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Colin Lowe, Kirsty Thomson

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The podcast where we talk about, normalise and celebrate disability and mental health. Brought to you by Ability Advocators https://www.advocators.com.au/
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In this special Australian Rural Crime episode, Courtney talks to Sydney author Dinuka Mackenzie about her novel – Tipping Point, the third instalment of the Detective Kate Miles series which features, a suicide. a shooting. and a reckoning, decades in the making. We hear about her writing process and her inspiration for her crime novels, we hope y…
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On this episode we have two Australian mystery rural crime writers to chat to. Courtney speaks with Vikki Wakefield about her latest release “To the River” about a fire in a remote caravan community which kills 9 people. Then Janine speaks with Glenna Thomson about her novel “Gone” which is a gripping rural crime novel of a grieving family and thei…
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WELCOME BACK TO BOOK MATTERS, WE HOPE YOU ALL HAD A LOVELY SUMMER BREAK. ON OUR FIRST EPISODE OF SEASON 5 WE HAVE TWO VERY DIFFERENT AUTHORS AND BOOKS TO TALK ABOUT. FIRST UP, JANINE CHATS WITH CANBERRA BASED AUTHOR KAREN VIGGERS ABOUT HER LATEST NOVEL ‘SIDELINES’, WHICH EXPLORES WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A TEENAGE SOCCER GAME DESCENDS INTO A BRAWL AFTER A…
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What would you do if you lost your child in a crowded, public place? Would you immediately make a scene and ask for help from the people around you? Or is your impulse to try to find them yourself, and avoid asking for help? In this episode with Di Bannister (Lifeline Trainer extraordinaire) and Kelly Saidey (Suicide Prevention and Postvention Mana…
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In our final episode for the year we have two Australian Historical Fiction writers to hear from. Janine speaks with Sydney author Tania Blanchard about her new novel A Woman of Courage - A gripping, uplifting new Victorian era novel about passion, love, loss, self-discovery and the right to be heard, inspired by a true story. Then Kate speaks with…
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Happy International Day of People with Disability!! This year we are partnering with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to celebrate the day, and to create this episode. We interview young Port Mac local Nate Castelli, our youngest ever guest at 14 years old. Nate is non-verbal, and uses his "talker" - an assistive device that allows him to communicat…
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Special bonus episode! The day we have been dreading (and predicting) has arrived. Bill Shorten, Federal Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, has this week announced that NDIS funding will be restricted for people with autism. Which is a huge blow for autistic Australians who have benefited from receiving funding that enables them…
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In this episode we talk Men's Mental Health with Luke Taylor. Luke spent 14 years as a Detective in the NSW Police Force, including stints as a Homicide Detective and in the Child Protection Squad. He then spent several years as a Highschool teacher, and now is the founder of Crime Story, an experiential learning venture. Listen in as we talk about…
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Janine speaks with UK author Wendy Holden about her novel ”The Princess” which is the final novel in Wendy Holden's trilogy about royal outsiders, and fictionalises Princess Diana's little-known early years. Then Kate speaks with Melbourne writer Kirsty Manning about her new novel “The Hidden Book” which is a compelling novel based on a true story …
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In this episode we talk trauma-informed therapy with Simone, a neurodivergent speech pathologist who owns and operates a multi-disciplinary clinic in Port Macquarie, staffed almost entirely by neurodivergent clinicians. Simone discusses the relativity of trauma for children, from a stubbed toe to a scary interaction, that can have varying impacts o…
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Diagnosed with Autism and ADHD later in life, Simone Fitzgerald owns and operates a multi-disciplinary clinic, staffed almost entirely by neurodivergent therapists. Diagnosed with severe combined-type Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at 34, and then Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) a few years later, Simone says that she never felt mor…
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On Book Matters this month Kate speaks with Irish author Emma Donoghue about her mesmerizing new novel set in 1805 "Learned by Heart", which tells the heartbreaking story of the tangled lives of two women whose intense, and unlikely, relationship will change them for ever. Then Lynda chats with Sydney writer Fiona Britton about her mystery novel "V…
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Stella Young was a prolific disability advocate with a disability called osteogenesis imperfecta. She died in 2014 at the age of 32. Stella coined the term "inspiration porn", which she discusses in her viral TEDx Talk (link below). She also championed the social model of disability, which promotes the view that people with disability are disadvant…
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In this episode Connected Libraries celebrates History Month where our Local History Librarian Kate speaks with Heather Arnold about her research and her new book Enchanted Beneath the Bluff - Agnes & Geraldine's pursuit of Elwood's elusive Black Diamonds. A fascinating story set in Elwood and St Kilda in the days of suffrage and spiritualism set i…
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When Vanessa lost her husband of 19 years, she questioned whether the right spouse had died. As a person with disability (Spina Bifida), Vanessa struggled with the question of whether she was as valuable to her children as her able-bodied husband had been, because she was unable to play sport with her children, or physically support them in the way…
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On Book Matters Janine speaks with South Australian author Meredith Appleyard about her latest women’s fiction novel Daisy & Kate which is a compelling exploration of the waxing and waning of friendships; how precious they are, and the heartbreak that happens when it all comes undone. Then Sam talks to Brisbane author Susan Johnson about her memoir…
