I’m a huge podcast tragic.
From true crime to weird radio plays, I like shoving as much of them into my ear holes as possible.
But despite my efforts, I realised that I don’t listen to as many Australian podcasts as I’d like. Sure, I have a few favourites, but I could be doing more to support local creators.
So I asked around the office to find out what the best Aussie podcasts are, and why I (and you) should be listening to them.
This article has been updated with EVEN MORE podcasts.
You can find most of these gems on your favourite podcast app. The couple that are only available on exclusive platforms have been flagged and linked out to.
Who The Hell Is Hamish?
This recommendation is from me. The latest true crime podcast from The Australian moves away from murder to focus on the wild story of an Aussie con artist whose career in ruining lives spans decades.
It’s absolutely incredible and will help fill the hole that Teachers Pete left once it was taken offline due to the trial commencing – Tegan.
“He was born Hamish Watson, a surfie dude from Sydney – but he could morph into whatever you needed him to be. Hamish is due to be sentenced to jail in early 2019 for swindling a handful of victims out of more than $7m.
But these crimes are just the final pages in a resume too thick to staple; for decades he’s duped victims in the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong and Australia. How did he do it? How did he evade authorities around the world for so long and what’s he done with all those tens of millions of dollars he stole?”
Let’s Talk About Sects
Another one from yours truly.
This is a good one if you like a bit of true crime but want to get away from straight murder. Let’s Talks Abut Sects dives into cults from around the world, including a bunch of Australian cases you’ve probably never heard of. The host Sarah Steel also writes and produces every episode from her bedroom, which is an incredible feat in itself.
What I really love is how carefully Steele treats the subject matter, victims and listeners. The show is incredible mindful when it comes to being balanced, as well as including trigger warnings regarding sensitive issues – Tegan.
“Let’s Talk About Sects is an award-winning monthly podcast focusing on a different cult each episode. Sarah takes a storytelling, deep dive approach, looking at the history of a sect’s leaders, the recruitment of members, their experiences, psychological aspects, and notable incidents during its existence.”
Boonta Vista is Ben McLeay’s podcast that I enjoy. Its politically based, pretty left leaning, but they also talk about a range of weird and wonderful things that have made me snort while on the bus because they’re so funny. I would recommend listening to this one on double speed as they all talk very slowly, but I listen to ALL my podcasts on double speed, so maybe I’m just weird- Elise.
“Allow Andrew, Ben, Lucy and Theo to take you through the landscape of Australian politics, media and culture.”
All Aussie Mystery Hour
Full disclosure, everyone in the office recommends this because it is created in-house by Josie and Melissa from PTV.
It takes a look at home grown murders and other assorted weird mysteries in a fun, conversation and fascinating way. Definitely one to check out if you’re a fan of My Favorite Murder – Tegan.
“Each episode, Pedestrian’s resident true crime nuts Josie and Mel bring a different unsolved Australian mystery yarn to the table and share their (often completely cooked) theories on what the f–k happened. From the Beaumont Children to the Lithgow Panther to the Somerton Man, each mystery is weirder than the last.”
It Burns With Marc Fennell
I never thought that a podcast about growing chilis could be so god damn compelling.
From the odd cast of characters to the fascinating world of competitive chili eating (which somehow has its own controversy and drama), I was absolutely enthralled by the storytelling – Tegan.
“Written and hosted by Marc Fennell, It Burns is the story of a 10-year scandal-plagued international competition that will take listeners from the Australian Coast to South Carolina.
It’s a war filled with larger than life characters. There will be sledging, accusations of cheating, theft and performance enhancing drugs. And allegations that Australia was cheated out of a Guinness World Record. In the process of charting the scandal-plagued race to breed the world’s hottest chilli, the audio documentary lifts the lid on the subculture of ‘Chilli-heads’, hardcore chilli fans spread across the globe who compete in chilli eating and breeding competitions.”
Note: This is only available through Audible.
As a journalist who has had a highly successful career in digital media, Alison Rice knows all about the toll that the difficulty to quite literally switch off can potentially take. So, through Offline she facilitates raw, frank conversations with the “people behind our favourite Instagram accounts.” Each episode Alison and her guests, including such Queens of Aussie media as Leigh Campbell and Elle Ferguson, dive-deep beyond surface level to reveal their true selves in a way that will help you realise you can relate to people you may have never expected to – Popsugar Team.
“Get to know the people behind your favourite Instagram accounts, and the teachers who help us on our way. Raw, imperfect conversations, grounded in reality.”
This one has only been around for a few months but I’m already hooked. Produced by The Guardian, it delves into a story that has been covered in the publication and delves deeper into the issue at hand. I love the format in particular, where Laura Murphy-Oates takes on the position of the listener – asking the questions we would – while chatting to the journalist who covered the story. It also weaves in contextual sound bites beautifully to build a larger (but digestible) picture of the issue at hand.
Some of the stories covered so far have included Witness K, Australia’s broken recycling system, the religious freedom bill and Scott Morrison’s crackdown on environmental protesters. Plus heaps more – Tegan.
“Full story is Guardian Australia’s new podcast where we tell you about the news that matters. Each episode host Laura Murphy-Oates speaks to a Guardian journalist and explores one story, so that you can find out where it really started, what happened and what it means for you.”
Casefile! Sure he sounds like a dad-of-two from the Central Coast who plays footy on the weekend but this impeccably researched, compellingly presented podcast is as addictive as all hell. From lesser-known Aussie cases to big five-parters on Ivan Milat and the Golden State Killer, even a seasoned true crime podcast buff like me learns something new in every single ep. Can’t get enough. – Josie.
“Fact is scarier than fiction.”
Ladies, We Need To Talk
A really good discussion with Yumi Stynes at the helm about issues relating to Australian women. She always gets great guests and tackles the difficult, less-talked-about stuff – Melissa.
“Want to know how to close the orgasm gap? Riding your hormonal rollercoaster blindfolded? Can’t find contraception that works for you? You’re not the only one. Ladies, We Need To Talk is a show for women, by women, and dives head first into the tricky and taboo topics we often avoid talking about. Join host Yumi Stynes as she tears open the sealed section on life.”
Download This Show
It gives a great snapshot of things going on in tech and gadgets in a quick, easy listening format – Elise.
It’s especially good when I’m a guest – Tegan.
“Download This Show is your weekly access to the latest in social media, consumer electronics, digital politics, hacktivism and more. Presented by Marc Fennell for ABC Radio National.”
A podcast about video games by 3 Melbourne comedians who put the comedy first, and are self-reflexive enough about video games culture to bring a fresh approach to a well-worn patch – Adrian.
“A podcast about video games hosted by three easily-distracted boys (and Australian comedians), Tommy Dassalo, Ben Vernel & Adam Knox.”
These are little bite sized pockets on songs from artists and is the perfect little audio snack if you don’t want to start a full podcast when you’re walking somewhere. Also, its nice to revisit some old songs – Elise.
“Linda Marigliano (Triple J) talks to artists to find out the stories behind your favourite songs.”
If you’re a fan of Who The Hell Is Hamish, Snowball will be right up your alley. This time around it looks into a con woman who infiltrated the family of Triple J’s Ollie Ward. It’s a really fascinating story doesn’t just scratch the true crime itch, but is presented in an incredibly real and raw way – Tegan.
“This season’s story swerves away from unsolved murder and into the giddy world of love fraud. This time it’s personal. Kiwi-born Ollie Wards chronicles how his brother’s whirlwind romance with a charismatic Californian con woman ultimately cost his family more than a million dollars.”
As a note, you can only listen to this one via the ABC website.
This article was originally published 2/12/19.