What do you know about Virtual Reality technology? Maybe you've seen those photos of people with VR goggles on and wondered how they avoid walking into things? You might have been curious to know if the technology is used beyond video games and pornography? This episode brings you Caspar's conversation with 24 year old VR entrepreneur and software developer Ryan Pousson. Along with David Chaseling, Ryan is the co-founder of Paraspace - a startup using VR technology to provide training courses in dangerous work for the construction industry. Ryan and Caspar discuss the evolution of VR technology, how the latest Oculus hardware has transformed its portability and ease of use, Ryan's experience running a startup straight out of university, and of course his passions, struggles, and hopes for the future.
Have you ever notices on ads for pads and tampons they’re always shown absorbing blue liquid instead of blood? Have you ever had to dash from a meeting at work with a tampon discreetly in your hand so that no one notices? Maybe you got your period when you weren’t expecting and have had to quietly whisper to your colleague if they have a spare one.
31-year-old Casimira Melican, who works as a research and advocacy officer at the Victorian Women’s Trust, joins Caspar to discuss the new book, About Bloody Time. The book aims to address the stigma and shame associated with menstruation and menopause.
She explores the idea that workplaces should adopt menstrual leave, how the notion of the male body as neutral and the female body as “other” has shaped the experience and treatment of periods throughout time, and how even getting an Emoji of period stained underwear is still unacceptable in 2019.
Tax is the system that funds our roads, schools, hospitals, welfare and more. Without it, the government has less money to spend. But what happens when our jobs and economy change so radically, that people no longer earn enough money to be taxed? Or when big tech giants like Google and Uber use tax-payer built infrastructure, like the NBN, but don’t have to pay a digital services tax?
It may be a topic most people care not to immerse themselves in, either because its too complicated or overwhelming – especially when politicians use it (often incorrectly) to sway you one way or another during election time – but fear not! In this episode, Caspar sits down with 27 year old Tax Advisor and Specialist, Yash Rathi, who brings a wealth of passion and interest in tax, how it operates, what the biggest challenges are and how we should be dreaming of the future of tax.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the ideas raised in Yash’s episode, he recommends the following:
Treasury – Tax Policy
Recent topics include:
National Innovation and Science Agenda
Parliamentary progress of Tax Bills
Programs and initiatives – Taxation
Tax evasion and multinational tax avoidance
Australian Tax Office
This link provides information about what the ATO is consulting about – i.e. consultations with the community, industry groups and the tax, accounting and legal professions, on matters of concern and interest to them.
What is mechanical engineering and why do we need it in our lives? According to our guest, 28 year old Aileen Ng, mechanical engineering enters most facets of our lives, from our train system and bridges, to our toasters, our renewable energy and more.
Aileen has spent the last 8 years or so studying and working as a mechanical engineer and industrial designer. But, like many people out there, she soon realised that while she was passionate about design, she did not enjoy working as an engineer.
Aileen now works as a graphic designer and illustrator for the magazine Why Not?. In this episode, we discuss her journey training in engineering, her experience working in overhead wire engineering for train lines, how she found the male-dominated STEM workforce and why she decided to bow out of the field in pursuit of creativity through art.
Press freedom is not a new issue, but many listeners in Australia, and even some overseas may have noticed that it has come into the spotlight again, with the recent AFP raids on ABC journalists.
Of course, many places in the world are still fighting hard to get proper press freedom, but now there seems to be a growing number of places that have well-established traditions of a free press, but are struggling to maintain it.
The heads of Australia’s media companies, rarely seen together in public, are now calling openly for new laws that protect press freedom and have criticised how the term “national security” is being used as a cover to strip away democratic debate.
In this episode, Caspar speaks with 30-year-old journalism teacher and researcher Gary Dickson. Gary teaches media law at Monash University and is currently completing his second masters researching the history of press freedom and the journalist labour movement globally.
Gary also founded and runs freepress.watch, a public record of violations of press freedom in Australia.
Gary and Caspar discussed his background studying history, and how this led him to find his passion in journalism. He provides a summary of which Australian laws he thinks are the most damaging to press freedom, and why we should be concerned. Plus much more.
Gary’s reading list:
If you’re keen to follow up on the reading list Gary mentioned in the episode here it is:
'‘The death of Fairfax and the end of newspapers’
'It's not just Trump: US media freedom fraying at the edges'
Defending press freedom is not the same as celebrating great journalism
WIN or lose for rural viewers?
