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 Nations. 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 and Pill Pop), videos and multimedia features. Find out more at wheelercentre.com.
Audiocraft is an organisation for Australian podcasters – they host the Audiocraft Podcast Festival and make podcasts through the Audiocraft Agency. They offer skills development and networking opportunities, and promote creativity and innovation within the Australian audio environment.
Jon Tjhia was the Wheeler Centre’s Senior Digital Editor and the co-founder of the Australian Audio Guide. 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. 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.
Kate Montague is the Managing Director and co-founder of Audiocraft and the co-founder of the Australian Audio Guide. As a producer and executive producer Kate has worked on audio projects for Audible; the ABC’s Earshot, This Is About, Pocketdocs and Long Story Short programs; the CBC’s Love Me; and NPR’s Snap Judgement. She has also led podcast workshops at the Sydney Opera House, Screen QLD, Spotify, and the NSW Writers Centre.
Beth Atkinson-Quinton a broadcaster, audio producer and artist. Beth was the Wheeler Centre’s Audio Producer and co-editor of the Australian Audio Guide. They’re 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.
Jess Bineth is a co-founder of Audiocraft, where she leads production and new show development. As a producer she’s worked with Audible, Spotify and the BBC, and previously while at the ABC she worked on podcasts including This is About, Ladies We Need To Talk, Earshot and PocketDocs. She’s run workshops and spoken about audio storytelling at the Sydney Opera House, NIDA, Big hART, Storyology and the Australian International Documentary Conference. With a background in journalism, she’s most interested in crafting creative audio narratives that build empathy and have impact. Jess is also a board member of the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship.
Jess O’Callaghan is Festival Manager and podcast producer at Audiocraft. She has worked on news, documentary and audio fiction programs across commercial, community and public radio as well as independent podcasts. She likes crafting strong narratives in audio journalism, conjuring new worlds with audio fiction and strives to achieve omniscience by listening to all your podcasts.
Mia-Francesca McAuslan is the former Events Manager and Digital Producer at the Wheeler Centre, where she produced The Leap Year. 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.
Connor O’Brien is a designer and illustrator. He built the Australian Audio Guide‘s website, designed its logo and drew its beautiful listeners.
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.