Life Matters - Full program podcast

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Life Matters is your guide to contemporary Australian life. Be part of rich conversations on relationships, family, parenting, education, work, health and consumer issues.

Episode Date
Flying and the future of air travel
After undergoing a massive shift during the years of closed borders due to the pandemic, air travel is taking flight again. But in the face of pent-up demand, those taking to the skies face price rises, chaos at the airport and baggage drama. So, what does the future of air travel look like?
Oct 02, 2022
Life Matters
Oct 02, 2022
How’s your relationship with your in-laws?
Our in-laws are often the source of many a joke or trope in western culture. These relationships get a bad rap, but they can also be a source of a great joy and support. We take your calls on how you’ve developed these important relationships. And in the Too Hard Basket, your sister in-law tries to recruit you to help in her in a family conflict. Do you get involved, or keep out of it?
Sep 29, 2022
Practising empathy and Fiona Wood on skin
You may consider yourself to be an empathetic person, but do you show it in a way that others genuinely feel it? Plus, 20 years on from the Bali bombings, plastic surgeon Professor Fiona Wood reflects on that time and her ground breaking work treating burns.
Sep 28, 2022
Making forms more accessible and saving money on baby stuff
Forms can be so complex and detailed that people give up on filling them out, leaving some especially vulnerable. So how can the process be made easier? Plus Holocaust survivor Abram Goldberg on what's helped him live a happy life, and in the Pineapple Project, does your baby really need all that stuff?
Sep 27, 2022
Securing your data, relieving stress with art
Millions of Optus customers have scrambled to change their passwords after a massive data breach, but how do you really keep your data secure? Plus, explore an exhibition that gets kids in touch with their senses. And what another year of La Niña will mean for allergy sufferers.
Sep 26, 2022
Addressing the teacher shortage
There is a worldwide shortage of teachers, and with many leaving the profession because of ageing or job pressures, we have a crisis on our hands. So what can be done to address the teacher shortage, and the real problems behind it?
Sep 25, 2022
Feeling sexy after 50 and breaking up with a friend
Your stories on retiring the trope of older women not feeling or being sexy. Plus Noella's precious shovel, and in the Too Hard Basket, how to process the end of a friendship that's not working for you anymore.
Sep 22, 2022
Representing families with disability, advice for fathers
Children's books rarely show families who live with disability, author Eliza Hull is keen to change that. Plus advice for fathers, and how travelling around the country with his cat helped improve one man's mental health.
Sep 21, 2022
The importance of career advice and painless meal prep
New research shows secondary careers education isn't up to scratch and is leaving students anxious about their prospects. So how should we be preparing kids for the world of work? And get some sage advice on meal prep from The Pineapple Project.
Sep 20, 2022
Is insurance becoming unaffordable? And Brigid Delaney's stoicism
A rise in unprecedented weather events are contributing to a rise in the cost of all our insurance policies. How much longer will this go on? And what can you do about it? Also, journalist Brigid Delaney on how a stoic approach can be helpful. And, author Bronwyn Rennex uncovers her parents' inner lives.
Sep 19, 2022
Mourning famous people and public acts of grief
2022 has seen the deaths of several famous figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, Uncle Jack Charles, and Olivia Newton-John. In response, the public has moved to pay tribute. Why do we react so strongly to the deaths of public figures when we don’t know them personally?
Sep 18, 2022
Understanding love languages and the uninvited guest
Learning about the ways in which you and your loved ones show that you care can improve relationships, even if your styles aren't a match. And in the Too Hard Basket, a close relative announces they've booked tickets and are bringing their family to stay with you - how do you handle it?
Sep 15, 2022
Connecting with friends, learning how to feel again
Something as minor as a receiving a text from a friend can boost connection and prevent loneliness. Plus a combat doctor tells how he recovered from the trauma of battle, and learned how to deal with his emotions.
Sep 14, 2022
Working-age carers, saving money in the circular economy
The number of carers under 50 years of age is on the rise, how can they be better supported? Plus where to park your savings now interest rates are higher, and in the new season of the Pineapple Project, learn about how to buy and sell online.
Sep 13, 2022
Treating migraines and understanding why we love true crime
As common and debilitating as migraines can be, it's hard to know how to treat them. So what can you do? Also, investigating what it is we love about crime shows and podcasts. And, meeting the couple who started their own cultural library.
Sep 12, 2022
Empty-nesters and the housing affordability crisis
Urging senior Australians to downsize is one idea to solve the mismatch between demand and supply and free up housing stock for growing families. What incentives would it take for people to make the move?
Sep 11, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II, reflections on her connections with Australia
As the longest serving British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her platinum jubilee earlier this year. Listeners reflect on their memories and impressions of the late Queen.
Sep 08, 2022
Indigenous urban planning and your 'forever self'
First Nations architects and urban planners on how to design and build with a 'country-centred' perspective. Plus broadcaster Jacinta Parsons on coming to terms with ageing and embracing her ‘forever self’.
Sep 07, 2022
Talking to kids about extinction and why we love lawns
Mass extinction due to climate change is hard enough for adults to process, so how do we explain it to kids? Plus which arthritis supplements work, and why we're obsessed with lawns.
Sep 06, 2022
Hormones and mental health, Susan Orlean and life as a 'desi girl'
A lot of us have been having to work hard on our mental health these days, but experts say we often don't think enough about one major factor in how we feel - our hormones. Also, Susan Orlean on her animal connections. And, journalist Sarah Malik on the complexities of coming of age as a first generation Pakistani-Australian.
Sep 05, 2022
Political promises kept and broken
Across the political spectrum, Australian election campaigns have a long and storied history of broken promises, but how much do these pledges really matter to voters?
Sep 04, 2022
Life lessons from first jobs and past affairs
Your stories about first jobs and what you learned from them. And in the Too Hard Basket, a regrettable affair from your past comes back to haunt you. Do you tell your partner, or leave well enough alone?
Sep 01, 2022
Retirement on less and thriving despite chronic pain
Planning for the end of your working life can seem daunting when you don't own your own home or have much super, learn how to take control. Plus how a couple's relationship and sex life thrives despite one of them living with chronic pain.
Aug 31, 2022
Drugs decriminalised and food for kids parties
The ACT is decriminalising illicit drugs, so what does that mean for the community? Plus, how to cater for kids parties, and meet an author preserving Bunuba language in children's books.
Aug 30, 2022
Flood buybacks, growing into autism and robot companions
Do government buy-back schemes work as a way to compensate those living in flood-affected areas? Also, the relief of having your autism diagnosed as an adult. And, can robots in an aged care home really offer companionship?
Aug 29, 2022
Sustainable careers in the gig economy
The national jobs and skills summit is set to take a microscope to Australia's most pressing workforce issues, like casualisation and flexible hours. In the face of rolling contracts and the gig economy, what does a sustainable career look like?
Aug 28, 2022
Solo ageing: growing old when you don't have kids
A growing number of Australians are childfree, whether by choice or by circumstance. But what happens when you get older, and you don’t have children to help you out? Advocates argue ‘solo ageing’ doesn’t have to be isolating and depressing. And in the Too Hard Basket, what to do about the night-time mystery moaner in your apartment block.
Aug 25, 2022
Pelvic floor fixes and tackling the aged care workforce crisis
The ‘Let the Pensioners Work’ campaign is pushing to allow pensioners to work more hours without losing their entitlements, in the hope that it might reduce labour shortages in sectors like aged care. And how to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Aug 24, 2022
The coaching craze and workmates in the WFH era
Coaches aren't just a fixture of the sporting world any more, there are coaches to help you with intimacy, divorce, finances, weight loss and more. But can we trust advice coming from unregulated practitioners? Plus, we look at how to revive work friendship networks in the post pandemic era. And meet the retired newlyweds who fell in love over electric cars.
Aug 23, 2022
Meaningful work for migrants and refugees and sleep chronotypes
Migration is in the spotlight right now, but what's the situation for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants already here when it comes to sustainable work? Also, what's your chronotype? And, what's it like to grow up between two worlds?
Aug 22, 2022
Contemplating the future of our food
Based on current trends, one of the biggest changes to our diets will be how we get protein, with plant-based and lab-grown foods becoming more popular. What do you think we'll be eating in 20 years?
Aug 21, 2022
How to be more positive about sex
What if we could throw off our shame and judgement, and be more open and accepting about sex and sexuality? How would that improve our sex lives? Sex therapist Tanya Koens shares some tips on how to be more sex positive, even if we’re single.
Aug 18, 2022
Fixing energy poverty and how to be humble
With energy stress on the rise we look at ways to prevent the associated health problems and end it for good. Plus learn how to push back against a narcissistic world by practising humility.
Aug 17, 2022
NIMBYs, upcycling and creepy crawlies
NIMBYs are often blamed for standing in the way of urban progress. But do they have a point? Plus upcycling as the answer to our fashion waste woes and why we should care more about insects.
Aug 16, 2022
Do workplace wellness programs actually help?
Many workplaces now offer wellness resources meant to support us to de-stress. But, can any wellness program really help if there are bigger, structural issues at play? Also, the art of the walking pilgrimage. And, how your housework could count as your exercise.
