Podcasts and Videos

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Dharawal, Yuin and Wadi Wadi peoples as the Traditional Custodians of Country in the Illawarra. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, to all Indigenous peoples living in the region, and extend that respect to other Indigenous peoples with whom we engage. Through our research and engagement we seek to help others appreciate and act in respect of the significance of Country.

The "Innovating Cities" podcast series explores how novel governance approaches are gaining popularity as solutions to urban challenges. It investigates the mechanics, participants, and effectiveness of these approaches, questioning their implications for the traditional role of the state and government. Through conversations with global practitioners, the series aims to uncover insights into the innovative strategies employed by city governments to improve urban living and address multifaceted issues.

Listen to Innovating Cities | Pauline McGuirk, Robyn Dowling, Tom Baker and Sophia Maalsen

There's no place like... (trailer)

A podcast that explores place and our relationship to it. Come on an audio field trip with leading geographers from the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS) at the University of Wollongong.

Each episode we go knee deep into some of the forgotten corners of the Illawarra and beyond. The podcast examines how places are transformed by humans and others, and poses questions like: What might a more sustainable future look like as place is affected by natural disasters and invasive species? What is our relationship with nature today and what can Indigenous connections to Country teach us about these places?

Allens Creek podcast 

Allens Creek has been described as the worst creek in the Illawarra. It’s a dirty little creek that runs through the middle of an industrial estate at Unanderra on the New South Wales south coast. It reaches the sea at the Port Kembla steel works. 

So what makes this the worst creek in the Illawarra? Worst according to whom or what? And if it’s the worst why is there so much life growing and living on the banks of Allens Creek?  

Joining us on this field trip are Associate Professor Michael Adams, Dr Chantel Carr, Dr Jenny Atchinson and Dr Leah Gibbs from the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space at the University of Wollongong.

Geographers declare (a climate emergency)?

In this special episode recorded live at the Geographers Declare Symposium, hosted by UOW’s ACCESS and the Geographical Society of NSW, Geographers from around Australia gathered to discuss how they would or should declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.

The longevity and severity of the bushfires along Australia’s east coast this Summer prompted many local governments, industries, organisations, peak bodies and academics to declare a climate emergency and pledged to reduce their own emissions.    

Climate scientists, engineers, architects, planners, medical professionals, lawyers, religious groups, small business and the arts have already declared, but not yet Geographers.

This symposium brought together a panel of experts from around Australia to discuss how Geographers, who habitually research and teach about climate change, social and environmental justice, should best declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.

Speakers include: 

Carrie Wilkinson PhD Candidate with University of Wollongong's, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, Dr Susannah Clement an early career feminist geographer, Pauline McGuirk Director of University of Wollongong ACCESS (Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space), Rosie Goslett-King Coordinator of the Women Rangers Environmental Network (WREN) at World Wildlife Fund, Professor Richie Howitt at Macquarie University, Tim Wall UOW Geography honours student, Associate Professor Lauren Rickards at RMIT University, Associate Professor Fiona Miller at Macquarie University, Madeleine Bretag Geography teacher at Trangie Central School and Dr Blanche Verlie a postdoctoral fellow at the Sydney Environment Institute.

These talks were presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by UOW's ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, and the Wollongong Art Gallery.

Jenny Atchison  - Talking to Urban Trees

Melbourne City Council assigned email addresses to the 70 000 urban trees living in the city so that the public could email the council any maintenance concerns about the trees. But, to the surprise of council workers, the emails the trees received were surprisingly personal and even affectionate, with people expressing their gratitude and love for their local trees.

In this latest Entanglements lectures, Dr Jennifer Atchison—a geographer with ACCESS—has been part of a unique research project with Social Sciences and Arts researchers at the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne.  The project involved reading the emails and analysing the data to consider how people living in Melbourne feel about the trees. But, importantly, the project is also looking at how the city’s urban forest can be made more resilient in the face of climate change and an aging tree population.

The episode was recorded live at the Wollongong Art Gallery on June 3, 2021.

