis. Deputy CEO and Director of Policy for Committee of Sydney, Eamon Waterford, talks with us about what 'congestion crisis' means, and what we’re doing to prevent it.
Later, ‘Breaking the Model’ is a new doco on SBS Viceland’s The Feed, looking into the way the modelling industry exploits child models. Documentary creator, comedian and former child-model Jenna Owen joins us.
Drug-Testing Welfare Recipients and Lockout Laws
Scott Morrison’s government has revived controversial legislation that would force 5,000 Newstart and youth allowance recipients to undergo drug testing to get their welfare payments. Dr. Nicole Lee, drug policy expert from Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute, joins us to discuss the proposal.
Later, after 5 years of controversy the state government is taking steps to remove the lockout laws - everywhere except for Kings Cross. Michael Rodrigues, Managing Director of Time Out Australia, and chair of the Night Time Industries Association speaks with us about the changes.
Finally, ‘Her Sound, Her Story’ is a moving documentary exploring women in Australia’s music scene. An intimate conversation with 45 artists spanning six decades, it discusses the experiences, triumphs and social impact of women in the industry. Documentary co-creator and self-taught music photographer Michelle Grace Hunder joins us.
Water Crisis and Domestic Violence
Sydney Water levels are dropping faster than they have in decades across 11 dams in Greater Sydney, and levels are about to drop below 50%. Still, we aren’t talking about drought in greater Sydney. Environmentalist Liz Miu joins us to discuss the water crisis, and what small changes that we can all make to conserve water.
Later, Archibald Prize finalist Amani Haydar has a new exhibition at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery. Lawyer, artist, mother, and domestic violence advocate—Haydar joins us to talk about her life, art and advocacy.
If you or somebody you know is experiencing domestic violence you can visit 1800respect.org.au or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 to be put in contact with State Crisis Services.
Russian Internet and Drug Laws
Free flowing information on the internet is seen as tantamount to a functioning democracy. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Russia’s government is looking to implement a centralised, state controlled internet. We’re joined by Russian independent investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, who have spent years investigating how the Kremlin watches over its citizens
Later, in the wake of an increase in accidental deaths by drug overdose, new laws by the NSW government may see people who sell illicit drugs be prosecuted for homicide if the person who uses the drug dies as a result. Dr Elyse Methven, Lecturer in Law and a UTS Early Career Research Fellow, joins us to discuss the new law.