Aug 15, 2022
The importance of trees
Trees are an important part of how we experience and remember nature. Listeners share the stories behind their favourite trees.
Aug 14, 2022
When our values clash
Whether it's politics, religion, or parenting styles, a clash of our core beliefs can be hard to navigate, especially when the conflict is with our nearest and dearest. And in the Too Hard Basket, a neighbour complains about your child's early morning music practice.
Aug 11, 2022
Why we self sabotage and the rise of crowdfunding
Crowdfunding has had a significant impact on more traditional fundraising methods, but has this change lead to better outcomes for those most in need of charity? And when do bad habits turn into acts of self-sabotage?
Aug 10, 2022
Why some women are quitting the pill and best date night food
Use of the oral contraceptive pill is on the decline, especially among younger women. Why are there so many empty properties, despite Australia being in the middle of a housing crisis? And what are the best dishes for date night?
Aug 09, 2022
Why we don't believe in science and Volcano Man
With Science Week upon us, we look at why our mistrust of science is on the rise and we hear from photographer Richard Crawley and his son James whose new film explores their complicated relationship.
Aug 08, 2022
The beauty, controversy and place of public art
Due to its visibility, public art has a lot to get right. But while some masterpieces are universally loved, others have found themselves at the centre of furious debate over the purpose and intended audience of the work. What is ‘good’ public art anyway?
Aug 07, 2022
‘I’m 20, you can't tell me what to do anymore!’
It can be challenging to adjust your parenting style as your children grow up, especially as they move from adolescence to early adulthood. And in the Too Hard Basket, a new grandma joins the family.
Aug 04, 2022
Retiring when inflation is high, and resetting your relationship
Is high inflation ruining your hopes of retirement? Financial advisor Marc Bineham says it doesn’t have to. And is your childhood baggage be ruining your relationship? Maybe it’s time for a reset.
Aug 03, 2022
Referendums, hair loss and nude tourists behaving badly
Australians haven't passed many referendums in our history. What's behind that, and how might the Indigenous Voice vote be different? Plus, tips for dealing with hair loss and how not to embarrass yourself on your overseas travels.
Aug 02, 2022
Examining the trustworthiness of public trustees, the power of healing with Archie Roach, and my dad, the farmer
Public trustees are statutory bodies, which take control when people can't manage their own financial affairs, but the ABC's Anne Connolly has discovered some areas of concern when it comes to how these bodies operate. Also, a tribute to Archie Roach, his music and his work on truth, treaty and reconciliation. And, writer Sam Vincent on his experience of taking over his family farm.
Aug 01, 2022
Understanding long COVID
Millions of Australians have now had COVID-19, while the World Health Organization estimates 10 to 20 per cent of people will continue to experience symptoms. For those who experience prolonged symptoms, living with long COVID means adjusting to a new reality. So what treatment is available?
Jul 31, 2022
Does it ever really work to get back with an ex?
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are giving it a go. What about you, have you got back with an ex? How did it work out? Clinical psychologist Gemma Gribb offers up some tips for how to increase your chances of success the second time round. And in the Too Hard Basket, dealing with your daughter’s messy house.  
Jul 28, 2022
DIY dentistry and being an Aussie cowboy
A new survey shows many people are avoiding the dentist, while some opt for home bleaching kits and use rubber bands on their teeth for cosmetic reasons. Plus how Roland went from being a lab technician to wrangling cattle, and in Life in 500 Words, a precious item is accidentally dropped into the ocean.
Jul 27, 2022
Examining renters' rights, Norman Swan on how to stay young, and Wylah the "Koorie Warrior"
Lately, there've been moves by some state governments to change residential tenancy laws, but can you meet renters' needs without disadvantaging investors? Also, we talk to Dr Norman Swan on the keys to a long and healthy life. And, we meet a different kind of warrior - she's brave and clever, but she realises she's still got a lot to learn.
Jul 26, 2022
A bad winter for respiratory illnesses, living the hospo life, and an emergency doctor reflects on giving back
Whether it's RSV, influenza or COVID-19, what do we need to know about infectious winter illnesses so we can protect ourselves and our loved ones? Plus Jess Ho on growing up and working in food culture, and disability advocate, emergency doctor and researcher Dinesh Palipana, on giving back.
Jul 25, 2022
Australia's climate and environment priorities
Australia's scorecard on the state of the environment has painted a bleak picture of the country's deteriorating ecosystems and high rates of species decline. So, what should be first on the agenda?
Jul 24, 2022
How to handle feedback, teens drinking at your home
How do you approach raising issues of concern with people in your circle? Equally how do you go receiving critical feedback from someone whose opinion you care about? We get advice about the best way to give and receive feedback. Plus a dilemma from a parent about having a party for their 17-year-old, with alcohol involved.
Jul 21, 2022
Schools and ventilation, swapping food with the neighbours, and walking around the world
As another wave of COVID-19 hits, will ventilation and air filters be enough to keep staff and students safe at school? In the face of rising grocery prices, neighbours in Froggy Creek just outside of Brisbane, have taken to exchanging food they’ve grown or made themselves. And, what drove Angela Maxwell to spend six years walking the world by herself?
Jul 20, 2022
Medication squeeze, saving on energy and Annie's Boy
The cost-of-living is putting the pressure on, as more Australians forgo medications and doctor visits to put food on the table. So how can our system adjust? It's also sending electricity and gas prices sky high, so some tips on saving power from Your money explained's Emily Stewart. And boxing veteran Gary Todd tells the story of his mother and a difficult upbringing in his memoir Annie's Boy.
Jul 19, 2022
Bridging the education divide, success and aspiration
A new report highlights the divide between educational outcomes for city vs country kids, we find out why and what could help. Plus engineer Laurena Basutu challenges our perceptions of her profession. And what happens when the goals we aspire to are different from those of our parents?
Jul 18, 2022
Country moves and the consequences of escaping the city
For years, regional centres and smaller towns have cried out for a population boom to stem declining numbers. Now, following several lockdowns, former city-dwellers have flocked to the country. What will this growth mean for towns, services, and the liveability of regional areas?
Jul 17, 2022
Big families and the jeans alteration gone wrong
Hand-me-down clothes, someone to hang out with 24-7, cold showers? If you came from a big family with lots of children, how do you feel it shaped you as a person? And in the Too Hard Basket, the case of the pair of vintage flared jeans that were ruined when they went in for alteration. Who should pay for that fashion mistake?
Jul 14, 2022
Teenage drug use, women and Christianity
There are reports of an increase in high school students taking illicit drugs they source on social media. How widespread is this behaviour and what can be done about it? Plus former preacher Louise Omer on her exploration into the place of women in religion, and Cath tells the story of a precious ring that belonged to her mother.
Jul 13, 2022
When apps misbehave, eating seasonally and child influencers
What recourse do consumers have when wronged by a digital platform? Not as much as you might think. We look into the complaints process and the quest for consumer protection online. Plus, how eating seasonally can help our bodies and our wallets. And how parents are managing the new wave of child social media stars.
Jul 12, 2022
Housing and climate risk, colour for your mood
How can climate risk data about the place in which you want to live be made more easily accessible, so you're fully informed before you move there? Plus we ask experts to fact check the popular belief that exposing yourself to bright colours can lift your mood, and Julie Peters on her role as an 'accidental archivist' of transgender culture.
Jul 11, 2022
Your questions about COVID-19 now
Australians aged 30 and older are now eligible for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, amid concerns around new COVID-19 sub-variants and a rise in Omicron infections. Life Matters takes your questions on reinfection rates, boosters and what you want to know about COVID-19 now.
Jul 10, 2022
Money and romantic relationships, letting go of a friendship
You might love your partner, and still not love the way they think about and handle money. So how can you figure that out? Plus how to move on when your best friend is not giving you what you need.
Jul 07, 2022
Truth telling and Michael Pollan on the psychedelic renaissance
When it comes to reconciliation with First Nations people, what's the best form of truth-telling? Plus journalist and author Michael Pollan on his new TV series 'How to Change Your Mind' about psychedelic drugs and their potential as treatments for some psychological disorders. And for Life in 500 Words, Andrew describes a family breakup, and a Christmas gift he was given by his dad.
Jul 06, 2022
Recycled fashion, teaching through children's stories and dogs in apartments
Clothing made from recycled materials sounds great for the environment, but experts say the trend isn't as green as it sounds. We look at how to make the most sustainable choice for your wardrobe. Plus, we meet First Nations authors teaching about culture through children's books. And, is it cruel to keep a dog in an apartment? We look at pooch options for flat-dwellers.
Jul 05, 2022
The future of telehealth and pressing pause on drinking in later life
For two years, many people accessed medical appointments through video and telephone consults, but longer telephone consultations will no longer be funded, concerning patients. Plus, visit childcare centres implementing bilingual programs. And Sober in the Country's Shanna Whan shares the joys and trials of lowering your alcohol intake.
Jul 04, 2022
NAIDOC Week and being an ally
This year's NAIDOC Week theme of Get Up! Stand up! Show up! calls for change and support for First Nations peoples and communities. So, what does enduring, meaningful allyship look like?
