GEOCON High Society Masthead

The Canberra finalists of The 2018 Australian Podcast Awards

Beatrice Smith

Yes, I am one of those people fully behind the rise of the podcast.

Yes, I subscribe and addictively download new episodes each week. If you’re on a long car trip with me, I’m definitely going to recommend we listen to the latest true crime series and if you see me walking somewhere with headphones on and chuckling to myself, I’m probably listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno.

New to the podcast phenomenon? Why not start with something local? The 2018 Australian Podcast Awards will take place tomorrow night at the Melba Spiegeltent in Melbourne, with the finalist list encompassing everything from Storytelling to Comedy, News and Current Affairs to Documentary and more.

Anna Riddel, General Manager of the Australian Podcast Awards says that it’s not hard to see why podcasts have become so popular in recent years.

“It’s all free content of stories and information, and you can pick exactly what you want to listen to, when you want to listen to it,” she says. “Also, podcasts have managed to connect people in what is becoming a world that can be quite disconnected and fractured. Podcasts have brought together communities engaging in long-form content which I think people are craving these days.”

The Australian Podcast Awards were established in 2017 by Dave Gertler, a former podcaster who saw that Australia had amazing content, but no central platform to recognise it.

“The Australian Podcast Awards website lists all finalists from this year’s awards according to category along with listening links, so now only are we giving recognition to the incredible work being done, but we have created a great place for people to go and discover really good podcasts according to their interest areas, all in one place,” explains Anna. “The finalists were selected from hundreds and hundreds of entrants according to content, sound and engagement. Some were quite well known already, and others were kind of hidden treasures.”

Within these finalists is three podcasts that have strong ties to Canberra. So I set myself the task of listening to all three. Here’s why you should too.

NOT BY ACCIDENT BY SOPHIE HARPER

FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY STYLE CATEGORY

Selective single motherhood is a topic I have long been interested in and as you might expect, Sophie Harper’s journey to single motherhood was no accident.

We learn early on that Sophie is a lecturer in documentary film and this is obvious in the perfection that is her podcast’s production. Much of Sophie’s journey to becoming mother to Astrid (who provides adorable snippets of audio herself) was recorded over a long period of time, so you feel as if you’re right by Sophie’s side during everything from doctors appointments to Skype conversations. Creating a tight yet colourful and diverse narrative, Sophie is able to seamlessly blend these recordings with present-day reflection.

A poignant look at parenthood, don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting choked up at the sheer warm-heartedness of Not By Accident.

Listen to Not By Accident here.

AM I READY TO BE A FATHER BY RYAN JON

FINALIST IN STORYTELLING CATEGORY

Another family focused journey, this podcast follows narrator Ryan Jon (of Ryan and Tanya Hit 104.7 fame) as he and his partner Brigitte discuss whether they’re ready to have children. Or more specifically, whether Ryan is ready to drop the excuses he’s previously made (‘we won’t be able to travel’ ‘we won’t have any money’ etc) and embrace the prospect of fatherhood.

As he says himself, you don’t get to be a ‘fly on the wall’ for these types of conversations, well, ever, so this is your chance. This podcast seems especially poised to help others in Ryan’s postition, who might be at odds with their partner’s wishes.

Listen to Am I Ready to be a Father here.

LOSING PAUL BY THE CANBERRA TIMES

FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY STYLE CATEGORY

On a more sombre note, we reach our last Canberran podcast, brought to us by Canberra Times’ reporters Daniel Burdon, Alexandra Back and Scott Hannaford.

Losing Paul is an in-depth look at the events that lead to the untimely passing of young Canberran Paul Fennessey in 2010. Featuring interviews with Paul’s family and friends as well as heath professionals, Losing Paul delves into the frustrating and tragic world of prescription drug addiction.

This sobering story will give you unique insights into one of the most heartbreaking challenges facing the health system today.

Listen to Losing Paul here.

Find out more about the other finalists here

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author