This talk was presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, UOW, and the Wollongong Art Gallery. 


Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren, facilitated by Nicole Cook - The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree 

Guitars are now the world’s most popular musical instrument and an aficionado can tell you precisely when and where their favourite instrument was made, the wood that it’s made from, and how that wood affects the sound of the instrument. 

So what happens when two human geographers decide to follow that fascination around the globe and trace guitars all the way back to the tree? 

In this Entanglements lecture series recorded live at the Wollongong Art Gallery, Professor Chris Gibson and Dr Andrew Warren from ACCESS at UOW talk about their 6 year research quest to follow the instrument from the forests and timber mills to the factories where guitars are made, and how they discovered a story of highly skilled guitar makers set against a backdrop of natural resource exploitation and conservation. 

View the book The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree (2021) 

This talk was presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, UOW, and the Wollongong Art Gallery. 

Vanessa Cavanagh - Reigniting Connections: Aboriginal Women and Cultural Burning in NSW 

Following the recent devastating bushfires in Australia, there has been a strong push from Indigenous groups to reignite cultural burning practices and take a more active role in hazard reduction burns. 

In European traditions it is often men seen at the bushfire front, fighting the fires. But in some Aboriginal nations, it is the women who are responsible for cultural burning and who knew how to manage the risks.

As part of her PhD, Vanessa Cavanagh from the University of Wollongong is trying to understand how Aboriginal women’s engagement in cultural burning in New South Wales can be promoted and supported.

This talk was presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, UOW, and the Wollongong Art Gallery. 

Leah Gibbs - On the Island; On the Water; Underwater

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has become something of a poster child for contemporary climate change with mass coral bleaching events a very real example of the effects of warming ocean temperatures.

In this talk, Dr Leah Gibbs views the Great Barrier Reef from three positions: on an island; on the water; and underwater. 

Dr Gibbs is Senior lecturer in Human Geography at the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space at the University of Wollongong. She visited and explored the Great Barrier Reef in 2019 and was saddened by the loss, but surprised by the life.

This talk was presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, UOW, and the Wollongong Art Gallery.

Michael Adams - Dirty Ecologies: The Black Marlin in Allens Creek

The Port Kembla steelworks loom large on the Illawarra landscape - a massive industrial complex employing thousands of people - so imagine the steelworkers' surprise when they saw a Black Marlin swimming in the creek that runs through the middle of the steelworks. What was it doing there?

In this talk, Michael Adams explores the marginal environments of the Illawarra which have become home or refuge to a wide range of animals and even some people. 

Michael Adams is Associate Professor in human geography at the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space at the University of Wollongong. His essay ‘Salt Blood’ won the 2017 Calibre Essay Prize.

This talk was presented as part of the Entanglements Lecture Series, sponsored by ACCESS and the Animal Studies Research Centre, UOW, and the Wollongong Art Gallery. 

Professor Danielle Celermajer, University of Sydney - Summertime: Reflections on a vanishing future

In this lecture, Professor Celermajer will discuss her new book: Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future (Penguin 2021).  

Philosopher Danielle Celermajer’s story of Jimmy the pig caught the world’s attention during the Black Summer of 2019 - 20.I went and sat alone where Jimmy has been lying. It is way down in the bush. The light is soft, the air and the earth are cool, and the smell is of leaves and the river. I cannot presume to know what he is doing when he lies here, but it seems that he is taking himself back to an ecology not wrought by the terror of the fires, not fuelled by our violence on the earth. He is letting another earth heal him.Gathered here is that story and others written in the shadow of the bushfires that ravaged Australia.
In the midst of the death and grief of animals, humans, trees and
ecologies Celermajer asks us to look around – really look around – to become present to all beings who are living and dying through the loss of our shared home. At once a howl in the forest and an elegy for a country’s soul, these meditations are lyrical, profound and heartbreaking. 


Artificial Intelligence Sound Design and Creativity

They will have played a critical role in many of your favourite albums, but what exactly does an audio mastering engineer do?