Jul 03, 2022
ABC 90th birthday special The Too Hard Basket LIVE
To mark the ABC's 90th birthday, Life Matters takes the Too Hard Basket to a live audience in Melbourne. The popular Friday segment is part of the ABC's long and proud history of tackling tricky interpersonal situations that many of us grapple with in our daily lives.
Jun 30, 2022
Young people and image based abuse, art therapy and plus sized op shopping
An increase in image-based abuse during the pandemic is one of the reasons behind the creation of a resource for young people called 'Scroll'. Plus how a nurse with burnout learned to help herself and other health workers with art therapy, and Pat finds a book owned by his dad, which raises questions. And how second hand shopping is more difficult when you're plus-size.
Jun 29, 2022
The High Court, activist brands and family-owned businesses
Is there a risk that Australia's High Court appointments could be ideologically appointed like in the US? And what impact would that really have on our lives? We investigate why we seem to know more about SCOTUS than our own apex court. Plus, do you have a preference for brands that have a "stance" on social issues? We take a look at brand activism and whether you should trust it.
Jun 28, 2022
Stigma is still one of the biggest barriers to abortion in Australia, and what it’s like to be a young widow
In the shadow of this week’s overturning of the Roe vs Wade ruling, new Australian research finds that access, stigma and affordability are still the biggest barriers women face when it comes to seeking an abortion. Also, is it better to be a generalist or a specialist in the current job market, and why many of us are awkward around other people’s grief. 
Jun 27, 2022
Privacy, your face and the rise of facial recognition
Several large retailers, including Kmart and Bunnings, already use facial recognition technology in their stores – collecting biometric data that is as unique as a fingerprint – but are customers aware of how their facial data is being captured and used?
Jun 26, 2022
The pain of falling out with a close friend, and should you discipline other people’s children
Conflict with close friends can be a significant event in adult life. We take your calls on how you’ve navigated the ups and downs of these relationships. And in the Too Hard Basket, your brother and sister-in-law tell you that their kids don’t respond well to discipline, so do you step in when your young niece and nephew behave badly, or do you tell their parents to step it up?
Jun 23, 2022
Menopause as an awakening and saving the reef
Former Dolly Magazine cover girl Alison Daddo reveals what she learned about menopause, and how it changed her life. Plus a farmer from Queensland who is helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and Monique's story for Life in 500 Words about her father and a fire horse doll.
Jun 22, 2022
Learning through play and ditching poor lockdown diets
Victoria and NSW are bringing in big changes to support a year of pre-school for all children, double what's offered now. We look at how play based learning became the hot topic in education and what play can do for kids' development. Plus, if you binged on processed comfort food in lockdowns, we learn how those eating habits might still be affecting your mental health.
Jun 21, 2022
Workforce Australia changes explained, songbirds and the quiz masters
Next month the "Job active" program is being replaced by the "Workforce Australia" scheme. How will this change the way jobseekers interact with the services that help them into work? Also, how does musician Murray Cook use music in prison to help build confidence and connectedness? And, we hear from TV quiz master Braydon Coverdale on the role of quizzing in his life and in contemporary Australia.
Jun 20, 2022
Who will be better off if stamp duty is scrapped?
The NSW government has announced it wants to scrap stamp duty in favour of an annual land tax. While it's been supported by economists, it is uncertain what impact the move could have on the housing crisis. So, what will it mean for you?
Jun 19, 2022
Coming out later in life, and how much should you cater to your vegan visitors
We hear your stories of coming out later in life, and how to date, explore sex, talk about it with friends and family and embrace your authentic self. And in the Too Hard Basket, how far should you go when it comes to catering to the dieting needs of your house guests? If your visitors are vegan, should the household only eat vegan food while they’re staying?
Jun 16, 2022
Male life expectancy and the female mid-life crisis
For medical issues that affect both sexes, more men than women will die, that's a fact. So what can be done to address the gender gap in life expectancy for men? Plus we explore the phenomenon of the midlife crisis in women, and in our Life in 500 Words segment, Jennifer tells us about a little embroidered harp which is precious to her.
Jun 15, 2022
Dowries, pies and a disability dystopia
Domestic violence is a pressing issue in Australia's growing South Asian migrant community. We look at how traditions of dowry, patriarchy and caste play a role and how we can intervene in culturally sensitive ways. Plus, Alice Zaslavsky has an ode to the humble pie. And we meet the team behind Shadow, the dystopian debut feature of acclaimed Australian neurodiverse theatre company Back to Back Theatre.
Jun 14, 2022
Can Australia get off gas?
In the past, we've been told gas was clean, cheap, and efficient. But, with prices on the rise, more and more people are disconnecting from the gas grid now. Why are they making this choice and how are they doing it?
Jun 13, 2022
Extreme bodies, the end of email and the Queen's visit
Why Jenny Valentish and others push their bodies to extremes. Plus a look back at the Queen's 1954 visit, and what she didn't see, and how to rid your life of annoying and interrupting emails that prevent you from getting on with your work.
Jun 12, 2022
Best advice about fatherhood, and how to juggle the roles of boss and friend
What’s the best advice you’ve received about fatherhood? We explore the bonds between a father and their child and how to keep that relationship strong. And in the Too Hard Basket, how do you manage being a boss and a friend of a work colleague, who seems to struggle with respecting your authority?
Jun 09, 2022
Reducing energy use and finding your community
While controlling energy supply and prices is difficult right now, experts say there is a lot that can be done on the demand side of the energy equation. Plus two men who left evangelical churches after spending their teenage years as pastors, explain how they are building community. Plus Alison Bechdel on exercise and super strength.
Jun 08, 2022
Insecure work, art and friendship, and the power of comfort dogs
The new federal government has IR reforms in its sights, but what if anything can be done about insecure work, and how did things get to this point? Forming bonds through a love of art. And comfort dogs hard at work in some unlikely workplaces, including courtrooms and funeral homes.
Jun 07, 2022
Tapping for stress relief, the rise of ‘cli-fi’, and the effectiveness of single-use plastic bans
Bans on single-use and thin plastics are now in place right around Australia, but how much of a difference do they really make? There’s growing interesting in tapping, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, as a drug-free strategy for stress relief. What is it and how does it help? And climate fiction is having it’s moment in the sun. What can this genre of fiction tell us that science can’t?
Jun 06, 2022
Julian Assange and the state's responsibilities for Australians detained abroad
What responsibility does the government have when Australians are detained overseas? Peter Greste and Kylie Moore-Gilbert share their experiences alongside film producer Gabriel Shipton, Julian Assange's brother.
Jun 05, 2022
Older women embracing their sexuality and what to do when you outgrow a friend
There are many cultural myths surrounding women’s sexuality as they age, and most are negative. We take your calls on how this culture has held back older women's sexual agency and how to get the pleasure you want as you age. And in the Too Hard Basket, how to deal with a friend you feel you’ve outgrown.
Jun 02, 2022
How to manage your gut problems and Helmut Newton's celebrity photographs
Doctors say more people have been presenting with gut problems in the past twelve months. We find out why that is and what can be done to address any related food intolerances. Plus celebrity photographer Helmut Newton's connection with Melbourne is explored in an exhibition at the city's Jewish Museum, and Mez Lanigan's Life in 500 words story about a cameo necklace that's precious to her.
Jun 01, 2022
University reform and the dark side of chivalry
Higher education is in crisis, and the Albanese government wants to reform it with a Universities Accord. We look at what needs to change at Australian universities. Plus, meet the retirees taking up opal mining in Lightning Ridge, and we look at whether chivalry in dating is actually a kind of sexism.
May 31, 2022
Depp versus Heard, understanding the unvaxxed and your best skin
As updates of the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation trial hit our news feeds daily, what effects are they having on us and what we believe? Also, two years into the pandemic, six per cent of Australians remain un-vaxxed, so what's behind their decisions? And, is there such thing as the science of skin care?
May 30, 2022
Australia's end of life laws
All Australian states have voluntary assisted dying legislation, leaving the ACT and Northern Territory as the only places without access. So how is it working in practice?
May 29, 2022
Cosmetic dentistry on the rise, and extravagant gift-giving in the Too Hard Basket
What’s driving the growth in cosmetic dentistry in Australia? Where do you draw the line between dentistry for cosmetic purposes and health purposes? And in the Too Hard Basket, what do you do when your child is given a birthday gift that’s completely over the top, costing way more than the average present?
May 26, 2022
True healing for Stolen Generations, living alone and learning to say no
How far have we progressed towards healing for Indigenous families impacted by forcible removal? Plus what we can learn from singletons about how to live alone well, and how to stop being a people-pleaser.
May 25, 2022
The future of aged care, negotiating pay and caravan accidents
Labor campaigned strongly on aged care reform in the lead up to the election. We take the magnifying glass to the new government's policies and whether they go far enough to futureproof a struggling sector. Plus, Emily Stewart explains how to negotiate your wages. And as grey nomads return to the roads, we look at how to stay safe driving RVs.
