A Middle Ground A Middle Ground

A Middle Ground: Federal Election-Where are the Rural Issues?

While much of Australia’s prosperity still comes from it’s regional heartland, rural issues have received little attention in this federal election campaign. This is despite recent devastating natural disasters across north-west Queensland, where more than 650-thousand head of cattle died in catastrophic floods, causing almost two billion dollars worth of damage. The Rural Press Club recently hosted a fundraiser and discussion on what should be done now to ensure the future of the regions, where we spoke to those affected about the difficult recovery they face. Griffith University’s Professor Fabrizio Carmagnani tells A Middle Ground podcast that the implementation of rural policies by all major parties is in desperate need of reform, to stop the overlap of federal, state and local governments and get more help to those who need it most.

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Streets of Your Town: Carol Taylor’s Fashion for Disability

Have you ever stopped to contemplate how difficult it is to find appropriate clothing, if you have a disability? And not just functional clothing, but fashionable, beautiful, and fun clothing. Imagine being at the top of your career, leading your own legal practice, but unable to find appropriate professional clothing to wear. This is the dilemma that faces solicitor Carol Taylor regularly. A car accident in 2001 left Carol Taylor a quadriplegic, paralysed from the chest down, and unable to move her fingers.
Since those difficult days, Carol has become a mother, and returned to work becoming principal of Taylor Law and Conveyancing. And now she adds artist and fashion designer to her achievements. Carol’s works are now on display in the exhibition Agency by Design: Expressive Design for Disability at artisan in Brisbane until July 13 2019. Her dream now is to create designs for beautiful garments that can be made into patterns, for people with a disability around the world to wear.

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A Middle Ground: Samara McPhedran on Gun Laws

Guns and the laws that govern their control are again in the spotlight, in the wake of the massacre of 50 people in two Christchurch mosques on March 15. Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University’s Violence Research and Prevention Program Dr Samara McPhedran has researched this extensively, and is urging policy makers to take a considered approach rather than rush to solve this complex issue. She tells A Middle Ground that the media also must examine the part it plays in reporting mass shootings, and says recent reports catching One Nation courting funding from the gun lobby, do not reveal any new information.

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Streets of Your Town: MooGoo’s Craig Jones

Get an audio insight into an entrepreneur’s mind in this episode of Streets of Your Town featuring Craig Jones, the founder of Australian skincare brand MooGoo. He started making MooGoo cream in a saucepan in a tiny two bedroom apartment, and now runs a company producing more than 40 all natural skin care products all made in Australia, exporting to seven countries around the world, and employing around 100 people.

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Streets of Your Town: The Dangerous Hopper Ant

It’s been described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the world’s most dangerous ants. And it’s prolific, found in colonies throughout Australia, resulting in an estimated two hospital emergency admissions a week in Adelaide alone. The native hopper ant, also knows as the jack jumper, may be small but it packs a painful sting in its tail, so much so that for a significant number of people, it causes anaphylactic shock and even death. Yet two esteemed researchers tell us on this episode of Streets of Your Town that the hopper ant problem is not receiving the funding needed to properly respond to the growing number of allergic reactions.

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Streets of Your Town: Brendon Donohue

Imagine not being able to see, and catching the train to work. Then someone grabs your hand and drags you on the train, leaving you unsure of where you are and even if you are safe. This has happened to Brendon Donohue more than once on his way to his job as a compliance officer in central Brisbane. Brendon spends his spare time lobbying for fair access to public facilities for all people, regardless of their disability or otherwise. In this episode of Streets of Your Town, I meet Brendon at one of his favourite pubs, near his home at South Brisbane.

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Streets of Your Town: Kathryn Stott and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music

Townsville in lush North Queensland is not necessarily known as a hub of classical music from around the world, but it will soon be transformed. This is Artistic Director Kathryn Stott’s second Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and she tells me on this episode of Streets of Your Town how this time she’s scored a number of coups. This includes five world premieres, five Australian premieres and 40 of the best chamber musicians on the planet playing compositions from the 13th century to the present day, over ten days of a balmy North Queensland winter, in July and August. And proving her commitment to emerging artists of the genre, one of those world premieres is from Brisbane born and now London based composer Connor D’Netto, who has also been chosen as the Composer-in-Residence.

