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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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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.

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.

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