May 24, 2022
Schools and COVID update, death technology and moving house
Covid and other infectious diseases are running rife in schools right now. Are the measures in place to prevent spread going far enough and what are the risks for students and teachers? Also, with more of our lives being lived online, some innovators are thinking about how technology can also aid preparation for death. And, are there ways to approach moving house that take into account the emotional strain as well as the logistics?
May 23, 2022
Independents, influence and the teal sea
Election night saw a victory for teal independents, who campaigned on greater climate change action and a federal integrity commission, and minor parties. What will their presence mean for passing legislation in the lower house? And how effective is a hung parliament?
May 22, 2022
Online dating no longer the outlier, and lending an expensive drill to a mate and getting a cheap one back
Dating apps and online dating sites have totally transformed the way we search for love and relationships. Author Jennifer Pinkerton spent six years researching how this shift had changed Australia’s dating culture, for better or worse. And in the Too Hard Basket, what do you do when you lend your expensive drill to a good friend, only to have a different, and inferior quality, one returned to you?
May 19, 2022
Disability discrimination, citizen juries and slow pleasure
Why do people with disability still experience discrimination in their every day lives when there are already policies and programs in place to prevent it? Plus how to slow down and take care of yourself to improve your mental and physical health. And students at Western Sydney University get involved in a citizen jury process to have their voices heard.
May 18, 2022
The right COVID response and the perfect dinner party
COVID isn't over, and the 'let it rip' approach has left us with some the highest daily case numbers in the world. How did we get from fortress Australia to throwing in the towel, and do we need to go back to restrictions? Plus, Alice Zaslavsky dishes on the ultimate dinner party etiquette. And this National Volunteer Week, we spotlight volunteers working in natural disaster zones.
May 17, 2022
Holiday rental regulation, the pain of losing a child, and Bastian Fox Phelan on our evolving relationships to our bodies
The rental crisis is at a peak in Australia right now, and it's being argued that regulation of short term accommodation could help. What would have to happen to make this work? Also, as musician Nick Cave grieves his 31-year-old son, we ponder the particular pain of losing a child. And, Bastian Fox Phelan talks about finding their body to be an 'unwelcome place'.
May 16, 2022
Deciding the legal age to vote
With less than a week to go until the federal election, Life Matters asks how lowering the voting age could alter Australia's political landscape and the future of civic engagement.
May 15, 2022
Do we ever really feel grown up, later life dating, and enjoying the remoteness of SW Tasmania
Psychotherapist and journalist Moya Sarner explores why do so many of us struggle with feeling like a grown up, despite hitting many ‘adult’ milestones. The Too Hard Basket considers later life dating and whether it’s ok to not to continue seeing someone who has a health condition. And we head deep into remote Southwest Tasmania.
May 12, 2022
Wild weather and Lady Gaga's therapist
Is the weather we've been experiencing in Australia in the past year or two really unusual? We ask experts if the heavy rain is going to stop soon and what's behind the current weather pattern. Plus get tips on how to manage trauma from Lady Gaga's therapist, and learn how to manage a 'bad boss'.
May 11, 2022
Indigenous recognition and mental agility
Many Australians are in support of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, but it's still a long way off. How has First Nations recognition been implemented in other parts of the world and what can we learn from those experiences? Plus neuroscientist and performance coach Elaine Fox on how to build a flexible mindset, for better mental health.
May 10, 2022
NAPLAN testing, travel anxiety and eating weeds
NAPLAN starts this week around the country and, for the first time, all tests will be conducted online. What are the pros and cons and what can we expect? Also, how can we reduce our anxiety as we travel in the COVID age? And, have you ever thought of adding some weeds to your diet?
May 09, 2022
Inequality across generations
When it comes to the big milestones like building a career, having children or buying a home, will young people today follow the same linear route in life as their parents?
May 08, 2022
Michael Mackenzie hangs up his mic, parents behaving badly on the sidelines at kids’ sport and gift giving
After 33 years at the ABC, Michael Mackenzie is retiring. He shares one of his favourite stories from his time at Life Matters. We look at the important role that sports coaches play in children’s lives, and how parents can build a successful relationship with their kids’ coaches, for everyone’s benefit. And in the Too Hard Basket, what to do about a group gift when not everyone contributes.
May 05, 2022
Interest rate rises and savings, Running With Scissors from the archives, are my legs and feet ok?
With more interest rate rises expected, what impact does that have on people who rely on their savings? Life Matters brings you an archival interview from 2003 with author Augusten Burroughs after the release of his controversial memoir, Running with Scissors, and bow legs, pigeon toes and flat feet. Are they a threat to your long term health and mobility?
May 04, 2022
Robot recruitment, male friendships and Life Matters 30th birthday
Some job seekers are experiencing frustration when applying for positions via automated screening processes. Plus why men's friendships can fall by the wayside when they are in a romantic relationship. And today is Life Matters' official 30th Birthday! We hear an interview with Stephanie Dowrick from the 2000 and reflections from former presenter Natasha Mitchell.
May 03, 2022
Scandi housing coops, Ingrid Betancort and does posture matter?
Could innovative Scandinavian housing solutions work in Australia? Former Colombian senator Ingrid Betancort on being held captive by terrorists. And, a growing cohort of experts say we need to re-think the posture narrative.
May 02, 2022
Thirty years of change
Australian households have seen significant societal change since Life Matters first began in 1992. From roles within families, to work and relationships, and big shifts in housing, we look at the trends that have shaped the lives of Australians over the last 30 years.
May 01, 2022
Rural health systems pushed to the brink, Shirley MacLaine’s love for her dog, and is my neighbour snubbing me?
Rural health practitioners argue that staff shortages have reached such a crisis point that patients’ lives are being put at risk. How did things get so bad, and what, if anything, can be done to fix a broken regional health system? From the Life Matters archives, a 2004 interview with Shirley MacLaine, and an apparent snub from a neighbour in this week’s Too Hard Basket.
Apr 28, 2022
Gun control since Port Arthur, Margaret Scott from the archives, Yia Yia next door
It's 26 years to the day since the Port Arthur Massacre. So where is gun control in 2022? From our 30th birthday archives, the late Tasmanian poet Margaret Scott reflects on the impact of the tragedy, and two brothers share the joy and love that comes with food passed over the fence by their neighbour in the wake of loss.
Apr 27, 2022
Digital 'town squares' and managing debt
Is Twitter really the best place for global public debate, or could we design a better way to discuss important issues and build community? Plus tips to manage your debt levels as the cost of living increases, and for Life Matters 30th birthday celebrations, an interview with Jess Thom, who manages her Tourette Syndrome by using humour.
Apr 26, 2022
Are we in the age of political apathy?
We’re in the middle of an election campaign right now, but how engaged are we in the political process? Some figures suggest Australians are increasingly disengaged from politics. And Richard Aedy shares his memories of hosting Life Matters for six years.
Apr 25, 2022
Pen friends, and a war hero changes his mind about trauma
Gary McKay MC reflects on the physical and emotional scars left by war and why we should do more to support veterans and serving members of the defence forces. Plus for Life Matters 30th birthday, we revisit an interview about redemption. And former Life Matters book reviewer Jon Appleton on pen friends.
Apr 24, 2022
Embracing the power of bittersweet, and film critic John Hinde from the Life Matters archives
Author Susan Cain explains why it’s important to feel sadness, melancholy and heartache in a world of ‘toxic positivity’. From the Life Matters archives, the late John Hinde, beloved film critic, chats to Geraldine Doogue in 2002. And in The Too Hard Basket, what to do when you feel excluded by your partner’s family.
Apr 21, 2022
Men's hair challenges, the quality of Australian education in 2009 and 2022
How intertwined is men's body hair and how they're perceived as public and private figures? We examine the ability of our education systems to play to the strengths of individual students, and whether anything has changed between 2009 and 2022.
Apr 20, 2022
Micro-parties and batch cooking
What are the pros and cons of casting your vote for a micro-party at the next election? Plus a Life Matters interview from 2013 about open relationships, and some tips on preparing meals in advance.
Apr 19, 2022
What's your experience of 'living with COVID' been like?
Not long ago, COVID daily case numbers in double figures were a cause for alarm, but these days cases are in the thousands. So, how are we all feeling about this new experience of life with COVID, and what might lie ahead, as winter approaches?
Apr 18, 2022
Nature and grief, rethinking motherhood
Indira Naidoo on losing her sister, and how time spent in nature helped her through the grief process. Plus journalist Gina Rushton spent nine months reconsidering her earlier decision not to have children, after a medical emergency threatened her own fertility.
Apr 17, 2022
Creative writing generates sparks in older brains, Breaking Bad star talks openly from the 30th archive
The power and sheer entertainment that comes from setting creative tasks for older Australians. Plus in our 30th Birthday archival interview former host, Natasha Mitchell talks to then 23-year-old actor and disability advocate R.J. Mitte about his role in Breaking Bad and beyond.
Apr 14, 2022
Flood housing aftermath, Angie Bowie from the archives, tales from a cattle station
What are the long term housing solutions for flood affected communities in NSW and Qld? We dig into the archives for a famously prickly conversation with Angie Bowie, and for 23 years, Sally Warriner worked on a huge cattle station in the Northern Territory. Her title for this role? "Wife of the general manager."