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When Vanessa lost her husband of 19 years, she questioned whether the right spouse had died. As a person with disability (Spina Bifida), Vanessa struggled with the question of whether she was as valuable to her children as her able-bodied husband had been, because she was unable to play sport with her children, or physically support them in the way…
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On Book Matters we like to shine a light on authors who are publishing their first book and in this special episode Courtney talks to debut Australian author Lucy Campbell about her compelling mystery novel ‘Lowbridge’ which is a heart-wrenching mystery about the girls who are lost, the ones who are mourned, and those who are forgotten, in a town s…
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Jerusha Mather is a Neuroscientist and disability advocate with cerebral palsy. In this episode we talk to Jerusha about her campaign to be the first disabled Australian Bachelorette, why the producers turned her down, as well as the work that she is doing with dating apps like Tinder to make them more safe and inclusive spaces for people with disa…
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Ïn this special episode we celebrate ''Wear It Purple Day'' with well -known Australian author Will Kostatskis. Wear it purple day strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. Today Courtney chats to Will about his latest novel We could be something, a story which takes readers on a wonderful y…
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Today on the podcast Janine speaks to US author T J Newman about her writing and her latest novel Drowning which is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them—against impossible odds. Then Sam speaks with debut novelist Pip Finkemeyer about her novel Sad Girl where A young woman tr…
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Barbie has been a much beloved and popular doll since her creation, and has spawned many offshoots, including the current Barbie movie, which is hugely popular and making cinema history. But is Barbie good for us? Or are there mental health impacts to Barbie that we should think about? In this episode Colin and Kirsty discuss this very question. Ki…
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In Part Two of our chat with Dawn Bayly, we talk education, homeschooling, and flexible learning. Dawn was a teacher for over 20 years, and is a Mum to seven children, including two children on the autism spectrum. In this episode Dawn talks us through why she pulled her children out of mainstream schooling after COVID lockdowns, and left her job a…
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In this episode we have two debut authors to chat to. Courtney speaks with author Naima Brown who speaks about her debut novel The Shot which shines a light on reality television, then Janine speaks with Kate Solly about her delightful novel Tuesday Evenings with The Copeton Craft Resistance, which is a heartwarming story of friendship in an imperf…
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Meet Port Mac local Jasmine Ferguson (Jas), future ParaMatilda. When she was born, Doctors said that Jas would never walk or talk. Now she's training with the CommBank ParaMatildas, the national women's football team for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, or symptoms resulting from stroke. She's also a role model for girls in spor…
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Imagine going through life not wanting children, and then ending up with seven? That's Dawn Bayly's story. As a result of her own challenging upbringing, Dawn did not want to have any children, or to even get married. Now she has been married for over 20 years, and has seven children through a mix of biology, kinship and fostering. Two of her child…
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On the podcast today Sam speaks with debut Australian author Michael Thompson about his novel How to be Remembered which is a heartwarming, poignant and ultimately inspiring novel about the important things in life. Then Kate talks to Tara Calaby about her debut Australian historical fiction novel House of Longing which is set in 1895 and takes pla…
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In the episode Kirsty would prefer you to skip (or only listen to the first 4 minutes!), hear about the pattern of media coverage for autism, and Kirsty's concerns about the future of supports for autistic Australians under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Tune in as Kirsty discusses why it's unhelpful for autism to be consistently …
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Join us for part two of our interview with Bron Lowe, as we talk toxic relationships, narcissistic abuse, and the toll this takes on mental health. Dr Ramani - leading expert on narcissistic abuse https://doctor-ramani.com/ Taming Toxic People, by David Gillespie https://davidgillespie.org/portfolio/taming-toxic-people-2/ Ability Advocators website…
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In this episode we interview Bron Lowe, the force behind Ability Advocators. Get some raw insight into her back story, as we discuss the importance of names, sexism in the workplace, single parenting, and her unlikely love story. This is part one, of a two-part feature with Bron. Join us for part two as we discuss Bron's experience with toxic relat…
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Get to know Kirsty and Colin, in this introductory episode of Enabled. Find out whether Colin is a fan of The Bachelor, the gelato controversy, and whether or not they should even be hosting this podcast. Listen in as Kirsty and Colin discuss the discomfort in the able-bodied community around disability - and why it's important to talk about it - a…
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On Book Matters this month Janine chats to Sydney based crime writer Rae Cairns about her heart stopping thriller Dying to Know which is a page turning novel about A desperate phone call. A decade of questions and A deadly race to find the truth. Then we go across the world to New York City where Sam speaks with debut novelist Mikki Brammer about h…
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This month on Book Matters we have a Historical Fiction episode. First up Janine talks to South Australian author Victoria Purman, where we find out all about her new novel “A Woman’s Work’’ which takes us back to Australia in the 1950’s and the Australian Women’s Weekly cooking competition, where two women have the possibility of a new kind of fut…
