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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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Race politics and data encryption laws

Earlier this week, Queensland senator Fraser Anning used his maiden speech in parliament to call for an end to Muslim immigration in Australia, invoking the "final solution to the immigration problem." We discuss what Anning's speech reflects to the state of race politics in Australia.

Later, we chat to Lyndsey Jackson, Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia, about a new law proposal which would create a process where the government would be able to access your encrypted data. She discusses the draft laws and how it would impact on our privacy.

Fairfax-Nine merger and sexual assault on campus

Half a million Australians went to the polls last week to cast their votes in not one, not two, but five by-elections.

We also look at the latest developments in the state government's review into sexual consent laws. The NSW Bar Association recommended this week that a person who has an unreasonable but honest belief in consent shouldn’t be guilty of a crime.

Later, Eden Faithfull investigates university support services for those who report on sexual harrassment and assault on campus. We also chat with Dr Andrea Carson, incoming associate at La Trobe University, about the implications of the Fairfax-Nine merger.

Petition to fly the Aboriginal flag on the Harbour Bridge and My Health Record

In big news this week, the Israeli government pushed through a controversial law declaring the country as the "nation-state of the Jewish people", defining Israel first and foremost as a Jewish state where Jewish people have an “exclusive right to national self-determination”. Later, our reporter Eden Faithfull reports on the petition to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and we chat to ABC Online Technology Reporter Ariel Bogle about My Health Record.

NAIDOC Week: Indigenous youth incarceration and data sovereignty

We're excited to celebrate NAIDOC Week on Backchat today. Joining us in the studio is Dylan Voller to talk about Indigenous youth incarceration. Last month, the Northern Territory government confirmed that all children currently in detention in the Northern Territory are Aboriginal. The numbers haven’t changed since the Royal Commission into the youth justice system, which took place after an ABC’s Four Corners report uncovered the treatment of Indigenous children in the Don Dale youth detention centre. Later, we chat with Dr Maggie Walter, inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania, about the significance of Indigenous data sovereignty for the Uluru Statement.

Workplace sexual harassment and National Refugee Week

Hosts Swetha Das and Natalie Sekulovska bring you the freshest wrap of news from the week, including the World Cup, a just launched inquiry into workplace sexual harassment, and a new English language test for migrants under consideration by the government. We also welcome Regina Jefferies, teaching fellow at UNSW and affiliate of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, to discuss Australia's National Refugee Week and immigration policy in the US.

Trump-Kim summit and defamation reform

Maddison Connaughton and guest host Johnny Lieu discuss the biggest story dominating headlines this week - the Trump-Kim summit. The two leaders signed a joint statement promoting "mutual confidence building" and to potentially pave the way to denuclearisation. Later, Sydney Morning Herald Legal Affairs and Investigations reporter Michaela Whitbourn talks to us about Australia's defamation laws and why a review of the current laws are needed.

Abortion safe zones, anti-PC culture, and sniffer dogs

What's new in politics this week? After a marathon debate, abortion "safe-access zones" legislation has passed through the lower house in NSW. Plus, Tony Abbott and Alan Jones launched a new anti-PC book by Dr Kevin Donnelly, called "How Political Correctness is Destroying Australia." Later, we chat to Matt Noffs, CEO of the Ted Noffs Foundation, pill tester, and author of the book "Addicted", about sniffer dogs at music festivals.

Uluru Statement and Indigenous memory institutions

It’s National Reconciliation Week and our hosts Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das speak to Teela Reid, a lawyer and human rights advocate, about the Uluru Statement. We also chat to Nathan Sentance, librarian and First Nations programs officer at the Australian Museum, about reclaiming Indigenous voices in galleries and museums.

Abortion "safe zones" and virtual kidnapping scams

This week hosts Maddison Connaughton and Swetha Das welcome Gina Rushton from BuzzFeed into the studio to chat about the NSW parliamentary vote on abortion “safe zones." Later, we chat about a “virtual kidnapping” scam that’s been targeting international students in Australia with Dr Lennon Y.C Chang, senior lecturer in Criminology at Monash University. Plus we round up some of the most important stories in politics this week, including Luke Foley's "white flight" comments and the anniversary of Sorry Day.

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