Apr 13, 2022
Teens and vaping, refugees from Afghanistan
Reports of students taking toilet breaks to vape and even using them in classrooms are alarming. We find out how to tackle addictive vaping behaviour in young people. Plus interviews, then and now with refugees from Afghanistan who attended Holroyd High School in 2005, and their former principal, Dorothy Hoddinott AO.
Apr 12, 2022
Navigating a sliding property market and public toilet anxiety
With the cost of living going up and people worrying about making their mortgage repayments in the coming years, what strategies could help you cope? And, how might the 'Great Dunny Hunt' help those with incontinence move about the world?
Apr 11, 2022
What you vote on at the ballot box
With a federal election called for May 21, voters now face a six-week campaign of party pledges, pitches, and polls. But what issues matter the most?
Apr 10, 2022
The ripple effects of overworked and overwhelmed GPs, James Freud from the archives, and the dynamics of a troubled choir
Peak medical groups argue that the country’s primary health care system is in crisis. And the consequences could be catastrophic for patients. From the Life Matters archives, a 2007 interview with lead singer from the Models, James Freud, a few years ahead of his untimely death. And the Too Hard Basket considers what to do when someone crashes your community choir.
Apr 07, 2022
Politics of fear, a former PM from the archives, can reality tv teach us about relationships?
What are the impacts of scare campaigns on election outcomes and voter intentions? In our 30th anniversary series, former PM the late Malcolm Fraser opens up about his new life to Norman Swan, and what relationship lessons, if any, can we take from watching reality tv?
Apr 06, 2022
Prolonged grief and the legacy of Dolly the sheep
Prolonged grief was recently added to the US psychologist's diagnostic manual and is now considered a mental health condition. So, how long should you grieve for? Plus, the legacy of Dolly the sheep and the future of cloning.
Apr 05, 2022
What does climate justice look like? Parenting with ADHD, and Mary Robinson
As people around the world experience climate change, the push for 'climate justice' intensifies. But where does that term come from and what does it mean? Also, what's it like to parent when you have ADHD, and a Life Matters 30th anniversary interview from the archives with Ireland's first female president, Mary Robinson.
Apr 04, 2022
How older workers could benefit from lower unemployment
With unemployment rates relatively low, there many be an opportunity for people in middle age and older who can often experience age discrimination when looking for jobs. But how realistic is it to expect long held views about older workers to change?
Apr 03, 2022
Sleep-deprived teens, Pamela Stephenson from the archives, and calling someone ‘hon’
How to talk to teenagers about why sleep matters, in a way that won’t get them rolling their eyes at you. In the Too Hard Basket, is it fair enough to feel annoyed when your younger colleague calls you, and everyone else, love, hon or darl? And from the Life Matters’ archives, Pamela Stephenson reflects on life with Billy Connolly.
Mar 31, 2022
Public transport failures, Keating from the archives, and was fishing better in the old days?
New research indicates many of our larger towns and cities are failing to provide adequate public transport to those who need it most, our 30th birthday archive interview features former PM Paul Keating, and a long time angler and fish scientist discusses his history and our sustainable future.
Mar 30, 2022
Budget 2022 — Temporary cost of living relief and Life Matters 30th anniversary chat with Jane Fonda
The 2022 Budget has delivered more than eight billion dollars of cost of living relief including a $250 one-off payment for people on pensions and welfare, a $420 tax offset for low and middle income earners and the fuel excise is being halved for six months. Will it be enough to persuade voters and as part of Life Matters 30th birthday celebrations a little chat with Jane Fonda.
Mar 29, 2022
Growing up in the country and Life Matters 30th anniversary- remember Y2K?
Many of us have romanticised ideas about the community spirit of a life in the bush, but what does life really look like for children growing up in regional, rural and remote Australia? Also, Life Matters kicks off its 30th anniversary special series remembering and re-examining the threat that, in 1999, had the whole world in a panic - the Y2K bug.
Mar 28, 2022
Who are funerals for?
From socially distanced mourners to funerals held over zoom, the pandemic disrupted the grieving process for many families and changed longstanding traditions to mark the passing of, and celebrate, loved ones. What will this mean for the future of how we grieve and honour the deceased?
Mar 27, 2022
The real health effects of mould, leadership through the eyes of children, and fighting over a cat
Household mould has been linked to everything from asthma to depression, but what does the science say about the real harms of these kinds of fungal outbreaks? Who do children perceive as leadership material? And in the Too Hard Basket, who gets the cat?
Mar 24, 2022
What values do we invest in our pets, and is concrete the best material to make resilient roads?
The role animals play in our lives has changed markedly over the centuries. So what values do they represent for us these days? The utter destruction of roads in floods and fires has prompted the question; is it time to rebuild using a more resilient, but more expensive material, concrete?
Mar 23, 2022
Outer suburban identity, food hang ups and defying the odds to walk again
One in five Australians live in outer suburbs but liveability isn't keeping up with housing growth, so how do you smash the soulless stigma and foster a sense of community and why some people have food baggage or hang-ups well into their adulthood.
Mar 22, 2022
What is lateral violence? Do boycotts work? And the politicisation of skin
Lateral violence is when people in the same group bully their peers, or those further down the hierarchy. How is this playing out in the healthcare profession? Also, as the conflict in Ukraine continues, can consumer boycotts influence how things play out? And, how does our skin affect how we move through the world?
Mar 21, 2022
Rockets, feathers and why you're paying more for fuel
Oil is behind every process and product. It ships your online order, gets your vegetables to the greengrocer, and likely runs your car. Skyrocketing petrol prices can have big ramifications for households, but experts say those prices will be far slower to fall.
Mar 20, 2022
Life-saving tips from one of the world’s leading sleep experts, creating a more ethical fashion industry, and driver etiquette
Neuroscientist Matt Walker says we need to find gentler ways to drift off to sleep. He shares tips and tricks that will literally help save your life. We visit The Social Outfit, an initiative that’s reviving skills and building social connections in the fashion industry. And The Too Hard Basket tackles driver etiquette.
Mar 17, 2022
The pros and cons of returning to work, why a serial dater likes being single, anatomy of a fraudster
We're being encouraged to return to the workplace. So what are the pros and cons? Aimée Lutkin is single and has been for six years and she wants us to be more ok with that. Elizabeth Holmes, Simon Leviev and Bernie Madoff. Why are we taken in and then entranced by modern fraudsters?
Mar 16, 2022
Long COVID and chronic fatigue, problem solving through art and is it OK to lie to someone with dementia?
Long COVID could affect tens of thousands of Australians, by the end of this year but there are already 250 thousand people living with similar symptoms from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Can their experience help us better manage long COVID and ME/CFS?
Mar 15, 2022
Whose job is it to buffer communities from natural disasters?
As climate change worsens and natural disasters become more frequent, can we keep relying on private insurance to bail us out? If not, how big is the role of government, at various levels, compared to individual householders?
Mar 14, 2022
Helen Garner reflects on marriage and Merlin Sheldrake ruminates on fungi
Renowned Australian author Helen Garner steps back in time to the mid-90s in the latest instalment of her personal diaries. Biologist and writer Merlin Sheldrake goes on a literally mind-bending journey into the magical world of fungi. And listener Bill Boyd shares his true confession.
Mar 13, 2022
How a few science-based tweaks to your diet can change your life, and what to do about the book club bossy boots
Biochemist and mathematician Jessie Inchauspe argues that managing our intake of glucose, and the sequence in which we eat food containing it, can have a massive influence on our health and how we feel day to day. And we tackle a book club dilemma in the Too Hard Basket.
Mar 10, 2022
Rising food prices, loving Benedict Cumberbatch, teaching schools to embrace A.I.
Grocery prices have been rising, so is that the new normal? Why one parent and author has a crush on Benedict Cumberbatch, and educating staff and students to embrace the potential of artificial intelligence.
Mar 09, 2022
Questioning our biases in war coverage, resolving family conflict and how a yak is helping kids understand food intolerance
Life Matters looks at the amount and type of media attention given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, compared to other global conflicts, re-evaluating relationships with relatives, the experts explain when you should cut ties with family and how author Alex Mangano created a fictional yak to help explain food intolerance to children
Mar 08, 2022
Getting in touch with your power, menopause in the workplace and songwriter Lo Carmen
Public speaker and author Kemi Nekvapil explains how to take control of our lives, gender experts talk about what a menstrual policy at work could look like and songwriter Lo Carmen reflects on the self-inventing women who have inspired her.
Mar 07, 2022
Extraordinary compassion in the face of catastrophe
During a disaster or tragedy, it's heartening to see how many people selflessly lend a hand. That charitable spirit has been demonstrated across northern NSW and south-east Queensland, with volunteers and community members alike pitching in to help. Life Matters shares your stories of acts of kindness.
Mar 06, 2022
Why the Gonski Review failed, and the latest flood emergency highlights the value of regional newspapers
Ten years since the release of the Gonski Review, education experts argue that its failure was more in the implementation than the design. But there are important lessons to be learnt from the last decade. Also, the value of local regional newspapers highlighted by this week’s floods, and in The Too Hard Basket, do you intervene in fights between other people’s children?