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A Middle Ground: Natasha Stott-Despoja and David Ritter

In this episode of ‘A Middle Ground’ Nance Haxton speaks with former Senator and leader of the Democrats, Natasha Stott-Despoja, about her new nook ‘On Violence’ and how the diminution of behavioural standards in federal parliament is part of the problem. Also in this episode, Nance talks with CEO of Greenpeace Asia Pacific David Ritter about his new book ’The Coal Truth’ and why Australians must demand better political representation.

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Streets of Your Town: Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras is all about fusion. Based in LA, this eclectic band mixes Afro-Mexican, hip-hop, folk and first nations musical styles into a frenetic celebration that pulls people to their feet. Band member Hector Flores sees their music as a metaphor for how the world should be. He wears his Mexican heritage proudly, calling for more understanding and tolerance through music and food, spreading his message of social justice across musical and physical borders. In this episode of Streets of Your Town podcast, I speak to Hector straight after the band’s electric performance at Adelaide’s world music festival, WOMADelaide.

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Streets of Your Town: Dangerous Town

Dangerous Song is a unique performance that combines the human voice with modern electronics, age-old instruments, and the calls of endangered animals to create an intriguing and moving musical piece like nothing I’ve seen before. In this episode of Streets of Your Town you’ll meet the creative team behind this moving piece, as they prepare for the WOMADelaide world music festival and hopefully a tour around the country soon after. Interwoven throughout the performance are refrains of distinctive Mongolian throat singing and the haunting sounds of the Mongolian horse head fiddle.

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Streets of Your Town: Luka Bloom

It’s a strange thing indeed to connect with a country on the other side of the world to where you grew up, so much so that you feel the same sadness when leaving it as you do when you leave home. But this is the experience of Luka Bloom, the great Irish songman who for more than 40 years has put his passion for social justice to music, and given voice to those who aren’t often heard or recognised. His songs have touched a chord in Australia, so much so that he has now toured the country more than a dozen times. In this episode of Streets of Your Town, Luka Bloom tells us about the euphoric joy he feels seeing a Fremantle sunset, and feeling the appreciation of his Australian fans, wherever he goes.

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A Middle Ground: Anthony Albanese

In this episode of ‘A Middle Ground’, we speak to Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Cities, and Shadow Minister for Tourism. He tells Nance Haxton the policy detail that we rarely have the opportunity to hear, and also gives an insight into how he stays motivated after 23 years in Federal Parliament. Griffith University Professor of Politics and Policy Peter van Onselen also gives his perspective on why Anthony Albanese’s popularity endures.

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Streets of Your Town: Cathy Gatley and the Turtles of Mon Repos

On a tiny stretch of sand, near the southern most tip of the largest living thing on earth The Great Barrier Reef, is Mon Repos. Less than two kilometres long, this beach is a critical landing point for endangered loggerhead turtles from throughout the Pacific. And Cathy Gatley is the ranger in charge (of this conservation park), ensuring that this patch of turtle paradise remains their haven. In this episode of Streets of Your Town, Cathy tells us how she balances the needs of the endangered loggerhead turtles and the lucky few people who get to the beach to see this wild event.

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Streets of Your Town: Imtiaz Ali

Imagine for a moment, the fear you would feel if you had to leave the only home you’d known, and all of your family, at just 15 years old because your life hangs in the balance.This was the harsh reality that faced Pakistani refugee Imtiaz Ali. It has taken seven years, including a journey across the seas in treacherous waters, and many months spent in detention centres unsure of his future, for Imtiaz Ali to finally become an Australian citizen. In this episode of Streets of Your Town, Imtiaz tells us how his life experiences have shown him that nothing is impossible.

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Streets of Your Town: Rob Layton

Go behind the scenes of the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast and find yourself immersed in the ocean alongside Rob Layton in this episode. Regardless of the weather, you can find Rob at Burleigh Beach on the southern end of the Gold Coast, surfing and taking photos as the sun rises for another day. And he’s also wanting to spread the word on how that phone in your pocket is capable of much more than just taking good selfies.

Remarkable Tales

Remarkable Tales: Alex Podger

In this episode of Griffith University’s Remarkable Tales, we speak to film school graduate Alex Podger, who has now risen to become Director of the Woodford Folk Festival closing Fire Event – the largest outdoor performance of its type in Australia. The massive ceremony involves a team of more than 160 volunteer artists, puppeteers, performers, painters and pyrotechnicians, and combined with a soaring live symphonic score, takes more than an hour and a half to unfold. It’s just another day in the life for the Griffith University graduate, who has created large scale outdoor theatrical works across Australia and Europe.