Library Podcasts

Tomorrow's Future Today - Youth Action for the Sustainable Development Goals

What are the Sustainable Development Goals? In this series we take an in depth look at how young change makers are challenging the status quo to create a better future today. 

Episode One: Join us to learn about the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals and how they’re being put into action in Newcastle, Australia. We explore the ways local people and organisations are working towards a healthier planet. We find out how communities are coming together and building better relationships, de-stigmatizing mental heath issues and creating a more equitable society. We talk to young entrepreneurs bringing environmental and socials impacts into their business. And we look at the how building relationships and working together with different organisations can have a huge impact in improving people’s lives and the environment. 

Episode Two: We live in an age of increasing online connection, but at the same time we are seeing ever-growing social isolation. Join us this week as we chat to Jamie from the Youth Frontiers mentoring program and Byron from Headspace Newcastle. They explore the importance of talking about mental health & wellbeing, how building real-world social connections can have a massive positive impact, and how local groups and organisations are working to create a more inclusive, equitable community. 

Episode Three: What are the ways that businesses can help address environmental and social issues? How can we earn a living as well as benefiting others? Social entrepreneurship is a hot topic right now and for good reason. In this episode we talk to Melissa McCabe, founder of CoreEthics, a country-spanning organisation working to bring about a sustainability revolution in in Indonesia’s tourism industry. 

Episode Four: Environmental issues like climate change can seem huge & out of our reach, but there is an increasing groundswell of passionate young people stepping up to meet the challenges head on. Join us this week as we catch up with a Jo from the Hunter Community Environment Centre and Alexa from School Strike for Climate and hear how these inspiring young people have found purpose and community in the fight to save our planet. 

Episode Five: Most of this series has looked at ways that people can make change from the ground up. In this episode we look at how organisations like the United Nations are working to deliver programs and build partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Join us as we talk with Dr Temitope Egbelakin, director of CIFAL Newcastle about how her organisation is building partnerships and affecting change right here in Newcastle. 

Episode Six: For our final episode we go full circle and head right back to SDG 1. Poverty alleviation is at the core of all action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Join us as we talk with Asha McNeil about her work volunteering with the Newcastle Poverty Action Alliance. Asha’s inspirational story demonstrates how young people can get involved and make a difference to the everyday lives of people in our community.

CHATS with Notable Newcastle Authors

Episode One: features Dr Wendy James, the author of 8 books including Out of the Silence, which won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime fiction and was shortlisted for the Nita May Dobbie Award for women's writing. Another of Wendy's novels The Lost Girls is set in Newcastle and has been chosen to be adapted into a Hollywood film. Wendy has lived in Cooks Hill for ten years with her husband and two of their four children, she is an avid reader and we're happy to say a regular visitor to Newcastle Libraries!

Episode Two: Newcastle author and playwright Grahame Cooper isn't one to follow the crowd. Graham’s trademark humour and wit deal with everyday issues such as relationships, social justice, mental health, and popular culture. Graham has written for theatre, radio, and television since the late 1980s. His numerous plays have all been described as funny, poignant, and thoughtful. They have been critically acclaimed in Newcastle and received numerous CONDA nominations.

Episode Three: Mayfield author Susan Francis talks about her debut memoir The Love That Remains. Susan’s extraordinary story is about love, lies, and loss. Susan devoted 20 years of her life searching for her biological parents. She decided to sell everything she owned and go on an adventure of a lifetime. She moved to Spain with the love of her life Wayne but suddenly Wayne died unexpectedly, leaving Susan to uncover a dreadful secret. Susan still lives and works in Newcastle. She loves books and reading, she has a passion for writing the truth and is currently working on her second book, a crime novel. 

Episode Four: Meet local author and academic Dr Elsa Licumba as she shares her personal story of her journey from Mozambique to Australia. Elsa’s emotional memoir explores the blending of African and Australian cultures. It is a journey driven by questions about identity and belonging. Elsa’s message is clear. Belonging is not just about place but what is in our hearts that gives us the freedom to belong.

Episode Five: Join Hunter based author Barry Maitland as he talks about his journey into his life as a crime writer. Barry moved to Newcastle in 1984 to take up a position of the head of architecture at the University of Newcastle. The 1989 Newcastle earthquake became the catalyst for his book The Marx Sisters the first book in Brock and Kolla Series. The second book in the Belltree Trilogy, Ash Island is set in and around Newcastle. The background of Ash Island provides an eerie backdrop to this atmospheric thriller.

Episode Six: Tea Cooper is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. Tea lives and works in the Hunter and has a passion for storytelling. She is the author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress and The Girl in the Painting. Her next book The Cartographer's Secret is a mesmerising historical mystery set in the Hunter Valley. It is due for release later this year and is a book to look out for.​

Know Your Rights!

Presented by Newcastle Libraries REAL, the Hunter Community Legal Centre and Community Disability Alliance Hunter. These podcasts aim to support people with disabilities and the broader community. Australian and New South Wales law is discussed.

Series One

Episode One:  It is your right to feel safe and healthy with your support workers during times of COVID-19 and beyond. Become more aware of your rights and responsibilities as well as how to assert your rights.