Mar 03, 2022
Ukrainian Australians fear for loved ones, the agony and ecstasy of being bipolar, micro weddings and elopements on the rise
Ukrainian Australians shares their stories and concerns over their loved ones in the midst of the conflict, children's' author Matt Ottley writes about the agony and ecstasy of being bipolar, and the pandemic driven surge in couples eloping or holding micro weddings.
Mar 02, 2022
Wendy McCarthy on being too polite, bank accounts for children and Tasmanian trailblazer Eleanor McCormack
Named one of the 100 women who shaped Australia, feminist Wendy McCarthy talks about leadership and ways to fight for your rights. Also what's the best way to teach children about saving and why Tasmanian First Nations woman Eleanor McCormack came back home.
Mar 01, 2022
Lismore floods update, preparing for a career change and parenting with a disability
As record floods continue to batter Lismore in NSW, how are people getting through? Also, has there been a great resignation or are people just exhausted? And, what's it like to parent with a disability?
Feb 28, 2022
Australia, Mardi Gras and LGBTQIA+ rights
LGBTQIA+ rights have undergone significant change since the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 44 years ago, which saw 53 people arrested. Advocates and listeners share the issues and events that continue to shape the rights of LGBTQIA+ Australians in 2022.
Feb 27, 2022
The fascinating history of addiction, and what to do when work and friendships collide
In his new book The Urge, psychiatrist Dr Carl Erik Fisher explores the history of addiction, and opens up about his own struggles with drugs and alcohol. The Too Hard Basket tackles a workplace dilemma and what to do about regional Australia’s skills shortage.
Feb 24, 2022
Where are we with vaccines and mandates? The impact of feeling like an outsider
There are gaps and plateaus in our immunisation rates but there's also a new vaccine in the field. We discuss our current national status. Plus, taking your calls on what it means to be an outsider.
Feb 23, 2022
Misconceptions about perpetrators of family violence, and the future of tiny homes
New research has found that a third of Australian men who kill their female partners are middle-class, educated, and have no previous contact with the criminal justice system. Plus we take a look at what's in school lunch boxes, and find out how an easing of restrictions around tiny houses may lead to a rise in the number of people living in them.
Feb 22, 2022
Indigenous communities and COVID, abandoned spaces and 50 questions for teens
Two years into the pandemic, we take a look at how Indigenous communities around the country have been affected so far. Also, now that the Winter Olympics has closed and another Olympic village is abandoned, we think about what it is that makes abandoned buildings so fascinating. And teacher and author Daisy Turnbull brings us some tips on how to get your teens to open up.
Feb 21, 2022
Is Australia ready to embrace the four-day work week?
With many of us reconsidering how much we work, alternative work arrangements that once seemed impossible now feel within reach. A growing number of countries and companies are experimenting with the four-day work week. But is it realistic for Australia?
Feb 20, 2022
Creating new national parks and the spicy magic of Blachung
How do you ensure a sustainable future for national parks that meets the needs of traditional owners, other locals, and the flora and fauna? What makes the spicy Asian condiment Blachung such an essential ingredient for so many Indigenous families in the Northern Territory? And in The Too Hard Basket, minding other people’s children.
Feb 17, 2022
Is NDIS funding under threat? A sensory revolution, why digital subscriptions are draining our wallets
Are parts of the NDIS conducting budget cuts by stealth? Users speak out. Why our senses are being assailed like no other time in history, and the insidious nature of digital subscriptions.
Feb 16, 2022
Single-sex schools and exercise after COVID
What are the advantages and disadvantages of single sex schools, and how do they impact on children and young people who are developing their gender identity? Plus former ABC TV's One Plus One host Jane Hutcheon on how to have a powerful conversation with your friends, family and colleagues. Also, some tips on the best way to reintroduce exercise into your life, if you're getting over COVID.
Feb 15, 2022
E-scooter safety and holding grudges talkback
E-scooters are becoming more and more popular these days, but how safe are they for the scooter riders and the pedestrians and drivers sharing space with them? Also, how long is too long when it comes to holding a grudge?
Feb 14, 2022
Healthy relationships and how pop culture can shape your expectations
From Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, to the modern couples on Married at First Sight, can pop culture warp your perception of romantic relationships? And what makes a healthy relationship anyway?
Feb 13, 2022
Australia’s bright electric future, and the history of underwear
Entrepreneur and inventor Saul Griffith has a bold plan for Australia: electrify everything. So how would that work in reality? The history of women’s undergarments and how they’ve shaped femininity. And The Too Hard Basket tackles body odour.  
Feb 10, 2022
Australian borders re-open to tourism, the best way to teach consent, Big Data explained
North Queensland tourism operators discuss the re-opening of Australia's borders, which methods of education are best to teach consent, and explaining the enormous influence of Big Data on what global corporations know about us.
Feb 09, 2022
How has child development been affected by COVID? The uncertain fate of local newspapers
With school now back for children and young people across the country, we discuss how everyone is settling back in and what you can do to help the child in your life overcome any detrimental effects of the pandemic. Plus the availability of local news outside of capital cities is subject to a parliamentary inquiry with submissions closing soon. How has your community been affected by the decline of regional newspapers?
Feb 08, 2022
Homelessness health, charity challenges and Indigenous thinking to change your life
When you don't have a stable place to call home, it has a major impact on your wellbeing, but exactly how much is your health affected? And how much do charity challenges like FebFast change our habits? Also, how did one man's mid-life crisis lead him back to his traditional way of life?
Feb 07, 2022
The price of pausing elective surgery
The ongoing impact of the pandemic has meant many Australians have faced lengthy wait times for elective surgery, but with surgeries set to resume in some capacity in NSW and Victoria from February 7, what effect has the delay had on patients' health outcomes?
Feb 06, 2022
Addressing the shortfall in Indigenous doctors, living with dementia, and dealing with a narcissistic ex
Destiny Kynuna, from Yarrabah in Far North Queensland, is a psychiatric nurse who’s about to graduate from medical school. Seeing First Nations people over-represented in the mental health system has further fuelled her passion to make a difference. Wendy Mitchell shares her surprising story of living with dementia. And in the Too Hard Basket, should listener Meredith let her narcissistic ex-partner back into her life?
Feb 03, 2022
How to boost the aged care workforce and dropping our standards when it comes to productivity and perfectionism
What, if anything, would encourage more people to consider taking a job in the embattled aged care sector? Experts argue the Government’s new one-off payments of $800 won’t make a real difference and more fundamental reform is needed. And we take your calls on how to let go of the never-ending to-do list.
Feb 02, 2022
Hot rental properties and fixing your home loan interest rate
It's the hottest time of the year and many renters are really feeling it, especially if the properties they live in are not properly cooled. So what can be done about it? Plus we take a look at whether or not this is a good time to fix the interest rate on your home loan, and find out how to recognise the early signs of hoarding disorder in young people.
Feb 01, 2022
Everything you need to know about rapid antigen tests and ethical investing
Rapid antigen tests or RATs have become a big part of our lives, but there are 23 of them currently approved by the TGA for use at home, and they're all a bit different. So, how do you know which is best and how do you get the best out of them? Also, author Nicole Haddow on how to invest ethically and make money doing it.
Jan 31, 2022
Behind the shadow lockdown
Amid greater freedoms and a surge in Omicron cases, many people in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne opted for their own self-imposed lockdown over summer, according to mobility data. Have you altered your behaviour? And how do you cope when a lockdown is self-imposed?
Jan 30, 2022
Private versus public schools, Australia’s first science gallery, and how to deal with a chronic borrower
Enrolments in private schools have been surging in recent years, but when it comes to results, are the fees really worth it? How to say no to your neighbour who borrows but doesn’t return your things. Young people’s mental health stories on show at Australia’s first science gallery.
Jan 27, 2022
Digital overdiagnosis, the amazing history of human exercise
Is wearable tech leading to us "over monitoring" our own health? And a new book called Sweat charts the extraordinary history of human exercise from the Ancient Greeks through to Jane Fonda and beyond.
Jan 26, 2022
Sport and social change
Former international cricketer for Australia, Alex Blackwell, helped put women's cricket on the map, and was the first female international cricketer to come out as gay. Plus we revisit a story about AFL and how community sport can provide solutions to racism and discrimination that might filter up, and effect real change at the elite level.
Jan 25, 2022
Boundaries at work and online safety
If you feel like you're still on the clock when you leave work, get some tips on how to set boundaries. Plus how to make a complaint via the Online Safety Act, and the best time for kids to learn to swim.
Jan 24, 2022
Starting the school year during a COVID outbreak
Parents, students and teachers are about to commence the mammoth task of going back to school under their relevant state and territory COVID-safe plan. So what are the challenges and how will they be navigated in order to keep schools open?
Jan 23, 2022
The power of silence
How to appreciate the benefits of silence in our lives, through mindfulness and meditation. Plus the final episode in our series The Good Divorce, looks at what happens when you move on, into a blended family.
Jan 20, 2022
Embracing the Australian way of life and sunny nihilism
American journalist Damien Cave on learning to participate in community, and navigate nippers culture with his children. Plus how a meaningless life can make you truly happy.
