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Afternoons with Gillian O'Shaughnessy

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Perth, WA


Gillo will bring you insights into the world around you, you'll meet the people of Western Australia, you'll learn something new and you'll have a great time doing it.




Todd Sampson's Life on the Line

Science is all around us and at times we take it for granted. However Todd Sampson has decided to confront the laws of gravity in an extreme way. He will place himself in front of a wrecking ball, face an AK-47 rifle underwater and float into the sky with a bunch of helium balloons to prove the worth of scientific principles. Todd Sampson is an adventurer, documentary maker, TV presenter and the face of the TV series Life on the Line on ABC TV. The series starts tonight and Todd will slide...

Duration: 00:09:57

Visiting Alcatraz

(Above: Image of Alcatraz Island by D Ramey Logan and cells inside the prison) It has an ominous presence and a dark history but still intrigues and fascinates people around the world. Alcatraz Island has been the foundation for many stories and movies, some of them tales of hardship and the infamous characters who spent time there. There are also the stories and secrets we don't know about, the ones the inmates took with them to their graves. If only the walls could talk! Alcatraz Prison...

Duration: 00:08:12

Insects and plants helping the work of crime investigators

(Image: Dr Paola Magni - Murdoch University) Insects like blowflies sometimes get a bad wrap but they play a vital role in helping to solve crime. It sounds a bit like a scene from a CSI program but there have been many cases where a insects or plants have provided the missing piece of the puzzle for investigators. Dr Paola Magni is a forensic biologist at Murdoch University specializing in entomology and has been involved in criminal cases in Italy and Australia. Tonight she is giving a...

Duration: 00:06:45

Healthy Wildlife Healthy Lives

There is something very special about an encounter with wildlife and as the city expands and Perth's outer suburbs encroach on bushland we can expect to see more animals in our backyards. It can be beneficial for our health and well-being but too much contact with wildlife can do more harm than good and people, and their pets, can easily pass diseases on to native animals. A new website has been launched with tips on the best way to approach wildlife around the home. Associate Professor...

Duration: 00:06:27

Lawn Bowls

(Images: A Country Week bowls carnival in 1950 - supplied by the State Library of WA. The bowling greens at the Perth and Tattersalls bowling and recreation club in the Perth CBD. You can venture out to some of the smallest towns in Western Australia and stumble across a bowling green. Some of these towns have lost their bank or a few of the shops have closed their doors but the bowling club continues to be a meeting hub in the community. These clubs are not restricted to players and many...

Duration: 00:07:30

African Painted Dogs

(Images supplied Perth Zoo: African painted dogs at Perth Zoo and John Lemon in Zimbabwe in 2007) They were once widespread across Africa but are now under threat from humans, habitat loss, snaring and diseases from introduced dogs. Perth Zoo is playing an important role in efforts to save African Painted Dogs and Curator of Operations John Lemon is a driving force behind that work. John is also Chairman of Painted Dog Conservation Incorporated supporting projects in Africa focused on...

Duration: 00:09:12

Ian Thorpe tackles bullying

Every day children are bullied at school and it doesn't always stop when they leave the schoolgrounds. Bullying presents in a number of different ways including name calling, threats and physical violence and intimidation and it can occur face to face or through social media. The effects stay with some people long after they finish school. Bullied is a controversial two part documentary starting tonight on ABC Television, fronted by Ian sporting legend Thorpe. It brings together the...

Duration: 00:10:46

Junior sport in desperate need of volunteers

Many parents do the drop off at sporting venues on the weekend but how many are parking the car and lending a hand with the team? One of the challenges facing junior sport is recruiting volunteers. Many teams are relying on a small number of dedicated volunteers and are crying out for some fresh faces to help organize young players. John Sackson is Chief Executive of the Rugby League in Western Australia and says junior sport is not sustainable if parents don't participate. He says parents...

Duration: 00:07:44

Corellas flocking around the city

White corellas have been flocking around the ABC studios in East Perth recently and not because they are trying to tune into radio and television. The birds are very visible in surrounding carparks and gardens, making a bit of noise and scattering debris everywhere. To find out why are they are so prolific at the moment Gillian caught up with nature enthusiast Eric McCrum. Download audio

Duration: 00:05:51

Democracy Sausage

(Image: Flickr.com - Glenn Brown) Tomorrow is the day we go to the polls and as well as a long line of people getting ready to fill out their ballot papers you can expect to see a few sausage sizzles taking place to feed the hungry masses. It is an institution on election day and as a result we hear the words 'democracy sausage' thrown around more and more. Some polling booths stage the sausage sizzle of all sausage sizzles while at others there is not a snagger in sight. How do you know...