And how is artificial intelligence shaking up what's traditionally been an exacting audio science?

13 March 2022 | ABC radio | Dr Thomas Birtchnell

Mapping two and a half million guitars

Senior Prof Chris Gibson speaks with Richard Fidler on ABC Radio National about his global investigation with colleague Dr Andrew Warren to trace the supply chain that shapes the guitar industry, from factories, to timber yards to forests, and across continents. 

The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back To The Tree (with Andrew Warren) is published by the University of Chicago Press 

29 June  2021 │ ABC Radio │ Conversations with Richard Fidler 

Post-pandemic urbanism - a panel conversation

COVID-19 is altering city experiences and spaces. As cities respond, the contours of post-pandemic cities area also being altered, for better for worse. This podcast brings together a group of leading Sydney-based urbanists to start a conversation about what cities will look like post-COVID, and how pathways towards a just urban recovery might be fostered.

We focus on whether COVID-19 reproduces or challenges existing urban inequalities, what innovations in urban governance are shaping recovery pathways, and what types of cities will result from altered planning and policy processes.

The panel workshop (listen to the full workshop) was organised by the following scholars and attended by almost 150 participants. 

Professor Pauline McGuirk is Director of the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS). Her research focuses on how cities are governed and the practices, techniques and politics involved as approaches to urban governance change.

Professor Robyn Dowling is Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at The University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the character of everyday life in cities, and on the ways urban governance responds to the disruption of technology and a changing climate.

Dr Sophia Maalsen is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at The University of Sydney. She researches the intersection of the digital, material and the everyday, with particular interests into the digital mediation of housing and cities.

Dr Tom Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research examines the politics and practice of policy-making and the governance of socio-economic marginality.

You can listen to the individual panelists talks below:

Economy: Post-pandemic urbanism - Professor Chris Gibson

Housing: Post-pandemic urbanism - Dr Emma Power

Transport: Post-pandemic urbanism - Dr Jennifer Kent

Public space: Post-pandemic urbanism - Associate Professor Kurt Iveson

Indigeneity and urbanism: Post-pandemic urbanism - Miss Elle Davidson

Planning: Post-pandemic urbanism - Associate Professor Kristian Ruming

Technology: Post-pandemic urbanism - Professor Chris Pettit

Why is it so hard to buy a house? Part 2

It can be hard to know when to sacrifice and when to treat yourself. We talk savings and if there's hope for the future. Dr Charles Gillon was invited for the second part of this topic to discuss his finding in his PhD.

Sept. 2018 │UOW Media │ Can you tell me Why?

High-rise tension for families and neighbours in apartments

PhD Candidate, Sophie-May Kerr speaks with Life Matters on ABC's Radio National about what life is like for parents in apartments, and some possible solutions for neighbourly tensions. 

23 Jan 2018 │ Radio National/ABC │Life Matters

Union ‘green bans’, housing affordability and Sydney’s Sirius building

A gateway landmark to Sydney’s CBD, the iconic Sirius building in Millers Point has been a key subject in recent redevelopment politics in NSW. Dr Nicole Cook speaks with Dallas Rogers on The Conversation’s Speaking With... about what we can learn from the former Millers Point redevelopment debates in the 1970s, and the impacts that the green bans continue to have on NSW planning policy.

25 Jan. 2017 │ The Conversation │ Speaking with .... (Dallas Rogers)

Impressions of urban Japan

Join ACCESS’ Dr Nicole Cook and her travelling companions Elizabeth Taylor and Helen Rowe on a reflective journey through urban Japan.

How to be a Mammal - Into the Wild - Part 2

Dr Jennifer Atchison and Professor Noel Castree feature in this podcast about the review of the tragedy that is the Murray-Darling River, take a round-the-world trip in the supermarket, and get to know the fish that's in your fertiliser. 

22 Sept. 2020 │David Barnott-Clement

Free Diver

Michael Adams is a Professor in Human Geography, but he's also a free diver. That's diving down into the ocean, with no scuba gear or oxygen tanks, and just kind of staying there for a bit. He's speaking at Tedx Wollongong, so hear him explain why he does what he does.