Jan 19, 2022
Making time to breathe
Some of us are more prone to perfectionism than others, and this can be a long slow ride towards burnout. Find out what you can do to avoid it. Plus Indigenous land management and food production in the south west of Western Australia.
Jan 18, 2022
Getting a job and Boori Monty Pryor
If you're thinking about switching jobs or your career direction, we have some useful advice. Plus inaugural Australian Childrens' Laureate Boori Monty Pryor on telling Indigenous stories to children.
Jan 17, 2022
Balancing your digital life and body positive hiking
We spend so much of our lives looking at small screens, and it's really hard to avoid them in daily life. So how can we manage our use of these devices? Plus outdoor exercise in a safe body-positive space and conscious uncoupling with Katherine Woodward-Thomas in The Good Divorce.
Jan 16, 2022
Volunteering benefits and managing a breakup
Stories about the benefits of volunteering, for individuals, and the community as a whole. Plus the science of relationship breakups and how to deal with them, from an accidental expert on the topic.
Jan 13, 2022
50 years of delivering babies and fishing with Clarke Gayford
Trail-blazing obstetrician Caroline de Costa talks through the advances made during her career. Plus sustainable fishing with Clarke Gayford, television and radio host, and fiance of New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern.
Jan 12, 2022
Reclaim your life and overcome bad habits
Are past traumas holding you back from a happier life? Plus the history of life for First Nations people on 'The Flats' in Northern Victoria, and some evidence-based ways of forming healthy habits.
Jan 11, 2022
Psychic tests and history of period advertising
An investigation into the world of psychics and mediums. Plus the strange ways sanitary products for periods have been advertised over the years, and what Ingrid learned from swimming in local waterways in New Zealand.
Jan 10, 2022
What it means to be a man and pushing bodies to the extreme
Can vulnerability and masculinity coexist? Plus what drives some people to take on punishing physical challenges, and a journey through new age beliefs.
Jan 09, 2022
Author Paul Jennings on his life so far
Much loved childrens' book author Paul Jennings delves into his own backstory. Plus how online communities have thrived for 'sewists' and Ross Johnston on why he took up long distance trail running as a 65 year-old.
Jan 06, 2022
Healthy ageing for women and climbing in New Zealand
A world-first longitudinal study reveals what keeps women healthy as they age. Plus the story of two Elizabeths from Australia's early colonial history, risking it all on a mountain in New Zealand and juggling motherhood and a career in the fashion world.
Jan 05, 2022
Being frugal and finding a lost love
Tips on how to save money and overcome your attraction to buying the latest thing. Plus Ray and Liz reignite their love after decades apart, and how to have an adventure in your own backyard.
Jan 04, 2022
Soil, 138 dates and micronations
How soil can help in the fight against climate change. Plus how entrepreneur Rebekah Campbell used spreadsheets and dating apps to help her find love, and why Australians are drawn to micronations.
Jan 03, 2022
How to fake being tidy
What's the relationship between your home looking 'tidy' and it being clean, and how can you achieve this without too much effort? Plus how a near death experience helped Kaya Wilson choose a new life.
Jan 02, 2022
Talking to the animals and gardens for mental health
How animals can make the lives of adults and children better. Plus getting more nature into your life as a way to improve your mental health.
Dec 30, 2021
Tackling financial inequality and The 530 Club
A discussion about class and poverty in Australia, recorded at the Yarra Valley Writers Festival with Rick Morton, Dennis Glover and Glyn Davis. Plus how early risers are kicking goals at 5.30am.
Dec 29, 2021
Treating incontinence and ageless friendships
It's a tricky topic, but an important one - how to tackle incontinence. Plus a project to change place names in one part of Victoria to better reflect the contribution of women, and a special friendship between a teenager and and 80-year-old.
Dec 28, 2021
Rev Bill Crews and death match wrestling
Bill Crews on his early life and career, and how he learned to accept himself through the eyes of others. Plus journalist and writer Huda Hayek on her book for children and we take you to a "death match".
Dec 27, 2021
Growing up with disability and a history of neckties
What it's like living with disability, knitting for climate action, why we wear neckties, and Mark and Alonso on their live-in relationship.
Dec 26, 2021
Nature up close and joining the circus
It's holiday time for many and a good opportunity to get a dose of nature with Off Track's Dr Ann Jones. Plus a womens' circus that's celebrating thirty years of helping participants stay fit and have fun.
Dec 23, 2021
What we believe in and why
Businesses need profits, but we need to stay healthy - what happens when those interests collide? Plus being a lapsed catholic and how different beliefs shape the lives of their followers.
Dec 22, 2021
Raising girls and walking in the Scenic Rim
A mum and dad's plan to research the evidence about how to bring up female children for their own lives, is now available for all to share. Plus how digital advances can help us get healthy and a writer meets the residents of his local community, so he can tell their stories.
Dec 21, 2021
Managing memory lapses, Tim Olsen and rigging ships
World famous neuroscientist Lisa Genova on how to let go of those 'senior moments' and take care of your brain. Plus what it's like when your father is a leading artist, and a closer look at the very specialised skill of ship rigging.
Dec 20, 2021
What it would take for us to all be healthy by 2030
We kick off RN Summer for Life Matters with a focus on good health for all. A group of public health experts have come together to create a vision and a plan for how we could achieve healthy outcomes for all Australians by 2030.
Dec 19, 2021
What you cooked when you left home and the Christmas wrapping conundrum
Many of us left home with negligible chopping skills, but some meals stand the test of time. Listeners share their recipes after leaving home and the meals they continue to make. Plus, your friend has made Furoshiki Christmas wrapping for her presents, now how does she ask for it back?
Dec 16, 2021
Where are we after a year of speaking out? Breaking up with online, tips to avoid holiday regression
In 2021, has Australia made progress in tackling sexism and sexual violence against women? How to slightly break up with your mobile phone, and tips to avoid regressing to your younger self when gathering with family this summer.
Dec 15, 2021
First Nations Voice to Parliament
How far have we progressed in the work towards recognising Indigenous people in the constitution, and or a First Nations Voice to Parliament? Plus can exercising in very small bursts help you stay fit?
Dec 14, 2021
Booster update, 'living with 100 grandparents' and insomnia meets sleep apnoea
Australian adults can now get COVID boosters five months after their second vaccine dose. What questions do you have about booster shots or the booster rollout? Also, meet the award-winning 22-year-old who volunteers in aged care. And, what happens when insomnia and sleep apnoea combine?
Dec 13, 2021
The joy of travelling solo
With state barriers coming down and Australians able to go overseas, more travel is on the cards. Some love to journey with others, but there is a certain freedom that comes from embarking on a solo adventure. Experts and listeners discuss what you need to know to do it safely.
Dec 12, 2021
Together but living apart, and a one-sided conversation
Forget living together to make a romantic relationship "official", more couples are choosing commitment without sharing a home. Plus, increasing accessibility and inclusivity in live music venues. And what should you do when you're stuck in a one-sided conversation with your neighbour?
Dec 09, 2021
Vaccination rollout for younger children, encouraging change for the better, global meat consumption still rising
We take your questions on the TGA giving provisional approval for the use of Pfizer in children aged 5-11. Why we're resistant to change, and what we can do about that, and why only six countries have reached their peak in meat consumption.
Dec 08, 2021
Changing place names and a black box for the Earth
The re-naming of places to better reflect peoples' connection to them is becoming more common in Australia. What's been the experience of those affected by changing these names, either good or bad? And a team are building the world's first black box for climate change in a remote part of Tasmania, we'll find out what it will record and capture.
Dec 07, 2021
Valuing teachers, pet friendly places and the right to repair
As public school teachers in NSW go on strike for the first time in a decade, we explore what might keep more people interested in teaching. And, with dog ownership on the rise around the country, we think about how Australia can become a more pet-friendly nation. Also, what are the Productivity Commission's new recommendations about our rights to repair?
Dec 06, 2021
Treading lightly on the planet this Christmas
It’s been a year to remember, or possibly forget. Either way, end-of-year festivities could take on an extra intensity this time around. But without a bit of planning, we can all end up throwing away unused food and unwanted gifts. Fear not, advice is at hand on how to stop this happening.
Dec 05, 2021
Passwords, play and the working lives of people with disability in WA
Play isn’t just for children. Can adults reap similar mental and physical health benefits using seniors exercise parks? Plus, the working lives of people with disability in Broome, WA. And what do you do when a club member resigns and takes the passwords with them?
Dec 02, 2021
Trolling transparency, your brain and work, treating eating addiction
Will proposed anti-trolling legislation do the job in curbing online bullying and abuse? How our brains could be sabotaging our ability to work well, and the complexities of treating addictive overeating.
Dec 01, 2021
Examining the evidence on vaping as a way to quit smoking
Some smokers say vaping nicotine has helped them quit cigarettes for good, but how strong is the evidence for the efficacy and long term safety of this approach? Plus a discussion about the way we consider and treat wild animals, and stories of lust, love and loss from war.
