Welcome to the Australian Audio Guide, a hand-picked companion to the best Australian podcasts and radio features.
The Australian Audio Guide is published in Narrm (Melbourne), on the unceded lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung (Wurundjeri) people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders past and present, and acknowledge them as the first storytellers, first listeners and first peoples of the country now called Australia.
Here, we’ve created a place for you to discover quality podcasts and radio programs that speak to a variety of tastes. We want to celebrate innovative, interesting, and unique audio pieces – and the people who are creating them.
We recognise the creative skills that are needed to make great audio, and we’re interested in the distinctive ways Australian voices are reflected in the conversations and ideas we share.
We’re exploring Australian audio culture with regular interviews, features and listening suggestions. Browse the guide by topic, meet some of the people who are Working with Sound, or pick something at random and be pleasantly surprised!
After some down-time, we’re working to bring the guide up to date with new podcasts, articles and more. In the near future, we’re planning to bring you more stories that expose the creative process, too – whether you’re an avid listener or interested in making audible stories of your own. Keep your eyes peeled for our next great discovery, and thanks for joining us.
The Australian Audio Guide was founded in November 2017 as a collaboration between the Wheeler Centre and Audiocraft. As of March 2020, it is published by the Wheeler Centre, based in Narrm (Melbourne).
The Wheeler Centre presents 250+ public conversations each year – mostly in Melbourne, and mostly free – exploring ideas on every topic (including podcasting!). It’s also an innovative publisher of original ideas, via podcasts (such as Better Off Dead, The Messenger, The Fifth Estate and Pill Pop), videos and multimedia features. Find out more at wheelercentre.com.
Jon Tjhia is the Wheeler Centre’s Senior Digital Editor, responsible for publishing wheelercentre.com. He’s a musician, sound designer, artist, writer and radio maker whose audio stories have been aired and shared internationally, performed live on stage, and danced to. He’s been a member of Audiocraft’s programming committee and the New York Festivals Radio Awards Grand Jury, and a Walkley Awards Radio/Audio Feature judge. He’s a co-founder of the Paper Radio podcast – a colourful set of stories tall and true. The first time he tried to produce a radio feature, his recorder ran out of power without his realising, and his editor never responded to his draft. With Kate Montague, Jon co-founded and co-edited this guide.
Beth Atkinson-Quinton is the Wheeler Centre’s Audio Producer, and a broadcaster, audio producer and artistic programmer. She’s the co-founder of podcast network Broadwave, the presenter of the weekly storytelling show The Glasshouse on Triple R, and the former Creative Producer of Express Media. She has been a Footscray Community Arts Centre Emerging Cultural Leader; created audio stories and documentaries for Pocket Docs, All the Best, Arts Centre Melbourne and more; and presented at National Young Writers Festival, the Walkley Foundation, Melbourne Writers Festival, OzPod and beyond.
Mia-Francesca McAuslan is the Wheeler Centre’s Events Manager. Mia is a writer, editor and arts worker from Far North Queensland. She has previously worked as the Operations Manager for the Emerging Writers’ Festival, editorial intern at The Lifted Brow, and produced multi-disciplinary arts events as co-founder of Lor Journal. Her writing has been recognised by the Richell Prize, the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction and the Overland VU Short Story Prize, and has appeared in The Lifted Brow, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Writers Bloc and others.
Kate Montague is the Director and Founder of Audiocraft, and the co-founder of the Australian Audio Guide. She has made audio stories for ABC RN’s Earshot, This Is About, Pocketdocs, and Long Story Short programs, the CBC’s Love Me podcast, NPR’s Snap Judgment, FBi Radio’s All The Best, the online publication Narratively. Kate is currently doing a practice led PhD at Macquarie University researching personal storytelling in radio documentaries and podcasts.
Jess O’Callaghan is Audiocraft’s Festival Manager. She’s produced for podcasts including The Party Room, Background Briefing, All the Best, The Rereaders and the Meanjin Podcast. Jess has worked across commercial, community and public radio.
Jess Bineth is the Co-Founder of Audiocraft. As a podcast producer for the ABC, she worked on This is About, Ladies We Need To Talk, Earshot and PocketDocs. She’s also produced for community radio, supervising production at FBi’s All The Best and producing news on 2SER’s The Wire.
What’s the Australian Audio Guide for?
This is your guide to Australia’s best podcasts and radio features. It’s a place to discover Australian audio content – and learn more about the history, process and people behind it.
Why only Australian content?
There are a lot of great podcasts out there – a lot – but we specifically wanted to focus on Australian audio. What are Australians doing that’s unique? What do we have to offer listeners from around the world – and those in our own backyard? And what influences our approaches to producing audio? These are questions at the front of our minds.
What do you consider an ‘Australian’ podcast?
This is what we’ve come up with:
- It’s produced, for the most part, in Australia;
- It’s presented by an Australian, or commissioned by an Australian broadcaster/company/organisation;
- It’s produced with an Australian radio maker occupying a prominent, significant role.
If a podcast satisfies two of those three conditions, we consider that a good measure.
What criteria do you use when selecting works?
The guide is curated – not comprehensive – so not everything will be included. Instead, we focus on sharing the most interesting, fun or creative listening with you, while aiming to present a balanced mix of different creators, subjects and ideas.
Our basic criteria includes:
- Good quality audio;
- Creative, engaging, well-presented content;
- Ideas that resonate with different communities, or have an impact on a local or national level;
- Experimentation in form and content;
- Compatibility with the topic areas featured on the guide; and
- Content that isn’t hateful, racist or unlawful (to the best of our knowledge).
We’re also committed to highlighting the work of First Nations writers, broadcasters and producers, and to providing encouragement for listeners to reflect on the broader contexts and circumstances of their listening.
Where can I find a more comprehensive guide to Australian audio content?
Glad you asked. There are a handful of places to look (let us know if you find others):
- Built over many years, OzPodcasts collects hundreds of podcasts made in Australia;
- Over at Reddit, there’s the subreddit /r/auspodcasts;
- Great Australian Pods has a growing list;
- Even the Australian Government has had a go, although admittedly it’s far from comprehensive; or
- You can check out which (not always, but often Australian) podcasts are popular on iTunes Australia’s charts here or here.