21 Sept. 2018 │ Lindsay McDougall 

Associate Professor Michael Adams reads Calibre Essay Prize-winning ‘Salt Blood’

Published in 2017, Calibre Essay Prize-winning ‘Salt Blood’ is an evocative mediation on human evolution, the practice of freediving and his father’s suicide. Listen to Michael read ‘Salt Blood’ via the ABR podcast. 

8 Mar. 2018 │ Australian Book Review

Burrow Collective: In the Eye of the Storm

In the Eye of the Storm weaves together multiple stories and voices that recount the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, a super cyclone that hit Fiji in 2016. Written and performed by four Fijian spoken word poets, writers and scientists, and narrated through the retellings of the geolinguist – a ‘reader of the earth’ (ACCESS’ Anja Kanngieser), In the Eye of the Storm links together the lived and witnessed experiences of environmental catastrophe with the colonial dispossession brought by, and reiterated through, the ongoing violence of empire. 

18 Feb. 2018 │ Radio from Reina Sofia Museum

Winston by Anja Kanngieser

Produced by UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow Anja Kanngieser, Wintson contains a series of poems written and performed by four Fijian spoken word poets, writers and scientists - Atueta Rabuka, Krystelle Lavaki Danford, Amelia Rigsby and Peter Sipeli - documented in the wake of Cyclone Winston, which hit the Fijian Islands in 2016.

Niu Wireless  

Into the deep, cool blue: the fine line between life and death while freediving

Associate Professor Michael Adams speaks with Richard Fidler on ABC’s Conversations about freediving, loss and his own mortality. This conversation is based on material in Michael’s Calibre Essay Prize winning ‘Salt Blood’.

11 Jun. 2017 │ ABC Radio │ Conversations with Richard Fidler 

The cultural meanings of wild horses

Australia is in the midst of a debate about how best to reduce our wild horse numbers. Join Associate Professor Michael Adams as he reflects on representations of wild horses globally, and if in Australia’s attempts to manage brumbies, we should also be rethinking the concept of ‘wildness’.

The Conversation │ Essays on Air

Meditations on Mortality, Sorrow and Lament

Listen to ACCESS’ Associate Professor Michael Adams with University of Sydney PhD Candidate Darius Sepehri discuss themes of grief and mortality found in each of their Calibre Essay Prize-winning pieces.

Sydney Ideas 

Beholder halfway #8: Climate, Capitalism, Crisis                      

Political geographer and sound artist Anja Kanngieser and composer Daniel Jenatsch use sound to reflect on themes of climate, capitalism and crisis.

11 Feb 2016 | Resonance EXTRA | Beholder halfway

Our Camels: Feral or thoroughly Australian?

Invasive species classification and management is one of extensive debate in Australia. Dr Leah Gibbs speaks with Emma Townshend on Radio 3CR’s Freedom of Species about the place of the camel in the Australian landscape, and what camels might tell us about belonging, cultural development and ethnicity, and invasive species management. This podcast is based on research with Dr Jennifer Atchison, also at ACCESS and Dr Ingereth Macfarlane.

17 May 15 | Radio 3CR | Freedom of species  

Listen to Sydney’s Pride History Group (PHG) podcast, PridePod - hosted by Dr Scott McKinnon

Join UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow Scott McKinnon in Episode 1 of PridePod as he takes listeners on a journey through LGBTIQ bars and clubs of Sydney in the 1950s and 1960s.
PridePod episode 1 | PridePod History Group

Sydney’s Pride History Group (PHG) podcast, PridePod - Episode 2

UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow Scott McKinnon carries on in his journey through LGBTIQ bars and clubs of Sydney - this time through the 1960s and 1970s.
PridePod episode 2 | PridePod History Group

At our playlist you can learn more about ACCESS research and what the University of Wollongong’s School of Geography and Sustainable Communities has to offer.