What do a Shoe Princess, a Rotarian passionate about Men’s Health issues, a young woman living with a debilitating chronic pain syndrome, the CEO of Ardoch Youth Foundation, an adventure racer/personal trainer, a vision impaired IT expert, a man diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 2 years of age, a Meditation guru and a New South Wales Woman of the Year have in common?
Answer: My radio programme. They and many more have been guests on my health & wellbeing programme The Best Medicine on 88.3FM (Melbourne, Tuesdays, 11am – noon AEST).
Preparing & presenting my programme is demanding, time consuming, fascinating and so often humbling – as when guests share their personal experiences of illness, pain or chronic conditions. I’m humbled and also inspired by how they cope – often with humour and/or helping others, how they find meaning and how they just get through each day.
I do community radio, so I can give a whole programme to certain topics: Alzheimers, Chronic Pain etc which I think people want to know about, or a whole programme to an author – as I’ve done so many times this year and in previous years. No one limits me to superficial brief chats. I like depth and detail and I think a lot of listeners do too.
Here’s a selection:
Emma Bowd wrote The Shoe Princess’ Guide to the Galaxy – a novel about a shoe lover, corporate high flyer and new mum adjusting to a world no longer under her control.
I talked with Liane Moriarty author of What Alice Forgot – an engaging, engrossing, funny novel about amnesia and second chances.
Basia Bonkowski shared with us her experience of having to let go of her remarkable elderly mother in her moving work Shimmer.
The ever amazing Sandy Jeffs talked about her memoir Flying with Paper Wings , in which she explores her distressing, troubled family life and her ‘madness’ – schizophrenia; her saviours: two friends and writing. It’s insightful, intelligent, cogent, humane, searingly honest, lyrical and at times humorous – and transforming. Read it and start to understand the hellish suffering of those with a mental illness. Gain insight and compassion.
And then there was Steven Amsterdam, the author of the Age Book of the Year 2009 – Things We Didn’t See Coming. He’s an amazing person and a skilled writer. His dystopian vision of a not-too-distant future of social and environmental breakdown is a timely warning, but much more it is an affirmation of the need to connect and to be true to self despite terrible circumstances. The ending is deeply moving. If you want to listen to an MP3 version of the interview it’s on my website: www.gaytana-adorna.com under radio programmes. I plan to add some more in a while.
Steven was sent to me by the wonderful Christine Darcas author of Dancing Backward in High Heels, who asked me to be in conversation with her for her author talk during the Bayside Literary Festival this year. I interviewed her on my programme in 2008.
For Anzac Day I awoke VERY early and was part of the team associated with the broadcast of the Dawn Service from Hampton RSL and then had the privilege of interviewing some returned servicemen. Listening to Vietnam Vets talking about PTSD and the effects on their families and themelves and old diggers from WW2 still haunted by memories is another humbling reality check. I think I’ll be back for more next year if the team wants me.
I love doing radio.