HighCast 054 – Mitch Harding

Mitch is advocate for DILF Club in Southern Highland.

DILF Club bitches!

A fantastic story about blokes getting together to talk about being a dad.

Being a dad is awesome but it can also suck. Like really suck. So much suck that you just have to suck it up and bottle it in and never, ever talk to anyone about it ever, lest you die. But at DILF club, blokes can talk about dad stuff or the footy or whatever, and that’s cool.

I like that DILF Club is free from institutions. It’s been established by a group of guys who just wanted to get together with no agenda. Mitch embodies this, he was feeling a bit isolated as a dad, came across DILF Club and started one in our area. Simple as that.

Seriously dad’s listen to this one and get down to DILF CLub on a Sunday morning in Mittagong.

Thanks Mitch!

HighCast 053 – Michael Meldrum

Michael is Convener of Climate Action Now Wingecarribee (CANWin)

The planet, maybe it’s flat, maybe it’s spherical, perhaps it’s doughnut shaped… One thing is definite, it’s our only home for now until we take to the great expanse of solar system and beyond.

It’s this notion of our only home that drives Michael and perplexes him as he promotes climate action in the Wingecarribee. How can you destroy your only home and why would you do so?

On HighCast I’ve met many local folks trying to do their part to make the world better for them, for their community and for the future. There are different opinions on how to do that, but as Michael demonstrates the passion for resilience and security runs deep within us.

I really enjoyed the conversation with Michael even if we got on our high horses for a bit. The view is great up there 😛

Thanks Michael.

HighCast 052 – Charlie Fenton

Charlie is candidate for One Nation in NSW state election.

I must admit I didn’t know what to expect from a One Nation candidate. The party, their leader are almost infamous, and their reputation has faced serious challenges over the past two decades. So when Charlie greeted me with a smile and some cheer, I was delighted to discover he wasn’t a devil /s*.

*For the non internet nerds /s indicates sarcasm.

Charlie comes across as friendly and genuine. He cares about health, education, law and order and is keen to see those types of services improved in our area. His opinions on these topics make complete sense and would not be out of place in any platform of any party.

I did try to get an insight in how he would make a pitch to people who don’t align with the the One Nation brand. I don’t know how it will play out in the electorate, but for what it’s worth I really enjoyed my conversation and his views on topics above were certainly centrist, if not, a little left leaning…

I’m super glad to have met Charlie and all the candidates. I embarked on this process by accident, but once I did, I wanted to demonstrate that even though across our fine region we may have differing political views, we can all have a decent, reasoned and respectful conversation. I think I achieved that.

Thanks Charlie and good luck!

HighCast 051 – Jason Bolwell

Jason is candidate for NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers for NSW state election.

He shoots, he scores. Jason and I had a little trouble getting this podcast recorded. He was patient and relaxed about the process and didn’t seem to mind that we had to try a couple of times. I really appreciated his calm…

Jason is running because he’s looking around, seeing change, and he’s not sure whether the change he see’s is best for him, his family and community. I don’t agree with everything Jason does, but I appreciate that he is willing to stand up for what he believes in, and is trying to make a difference. That is what democracy is about and I’m glad Jason is a participant.

Jason is keen to see the Wollondilly electorate remain rural. He, like almost all the other candidates, wants to slow development and maintain the lifestyle that residents love and stay for.

Outside of that, he spoke about freedom a lot. He is interested in maintaining our ability to do the things we enjoy in a lawful and respectful manner. Whilst I don’t partake in some of the freedoms he wants to ensure. I think we can all agree if people do what they want, and it doesn’t impact on others, they should be allowed to do it…

Thanks Jason for joining me on HighCast. It was a pleasure to meet you and I wish you the best of luck.

HighCast 050 – John Waters

John is a renowned entertainer and highlands local.


I didn’t know what to expect when John walked in the studio. He wore a cowboy hat, black shirt and jeans covered by a Dry-z-bone and black gum boots.

He doesn’t look like a rock and roller I thought to myself.

The look though, is pure Southern Highland. It was a cold and wet Friday (in the middle of summer), and John, like many other locals came to the studio prepared not just for the podcast but for trampsing around for the rest of the afternoon like all of us do when we’re picking up kids and doing the chores.

I guess that’s the point. John is a rock and roller, but he’s just like the rest of us. Yeah he sings and plays music on stage, and he was on Playschool (it didn’t even come up in the conversation) but John, like everyone else lives his life in the highlands and cares about the traffic, the price of housing and mowing his lawn like we all do.