Nov 30, 2021
Vaccine equity and travel planning
With the emergence of the new Omicron variant around the globe, is Australia doing it's part to contribute to international vaccination efforts? And, if you're planning a trip overseas or inter-state in the not too distant future, how are you preparing before you go?
Nov 29, 2021
Safeguarding the mental health and lives of serving personnel and veterans
Today, the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide begins public hearings in Brisbane. Veteran experts, who are using their training in psychiatry and sociology to help other service people, join Life Matters to discuss their work. Listeners share insights into defence life and discuss the changes they hope will flow from the royal commission.
Nov 28, 2021
How to combat a sedentary lifestyle and a rambunctious four-legged flatmate
How do you find the motivation and time to exercise if you've been inactive for a while? Plus, not all kids are returning to swimming lessons and swim educators say that's a problem. And what do you do when your flatmate's new dog begins to encroach on your life?
Nov 25, 2021
Vaccine mandate futures and overcoming the 'loyalty tax'
From February 1st 2022, the Austrian government will make covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all their citizens, the first country in Europe to do so. So what is the future of covid-19 vaccine mandates in this country? Plus we take your calls on how you've overcome inertia of a 'loyalty tax' in shopping for better deals on loans, insurance, and other financial contracts.
Nov 24, 2021
Making a mo-hair suit and disability and employment
Advocates say there is still a lot of work to be done to remove barriers to employment for those living with disability, we explore some of the actions that could help. Plus how to 'move on' when you know you've already invested too much in something or someone, and why one woman made a suit from men's moustache hair.
Nov 23, 2021
Skin cancer action, migrant women in business and online mentoring
New research shows many of us still don't include sun protection in our daily routine. Is it time for the next Slip, Slop, Slap campaign? Also, meet the founder of a nation-wide network of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds aiming to secure their futures through business. And how can 15 minutes of mentoring per week improve student happiness?
Nov 22, 2021
The role of independents in Australia’s political system
There is a long and proud history of independent politicians playing a part in this country’s parliaments. But is this an effective form of representation for voters and does it end up getting the results people are looking for when they vote these candidates in? Life Matters speaks to the experts and we hear from listeners about their past and future voting patterns around independents.
Nov 21, 2021
Waste as a resource, sustainability on a plate and the regifting gaffe
Veena Sahajwalla, Inventor and 2022 NSW Australian of the Year, on turning to waste as a solution to the climate crisis. Plus, creating sustainability through what we eat. And what can you do when a pair of silk pillowcases becomes the unwanted prize in an instance of regifting gone wrong?
Nov 18, 2021
When children go missing, Majak Daw reflects on football, how to avoid greenwashing
When children go missing the impact on family and community can be profound, Majak Daw reflects back on his career as the first African born player to play professional AFL, and how to separate real sustainability from what's becoming rampant 'greenwashing'.
Nov 17, 2021
Treating COVID-19 at home and being single
Almost 200,000 people have contracted COVID-19 in Australia, and many of them haven't been treated in hospital. So what kind of monitoring and care will you get if you catch COVID? Plus your experiences of living a single life, and what you enjoy about it.
Nov 16, 2021
Boosting immigration, edible plants and Kaz Cooke
As worker shortages bite across Australia, is a boost to immigration the answer? Kaz Cooke on the history of bad and bonkers advice to women, and we meet the creator of the world's biggest plant compendium.
Nov 15, 2021
Have you been thinking about leaving your job?
Overseas, there has been a spike in people changing jobs, in a movement that has been called the 'Great Resignation'. While there are some signs that Australia could go the same way, experts remain undecided about whether this same trend will occur here. Listeners join Life Matters to discuss the role that work plays in their lives and whether they have been considering resigning from their job.
Nov 14, 2021
The cost of happiness and a career change at 50
Forget what you've heard — you can put a price on happiness, and a new study says it's becoming more expensive in Australia. Plus, join proud sistergirl and celebrated icon Crystal Love as she returns to the stage in Darwin. And after a PTSD diagnosis, Renee considers a late career change.
Nov 11, 2021
Coping with regional bank closures, the power of reading to my father
Australia's big banks continue to close branches in regional communities, and we take your calls on how you've adapted. Plus author Frances Prince describes the power of memory recall with her aging father, due to eight months of reading to him daily during lockdown.
Nov 10, 2021
A celebration of animals, Ausmusic month, and the plight of international students
Will international students return, what’s the state of our live music scene, and what’s behind author Susan Orlean’s fascination with animal-human relationships?  
Nov 09, 2021
Mental health and life insurance and the experiences of a global traveller through the pandemic
A lot of people obtained a mental health plan during the pandemic, but advocates say that seeking out that help could mean being penalised later on, if you try to get insurance. Is this discriminatory? Also, when the pandemic began, most travellers were desperate to get home, we meet one writer who kept travelling.
Nov 08, 2021
Birth order and what science says about its impact on your life
Birth order is often said to affect the way we all behave. But how much scientific evidence is there to support the claims that first, middle and youngest children will act in certain ways? Life Matters speaks to experts who grapple with the impact of birth order and relationships, and we hear from listeners about whether they feel this issue has moulded their personality or shaped their lives.
Nov 07, 2021
Using literacy to empower and the benefits of meditation
More than 40 per cent of Aboriginal adults in Australia are estimated to have low literacy, so what's being done to help? Plus, neuroscientist Steven Laureys on what prompted him to examine the benefits of meditation. And what should you do when your relationship with your partner lacks emotional intimacy?
Nov 04, 2021
People with disabilities behind in vaccination rates, Clem Ford reflects on how we love, the psychology of power dressing
As Australia opens up why are COVID vulnerable people with disabilities still not being vaccinated? Author and broadcaster Clementine Ford reflects on how love, and power dressing - it's fascinating history and what it looks like now.
Nov 03, 2021
Elective surgery blowouts, TikTok sensation AJ Clementine, and Walpole’s power solution
Why the AMA says elective surgery wait times are a sign that the health system is in crisis. Why a small town in regional WA is hoping to take control of its own power supply. And why finding her tribe saved transgender model and advocate AJ Clementine.
Nov 02, 2021
Helen Garner reflects on marriage and Merlin Sheldrake ruminates on fungi
Renowned Australian author Helen Garner steps back in time to the mid-90s in the latest instalment of her personal diaries. Biologist and writer Merlin Sheldrake goes on a literally mind-bending journey into the magical world of fungi. And listener Bill Boyd shares his true confession.
Nov 01, 2021
Real climate change leadership
As world leaders gather for the all-important COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, Life Matters takes your calls on what real leadership looks like when it comes to climate change. Are politicians the ones you look to for leadership on climate action? Or are there others in your community leading the charge?
Oct 31, 2021
Game based training, food is love, rethinking insomnia, standing out in a small town
Helping children with learning difficulties, changing the way we think about insomnia and cooking with Jewish grandparents. NB: This episode is a repeat as the live program was disrupted by power outages.
Oct 28, 2021
Our gambling culture, a new book tackles female taboos, composing in an Icelandic fjord
In the wake of the findings against Crown Casino, what is our nation's cultural attitude to gambling? The Ladies We Need To Talk podcast now has a book tackling female taboos, Australian pianist and composer Heather Shannon challenges her own perfectionism deep within an Icelandic fjord
Oct 27, 2021
Avoiding the pitfalls of estate planning, and how electric vehicles will help us reach net zero
What’s the Federal Government’s roadmap for reducing transport emissions by 2050, and how will electric cars and other new technology contribute to this? And your questions answered about how to create an estate plan.
Oct 26, 2021
Staff shortages and a new project from the creator of My Octopus Teacher
Since the start of the pandemic, due to border closures and lockdowns, restaurants and tourism operators were forced to let their workers go, but as life opens up again, many are facing unprecedented labour shortages. Will they be able to cope with the busy summer ahead? Also, how did one man's dive into the unknown ocean bring emotions hidden deep within him up to the surface?
Oct 25, 2021
What will life be like as we open up?
Australia is opening up. Victoria is out of lockdown, and soon mask restrictions will ease there, and people will be able to travel more. With NSW at 80 per cent vaccination rates for those aged over 16, many more freedoms will be available. But living with the virus will be no picnic as we know from overseas experiences. Life Matters takes your calls on we learn from other countries, booster shots and the way forward through the pandemic.
Oct 24, 2021
Problems with solar panel deals and a neighbour's gate grumblings
One in four Australian homes now have solar systems, making it a booming industry. But how can you avoid paying too much, or being sold a faulty product? Listeners share their experiences. Plus, you've put cladding on your driveway gate, but your neighbour has taken offence – what should you do?
Oct 21, 2021
School refusal, access to the pill, and the history of picnics
School students of all ages have faced enormous disruption to their educational lives, so what impact does that have on attendance? Should the contraceptive pill be available over the counter without seeing a GP, and the quirky history of the picnic through an Australian lens
Oct 20, 2021
The benefits of extracurricular activities, babies and music, and YouTube goes wild for Mark the farmer
Are those after school karate classes really worth it? How does musical play contribute to babies’ early development? And why are more than a quarter of a million people tuning in to watch a young farmer do his job?
Oct 19, 2021