Change One Thing

Change One Thing

  • presented by Larni Salathiel
    Larni Salathiel

    Larni Salathiel is a Melbourne-based actor, presenter and model, carving a career across TV, print and radio, as well as live event hosting. A Deakin University alumni, Larni graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts (Public Relations/Broadcast Journalism).

Tomorrow will be what tomorrow will be… or will it?

Listen up as experts from Australia’s Deakin University take on the big ideas shaping our future. Each week, our guest is challenged with the question – if they could only change one thing to improve our world, what would it be? Host Larni Salathiel explores issues as diverse as diet, farming, cyber security, mining, celebrity, robotics and climate change, helping us all to better prepare for tomorrow, today.

So join us and these talented bunch of thinkers, doers, creators, experimenters, innovators and disruptors working hard to change our world.

  • From the frontier wars to terra nullius – why we need to lift the lid on Australia’s past

    From the frontier wars to terra nullius – why we need to lift the lid on Australia’s pastwith Larni Salathiel and Professor Emma Kowal

    Anthropologist Professor Emma Kowal fearlessly pries open some of Australia’s most challenging problems. Hear how she became motivated to improve life for Indigenous Australians and other marginalised groups.

    Listen to "From the frontier wars to terra nullius - why we need to lift the lid on Australia’s past" on Spreaker.

    Whether it be the politics of DNA testing or calling out the structural racism that has existed since colonisation, anthropologist Professor Emma Kowal fearlessly pries open some of Australia’s most challenging problems, in the hope she can improve life for Indigenous Australians and other marginalised groups.

    Based within the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University, Emma shares her story in this podcast, including her experience as a young medical doctor working with Aborigines in the Northern Territory and the influence of her four grandparents – all Holocaust refugees – which has led her to become one of Australia’s most respected cultural and medical anthropologists.

    “Since colonisation, the Aboriginal population has been decimated over and over again, from disease and frontier wars, to the slow violence of poor services and poor access to services, to inter-generational trauma, to the stolen generation. The list goes on,” she said.

    “For all Australians, whether they are engaged in Indigenous issues or not, we all benefit from the fact the land and resources were stolen and people were murdered. We need to acknowledge that … We can’t go back to 1788, but we need to take seriously the effects of colonisation on everything we do.”

    Emma was recently elected a Fellow of the prestigious Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She was the Deputy Director for the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at the Australian National University (2013-2017), while also at Deakin, and has been a visiting scholar at Yale and several other world-class universities, amongst many achievements.

    Many other topics are covered in this podcast, from cryopolitics to climate change. Prepare to have your heart touched – and your conscience.

    Show Notes

    Take a deeper look:

    Emma recommends:

    More reading:

  • Robots to the rescue

    Robots to the rescuewith Larni Salathiel and Dr Michael Fielding

    From tunnelling into dangerous mines, to defusing bombs, robots are making life easier and safer for humans. The father of Australia’s police OzBot, Dr Michael Fielding tells Larni how he develops robots and the tasks they are likely to perform.

    Listen to "Robots to the rescue" on Spreaker.

    From tunnelling into dangerous mines, to defusing bombs, robots are making life easier and safer for humans. The father of Australia’s popular police OzBot, Dr Michael ‘Mick’ Fielding tells Larni about his approach to developing robots – and the types of tasks we can expect them to perform.

    Mick calls it “Macgyvering a solution” — using available resources creatively to achieve a goal. His ability to mix cutting edge technology with “good old ingenuity” has allowed him “to replace problems with technological solutions that people love”. As Principal Research and Development Fellow (Advanced Mechatronics Systems) at Deakin University’s world-leading Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, he is a pioneer in haptics, augmented reality and robotics technology – working with a team of over 100 engineers, scientists, mathematicians, programmers and machinists.

    “I’m not passionate about technology for technology’s sake,” he said. “My work is about finding clever solutions with technology that consider user experience and involve close collaboration with colleagues and end users.”

    Over his 20-year career, Mick has created seven patented inventions and contributed to more than 150 commercial projects. He’s worked alongside the world’s leading research organisations, and delivered strategic and defence projects that have directly resulted in research and commercial income of over AU$50 million.