John was able to provide insight beyond our little slice of heaven. His worldview is larger and he can converse on how art and entertainment plays significant role in the fabric of our society. I really enjoyed getting his perspectives on the impact of storytelling and narrative and how it can influence us in all our lives.

I really enjoyed this conversation. Thanks John for being so personable and so human..!

A big thanks to everyone at Highland FM, to all my guests and to my family for supporting me in doing 50 episodes of HighCast.

A big thank you to the reader of this blog and listener of the podcast. I do this for and couldn’t have done this without you.

HighCast 049 – Jo – Ann Davidson

Jo-Ann is Labor candidate for Wollondilly in NSW election.

Jo-Ann is warm hearted, focused on fairness and seems to genuinely care about the people in her life. She doesn’t come across like a politician, her responses to questions aren’t canned or scripted and she seems open to talk about all issues and to speak about things that concern her.

I like that real people can run for parliament. Sometimes it feels as though it’s robots who represent us but I certainly didn’t feel like that with Jo-Ann. Even when talking about unions, which Jo-Ann has been a representative for, I didn’t feel as though I was getting the party line, rather a person who cares about equality.

Jo-Ann is optimistic about the chances for a change of government in the March 2019 election. I’m not Nostradamus and can’t predict the future, but what I can predict is that there will be more real mums like Jo-Ann who run for parliament in the future. If some of them are like Jo-Ann, we’ll be better as a state and as a nation.

Thanks for taking the time to meet with me Jo-Ann. I look forward to seeing how your predictions play out 🙂

HighCast 048 – Heather Edwards

Heather is candidate for Animal Justice Party for seat of Wollondilly in upcoming NSW state election.

There is a growing trend across community recognising our relationship with environment and our shared lived experience with animals. Heather, representing a political party formed for this reason, is the embodiment and benefactor of this trend.

A self professed vegan, heather puts forward a philosophy about animal justice that isn’t about being militant, rather, it’s about legislating for alignment of community, economy and environment in such a way that promotes a fairer and more humane experience for animals.

We talked about her motivations and chances of success. Heather is realistic in her expectations but not backwards in proclaiming her targets. I’m glad there are people like heather who provide her viewpoint to the political spectrum, it makes me happy to know there are people who care about animals enough to run for parliament on the platform.

Whether or not Heather succeeds is not the point. It’s that she cares about something and is willing to do something about it that matters. I’m a lucky person to have met Heather…

HighCast 047 – Debbie Hunt

Debbie is owner and operator of An Alternative Life Learning Centre in Bungonia.

HighCast has introduced me to people who are saving the world in their own way in their own back yard. Debbie is one of these people, she is a passionate advocate for environment and sustainability and, along with her family, is doing her best to make the planet a better place.

Debbie is slight in stature but not in spirit. A woman who has risked a lot for what she believes in, Debbie is caring and compassionate and has chosen to give back to the earth and to our community through
An Alternative Life Learning Centre in Bungonia where she farms not just for the produce, but for the environment and to educate community.

Any time I feel down about politics or the immense challenges facing the world, I think back to my guests like Andrew Forbes and now Debbie who, despite the difficulties they face, continue to be an example to us all.

Thanks Debbie for the conversation and for the produce, my cooking isn’t great but it’s made better by your products!

Perrumba Farm Produce courtesy of Debbie… Yum…

HighCast 046 – Alex McFadden

Alex is an emergency service professional.

I have regular existential conversations with Alex, this one just happened to be recorded. Alex is opinionated and challenging, she is articulate and thoughtful, and is able to converse on many topics.

Being an emergency service professional she is really interested in community well-being and it came through in this conversation. I really enjoyed exploring topics of sustainability and the big picture that we can sometimes ignore when considering overall community resilience and how we plan for and manage the future.

Thanks Alex for the considered and robust discussion. I look forward to making an appearance on your podcast too…

HighCast 045 – Petrea King

Petrea is founder and CEO of Quest for Life Foundation

Petrea is one of those truly inspiring people that you meet every now and then. A cancer survivor, a mentor and well-being practitioner Petrea seems able to transcend every day life and be in touch with the spiritual and the practical at the same time.

Our conversation got deep. We considered the universe, physics and existentialism. We talked meditation, health and solving big problems that face human kind. I learned more about myself and the world in this hour than I had in a long time.

Through her work Petrea helps people through trauma. I felt healed in her presence, and enthralled by her unique perspective on life. I feel really privileged to have met Petrea and hope she can come on the podcast again.

Thanks Petrea!