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Matt Smith

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The podcasting of a life, by Matt Smith. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” - Charles Dickens.

21:14 | Feb 16th, 2018

With his last desperate stand at an end, Ned Kelly will be tried and executed for his crimes in 1880, at the age of 25. His name and notoriety would only grow, and a surprisingly mixed reputation as a larrikin bushranger would develop. Many Australia...Show More

26:55 | Dec 20th, 2017

The Kelly gang they are broke and on the run, having ambushed and killed policeman and conducted bank heists. Their next plan is their most daring, or perhaps reckless, centring around the victorian town of Glenrowan. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Histo...Show More
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26:33 | Oct 13th, 2017

Ned Kelly came through a troubled upbringing and started a career as a horse thief, but is now on the run after shooting a policeman. With the authorities after him, he would only become more desperate and ruthless. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Histor...Show More

30:38 | Sep 27th, 2017

Ned Kelly is a legendary figure in Australian history. A bushranger, an outlaw, a convicted police murderer, and controversial figure. Despite his rap sheet, to some he was a rascal and a hero. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Historian and author of Ned K...Show More

26:59 | Apr 13th, 2017

When British India collapses, India embraces it’s state of free rule, but it isn’t the outcome Gandhi had campaigned for. Religious rivalries and disagreements lead to a split between Muslim and Hindi, dividing the territory in two. Guest: Dr Thoma...Show More

22:43 | Mar 24th, 2017

The salt march is the most iconic event from Gandhi's campaign of non-violent resistance. In 1930 Gandhi and his followers began a month-long march to the coast where he made salt, defiantly breaking a British law related to the taxation of salt prod...Show More

22:32 | Mar 3rd, 2017

When Gandhi returned to India twenty years had passed, and it was a different country to the one he had left. He embarked on a mission not just to better his country and help it stand on its own, but to better himself. Guest: Dr Thomas Weber (Polit...Show More

25:09 | Feb 10th, 2017

Gandhi is a figure who is known across the world as the father of the nation, the man who achieved independence in the Indian subcontinent through non-violent resistance. He was also a thinker and a philosopher, and the name he was given, ‘Mahatma’, ...Show More

24:09 | Dec 11th, 2016

With his victory at Salamis, Themistocles is now the hero of the Hellenic world. he's recognised and lauded across the lands, but with this power comes jealousy and competition. The hero of Athens will have to turn to its greatest enemy for sanctuary...Show More

21:51 | Dec 1st, 2016

Themistocles has established himself as a respected politician within ancient Athens, but he isn't without rivalry. He has political enemies from within who hope to bring him down, and there's always the threat of Persia, readying itself to take on t...Show More

25:21 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Themistocles lived during a time of change and progress in Athens. The monarchy was coming to an end, the republic was on the rise, and a self-made man from modest beginnings can make crucial contributions to an entire civilisation. Guest: Professor...Show More

25:07 | Oct 19th, 2016

Ely S. Parker was born to a prominent Seneca family on an Indian reservation near New York, and to many was considered a man between two worlds. Working first as a tribal diplomat, and later forming a close friendship with Ulysses S. Grant during the...Show More

21:28 | Sep 7th, 2016

Frida attains fame within her lifetime, and her relationship with Diego Rivera remains passionate and explosive. Since she died her fame has attained new heights, as people see the part of Frida they want to see - she now belongs to the world. Guest...Show More

25:51 | Aug 30th, 2016

Frida Kahlo is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists but spent most of her career working in the shadow of her husband, the larger than life artist and muralist Diego Rivera. After a bus accident left her injured for life she took up painting,...Show More

26:08 | Jul 6th, 2016

Douglas Mawson expedition across the ice has been met with tragedy. One of his men has fallen down a crevice and died, and with him the majority of the food stores and the good sleigh dogs. He and Mertz have little option but to turn back and try to...Show More

29:27 | Jun 29th, 2016

Douglas Mawson has returned from the Shackleton Expedition in Antarctica, but he soon gets the urge to go back to the ice. He journeys to England to raise money for his own Antarctic mission - a scientific endeavour with the primary aim to discover n...Show More

