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Radio National: Life Matters
Julie presented the social issues program “Life Matters” on ABC Radio National for five years, initially with Geraldine Doogue and then as solo presenter.

Irene Inwald Returns to Poland, 16 April 2001
Julie has had a 25 year friendship with Irene Inwald, a Jewish survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. She got false papers and posed as a Catholic nanny during the war. Mrs Inwald was a strong influence on Julie’s later social activism. In 2001 she and Sophie Inwald accompanied Irene back to Poland to visit her hometown, Auschwitz where many of her friends and relatives perished. It was a moving experience for all involved. Go to the Radio National web page with links to tape sales.

Wilcannia Public Forum, 14 Jul 2004
One of the more satisfying attempts at community outreach took place in July 2004, when Life Matters was broadcast live from the far western NSW town of Wilcannia. Julie was involved in a public forum that discussed issues for the remote community, thereby telling us “something about the whole country – in many different ways”.

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LIFE MATTERS INTERVIEWS

What’s Next With Doctor Livingston
Dr Gordon Livingston is the author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need To Know Now, published by Hodder.
Part 1: Dr Livingston talks about his life, happiness and depression and yes, why it’s important to not just talk about problems but decide what to DO next (first broadcast 8 Aug 2005, repeated 2 Jan 2006). read more
Part 2: Dr Livingston urges people not to hang onto what they perceive as ‘damaging’ things which happened to them as children. Further, acceptance of responsibility for what we do and how we feel requires an act of will – and most importantly, it requires action above words (9 Aug 2005/3 Jan 2006). read more
Part 3: This interview centres on a chapter in Dr Livingston’s recent book titled: The Problems Of The Elderly Are Frequently Serious But Seldom Interesting (10 Aug 2005/4 Jan 2006). read more
Part 4: Dr Livingston talks about love in all its manifestations including unrequited, married and disintegrating (11 Aug 2005/5 Jan 2006). read more

Vietnam And Now: An On-Air Reunion
A live on-air reunion between two remarkable men who haven’t spoken to each other since they were medicos in Vietnam 37 years ago. The two doctors are Gordon Livingston, from Maryland in the US and Bill Maguire, an orthopaedic surgeon from Brisbane. Today, we hear about life and work in war-torn Vietnam and what has happened personally and professionally since (first broadcast 17 Aug 2005, repeated 6 Jan 2006). read more

Geraldine Brooks and the Imagined Father
Geraldine Brooks is an Australian-born journalist and writer, who has long lived in the US. She was a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal; and her experiences in the Middle East lead to her highly-regarded non-fiction piece, Nine Parts of Desire. She has also written on the power of correspondence, in her book on pen friends Foreign Correspondence; while her first novel, Year of Wonders, took us into the past. And it seems that she has combined all of this in her latest novel, March, which tells the story of the mostly-absent father in Louisa May Alcott’s classic American novel, Little Women. It’s a story of the brutality of war – so closely observed by Brooks in her experience as a foreign correspondence; the power and elusiveness of letter writing; and the lure of the past. On Life Matters, however, Brooks spoke about the appeal of impractical ideologues, and the “real Mr March” – Louisa May Alcott’s father, Bronson Alcott. (first broadcast 12 Apr 2005, repeated 28 Dec 2006). read more

William McInnes: A Man’s Got To Have A Hobby: Long Summers With My Dad
William McInnes is best known for his role as Max in the ABC television series, Seachange. Now, William has turned his attention to his boyhood, producing a funny and poignant memoir called A Man’s Got To Have A Hobby. The book is a wonderful tribute to William’s late father, Colin, who returned from WWII to raise a family of five children in Redcliffe, Queensland. The book is full of real life characters living life to the full … and mourning the passing of loved ones whose greatest contribution was just being themselves (broadcast 19 Dec 2005). read more

Shirley MacLaine is Out on a Leash
Shirley MacLaine is an actor, writer, activist, dancer, performer, and believer in the spiritual. She has appeared in more than fifty films, including Mrs Winterbourne; Guarding Tess; Postcards from the Edge; Steel Magnolias; Being There; The Turning Point; Irma La Douce … She has won an Oscar; three Emmies; and ten Golden Globes. She is an activist for civil rights, for women’s rights, and has campaigned actively for spiritual understanding. Her books range from memoir to spiritual explorations, including Don’t Fall off the Mountain and Out on a Limb. She’s also very fond of her dog, Terry, about whom (and with whom) she has written her latest book, Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love (broadcast 29 Dec 004). read more

Christmas and Family Talkback
In our final 2004 talkback we pull together the sounds, smells and experiences of Christmas pasts and ask “why do we do this to ourselves, year after year”? Is the Christmas family gathering pleasure or pain and how can we encourage more of the first and avoid the other? A poet and a psychiatrist offer delightful insights:
Dr Robert Gordon (psychiatrist and psychotherapist, former head of the Department of Psychotherapy at Westmead Hospital, Sydney) and Chris Wallace-Crabbe
(professor emeritus, poet and essayist, founding Director of the Australian Centre, Melbourne University) (broadcast 17 Dec 2004). read more

Social Policy
For an overview of issues covered by Life Matters in 2004, click here.

Life Matters on Audio Tape
Information on how to purchase tapes of Life Matters programs is available here.