From our morning commute to a gym session and walking the dog to falling asleep, podcasts are the perfect way to be alone with company. It’s like being with a room full of friends without having to necessarily say anything. At times, laughing or gasping loudly to the confusion and bemusement of passers-by.
Comedy, true crime, conversation, sport, news, political (hello looming Federal Election) and everything in between–we love listening to podcasts. And we don’t have to look far beyond our borders to find incredible audio series, with Australia producing some of the best podcasts in the world.
Grab your headphones; here are the best Australian podcasts you should listen to right now.
Some podcasts just really nail it on the head and Being Biracial is one of them. Dedicated to tackling the hard conversations about racial imposter syndrome and concepts around belonging when you're mixed race in Australia and Aotearoa, this podcast perfectly encapsulates the difficulty and beauty in connecting with both parts of one's identity. Hosted by Maria Birch-Morunga (Māori and pākehā) and Kate Robinson (Iranian and Australian) who met five years ago in a share house in the western suburbs of Melbourne, episodes will talk you through some epic hour-long conversations with other mixed race humans, all with different stories and life experiences to tell.
The Chaser Report: Election Edition
The Chaser Report is hosted by Charles Firth, Dom Knight and Gabbi Bolt each morning, while Rebecca De Unamuno delivers all the latest Chaser news headlines. They will be joined by contributors such as Craig Reucassel, Zoe Norton Lodge, Sami Shah, Andrew Hansen, Nina Oyama, and Chris Taylor in the lead up to the election so make sure you schedule some time in for this Australian podcast.
Democracy Sausage With Mark Kenny
Mark Kenny takes a weekly look at politics and public affairs with expert analysis and discussion from researchers at The Australian National University and beyond. It's the kind of podcast for our deep thinkers out there and episodes span anywhere from 30 minutes to almost an hour.
Left Right Out
With a looming election, Left Right Out is just the kind of podcast your ears are in need of right now. It's politics, without the politics—to help you get some clarification around this chaotic world of, well, politics. Hosted by Shameless podcast researcher and journo Justine Landis-Handely, and legendary podcast producer/journo Elfy Scott, the two break down local politics with epic storytelling, hilarious anecdotes and all the pop culture references you need to make sense of the crazy.
The Party Room
Ever wish you could just speed dial a mate in Parliament House and get the lowdown of everything that was happening? Well, the ABC's The Party Room is your closest friend this Federal Election. Hosted by Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas, these two epic journos give you the political analysis on everything you need to know, and what it means for you.
By far, one of our favourite Australian politics podcasts to date. Auspol Snackpod is the juicy podcast serving up bite-sized chunks of Australian news and politics, naturally—with a side of memes.
The Betoota Advocate: Decode
From the creators behind The Betoota Advocate, Decode is a new podcast that will no doubt be your golden snitch this Federal Election. This Aussie podcast is all about breaking down, explaining and decoding (shock horror) all the media noise prior to election day. Episodes span anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour and legends like Antony Green (literally, an Australian election icon) join to run through some of the more tricky explainations.
Allies In Politics Podcast
Started by the founder of Allies in Colour, Allies In Politics is a bit of a reality check and 101 on Australian politics. Aimed to be an accessible way for POC and new immigrants in Australia to understand politics and educated listeners how they can be politically active in a significant way, Allies In Politics unpacks the state of cultural diversity in Australian politics.
The Aunty Donna Podcast
Today, you’ll likely know the Aunty Donna trio from their hyper-successful Netflix sketch series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun. But long before Melbourne comedians Broden Kelly, Mark Bonanno and Zachary Ruane found international success for their absurdist humour, they were doing weekly improv on the Aunty Donna Podcast. Defining what this podcast is about is an impossible task nearing insanity. Each week, the boys tackle some kind of satirical premise or put forward a collection of characters that are inevitably derailed as quickly as they’re thought of. Strap yourself in.
It’s A Lot With Abbie Chatfield
Abbie Chatfield has shed her reality television cloak to create her own successful podcast. You’ll also find her on a nightly radio program called Hot Nights With Abbie Chatfield, but it’s the It’s A Lot podcast that will allow for some serious binging. The conversational podcast covers topics like mental health, feminism, dating, sex tips, interviews and plenty of comedy.
Is there a more iconic Australian interview radio program than ABC’s Conversations? First began in 2005 with the trusted voice of Richard Fidler, today the mantle is shared between Fidler and Australian journalist Sarah Kanowski. The casual, in-depth conversations cover topics and subjects from all walks of life, delving into extraordinary people. It’s about spending an hour in someone else’s life. Thankfully, you don’t have to tune into the wireless at a specific time each week with Conversations available as a podcast.
It’s certainly true that none of us are perfect. Hosted by The Resilience Project founder Hugh van Cuylenburg, his brother Josh and Australian comedian Ryan Shelton, The Imperfects looks to illuminate the struggles and imperfections we all share to not bury our battles but feel open with them. If you’re looking for a mental health podcast with genuine depth, as well as comradery and lots of laughs–this is the one for you.
The Sure Thing
The Sure Thing came out in early 2021 and is definitely worth your listening time if you missed it. Produced by The Australian Financial Review, the investigative podcast recounts and further explores the story of two university friends caught up in Australia’s biggest ever case of insider trading. Hosted by Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist Angus Grigg, The Sure Thing is a true story of intrigue, betrayal, crime and an $8 million heist.
The Hamish & Andy Podcast
Since first joining the Australian airwaves in 2006 as two university mates with a penchant for making each other laugh, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have become Australia’s most beloved comedy duo. Although leaving radio in 2017, the pair have continued their antics on a podcast closely connected to their devoted base of listeners. The show aims to achieve nothing in particular and yet remains endlessly entertaining, made up mostly of inside jokes, constant ribbing and recurring segments between a few mates.
The Howie Games
It’s difficult to find a sports podcast that goes beyond basic punditry or radio sports show nonsense. If you’re after more, The Howie Games, hosted by journalist and television presenter Mark Howard, might be the 1-on-1 conversation pod for you. If you’ve tuned into an Ashes series recently, you’ll immediately recognise Howard’s voice as he interviews some of the biggest athletes in Australia and from around the world, as well as artists, comedians and media personalities–talking sports and life.
If you’ve caught the quick-witted humour of Wil Anderson on ABC’s Gruen television program or at one of his live stand-up shows, you’ll know that a conversation podcast in Anderson’s hands is a likely winner. Wilosophy makes the very most of Anderson’s connections in the world of Australian comedy as well as the host’s charisma and intelligence to delve into the lives and philosophies of interesting, funny folks. Love an obscure Aussie comedian or personality? There’s a good chance they’ve hashed it out with Anderson.
Facing the same 2020 lockdowns as the rest of us, Eric Bana chose to make the most of his time by recording The Orchard, a crime drama meets supernatural mystery. We’re glad Bana didn’t take up yoga because the result is the recently released Audible 13-part podcast series, where the Aussie actor plays Adam Durwood, a police detective and struggling single parent. When Durwood is assigned to investigate the possible murder of a teenage boy found dead on the grounds of a private girl’s school, he soon finds out there’s more to the story than first meets the eye. This is as close as you can get to a television series in a podcast.
More time to spare? Here are all the true crime podcasts you should have listened to by now.
Image credit: @brendanfurnace