The Chat

The ChatLooking for a little life inspiration? Or a cracking tale to accompany you on your morning commute? Look no further than The Chat, from our friends at 2SER radio!

The Chat interviews outstanding graduates from the University of Technology Sydney who have excelled in their profession or community. From CEOs to SCs, fashion designers to forensic scientists, The Chat gets graduates back on Broadway to share their stories.

Browse the most recent episodes below.

Nadine Ismiel-Nash

If you have been around kids in recent years you might know of NitWits, an Australian head lice treatment range. Well Nadine invented that product! She is a product development manager at Sue Ismiel & Daughters- a family business that developed in the kitchen and went global. Click here to listen to the interview.

Dr Frances Hughes

Imagine if getting medical advice was as easy as going to the supermarket. Well in parts of the United States, it is, with some stores taking on nurses as staff. This is just one of the ideas Dr Frances Hughes brought back to Broadway for the Chat. Click here to listen to the interview.

Cathy Craigie

Cathy Craigie is a Gomeroi and Anaiwon woman form Northern NSW with over 30 years experience working in Aboriginal affairs. She is one of the original founders and driving forces behind Koori Radio, and has held key roles in the Australia Council and the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Cathy was awarded the prestigious New South Wales Aboriginal Arts fellowship in 2016. Click here to listen to the interview.

Kate Fitzsimons

When tragedy strikes, it’s not always easy to bounce back. But for Kate Fitzsimons, the death of her sister brought more than pain- it brought passion. The Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation is an organisation in honour of Kate's sister, raising awareness of the importance of travel safety for young Australians. Now Kate gives presentations to high school students, hoping to prevent others from experiencing the pain of losing a loved one and to teach them the importance of resilience. Click here to listen to the interview.

Sylvia Freedman

Sylvia was diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease that attacks the reproductive organs in women, often causing chronic pelvic pain and infertility, though she had been feeling the symptoms from age 11. After graduating with a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Social Inquiry at UTS, Sylvia now fronts the not for profit health promotion charity Endo Active with her mum Lesley. Endo Active is an organisation aimed at bringing the conversation around endometriosis to the forefront. Click here to listen to the interview.

Robin Way

Disability has always been an important part of Robin Way's life, despite having no disability of her own. In 1945, her parents co-founded the Spastic Centre of NSW, which exists today as the Cerebal Palsy Alliance. This meant that she grew up surrounded by people who lived rich, full lives with disabilities. While Robin did, as she puts it, "run away from disability" for a while, her role as CEO of Community Connections Australia, has continued her family's legacy. Click here to listen to the interview.

Tarik Abdulhak

Tarik didn't set out to be an expert in the history of Cambodia, Bosnia or Syria, but his work as an international lawyer has made him one. As a Senior Prosecutor in the trials of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, Tarik was involved in the sentencing of senior figures of the regime. Recently Tarik has been working with the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, which has compiled more than six hundred thousand government documents from Syria, gathering evidence for international criminal cases in the future. Click here to listen to the interview.

Michael Atkin

Michael Atkin hadn't even graduated when he started working for Triple J's 'Hack', where he covered everything from the law, to indigenous issues to sexual fetish. He won the Young Australian Journalist of the Year award from the MEAA and Walkley Foundation twice, and last year was named Tasmania’s Journalist of the Year. He is now a reporter for the ABC's flagship current affairs program, 7.30. In this episode of the Chat, Michael talks about his work, the world, and what it takes to be a good journalist. Click here to listen to the interview.

Rob Castaneda

Faculty of Engineering and IT graduate Rob Castaneda is the CEO of Service Rocket which is a platform that helps entrepreneurs and businesses utilise software, breaking down the tech lingo to non-tech people. Today a big part of this involves coding, with Service Rocket acting as mentors into this new age software. Rob tells us what he thinks the future of writing software holds and reflects on the time before the age of smart phones and tablets. Click here to listen to the interview.

Marina Brizar

Marina Brizar was born in Sarajevo in Bosnia, and was three when the Balkan Civil War broke out. While she grew up in Australia, her family's refugee experience has shaped Marina's view on the world and her work. After completing a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of International Studies at UTS, she set out to become an Immigration Advisor, going on to win awards for her work. Now she is a Registered Migration Agent with Playfair Visa and Migration Services and has also co-founded a foundation to support students seeking asylum in Australia. Click here to listen to the interview.

Om Dhungel

Om Dhungel was one of over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees forced to flee from the country in the early 1990s, and spent over six years volunteering in a refugee camp in Nepal. Om now lives in Australia with his family, and is a Director on the Board of Settlement Services International and of SydWest Multicultural Services. Click here to listen to the interview.

Nina Las Vegas

Nina is a DJ, music producer and radio host who has played overseas at places like Coachella in the US as well as touring abroad playing her own sets and gigs. Having originally started a degree in Visual Design at the UTS she branched out into sound engineering, and began building her craft. Hailing from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales her affinity for music started from a young age, where she would collect and listen to her dad's old and new CDs and singles. Click here to listen to the interview.

Pamela Freeman

Pamela Hart and Pamela Freeman are the same person, but they create very different things. One creates fantasy worlds for children like in the 'Princess Betony' series. The other writes fiction for adults, through books like 'the Soldiers Wife' which explores the complexity of war. To discuss her dual identity and her award winning work, Pamela and some of her books came back to Broadway. Click here to listen to the interview.

