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My Podcast Playlist

by Amy Thunig

My Podcast Playlist is a new series where we ask guests of the Opera House for their top podcast picks – the ones that inspire and entertain them, and that they recommend incessantly to friends. Next up in the series is Amy Thunig, a Gamilaroi yinarr (woman), academic and writer who resides on Awabakal lands and who will be co-curating All About Women in 2023. Before that, Amy has shared a playlist of essential podcast listening.

Where and when do you listen to podcasts? I have the luxury and the hassle of living semi regionally (think a little old house, citrus trees, chickens but no Uber Eats) but working full time in the city… I mostly work from home but during semester I teach on campus a couple of days a week. The commute each way is my podcast and alone time, I love the peace of being alone in the car, listening, learning, reflecting and processing as I drive. 

1. Big Sister Hotline*

*Hosted by my best friend, Clementine Ford

▷ Favourite episode: S02E10, Feat. RACHEL MCPHAIL

My favourite ep features my Gomeroi baawaa (sister) Rach McPhail who founded the campaign to establish a database of First Nations place names in addresses here in so-called Australia. Two of my favourite women yarning together about content that every Australian should care about, it is a must-listen. 

2. The Unbiased Science Podcast

▷ Favourite episode: We Don't Need No Thought Control

Hosted by immunologist Dr Andrea Love and public health scientist Dr Jess Steier, this podcast has been a welcome space of learning and listening throughout the pandemic, countering misinformation in simple, understandable episodes.

My favourite ep is this one on the anti-vax movement, cult-mentality and the predilection of conspiratorial thinking.

3. Bla.c.k Medicine

▷ Favourite episode: All of them

This podcast launched in 2021 and is a fantastic site of accessible learning about health, created by Indigenous peoples, for Indigenous peoples. Dr Couch is a phenomenal medical doctor by day and created this podcast as a passion project to share her knowledge and experiences in accessible ways. 

4. All My Relations

▷ Favourite episode: All of them

I absolutely love listening to this podcast. It is hosted by Indigenous peoples Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Desi Small Rodriguez (Northern Cheyenne) who take on big issues, exploring relationality with land, creatural relatives, and one another, and discuss them in ways that are so beautiful and interesting. It’s focused on Native American peoples and matters, and it’s a joy to listen to. 

5. She is Legend

▷ Favourite episode: All of them

This poddy is created by a Murri woman Justine Reid and fantastic crafter Chole Gage, She is Legend is a celebration of women from all walks of life and from all periods of history!

6. Blacademia

▷ Favourite episode: Season 1, Episode 5 – Professor Dennis Roy McDermott

I created this short series of yarns with Indigenous academics from here within so-called Australia as a way to make the storying and experience more accessible to people outside of the academy. Created over Skype in 2020, each episode gives some insights into life as a First Nations person working as a researcher or educator within academia. I’m hoping to return to the mic and create Season Two soon. 

*I can’t name a favourite episode, that would be like choosing a favourite child, but this one is very close to my heart as Professor returned to the Dreaming (passed away) not long after the podcast publicly launched. Cultural protocol has been followed and his family have provided permission for the episode to remain online. It’s very special being able to continue to hear his wisdoms in this format. 

7. Frontier War Stories

▷ Favourite episode: All of them

Hosted by my Gomeroi & Kooma dhagaan (brother) Boe Spearim, this podcast is dedicated to truth-telling about a side of history that’s left out of Australian history books. As an educator this is probably the podcast I recommend the most in my travels as it’s so informative, bursting with the kind of storying and history you’ll wish you had learnt sooner. 

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