Duration: 00:07:00

Telling indigenous stories through song

There is nothing like the feel of a good book in your hand. Most kids have a favourite they read over and over again and even into your adult years you never forget those books. No matter where they live all kids should have access to books and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation works hard to supply kids in remote communities with books and also supports indigenous people wanting to write and publish their stories. A short time ago one of their latest books was launched in the Perth CBD...

Duration: 00:05:33

Martha Wainwright

(Image: Martha Wainwright - supplied) Martha Wainwright comes from music royalty and has forged a superb career of her own. She was born in New York, now lives in Canada, she is the daughter of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright is her brother and Lucy Wainwright Roche her half-sister. Martha is touring with her new album Goodnight City and will perform in Perth tonight. She wrote the album with author and poet Michael Ondaatje and touches on the collaboration....

Duration: 00:11:49

Woylie researchers discover new species of tick

(Images: A nymph Ixodes woyliei taken at the Centre for Microscopy - Characterisation and Analysis at UWA. Also a picture of a juvenile woylie taken by Sabrina Trocini) The woylie is the common name for a small brush-tailed marsupial that once inhabited more than 60 percent of the Australian mainland. Somewhere along the line they ran into problems and their numbers shrank to the point where it is now rare to spot one. They are regarded as critically endangered and live in uncertain times...

Duration: 00:04:02

Snakes still active

(Images: Top snake handler Marcus Cosentino. Below ABC Reporter Anthony Stewart with Shadow) In recent days there have been two separate snake bite cases close to the Perth Metropolitan area. Yesterday a 45 year old man presented at an emergency department after being bitten by a dugite at Lancelin, north of Perth. A 19 year old man was also bitten by a brown snake near Mandurah and is recovering in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Towards the end of September last year we saw an increase in...

Duration: 00:08:14

Wonder Woman shines at Mardi Gras

(Image: ABC News - Lisa Clarke) I wonder what you would call a large group of Wonder Women? Downright gorgeous I expect! When Lynda Carter shot to fame in the 70?s program she did it solo but this weekend Wonder Woman will be out in force at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ethan Carter is originally from Perth but nowadays lives in Chicago. He has been a huge fan of the TV and comic superheroine for much of his life and has been busy sewing and stitching 100 Wonder Woman costumes for...

Duration: 00:07:25

Please Don't Pee in the Pool!

(Image: Wikimedia Commons) It may have crossed your mind when taking a dip in the pool. Has everyone been doing the right thing or has someone been treating the pool like a toilet? Until now it has been hard to tell how much urine might be in the swimming pool but Chemist Xing-Fang Li from the University of Alberta is helping to quantify that. Xing-Fang Li and her colleagues say they can now calculate how much wee is in the pool by measuring the artificial sweeteners carried in urine....

Duration: 00:09:40

The glory days of sleeper trains

(Images:Wikipedia) After finishing your evening meal in the dining carriage it is a short stroll to your cabin where you retire for the night. You drift off to sleep with the gentle rocking of the train and the odd set of railway crossing lights flashing by. Some people like nothing more than train travel but the golden age of sleeper trains is slowly disappearing in parts of Europe in favour of high speed lines and budget airfares. A German rail provider recently confirmed the night train...

Duration: 00:07:49

Ugly Parent Syndrome

We see the best and worst of behaviour on the sporting field but sometimes the most aggressive and demeaning behaviour is coming from the sidelines. With concerns about obesity and the health of children it is important they become active and involved in exercise but too much pressure from family can turn kids off. A number of high profile athletes have thrown their support behind the Let Kids Be Kids campaign. Play by the Rules is an organization aimed at promoting inclusion and a culture...

Duration: 00:07:35

Meet Alberto Manguel

Meet a man who loves to read. He has more than 30 000 books and it is rumoured he won't buy new books or make new friends because he still has so much to learn from the books and the friends he already has. He believes libraries are more important than banks, and that in times of catastrophe we carry with us the words of our poets on paper or in our heart. This week Perth is hosting authors from far and wide, all with a different story to tell. One thing they share in common is a curiosity...

Duration: 00:09:19

The Un-Discovered Islands

Pack a bag and joins us for a spot of island-hopping now but don't rely on your GPS or atlas because some of the islands we are going to visit don't belong on a map. Our travel guide is writer and musician Malachy Tallack who is visiting WA for the Perth Writers Festival. Malachy is the author of Sixty Degrees North and The Un-Discovered Islands. His island intrigue might have been shaped by his time living in the Shetland Islands to the north-east of Great Britain. In The Un-Discovered...

Duration: 00:08:56

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