ABC (Australia)

Refresh your ears with Radiotonic: a heady mix of fiction, non-fiction, essays and drama from writers, artists and radio makers.

Refresh your ears with Radiotonic: a heady mix of fiction, non-fiction, essays and drama from writers, artists and radio makers.
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Sydney, NSW


Refresh your ears with Radiotonic: a heady mix of fiction, non-fiction, essays and drama from writers, artists and radio makers.




023 | Love in the time of communism

A few years ago, Cheyne Anderson was working at a Sydney cemetery, walking groups around and telling stories about the people buried there. Like all cemetery tour guides, she had a favourite tombstone. It read ‘Aurel Popescu: Romanian Hero.’ Cheyne had done her homework and knew Aurel had saved his family from Nicolae Ceaușescu’s dictatorship in the 1980’s. But it wasn’t until she accidently met Aurel’s wife, Maria, that she discovered the full story of their daring escape.

Duration: 00:27:45

022 | The search for the fishing cat

The elusive fishing cat of South India’s wetlands is a species under threat, and no one is more dedicated to saving it than Ashwin Naidu. After giving up a career in engineering, he spends years collecting their poop and studying their tracks. Then he joins forces with the local mangrove man, Appa Roa, and things start looking up. There’s just one problem—Ashwin’s never seen the cat with his own eyes. And he wants to change that.

Duration: 00:26:25

021 | Vanishing act

Eric Myers is winning at life. Married to an old childhood friend, he's got five kids and a career that's on the up. It's everything he's always wanted. Or is it?

Duration: 00:25:41

020 | The Mullins vs the economy

South Australian woman Raylene Mullins made news headlines last year when she shirtfronted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the lack of jobs in her state. Now, just as Holden's Australian operations are about to close, her family have come up with a surprising idea to survive the difficult business climate. It's the economics story we had to have.

Duration: 00:24:42

019 | What a catch

Two fisherman sail into waters off the southeast coast of Australia, looking for their daily catch. When word gets around about what they've pulled up in their net, tongues start wagging back on the wharves, and a police investigation begins. Finally, the mystery is solved, and it's no laughing matter. Mostly.

Duration: 00:16:12

018 | The last word

On a chilly Hobart morning, Katharine Dean and her husband arrive at a family event. Katharine’s feeling nervous, because today she plans to confront her abuser—her step-father David. Not everyone’s happy about this, but Katharine has made up her mind. She’s been preparing for this moment for years. It's her chance to be heard, after the years of abuse she suffered as a young girl.

Duration: 00:27:40

This is About

This is About...will be back soon! Here's a sneak peek of some the stories we're working on.

Duration: 00:02:15

017 | Bina-gurri: Part two

For 20 years, Jody Barney says she’s been visiting Australian jails to meet a section of the population neglected by the justice system. Jody travels to the Northern Territory, and as a Royal Commission begins its enquiries, Jody realises she must speak out.

Duration: 00:34:36

016 | Bina-gurri: Part one

Left in a strange house far from home, a young girl can sense that something is wrong, but not the reasons why. Later, as she and her family shift from one community to the next, she’ll come to understand why her father kept his children moving. The unique skills that Jody Barney learns along the way will shape her extraordinary work as an adult.

Duration: 00:16:26

015 | #familyphotos

A few years ago, Cameron Bloom started posting photos he had taken of his family on Instagram. Within weeks, their account had tens of thousands of followers - the internet fell hard for this photogenic surfy family living on Sydney’s northern beaches. But just out of shot was Cameron’s wife Sam, who only a couple of months earlier had been told she would never walk again.

Duration: 00:21:13

014 | Survival at Niagara Falls

In 1960, a seven-year-old boy and his older sister were taken on a boat ride near Niagara Falls. The boat capsized and they were powerless to swim against the force of the river currents. Roger Woodward, now 64 years old, lived to tell his story of going over Niagara Falls, and why his family kept what really happened a secret for so long.

Duration: 00:23:11

013 | El turista

In Colombia, an Australian man hops into a taxi. When a police officer stops the car and comes to the window, Dave finds himself involved in a struggle that has paralysed Colombian society for decades. While the actions of violent men will change Dave's life forever, two mothers living on opposite sides of the globe fight back to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Duration: 00:33:40

012 | Cassette famous

A man spends thousands of hours sharing the details of his life with others. Not on Twitter, or Facebook, or any other online social network. It's 1978, and Mark Talbot is live with Second Side Up: his very own radio show, distributed through cassette tapes. It all starts with a lifelong dream in mind—to be employed as a radio presenter on air. But just as the rise of social media sees millions sharing their lives the way Mark did, the entire archive of Second Side Up is found for sale on...

Duration: 00:26:01

011 | Nazi heist

This is About... a hunt for buried treasure, and the terrible truth it unearths. When an Israeli ex-detective hears about a bag of looted diamonds, hidden during World War II on the French/German border, he decides to go and find them. In his search, Yaron Svoray discovers something far more disturbing. It will take all his detective skills, and his best Australian accent, to infiltrate a world that should have been buried with the war.

Duration: 00:29:55

010 | The inoperable, unstoppable Colleen Lavelle

This is About...what happens when you tick that box. The story of a seemingly innocuous piece of paperwork — and the fight one whip-smart woman leads to fix an Australian hospital system rife with racism.

Duration: 00:20:46

009 | Ned Kelly's bones

This is About…a granddaughter, her grandfather, and how Ned Kelly came between them. Melita Rowston remembers her grandfather was a hard-working, angry man. He was of the generation who never spoke very much. That is, except over the Sunday dinners they shared every week, where he would re-enact this one story about stealing the bones of the infamous Australian bushranger. But was it true? As an adult, Melita set off to find out.

Duration: 00:19:36

008 | Son of a preacher man

This is About... a dying father's career advice for his son. Phil Wilcox's dad had tried to fit a lifetime of parental advice into one last conversation. His father's words had always loomed large for him, but when Phil discovers his own voice — and then loses it— he is finally able to understand who his father was, and what his advice could lead to.

Duration: 00:24:33

007 | The fixer

This is About... the pursuit of other people's happiness. Mel Holman is a woman who gives her eggs away for free. Dozens of women with fertility issues have been moved to tears by her generosity. But as Mel offers to help Tereasa's dreams of motherhood come true, they find themselves caught in a battle neither bargained for.

Duration: 00:24:59

006 | How to escape

This is About...a dutiful wife. Frances Carleton is super DIY. She’s a nurturer — and that’s easy to take for granted. Just ask her husband. Then there's an offer she can’t refuse. Frances is about to aim her skill set in a very different direction. And it might just sting a little bit.

Duration: 00:23:14

The lesson

This is About…a man who won’t leave his house. He’s decided the outside world is too much and he doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore. Japanese psychologists have a name for this: hikikomori. Except this story takes place in a small Australian country town. And this man is about to make a discovery that will change him and his town for good. **Mental health trigger warning**

Duration: 00:24:51

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