ABC (Australia)

Spend an hour in someone else's life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.

Spend an hour in someone else's life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.


Brisbane, QLD




Spend an hour in someone else's life. Conversations draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.






Conversations GPO Box 9994 Brisbane 4001 07 3377 5567


How a doctor's suicide broke the silence

Gastroenterologist Andrew Bryant's active, social and positive exterior gave no hint of the depression he was suffering. Days after his tragic death his wife Susan wrote an email making it clear she and her adult children were not ashamed of the way he died. It went viral (CW: suicide)


New York, Oenpelli, the Village People and me

Allen Murphy was raised in New York and grew up to become a drummer for The Village People. When he arrived in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory he fell in love with Indigenous culture and music, and knew he'd found home (CW: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that this episode includes the name of a person who has died.)


A Renaissance scholar on love, power, Florence and folly

Dale Kent is a Professor of Italian history who grew up in Australia. Rejecting her Christian Science upbringing, Dale forged an unapologetic life of her own design. She lived and worked in Europe and then in the US where she taught at the University of California for 25 years


The family and the jail sentence — the ripple effect of losing a parent to prison

Dennis Van Someren works as a transport volunteer with young people going to visit a parent in the prison system. Dennis does the work because he's been in their shoes (R)


Knuckles, ruffles, flesh-bags and fences: the story of Australia's first dictionary

Kel Richards with the story of the gentleman thief James Hardy Vaux, who wrote Australia's first dictionary of convict slang


Inside the world of Australian camel vet Margie Bale

Margie's car is loaded with ultrasounds, milk crates and angle grinders: all things needed when tending to seven ft camels in the middle of nowhere (R)


Love and letting go — Sarah, Eric, and Coco

When Sarah Sentilles became a foster parent she gave herself wholeheartedly to caring for baby Coco. A year later her understanding of love, motherhood and herself were utterly transformed (CW: Adoption)


Enron, schizophrenia, the Bowls Club and me - the life of Glenn Jarvis

Glenn was working at Enron in London when his mental health began to unravel. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and lost nearly everything. Then a Bowls Club in Queanbeyan helped him begin again


Kitty Flanagan's unlikely path to comedy

Kitty has woven together a series of true stories from her life including being locked in a crayfish freezer for talking too much (R)


Confronting my grandmother the Baba Yaga

Krissy Kneen grew up under the strict control of her grandmother, Lotty, who was the eccentric and sometimes cruel matriarch of her small family. Krissy was forbidden to investigate Lotty's past or ask why she'd come to Australia from Slovenia via Egypt. The extraordinary truth of Lotty's life could only be told after Lotty's death


Sarah Dingle — finding my donor dad

Sarah was twenty-seven when she discovered she had been conceived using a sperm donor. When she set out to find her biological father, she found out the truth about the global fertility business


Hope, hype and exploitation — the wild history of stem cell science

Physician scientist Professor John Rasko on some of the charlatans and shining lights from the problematic and often tragic field of regenerative medicine. Long regarded as a coming salvation, the full potential of stem cells is yet to be realised. John de-mystifies our understanding of the science and explains why there's reason for hope


The blue budgie in Berlin — Gisela Kaplan's story

Animal behaviourist Gisela Kaplan grew up in devastated post-WWII Berlin, forced to eat soap and wild nettles to survive. A brilliant student who loved music, she trained as an opera singer and an academic. Decades later, after adopting a magpie nestling, she began a new chapter as one of the world's leading authorities on the lives of Australia’s native birds


The green suitcase and the secret family

Betty O'Neill's father disappeared when she was a baby. Decades later, inside a tiny apartment in the Polish city of Lublin she opened a green suitcase to find a huge clue to his secret life


The bloody futility of WWI's Battle of Passchendaele

Historian Paul Ham and the story of the terrible 'wearing down war' that took place in Ypres (R)


Meeting Japan's ghosts

The story of the 2011 earthquake that triggered multiple disasters in Japan, and took many thousands of lives, as told by Richard Lloyd Parry (CW: descriptions may be distressing) (R)


Veronica Gorrie stands up

Ronnie looks back on the ten years she worked as a police officer; the childhood which shaped her, and pays tribute to the guiding strength of her proud Aboriginal father (CW: family violence)


Helen Zaltzman is the Allusionist

Lacking the patience required to work on a dictionary, Helen turned her abiding interest in language into the subject of a highly successful podcast. Her search for curious and revealing stories about language has taken her around the world (R)


Territory taxidermist — Jared Archibald

Jared spent his childhood behind the scenes at the Museum of the Northern Territory, up close to prehistoric kangaroo fossils, opulent trading pearls, and sacred crocodiles flown in from Arnhem Land. Then he became the museum's taxidermist (R)


Lily Brett — love and Shelter Island

New York-based Australian writer Lily Brett moved her family to Shelter Island during the pandemic. There she's found a different speed of life and been adjusting to the absence of her late father. Now in her 70s, Lily's also been thinking about what it means to be old