• "(Podcasting) is accessible. You don't need huge budgets, or big networks to back you - you just need a good story." (Supplied)
Meet the Blackfellas who tell stories that you can download.
By
Emily Nicol

11 Apr 2019 - 3:09 PM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2019 - 7:33 AM

Rowdie Walden has been working as a producer/presenter for television for years, but recently decided to share stories through another growing medium. 

Just one of many Indigenous storytellers in podcasting, the Gamilaroi producer began to notice the popularity in audio and was keen to contribute his ideas and content to a wide audience.

At the end of last year, Rowdie took part in Spotify's inaugural SoundUp Bootcamp, a program giving 10 First Nations storytellers the opportunity to come to Sydney to learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting and help develop a series pilot. 

Speaking to NITV, Rowdie says that he hopes to reach a broad audience with his podcast, delving into a universally appealing topic — sex. 

"Search Engine Sex is on a mission to answer the most Googled sex questions," he explains. "It's basically the podcast version of Dolly Doctor, but the doctor is me and it's way more camp.

"Each episode I'm joined by a different guest as we explore a new question. It's a deep-dive into every sexual crevice on the Internet. It's sex-positive, which is the opposite of the sex education that I think most people my age got in school." 

Rowdie has found that compared to TV, the podcasting is not only accessible as a listener, but also as a producer and presenter.

"There is a bloody podcast about everything at your fingertips. But also as a producer, you don't need huge budgets, or big networks to back you — you just need a good story."

Through the SoundUp Bootcamp, the Narromine-native who is now based in Melbourne, was able to spend time with established podcast producers from the USA division of Spotify who are now helping him to develop his series.

Currently editing the pilot episode, Rowdie jokes that listening to your own voice for hours is "a great time", but more seriously, pioneering a public project can be daunting. 

"It's cliché but the creative process is a killer," Rowdie admits. "I'm so easily distracted. I sat in the 'this is a terrible idea / no one will ever listen to this' lane for months. It's only just sparking joy again now that it's all coming together."

In comparison to visual storytelling, the podcast platform demands different considerations when it comes to capturing audience engagement and the smallest choices can often become the most critical. 

Walden explains, "I've thought a lot — probably too much — about how it sounds, which sounds obvious because it's a podcast ... But coming from a TV background, I found it challenging to have to tell everything only through sound. It's much harder. Music choice is hard, it can really make or break the moment."

Whilst he has found it very lucky to have been able to have a mentor guide his process, he says that his inner circle will always be the best guide. "Friends will always tell you if it's not funny." 

Since starting a podcast, Rowdie has broadened his own podcast playlist. He shares his favourites,  

"I'll give anything a go these days! At the moment, I'm listening to It's Britney, Bitch!, which is a series celebrating 20 years of Britney Jean Spears.

"I'm also addicted to The Grub, a weekly sketch comedy show with Anne Edmonds, Greg Larsen and Ben Russell." he says.

Search Engine Sex is due to be released soon keep an eye out on your favourite podcast platform.

 

5 more Blackfella Podcasts to download now:

The ASH Podcast:

'Talking sexual health with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob'

This is a no holds barred, intimate sex-positive conversation surrounding sexual health between friends Dominic Eliseo and Sasha Smith.

Based in Kaurna Country (Adelaide) in South Australia, both hosts, who identify as queer, talk about their personal experiences, challenges and give advice to anyone wishing to access sexual health information. Dominic has been working in the Aboriginal health sector for 14 years and Sasha is a sex worker who talks openly about her industry. A refreshing and insightful addition to the sexual health podcast space which is suitable for ages 16+.

 

Wild Black Women

Dr Chelsea Bond and Angelina Hurley host this casual and entertaining weekly edition about 'what makes the mob wild this week', produced through 98.9FM in Brisbane.

Guaranteed to get you laughing, as both hosts do often and heartily on-air, this is a great way to keep up with current affairs and issues that are of interest, to not only Aboriginal Australia, but for anyone wanting to stay connected to the voices and opinions of Blackfellas. 

Wild Black Women (Dr Chelsea Bond and Angelina Hurley) are regular guests on NITV's The Point, Wednesdays, 8.30pm. 

 

Blacademia (Currently in production)

'Blacademia™ is an environment or community of First People concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.'

Academic, Amy Thunig is currently producing the first series of this podcast, dedicated to the voices of blackfella's in academia and giving a nuanced and insightful look at current and historical issues.

There is currently a GofundMe page to help her get this started, head here for more info.

 

Let’s Talk: Pretty for an Aboriginal

Actor Miranda Tapsell and Actor/Writer/Producer Nakkiah Lui teamed up for this successful podcast produced by popular social site, Buzzfeed.

From the first episode the easy laughter and conversation between the two illustrated the depth of their friendship and with ease, takes the listener into topics that both feel passionate about.

Related Reading
Just launched: New podcast series set to challenge and inspire
Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell have joined forces to host a new podcast that is set to stir up traditional perceptions about what it's like to be a modern woman in Australia who is often viewed through the lens of race.

The title in itself is an insight into the everyday casual racism and politically-charged space that people of colour have to navigate daily that the two delve into with their guests, which features a diverse range of high profile personalities including Briggs, American writer, Roxane Gay and Anishinaabe TV host, dancer and advocate, Sarain Fox.

 

Unravel: Blood on the tracks

This Walkley Award-winning podcast produced by the ABC and created and hosted by journalist Allan Clarke, is the result of five years of heartbreaking research into the cold case of Mark Haines, a 17-year-old Gomeroi teenager whose body was found on train tracks in Tamworth in 1988.

This true crime series was widely acclaimed and resulted in the reopening of the case and offer of a reward for information.