Alison Page

Alison Page is a descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people of the Yuin nation, an award-winning Designer, and an innovative creator. She's done everything from bob cat driving to jewellery design, was the founding CEO of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance and a panelist on the ABC show the New Inventors. She talks about her past and future plans. Click here to listen to the interview.

Alex Ryan

Alex Ryan graduated from UTS in 2007 with Bachelor of Arts in Communication and has gone on to be an award winning short film and music video director. Now Alex is one of four winners of the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship, and has been awarded $50,000 to produce a short film that will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival. Click here to listen to the interview.

Daniel Mookhey

In 2015, Daniel Mookhey was the first person in Australian parliamentary history to be sworn in on the Bhagavad Gita. Although not a particularly religious person, it makes a statement which Daniel says reflects his drive as a politician as well as the modern face of Australia's cultural landscape. Daniel is currently a New South Wales Labor Member of the New South Wales Upper House. Click here to listen to the interview.

Leanne Zalapa

Leanne is CEO of the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation, which works to raise funds and awareness for health issues, research, education and facilities. She is also an Associate Professor of Industry at the University of Technology Sydney. But while her career has taken her out of her scrubs, she still sees herself first and foremost as a nurse. Click here to listen to the interview.

Peta Tait

Peta Tait has an extensive history in performance both on and off the stage. With initial interests in acting, Peta has gone on to playwright as well as publish a number of non-fiction books about the world of circus performance. She currently teaches Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University. Click here to listen to the interview.

Matthew Bailey

UTS Business Graduate Matthew Bailey founded the Brooklyn Kings rugby club in an attempt to bring the sport to the forefront of American culture. Based in New York City, he finds himself split between two sporting worlds - spending half his time on the managerial side of sports, and the other looking after his team on the field. Click here to listen to the interview.

Matt Ralph

Music has been a part of Matt Ralph's life, since his days playing an improvised rice shaker with his family. But it wasn’t until adulthood that Matt realised the true potential of music: to heal. As a music thearapist in the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Matt spends his days bringing joy and comfort to kids that could be going through rough times with illness or injury. Click here to listen to the interview.

Judith Fox

UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences alumna, Judith Fox is the National Director for Policy and Publishing, at the Governance Institute of Australia. The role keeps her busy, but also allows her to do what she loves the most - writing. With two novels under her belt, and an extensive career in both writing and film, Judith says she's found the perfect balance - between the world of fiction and non-fiction. Click here to listen to the interview.

Ralph Kelly

Ralph Kelly's life changed forever in July 2012, when his son Thomas was murdered in Kings Cross. He was on a night out with his friends, when he was struck in the head in an unprovoked attack on Victoria Street. Since then, through his organisation the Thomas Kelly Foundation and initiatives like Safe Spaces, Ralph has been dedicating his life to changing Australia's drinking culture. Click here to listen to the interview.

Jozefa Sobski

Jozefa has been passionate about education her whole life, a sentiment passed on to her from her father and family. This has inspired her course in life as an advocate for education and women's rights. Jozefa is Chair of the Jessie Street National Women's Library and the Community Language Schools Board in NSW, as well as a member of the TAFE Community Alliance, to only name a few. Her story is one of many different endeavours, but Jozefa's path through life has been a determined one, and one dedicated to improving access to public services for the whole community. Click here to listen to the interview.

Sunil Badami

Sunil Badami is a freelance writer and broadcaster who has had a wide variety of jobs over the years. He's worked as a trainee clown, managed an adult shop in Sydney's Kings Cross, worked as a stockbroker - however, he finds himself most comfortable in his role as a freelancer. Sunil has written for a wide range of publications including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Good Weekend .He's also presented on ABC Local Radio, appeared on Double J and occasionally jumps back on the mic on 2SER Radio. Click here to listen to the interview.

Matt Cleary

Matt has worked in humanitarian aid across the world, from Niger to Australia. Through his efforts with organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières, the United Nations World Food Programme and St Vincent de Paul, he has helped countless individuals when they needed it most. Matt graduated from UTS with a Bachelor of Nursing in 1998 and a Masters in Health Services Management in 2005, both of which he has used to provide medical aid and to coordinate emergency interventions. He is now working for the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) in Senegal. Click here to listen to the interview.

Carolyn McGregor

Doctor Carolyn McGregor is a Research Chair in Health Informatics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology - and an expert on numbers. Carolyn’s research provides doctors with new ways to save the lives of premature babies and uses numbers to do so. Her research utilises big data, where she captures information and numbers that monitor the conditions of babies born premature, and devise techniques to monitor their ongoing health states. The same research is also monitoring the health states of astronauts, where by using big data, can address and potentially predict medical problems. Click here to listen to the interview.

Jemma Birrell

Jemma Birrell, Artistic Director of The Sydney Writer’s Festival, grew up with stories. She never quite got over her love for both the written and spoken word. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Hons) 2003, she has worked in publishing, and at the famous Shakespeare and Company in Paris. But her role in breaking ticket and book sales records for the Sydney Writer’s festival, is particularly impressive and won her the UTS Alumni Award for Excellence in 2014. Click here to listen to the interview.

Andrea Myles

Andrea is the perfect example of making your passion your work. After travelling in China for three months at 23, Andrea fell in love with the country. She went on to study a Master of Arts in International Studies at UTS where she learnt Mandarin, and also has a Master of Arts in China studies. Andrea has since been involved with the creation of the China Australia Millennial Project, or CAMP, of which she is CEO. It's an incubator that brings together young innovators from China and Australia to work together on projects challenging both countries. Click here to listen to the interview.

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Click here to view episodes from 2015.