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27 December 2019

This year Policy Forum has produced more than 100 podcasts covering a huge range of topics from around the world. Our three podcast series – Democracy Sausage, Policy Forum Pod, and the National Security Podcast – tackled everything from Brexit Britain to public service reform. In this post, we present to you the top 10 of podcasts that you were listening to. And if you haven’t listened to them yet, when better than the Christmas break to do so?

10: Women in politics (Democracy Sausage)

How can we get more women in politics, what’s it like for women who are already in politics, and why is it so important that a representative parliament needs a diversity of voices? This episode of Democracy Sausage brought together Virginia Haussegger AM, Meegan Fitzharris, and Blair Williams to discuss with Mark Kenny the challenges women in politics face.


9: Food, farming, and climate change (Policy Forum Pod)

Climate change isn’t just affecting our weather and sea levels, it’s also threatening food systems, which themselves are contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions. On this Policy Forum Pod Quentin Grafton and Lydia Kim hear from Mark Howden and Michael Roderick about the complex relationship between land, food, and the climate.

8: In the middle of the Indo-Pacific: Japan, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Islands (National Security Podcast)

This episode of the National Security Podcast draws a line through the emerging geopolitical concept of the Indo-Pacific. As security policies evolve, Chris Farnham asks Greta Nabbs-Keller, Joanne Wallis, and Hiroyasu Akutsu about how nations in the region are internalising the Indo-Pacific concept and incorporating it into national strategy.

7: In the public service we trust (Policy Forum Pod)

In March, the Australian Public Service review set out four priorities for change to future-proof the public service. But will those changes be enough to tackle the significant challenges ahead and rebuild declining trust in institutions? In this Policy Forum Pod we hear from the review’s Chair David Thodey in conversation with Helen Sullivan and get the thoughts of review panel member and fellow policy podcaster Glyn Davis.

6: Boris Johnson and Brexit Britain (Democracy Sausage)

As Boris Johnson threatened to take Britain out of the European Union without a deal, Martyn Pearce spoke to Ros Taylor, Managing Editor of the LSE’s Brexit blog and presenter on the Remainiacs podcast about whether the country can pull back from the brink and how to heal the deep divisions exposed by the referendum result. Mark Kenny and Marija Taflaga, meanwhile, take a look at lessons from history about the rise of China.

5: Poverty as a political choice (Policy Forum Pod)

On this Policy Forum Pod Sharon Bessell and Martyn Pearce talk to Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights about whether the human rights community is doing enough to tackle climate change, his controversial report into the Universal Credit scheme in the UK, and how it feels to have world leaders criticise you and your work.

4: Why the left loses (Democracy Sausage)

In a year where a number of left-leaning parties around the world have taken an electoral thumping, Mark Kenny and Marija Taflaga talk to Rob Manwaring about his book, Why the Left Loses, and ask whether the centre-left is in terminal decline.

3: Hugh White on How to Defend Australia (National Security Podcast)

On this National Security Podcast, Professor Hugh White AO talks to Chris Farnham about his new book, How to Defend Australia, why he’s arguing for a radical shift in the way we view America’s role in Asia, and whether Australia can still depend on US support should it find itself under the threat of being attacked.

2: Stepping up in the Pacific (Policy Forum Pod)

On this Policy Forum Pod, we unpick Australia’s step-up to the Pacific, take a look at how the country should respond to regional leaders’ growing concerns of a climate crisis, and ask what China’s expanding presence means for the future of the region. Mark Kenny is joined by Katerina Teaiwa, Pichamon Yeophantong, and Little Red Podcast’s Graeme Smith to discuss why the step up needs to go beyond securing Australia’s backyard.

1: The Insider: David Speers (Democracy Sausage)

On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Mark Kenny and Marija Taflaga are joined by Sky News veteran and the future host of ABC’s Insiders David Speers to talk about the government’s response to climate change, how he feels about taking over the hit show’s hot seat, the Labor Party review, and whether Bill Shorten would’ve won an election against Malcolm

We’d love to hear your feedback on our podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

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