21:43 | Jun 22nd, 2016

Douglas Mawson is one of the great explorers of Antarctica, and regarded as a hero in Australia. His first journey to the frozen continent was as a member of the Shackleton expedition, and he was given the task of finding the magnetic south pole. Gu...Show More

20:24 | May 17th, 2016

After his death, the teachings that are attributed to Confucius take on a life on their own. We now look at the philosophy of Confucius, the trouble with interpreting his teachings, and what Confucianism means in today's world. Guest: Professor John...Show More

22:18 | May 2nd, 2016

A philosopher, teacher, and political thinker, Confucius lived 2500 years ago, in the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. While his teachings and thinking has travelled worldwide, it is a hard task to separate the man from the myth. Guest: ...Show More

19:04 | Apr 19th, 2016

By the end of her reign there was little doubt that Catherine had earned the 'Great' which was attached to her name. But what did Russia make of the empire she had built, and why is she most notably remembered for her sexual promiscuity? Guest: Asso...Show More

28:44 | Apr 5th, 2016

Catherine the Great took control of Russia, tried to make it a better place, and made sure the rest of the world couldn't ignore it's greatness. Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

20:30 | Mar 22nd, 2016

Catherine the Great is well known for being a patron for a range of artists and intellectuals. Her art collection, now housed in the Hermitage in St Petersburg, is one of the most varied and valuable in the world. Guest: Laurie Benson (Curator, Nati...Show More

24:37 | Mar 7th, 2016

Catherine the Great is one of Russia's most respected rulers, seen as raising Russia's reputation and building a powerful, cultured empire to rival Europe. It's almost hard to imagine that she was a little-known German princess, put into place by an ...Show More

30:40 | Feb 21st, 2016

Vida Goldstein was a political activist in Australia, helping Australian women win the right to vote twenty years before Britain. Through tireless campaigning and rallying, she changed the perception of women in politics, and was held up as an exampl...Show More

23:17 | Feb 10th, 2016

Martin Luther King's effectiveness in the civil rights movement made him the target of fierce opposition, but he was never swayed from protesting. His speech at the March on Washington is famous around the world, and became all the more important aft...Show More

27:46 | Jan 25th, 2016

Issues around the segregation of African-Americans in the United States led to an increasingly active civil rights movement. The most influential figure in this movement was a Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. His persuasive words and non...Show More

26:52 | Jan 18th, 2016

With his work on natural selection and evolution now out in the public for debate, Charles Darwin changes the focus of his research and manages to keep himself busy for the rest of his days. He never manages to top the publication of 'On the Origin o...Show More

17:53 | Jan 5th, 2016

Charles Darwin's theories didn't just stir up controversy, it polarised society on every level. If Charles Darwin was right, where did that leave the work of God and creation? An ideal example of the reaction to Darwin is illustrated by a case of thr...Show More

17:09 | Dec 15th, 2015

While Darwin has many theories and important scientific works, the one he is most remembered for is evolution and natural selection. Biography explores how evolution works, and how it has changed since Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species'. Gu...Show More

26:57 | Nov 30th, 2015

Darwin returns from his voyage around the world and spends the next twenty years sorting through specimens and writing about barnacles, plants, and geology. In 1859 he publishes On the Origin of Species, and the world comes to term with evolution. G...Show More

28:23 | Nov 16th, 2015

Having completed his studies, a young Charles Darwin looks set to continue his exploration of the natural world by joining a voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle. Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

20:05 | Nov 4th, 2015

Charles Darwin is such a large figure in the world of science that sometimes we forget how different our understanding of life was before he put forward his theories of evolution and natural selection. So how did Darwin grow up, and what did society ...Show More

19:39 | Oct 20th, 2015

Cornered in the toe of Italy, Spartacus and his followers make their final stand. They may lose the battle to Crassus, but thousands of years later it is Spartacus who is remembered. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe ...Show More

17:09 | Oct 6th, 2015

Spartacus escapes from the gladiatoral schools but isn't perceived of as a threat and has little plans on what to do next. Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University) discusses how becoming a movement is taken out of his ha...Show More