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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The Young Vote and Eurovision in Israel

With a nail-biting election in process, the unprecedented number of young voters enrolled is expected to shake up results. Ariadne Vromen, a Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Sydney, joins us to discuss the election from a young voters perspective, and the way major parties have (or have not) effectively made campaign appeals to the demographic.

May 18th is also significant in global politics this year, as the finale of the Eurovision contest is set to go ahead in Israel, despite controversies due to the ongoing conflict with Palestine. This comes just three days after Nakba Day, literally translating to ‘Day of the Catastrophe’, which commemorates the mass displacement and human rights abuse of Palestinian people that has continued since late 1940s. Sydney lawyer and Palestinian rights activist Ramia Abdo Sultun joins us to talk about the controversy caused by the decision to host the finale in Israel.

Islamophobia and Election Advertising Laws

A recent YouGov survey indicates that 51% of Australians have ‘unfavourable sentiments’ towards Islam, with only 10% of the population looking upon the religion positively. The results also revealed that Australia is more negative towards Islam than 17 of the other 22 countries surveyed. Writer Ruby Hamad joins Backchat to discuss this survey outcome, and Islamophobia in contemporary Australia. 

Later, a look into the election campaign. Voters are being bombarded with promises and posturing on more platforms than ever before. Whether it’s Clive Palmer’s bizarre United Australia Party’s ads, smear campaigns, or straight-up lies—it seems like it’s pretty much a free-for-all for politicians. Shami and Swetha look into the laws surrounding election campaign advertisements, and just how tight they are. Also, producer Eden Faithful joins for a pop quiz on how well you’ve been following politics in the lead up to the election.

Young Voters and Domestic Violence Funding

The 2019 federal election is set to boast the highest enrolment rate in Australian history—96.8%, and a record enrolment rate for young Australians aged 18-24, at 88.8%. Katie Acheson, CEO of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, joins Backchat to talk about the reasons behind the enrolment spike, a possible election outcomes.

Also, the Coalition has recently committed to funding two additional case workers and cyber security measures at the Penrith Women’s Health Centre. This comes under its total domestic violence spending, which adds up to 328 million dollars. Lula Dembele, Co-Founder Childhood Domestic Violence Australia, joins to discuss the ways in which the government can move to a safer and more rigorously supportive society for survivors of domestic abuse. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call 1800RESPECT for help and information.

Rainbow Warrior and Youth Homelessness

Jason Wing is a Canterbury-based Birripai Chinese-Indigenous artist who has just unveiled ‘Rainbow Warrior’, a new mural at Ewan Perk in Hurlstone Park as part of the 2019 Wurridjal Festival. Jason joins Backchat to talk about his work, the importance of contemporary Indigenous art, and maintaining cultural history.

Backchat reporter Lindsay Riley also investigates the impact of the 2018 Data Sharing and Release bill which gives the government the power to share their data on you. 

Finally, we look into the rise of youth homelessness in Sydney, particularly in the Inner West. Zoe Robinson, CEO of YFoundations joins us to explore the issue, and discuss the work of her organisation.

Deportation Due to Disability and the One Asian Party

The Wangchuks are Bhutanese a family who have lived and worked in Australia since 2012. They are now facing deportation after their permanent residency was refused, because their deaf son would be a “cost” to the taxpayer. Disability Officer for the National Union of Students and friend of the family Will Edwards, joins us to explain their situation and help share their story. 

Also, Michael Hing, comedian and writer for SBS’s The Feed, is now a senate candidate. Set to take Australian politics by storm, Hing has formed the One Asian Party, and he joins us to talk about policy and his potential political career.

Children on Nauru and the Uluru Statement

This week on Backchat, we talk to photojournalist Mridula Amin and artist and photographer Lachie Hinton who recently reported on the experiences of refugee children living on Nauru for the New York Times.

Later, we chat to lawyer and human rights advocate Teela Reid about the importance of a First Nations Voice before Australia puts forward a republic referendum.

Backchat 2003 edition

We are celebrating 15 years of FBi Radio this week!

Listen for all the hits from 2003, including Guy Sebastian's Angels Brought Me Here and Missy Elliot's Work It. Plus, we quiz our hosts Swetha and Nat about Australian pop culture from the year.

We also chat to Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong about proposed changes to NSW's rental laws and pill testing at music festivals.

Abortion decriminalisation and women in politics

Three quarters of people in NSW do not know that abortion is a crime in this state. We chat to Maddy Ward, women's collective officer at the University of Sydney, who was nearly suspended for protesting against an anti-abortion stall on campus under pressure from Labor MP Greg Donnelly.

Later, we talk to Ash Streeter-Jones, co-founder and COO of Jasiri Australia, about women in politics and improving gender representation in parliament.

Commercialisation of universities with Dr Na'ama Carlin

Big news in politics this week! An ex-campaign advisor to Trump has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about Russian intervention in the 2016 elections. Plus, the sexual harrassment claims against Barnaby Joyce were declared inconclusive.

We also chat to sociologist and academic Dr Na'ama Carlin about the commercialisation of Australian universities.

Architectures of war and Australian youth affairs

This week, we discuss the Liberal Party's huge bloodspill following the leadership change, plus Mark Latham's defamation case against Backchat alumnus Osman Faruqi.

Plus, we welcome Marwa Al-Sabouni, author of The Battle for Home: The Memoir of a Syrian Architect, to talk about design and architecture's role in rebuilding war-ravaged cities. We also chat to Terri Butler, Shadow Minister for Young Australians and Youth Affairs, about pressing issues for young Australian people today, including housing affordability.


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