Sunday Extra - Separate stories podcast

40 Episodes

By: ABC Radio

Sunday Extra presents a lively mix of national and international affairs, analysis and investigation, as well as a lighter touch.

The Roundtable: What a new federal government will look like
Yesterday at 11:30 PM

Anthony Albanese has led the Labor Party to defeat the LNP after the coalitions' near decade in office. And while it remains unclear whether Labor will form a majority government, the Liberal Party has suffered major losses to "teal" independents in 'safe' Liberal seats.

Tweet of the week
Yesterday at 11:28 PM

Can you guess this week's mystery caller?

The Year that Made Me: Craig Hollywood, 2015
Yesterday at 11:15 PM

The founder of the charity Short Back & Sidewalks is Western Australia's Local Hero for 2022

Storytime success across Australia and Pacific
Yesterday at 11:05 PM

More than one million school students in Australia and the Pacific will sit down at the same time on Wednesday to read Family Trees, a book that celebrates diversity

Could Tuvalu survive as a digital nation?
Yesterday at 10:45 PM

Pacific island nation Tuvalu is working on a survival plan in case of a worst case sea level rise

04 | Face Value Empowerment or exploitation?
Yesterday at 10:00 PM

The decision to get cosmetic enhancement is complicated. It could be triggered by childhood bullying, influenced by social media, or stem from a belief that you’re not good enough.The beauty industry encourages you to tie your self-identity to your appearance. It promises to empower you.In the final episode of Face Value, we delve further into why so many people are driven to change the way they look. Who are they doing it for? And do cosmetic procedures make people happier or more confident?

PNG's prosperity push with bilum
Yesterday at 9:50 PM

The humble but culturally significant woven bag known as a bilum has become the unlikely source of economic prosperity for thousands of women in Papua New Guinea

The 'science donut'
Yesterday at 9:45 PM

There are some moments you can look back on and go 'yep – that’s when I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.' The moment your ambition really crystallised.This week, we’re hearing from Emily Finch about when that moment happened for her – on a family field trip to what she calls the “science donut”.

America’s abortion underground
Yesterday at 9:24 PM

What will post Roe -v- Wade America look like?

The COVID-19 pandemic is ripping through North Korea
Yesterday at 9:12 PM

For more than 2 years North Korea has claimed to be free of COVID-19. Now it si reporting hundreds of thousands of new cases of ‘fever’ daily

The Roundtable: what's in a political ad?

Spending, restrictions and oversight – just how is this election’s political advertising shaping up?

Tweet of the week

This week's caller is a tall and elegant resident of wetlands across the north and east of Australia – the Brolga.

The Year that Made Me: Martha Wainwright, 1983

Martha Wainwright talks about her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, an often raw account of growing up in a talented musical family.

An Australian first responder in Ukraine

Alison Thompson has been described as Australia’s Mother Teresa , she travels the world as a humanitarian volunteer.

Modern science and its European myths

Historian James Poskett is challenging the way we look at some of history’s most celebrated scientists

03 | Face Value — Killer curves and harsh realities

Cosmetic enhancement comes with plenty of risks. Botched surgeries, safety breaches, and in the worst-case scenario, fatal results. They've been reported for decades. Horror stories aside, chasing your aesthetic ideal is no easy task. Beneath every Insta-perfect photograph is a tonne of time, energy and money that's often glossed over. And that's not to mention the pain and prolonged recovery that can come with invasive procedures.Why are so many people willingly submitting themselves to putting this much effort into how they look?

Pandemic preparation and the data pyramid

Priyanka Pillai combines computer science skills and a background in biomedical sciences to take on complex challenges in health data, particularly for pandemic preparedness research.You know, just in case we ever need that sort of thing …

How doing puzzles can make us better people

Puzzles are not only great for keeping the brain sharp, they can also make us better thinkers and better people.

Reckless policies took Sri Lanka's economy to the brink

Economic mismanagement, magnified by the COVID pandemic has taken Sri Lanka to the brink of economic and political collapse.

