114 – Mark Di Stefano

Mark Di Stefano is the outgoing political editor at BuzzFeed Australia.

This is a frank chat where we both air our grievances about the shitty state of Australian politics, media and debate at the moment. From the cosy relationship between the press and the political class, the plethora of pundits who never get their comeuppance for being wrong to the good ol’ fashioned outrage industry.

Also Mark explains what the Milkshake Duck is. I am old and uncool.

Problematic is on at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 now! 8:30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th


What A Time To Be Alive: That and Other Lies of the 2016 Campaign by Mark Di Stefano

Australia’s News Channel and What It Learned From Fox News by Mark

Cause of the Week: Copwatch (huffed.org/project/copwatchnjp)

Direct download         iTunes       libsyn

113 – Caroline Marcus (Live)

Caroline Marcus is the “Political Reporter for the People” for Sky News and an opinion columnist for The Daily Telegraph.

Caroline joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touch on the media landscape, bias, identity politics and her experience reporting on the Australian detention centres on Nauru for A Current Affair. Our disagreement occasionally got heated, but I really appreciated the chance to explore this stuff with Caroline in detail.

A huge thank you to the Giant Dwarf for having us.

You can hear the first episode recorded on the night with Tanya Plibersek here.

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017, starts August 2nd

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th


Article: If you disagree with me, you’re a racist 

Article: Why are activists so afraid of the truth about Nauru?

A Current Affair: Inside Nauru’s Detention Centre

My episodes on cultural appropriation with Gay AlcornYassmin Abdel-Magied 

Cause of the Week: Lifeline (lifeline.org.au)

Direct download            iTunes         libsyn

112 – Tanya Plibersek (Live)

Tanya Plibersek has been the Member for Sydney since 1998. She’s the Deputy Leader of the ALP and Shadow Minister for Education and for Women.

Tanya joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touched on the ideological rift bubbling up in the Coalition at the moment, gender equality, Mark Latham, education funding and Labor’s refugee policies.

A huge thank you to Tanya for making the time (particularly as she was battling a cold on the night), everyone for coming out to see the show and to the Giant Dwarf for having us.

The second conversation with journalist Caroline Marcus will be next week’s episode.

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017, starts August 2nd



Labor’s Setting The Agenda

Video of the Sydney Setting The Agenda event

Article: Gonski money is making a difference. Let’s not play the Liberals’ tired old blame game by Tanya Plibersek

Article: Gonski 2.0: Is this the school funding plan we have been looking for? Finally, yes by Peter Goss

Cause of the Week: Oxfam’s East Africa Appeal

Direct download         iTunes        libsyn

111 – Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, broadcaster and activist. He’s a former member of the International Socialist Organisation and was one of the founding members of the Socialist Alternative.

I’ve been wanting to talk to Jeff for a long time and really appreciate this chance to ask him about radical politics, Marxism, class, oppression, the widespread rejection of centrism and the matter of taking one’s politics “seriously”.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus TONIGHT!

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Chapo Trap House podcast


Jeff’s writing for Guardian Australia

Profile in The Saturday Paper

Article: Raising Melbourne’s Red Flag

How Paul Robeson found political voice in Welsh Valleys 

No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson by Jeff Sparrow

Political Theory: Marxism from The School of Life

Cause of the Week: Triple R (rrr.org.au)

Direct download           iTunes         libsyn

110 – Human Rights & Populism: An Amnesty Panel

This week I’m bringing some highlights from a panel I chaired last week for Amnesty International Australia entitled Defending Human Rights In A Time Of Heightened Populism.

The panel included refugee rights advocates Andre Dao and Aran Mylvaganam, Indigenous lawyer Meena Singh and businesswoman and social activist Hana AssafiriClaire Mallinson, the National Director of Amnesty Australia, was also on the panel, but unfortunately due to audio issues I haven’t been able to include her here.

I thought this was a really enlightening discussion on the way that populist politics affects our conception of human rights and plays into public debate. We reflected on what does and doesn’t work for human rights advocacy in the face of populism, the death of facts and reason, persuasive storytelling and the impact of the Murdoch media on this conversation.

Please bear with the audio: I guarantee you it’s worth it.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus on Wednesday July 12th

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

My appearance on The Bugle podcast with Tiff Stevenson


Cause of the Week: Amnesty International Australia (amnesty.org.au)

Direct download          iTunes        libsyn

109 – Samantha Ratnam

Samantha Ratnam is a social worker and Greens politician who’s currently serving as the Deputy Mayor of Moreland City Council. She’s previously served as Mayor in Moreland and in 2016 ran as the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Wills, losing out to Labor MP Peter Khalil.

This is a great insight into local politics and why Sam’s passionate about it, particularly its ability to inspire change by example. We also cover the situation in Sri Lanka and how that’s informed Sam’s attitude towards conflict and multiculturalism, how Australia’s approach to race feels like it’s going backwards and the future of the Australian Greens.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus on Wednesday July 12th

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Check out Filthy Rich & Homeless on SBS 


Samantha’s Greens profile

Article: The Mental Trauma We’re Inflicting On Asylum Seekers Is Entirely Preventable by Samantha Ratnam

Article: Taking A Stand, a profile on Samantha 

Article: Meet the Mayor of Moreland

Article: Greens candidate pulls out of anti-racism protest over violence fears

Cause of the Week: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au), plasticbagfreevictoria.org 

Direct download          iTunes         libsyn

Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney

I’m bringing my little podcast to the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Sydney!