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Today on the podcast Janine speaks with Sydney Author Genevieve Gannon who is an award-winning Sydney-based journalist and author of four novels. Her new book The Gifted Son, explores the subject of “one punch” when a talented student is a victim and the consequences of everyone around him. Genevieve is fast becoming the Australian version of Jodi …
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In our first episode for 2023 we celebrate Library Lovers Day! Courtney speaks with Nina Kenwood about her new novel Unnecessary Drama which is a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers story. And a coming-of-age story, and a moving-out-of-home story, and a making-new-friends story, and a dealing-with-anxiety story. And according to the author it’s funny! Then…
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Back in lockdown during 2021 we had the pleasure of speaking with historical fiction writer Fiona McIntosh. She was just launching her new novel ‘The Spy’s Wife’ which takes us from the windswept moors of the Yorkshire dales, to the noisy beer halls of Munich, and grand country estates in the picture-book Bavarian mountains. This is a lively and hi…
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Sue shares an interview with author Heather Morris who tells us about her global bestselling novel "Three Sisters" which is based on the incredible true story of the Meller sisters - a beautiful story of hope in the hardest of times and of finding love after loss. Three Sisters is her third novel, and the final piece in the phenomenon that is the T…
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Back in February last year we had the pleasure of speaking with Sydney author Mary-Anne O’Connor for Library Lovers Day. She spoke about her writing process and told us all about her inspiration for her new novel “Dressed by Iris”, which is a vivid, romantic story of Sydney in the 1930s Depression - the heartbreak, the glamour, the dark underbelly,…
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Welcome to our Summer Series where we look back at some of the In-Conversation online events over the previous year. Back in lockdown we had the utmost pleasure in speaking with Australian Author Judy Nunn via Zoom who told us all about her new novel Showtime, which will take you from the cotton mills of England to the magnificent theatres of Melbo…
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In our final episode for 2022 Carol has a wonderful chat with Christine Courtenay who has written a memoir about her late husband Bryce Courtenay. From his humble beginnings in Africa to his dazzling success in advertising and as a bestselling author, Bryce’s extraordinary, rags-to-riches life story reads like one of his epic novels. It was a life …
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Welcome to this very special episode of Book Matters to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism. Casey Cardinia Libraries is proud to support the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender based Violence campaign. And what better way to contribute to the conversation than with books. We have an interview with Manjula Datta O'Connor about her enlighten…
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We talk to two authors about their very different novels. Courtney chats to Tom Baragwanath about his crime novel Paper Cage set in Masterton New Zealand about a small community where children have gone missing which is a nail-biting thriller and a beautifully written, acutely observed portrait of a community. Janine then chats to Tasmanian author …
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Today on Book Matters we are bringing you a bonus Australian Crime lovers special - Courtney delves into 'The Tilt ' which is a stunning multi-layered novel by Chris Hammer who is the acclaimed and award-winning author of the international bestsellers Scrublands, Silver, Trust and Treasure & Dirt. Then Janine chats with Australian author Petronella…
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On Book Matters today Janine speaks with the lovely Tricia Stringer about her new novel Keeping Up Appearances which is a delightful novel full of practical wisdom and dry humour that examines female friendship, buried secrets and why honesty is (usually) the best policy. Then Lynda chats to author Alex Sarkis about her novel Something Blue which i…
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Today at Book Matters we enjoy chatting to two fabulous Australian authors. First up Sam talks to acclaimed writer Meg Bignell about her newest novel The angry women's choir - a laugh out loud tale of friendship, music and the incredible capability of women to achieve wonderful things. Jess then speaks to debut YA author Miranda Luby about her nove…
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Here at Book Matters we recognise and celebrate the importance of diversity in books as they serve as both a mirror and a window into different human experiences. This month we celebrate the many wonderful LGBTQ books and authors in honour of Wear it purple day. Wear It Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environment…
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Today at Book Matters we welcome two phenomenal Australian authors. First up Courtney speaks with Sulari Gentill about her new literary adventure novel The woman in library, which examines the complicated nature of friendship and how words can turn into a deadly weapon. Then Janine speaks with debut author Neela Janakiramana about her compelling an…
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On the podcast today we speak to two exceptional Australian crime writers. Emma Viskic is author of the internationally acclaimed Caleb Zelic series. Her novels have won numerous prizes, including a Ned Kelly Award and an unprecedented five Davitt Awards. We hear about Those Who Perish which concludes the Caleb Zelic series. Then we chat to debut n…
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National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate i…
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In our annual Debut Author special we have three new Australian authors to chat to. First up Janine chats to Bernadette Jiwa about her debut novel The Making of Her which is is a page-turning mother-daughter love story, spanning the 1960s to 1990s, charting one woman’s journey to escape the legacy of the society that shaped her. Courtney then speak…
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