From refugee to Archibald prize finalist

While in Immigration Detention Mostafa “Moz” Azimitabar taught himself to play guitar and paint using a toothbrush.

The Roundtable: The march of the so-called 'teal' independents

In this election, all eyes are on the so-called ‘teal’ independents running in urban, inner-city seats, and threatening to unseat at least one senior Cabinet minister.

Tweet of the week

Can you guess this week's mystery caller?

The Year that Made Me: Saad Mohseni, 1978

Afghan Australian media mogul Saad Mohseni was 12 years old in 1978 when the first president of Afghanistan was assassinated with his family by communist rebels, which led the way for the Soviet invasion.

Swimming to Alcatraz

Notorious currents, freezing waters and sharks, but groups of swimmers regularly brave the waters and swim out to Alcatraz prison island.

A.I. is helping to revitalize Maori language skills

A Māori radio station is using A.I. to help build a digital language archive to revitalize and increase Maori language speaking.

02 | Face Value — Ethnic ambiguity and the Kardashian effect

For the longest time, Western beauty has been celebrated. The desire and pressure to look more 'Western' has led to skin whitening products, nose jobs and double eyelid surgery. But the tide is turning. Celebrities like the Kardashians are leaning into an ethnically ambiguous aesthetic. Is this cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation? What do people of colour, who've often been racially vilified for their appearance, have to say about others cherry-picking their features?

Sex in a changing world

Sexual selection is a potent evolutionary force responsible for much of the weird and wonderful diversity of life on our planet. So what happens when it's disturbed by human-induced environmental change?

These kangaroos are a long way from home

Forestry officials in India were shocked to find three adult kangaroos in the wild in West Bengal

Ireland to give struggling artists a basic wage

The Irish government will pay 2-thousand randomly selected struggling artists a basic wage of more than $400 a week for three years.

Russia is turning up the heat on Europe over gas supply

Russia says ‘unfriendly’ European countries will have to pay for its gas in roubles, which the EU says would breach the sanctions it has imposed.

The Roundtable: Inequality

With inflation at its highest level in more than two decades, and a rise in the cost of living, it seems a good time to ask how equality is faring in Australia. Is inequality set to get much worse? Guests:Dr Barry Jones, former ALP politician, lawyer, teacher, quiz contestant and writer.Alison Pennington, Senior Economist, The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.Mikayla Novak, author and economist.Producer: Margie Smithurst

The Roundtable: How equal are we in Australia?

With inflation at its highest level in more than two decades, and a rise in the cost of living, it seems a good time to ask how equality is faring in Australia. Is inequality growing?

Tweet of the week

Can you guess this week's mystery caller?

The Year that Made Me: Valmai Dempsey, 2019

Valmai Dempsey was named Senior Australian of the Year for 2022 in recognition of her 60 year dedication to voluntary first-aid work

Coping with online rejection

#CrushedButOkay is a new youth-led online campaign will offer practical tips for young men to deal with rejection online.

Burkina Faso's master builder

Burkina Faso architect Francis Kéré is the first African winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize


Background Briefing will be on a break for a few weeks, but we will be back late May with fresh investigations.In the meantime why not check out a new podcast made by our colleagues called Face Value.It takes a closer look at the booming cosmetic enhancement industry in Australia and explores why so many people choose to alter their appearance with injectables or surgical procedures.

01 | Face Value — Beauty boom in the age of Zoom

COVID-19 has changed the way we do things and seeing our faces on-screen everyday has triggered more people to seek cosmetic enhancement than ever before.

Australia's future in space

What’s Australia best known for? Venomous creatures? Football with weird rules? What about… space exploration?

Afghan farmers and the Taliban's latest poppy ban

They say timing is everything so when the Taliban announced early April, they were implementing a ban on opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, it left observers wondering who the message was aimed at, given it’s the major harvesting season now.