Episode Two:  It is your right to feel safe from fraudsters at your doorstep and online. Know more about how to recognise a fraud and report it.

Episode Three: It is your right to feel safe in your own home so get to know more about recognising early signs of problems in your family relationships and seeking legal assistance.

Series Two

Episode One: Learn more about neighbourhood disputes and where you can get help. Join in an enlightening conversation with Alexandra Craig,  Solicitor at Ability Rights Centre (ARC), Dale Robinson: Co-educator at ARC, Nadine Farell, Team Leader at Justice Advocacy Centre (JAS) and  host Duhita Lewis, Community Legal Education Co-ordinator, Hunter Community Legal Centre,  to learn more.

Episode Two: Learn more about this tool to assist people with disability and their supporters to identify their legal problems. We catch up on an informative conversation with Toobah Choudhari Solicitor at Hunter Community Legal Centre, Cath Mahony Peer Worker at Community Disability Alliance Hunter, and host Duhita Lewis, Community Legal Education Co-ordinator at Hunter Community Legal Centre for some useful tips.

Episode Three: Learn about your rights as a tenant and how to get help on renting problems. Join this helpful conversation with Nicole Grgas: Manager, Hunter Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service (HTAAS) Cath Mahony Peer Worker at Community Disability Alliance Hunter, and host Duhita Lewis, Community Legal Education Co-ordinator, Hunter Community Legal Centre to learn more.

Series Three: Anti-Poverty Week

In this Know your Rights series 3 - Anti-Poverty week , our host Dan Cox, Broadcast Journalist with the ABC based in Newcastle Australia, will be speaking with three eminent Australians regarding Poverty in Australia, and what actions we can take to reduce poverty in our society and communities.

Episode One: Join Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Elder Laurie Perry, for episode one as he provides some insights regarding how First Nations peoples are experiencing Poverty.

Episode Two: Emma Dawson will expand our understanding of gendered poverty. Emma is Executive Director of public policy think tank Per Capita. She has worked as a researcher at Monash University and the University of Melbourne; in policy and public affairs for SBS and Telstra; and as a senior policy adviser in the Rudd and Gillard Governments.

Episode Three: Rod Bower is an Anglican priest, the rector of Gosford, where he has served for more than 20 years. He’s also Archdeacon for Justice Ministries and Chaplaincy in the Diocese of Newcastle. Father Rod is a passionate advocate for a number of social justice and human rights issues. He uses his massive social media following, as well as the infamous roadside sign out the front of his church, to raise questions, spark debate, promote love.

CHATS with Fabulous Children's Authors and Illustrators!

We ask those in the know. Why is Newcastle such a hub of children’s book authors and illustrators? Can you offer any advice to kids who love writing and drawing and want to take their passion further? Do you prefer dogs or cats? Shining a spotlight on local children’s authors, illustrators and events, Newcastle Libraries asks the big questions to inspire your family on their reading journey.


Series One

Episode One: Lynn Jenkins. In this episode we chat to Lynn Jenkins, a practicing and experienced clinical psychologist, who has authored the Lessons of a LAC series alongside Illustrator Kirrili Lonergan. With the release of her latest book Tree, we ask her about storytelling as a way of teaching life skills to children and parents alike.

Episode Two: Deb Kelly. Deb comes in to tell us about her CBCA Notable Book 'The Thing about Oliver' and the inspiration behind this honest account of the impact that autism can have on siblings, sometimes known as glass children.

Episode Three: Jess Black. The Mr. Walker series has a dedicated following. Author, Jess Black, takes us through her fourth instalment, Mr. Walker and the Dessert Delight, letting us know where she finds inspiration for her range of characters and scenarios. This is also a 2020 CBCA Notable Book.

Episode Four: Nicola Bolton. Join Nicola as she goes through her creative process as an artist and illustrator. Telling us about her book You Can’t Catch Me, Nicola tells us what it was like to write her first picture book and fills us in on the canine inspiration behind the story.

Episode Five: Sami Bayly. Hear about Sami's stunning debut, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, that has received several award nominations. Listen in as Sami tells us about her passion for natural history illustration and what is on the cards for the future.

Episode Six: Katrina McKelvey. Catch up with Katrina about her latest release, 'Isla’s Family Tree' and discover her inspiration for this story of a growing family. Hear about Katrina's journey as a writer here in Newcastle.

Bonus Episode: Children's Book Week Play. It’s Book Week! Wondering what all the fuss is about? Go behind the scenes with our Book Week experts, Jo Cashin from Newcastle Libraries and Karen Eastwood from Storyspot to find out why Book Week is so important for children, schools, libraries and the Australian Book Industry. You’ll also have a sneak peek at the famous Newcastle Libraries Book Week play, viewed and enjoyed by close to 2000 children each year.

Series Two

Episode One: Jenni Goodman. Local illustrator Jenni Goodman shares with us the process behind creating a board book series from the Australian Classic, 'Storm Boy'. Jenni also reveals how she came to draw medical illustrations and what her next publication is all about.