Comedian, philanthropist and philanderer Tom Ballard is bringing his acclaimed podcast LIKE I’M A SIX-YEAR-OLD live onstage to Sydney for the first time.

A one-on-one interview show about politics and how the world works, LIASYO is like Kitchen Cabinet with less cooking and more swearing.

Previous guests have included the likes of Waleed Aly, Peter Reith, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Ronny Chieng, Tracey Spicer and Father Bob Maguire.

Don’t miss this recording of two live episodes featuring two in-depth conversations with:

the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Member for Sydney TANYA PLIBERSEK


Sky News journalist and opinion columnist CAROLINE MARCUS.

Tickets $15 online or $20 at the door.

Book now here please yes!

108 – Julian Burnside AO QC

Julian Burnside AO QC is a barrister and refugee advocate who has acted in some of the highest profile legal cases in Australian history, from the cash for comment inquiry to the waterfront dispute to the Tampa affair.

For the past 16 years Julian has tirelessly spoken out about Australia’s cruel immigration policies and has acted pro bono for refugees and people seeking asylum. He received the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize for “his brave and principled advocacy for human rights and for those wronged by government [and] for insisting that we respect our international legal obligations toward those seeking asylum”.

I got to go to Julian’s (freaking amazing) house and talk to him at length about the state of refugee rights in Australia today, why he’s never run for office himself, how the MUA case changed the way he looked at governments, the arts, justice and evil.

Comedy For Good – A Benefit for Refugee Legal is happening tomorrow night in Melbourne

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus on Wednesday July 12th

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

It’s Refugee Week! refugeeweek.org.au




Cathy Wilcox’s Not Drowning

Julian’s TedX Talk: What is fair and what is just?

Julian’s speech upon receiving the Sydney Peace Prize

Article: True Leaders – Julian Burnside, barrister and refugee advocate

Julian’s writing for Guardian Australia

Julian’s piece for The Conversation: What sort of country are we?

Article: How you can offer your home to a refugee

Cause of the Week: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au)

Direct download           iTunes          libsyn


107 – Shireen Morris

Shireen Morris is the Constitutional Reform Advisor at Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute.

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the Uluru Statement From The Heart, Shireen runs me through the history of constitutional recognition, what it means and how it might work moving forward. We cover symbolism, the political reaction to the Statement, what an Aboriginal Voice might look like, treaty and the tension between Indigenous land rights and environmental considerations.

I learnt a whole lot here because Shireen is fully heaps smart.

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Comedy For Good at Howler on Thursday June 22nd, raising $$ for Refugee Legal

My appearance on Stuart Goldsmith’s podcast The Comedian’s Comedian

Season 2 of First Contact is back up on SBS On Demand


Shireen on Facebook

Shireen sparring with Andrew Bolt on the ABC’s Yes or No? 

Article: No Australian should feel like a stranger in their own country

Article: A job half done by Noel Pearson


RightWrongs: the ABC’s site on the 1967 Referendum

Uluru proposals deserve better than a knee-jerk reaction by Fred Chaney

Explainer: All the questions you were too afraid to ask about Indigenous constitutional recognition

Article: Why New Zealand’s Maori got a treaty and Australia’s Indigenous peoples didn’t

Cause of the Week: 1 Voice Uluru (1voiceuluru.org)

Direct download           iTunes           libsyn

106 – Jack Latimore

Jack Latimore is a Goori man of the Birpai nation. He’s a journalist and researcher who covers indigenous affairs, media, culture and politics and his work has appeared in The Guardian, Indigenous X, Koori Mail, The Citizen, medium, SBS and Overland.

In the past week we’ve marked Sorry Day and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and witnessed 300 Indigenous leaders gather in Uluru for a summit on what constitutional recognition for Australia’s First Peoples might look like. Here I ask Jack what he made of the summit’s Statement from the Heart, how recognition and/or treaty could work and media representations of Indigenous peoples, from First Contact to Stan Grant to Bill Leak’s cartoons.

Listen To Love is on Audible

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017




Jack’s writing for The Guardian

Article: Noel Pearson’s model for recognition wins support

Article: Five factors that will shape the outcome for Recognise at Uluru 

Article: Indigenous Leaders Call For A Treaty In The Landmark “Uluru Statement From The Heart”

Article: Uluru forum to pursue Makaratta instead of symbolic recognition  

Jack’s piece on First Contact 

Jack’s piece on the ABC’s Recognition: Yes Or No

Jack’s piece on Bill Leak’s cartoon

Nyunggai Warren Mundine’s piece on Bill Leak’s cartoon

This week’s Q&A: 1967 and Mabo – Moving Forward

John Newfong on wikipedia

Cause of the Week: Indigenous X (indigenousx.com.au), Seed Mob (seedmob.org.au) & Koorie Youth Council (yacvic.org.au)

Direct download            iTunes           libsyn