Why the raid on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy
One in three young people (26 and under) are either unemployed or underemployed in Australia. Our youth rate for unemployment is at its highest in 40 years, and the Newstart allowance for young job seekers has not increased in over 25 years, even though our cost of living has gone up. To top it all off, a recent study found there are only two rental properties currently on the market that a person on income allowance from the government can afford. At the same time, internship programs that are funded by the tax payer are leading to vulnerable young people being paid an abysmal $4 an hour while big business like Hungry Jacks use these programs to fill what would otherwise be actual paid job vacancies.
How’s a young person to catch a break if they don’t have the privilege of living with their parents, volunteering and interning for months or years to gain experience for the workplace and not needing to worry about meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter? In this episode, Caspar speaks with 26 year old, Co-Executive Officer of the National Youth Commission Australia (NYC), Alex McLean who is working to uncover and solve some of these big challenges for young people in Australia.
Alex is a passionate advocate of youth rights and development, as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She also has a love of science with a background in epidemiology, the study of infectious diseases.
Caspar and Alex binge on all things youth development in Australia, the issues coming out of the NYC’s current inquiry into youth employment, and what drives Alex in all her work.
Have you ever wondered how we make decisions in Australia about health? Who came up with the anti-smoking laws and why? How should we approach childcare, high blood pressure, diabetes and or even just how many days we should work in the week? These are all issues that 30 year old Jay Stiles seeks to understand and influence as a Health Economist and Podiatrist.
Caspar and Jay caught up to chat all things how we as a country should prioritise our competing health issues and possible solutions to create equity in health outcomes. They journey through Jay’s career working on the frontline as a podiatrist in the western suburbs, within diverse and ageing communities, moving through to research into politician’s life expectancy and more. Fundamentally, Jay tries to understand how to use our limited health resources for the most benefit and to make Australians as healthy as possible.
Caspar speaks with 33 year old ‘alternative’ personal trainer Jess Daly about how she went from travelling the world as a professional dancer to becoming a fired-up physical and mental coach working with Melbourne’s queer, female and alternative clients. Jess shares her experience falling in love with the meditation of technical weight lifting, why she first went into a gym, her initial reluctance to become a trainer, her views on diet and different training techniques, and why she’s all about helping people become who they want to be. Check out Jess’s amazing instagram account @thejessdaly, and her youtube channel where she has training videos to try at home.
We begin season 3, the only way we possibly could, politically. Most listeners will be aware that Australia is currently in the midst of an federal election. Here at binge thinking, we wanted to speak with youth representatives of each the parties to find out what they think the issues are, and why they feel they are best placed to look after your interests. Fundamentally, we wanted to know what makes a young person see the a bright future with a particular political party? So we approached the offices of the Young Liberals, Young Labor and Victorian Young Greens, along with some of their millennial candidates. And while the Liberal and Labor parties did not respond to our requests for an interview, one millennial Greens candidate did.
Adam Pulford is a 29 year old social activist running as the Greens candidate for the electorate of Wills, which stretches from Melbourne's Inner north of Brunswick through to Coburg, Pascoe Vale, Fawkner and Glenroy. The seat is currently held by Labor's Peter Khalil by 4.9% and is considered in play for the Greens who won 31% of the primary vote in the last election. So how did Adam, a 29 year old (originally from the Northern Territory) who grew up socially conservative and first voted Liberal in 2007, end up becoming a Greens political candidate with an actual chance of winning? Adam and Caspar sat down to discuss this, along with his life working as a social activist, his work with Greens MP Adam Bandt, his views on leadership, how he came to terms with his homosexuality, and going public about his mental health. As always, this episode was produced and edited by the incredibly talented and hard working Nina Roxburgh and features music by Big Gigantic
In our final episode for season 2, Caspar speaks with 32-year-old registered nurse Grace Wetherall. Grace works in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) where she looks after patients in critical conditions with acute injuries often leading to death. Grace explains how people are more likely than ever to die in a hospital instead of in their own home. She outlines the difference between end of life care in ICUs versus palliative care, how hospitals can almost always keep us 'breathing' and how this differs from a 'meaningful recovery'. The two discuss the merits of voluntary euthanasia and the challenges of working in the medical field. As always, this podcast was produced and edited by Nina Roxburgh and features music by Big Gigantic.