Podcasts to Listen to, recommended by the Australia Institute

Here’s a list of podcasts that Australia Institute staff and our friends have been listening to and recommend.

The Australia Institute
7 min readDec 22, 2020


We hope you enjoy this list of podcasts that we’ve been enjoying over the year, and find something new to get your ears in to. This list is not necessarily related to Australia Institute research, just stuff we’ve enjoyed listening to over the year.

Bird’s Eye View

Australian Podcast Awards 2020 Podcast of the Year. This show takes us into the lives and culture of a women’s prison in Darwin.

Articles of Interest

An American podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman, from 99% Invisible, this is a limited run podcast about the cultural and economic role of clothing in our culture. The latest series looks at luxury items.

Unravel True Crime: Snowball

ABC podcast about a con-woman who married a New Zealander and the emotional and financial devastation that followed. It recently won the best True Crime podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards

SPUN Stories

SPUN Stories is a live storytelling night in Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory. Be transported to the wondrous backyards, communities and lives of Territory locals, where you’ll hear illuminating stories that aren’t ALL about crocodiles.

Get introduced to some of the fascinating characters who live in the NT and give you a peek into life in one of the most wild, unexpected and rewarding parts of Australia.

Nice White Parents

If you want to understand ‘what’s wrong with America’s public schools’, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in shaping them: white parents. A five-part series from Serial Productions, a New York Times Company.

Mackaroy Uncovered

A fiction podcast for kids and families 9–13. Two friends thought their small country town was pretty boring until they began to uncover a mystery involving a missing school principal.

Short & Curly

SHORT & CURLY is a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking. It asks curly questions about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future.

SHORT & CURLY is especially designed to be listened to alone or as a family, with questions to think about and time to discuss it together.

You’re Dead to Me

This is a good podcast for adults and older kids who like history and want an entry into some of the momentous people, civilisations and battles of history. But it’s also entertaining too. Hosted by one of the writers of “Horrible Histories.” Good for holiday car trips!


A daily news podcast from Schwarz Media, publishers of The Monthly and Saturday Paper. Fast becoming one of Australia’s ‘must-listen’ daily news podcasts.

Australian Politics Live

In the Australian Politics Live podcast, Katharine Murphy and Guardian Australia’s political team examine what’s happening in Australian politics and why it matters to you

The Party Room

Want to know what’s really going on in Parliament House? Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas give you the political analysis that matters and explain what it means for you.

The JUICE Media Podcast

For those who are after a little more content from JUICE Media, the creators of those hilarious Honest Government Ads, check out the new Juice Media Podcast — a companion to the Honest Government Ads series — hosted by the writer and producer, Giordano Nanni.

The Taxcast by the Tax Justice Network

The Taxcast from the Tax Justice Network packed with the latest news, scandal, research and unique analysis of events in the world of financial corruption and tax avoidance, exploring the most challenging ethical and economic issues of our times.

The Driven

Join RenewEconomy founder and editor Giles Parkinson and guests discussing exciting news and developments in the world of electric vehicles and transport.

Follow the Money

It would be remiss of us not to give the Australia Institute’s ongoing podcast Follow the Money a shout-out here. Now five years old, it has grown to become one of Australia’s top rating news & current affairs podcasts on Apple Podcasts.


Upstream is a radio documentary series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics. Blurring the line between economic analysis and storytelling to explore a wide variety of themes.

The New Social Contract

Gold Winner in the Best Lockdown Podcast category at the Australian Podcast Awards.

The New Social Contract is apodcast that seeks to contribute to a national conversation on how the relationship between universities, the state and the public might be reshaped as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universities have existed for close to a thousand years. Across the centuries they have been places for making sense of the world and for shaping it. But under the pressures of war, political, social and economic demands, these institutions have often been remade.

It’s Been Hard Lately

During COVID, Melbourne’s stage four lockdown saw our lives change in unprecedented ways. We had an 8 pm curfew, we were restricted to five kilometres of our home and banned from visiting family and friends. This podcast investigates how lockdown has made us reflect and transform how we view ourselves and the lives we live. Nyadol Nyuon explores how the lockdown has compelled her to seek a more lived life- however imperfect it might be.

Better than Yesterday, with Osher Günsberg

A weekly conversation Osher that hopes to help you make today a little better than yesterday — even featuring the Australia Institute’s very own Richard Denniss!

The Ezra Klein Show

Winner of the 2020 Webby and People’s Voice awards for best interview podcast.

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds?

A Country Podcast

Two friends, Melanie Tait and Kim Lester, talk nostalgia, social history, and TV trivia as they rewatch random episodes of the legendary A Country Practice. Includes interviews actors and creatives from the show, discussions of the big Australian social issues of the 1980s and 90s, and a look at how ACP shaped Australia’s film and TV industry? Kicks and giggles also had.

Dolly Parton’s America

In an intensely divided America, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton — but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons.

Home Cooking with Samin & Hrishi

From Samin Nosrat (chef and author of the cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat) and Hrishikesh Hirway (creator and host of the podcast Song Exploder), Home Cooking is a mini-series to help you figure out what to cook — and keep you company — during the quarantine. If you need help or just want some creative inspiration for your kitchen, Samin and Hrishikesh have got you covered.

From all of the team at The Australia Institute, thanks for reading.
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