    Prepare to glimpse the brave new world of robotics.

    Show Notes

    Challenge your comfort zone:

    Mick recommends:

    Books:

    Podcasts:

    Read about Mick’s research projects:

    Connect with him on LinkedIn

  • Planet under pressure – a science watchdog shares her story

    Planet under pressure – a science watchdog shares her storywith Larni Salathiel and Emily Nicholson

    From coral reefs, to the Brazilian rainforests, to the Antarctic shelf, scientist Emily Nicholson is part of a global team that assesses the conservation values of the world’s ecosystems. She shares some important facts about climate change and how you too can make a difference.

    Listen to "Planet under pressure – a science watchdog shares her story" on Spreaker.

    From coral reefs, to the Brazilian rainforests, to the Antarctic shelf, scientist Emily Nicholson is part of a global team that assesses the conservation values of the world’s ecosystems. Emily co-leads the Red List of Ecosystems team of the world’s most significant environmental watchdog IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). IUCN sets the global standards on conservation for species, ecosystems and protected areas, providing important information on how biodiversity is under pressure around the world, and what can be done to safeguard nature.

    Emily is living proof that research can make a difference. One of her recent papers showed the impact of the Red List of Ecosystems on conservation policy and practice, and she is set to extend this work to examine the links between ecosystems and human well-being. Funded by the Australian Research Council, her work will improve the tracking of Australia’s progress in meeting its international environmental commitments. But beyond that, on the global stage, it will provide a global evidence base for all governments to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    “Sixty per cent of Australians rate climate change as the greatest threat to our national interest,” she says. “But that is only the first step. We all need to be engaged and active. There are practical tips that everyone can do to help, including ensuring our politicians understand the urgency of this crisis.”

    Emily is an Associate Professor of Conservation Science at Deakin University and a mother of three young children. Her story will inspire you to make a difference.

    Show Notes

    Books to fire your soul:

    Emily recommends:

    More reading:

  • Our future entwined – robots are coming

    Our future entwined – robots are comingwith Larni Salathiel and James Mullins

    A world where robots are common-place is almost here, as technology is no longer the limiting factor. Associate Prof James Mullins suggests where we'll see robots, how they'll benefit us and the ethical questions we need to consider.

    Listen to "Our future entwined – robots are coming" on Spreaker.

    Autonomous vehicles, robot-assisted rehabilitation, robot companions… A world where robots are common-place is just around the corner. In fact, technology is no longer the limiting factor. Haptics pioneer Associate Professor James Mullins says the limitations today are more to do with ideas and inspiration than technical capacity.

    An applied robotics engineer and entrepreneur, James is based within Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation. He tells Larni where we can expect to see robots in the near future and discusses the social and ethical implications of AI, suggested by Isaac Asimov’s “three laws of robotics” (1942), which still influence thought on ethics and robots.

    After building robots for security, medical, industrial and other uses, James has achieved spectacular success with his haptic firefighter training tool, FLAIM Trainer. The VR system gives firefighters all the sensations of fighting a fire – including force kickback and heat – in a safe environment. It has been embraced by emergency services globally and led to a spin-out company FLAIM Systems (with James Mullins as CEO), which was recently named “Small Business Exporter of the Year” at the Victorian Governor’s Export Awards.

    Prepare to glimpse the future.

    Show Notes

    Inspiration for the 21st Century:

    James recommends:

    More reading:

    Resources:

  • Including all abilities – the world can be made to fit

    Including all abilities – the world can be made to fitwith Larni Salathiel and Nicole Rinehart

    Nicole Rinehart is living proof that one person can make a difference. Hear how her AllPlay social movement is giving children with disabilities access to organised sport and cultural opportunities that most children take for granted.

    Listen to "Including all abilities – the world can be made to fit" on Spreaker.

    Nicole Rinehart is living proof that one person can make a difference to the lives of many. Director of the Deakin University Child Study Centre and a world expert on autism spectrum disorder, Nicole founded the AllPlay social movement to give children with disabilities access to organised sport and cultural opportunities that most children take for granted.

    “One in five children has developmental challenges or disabilities,” she said. “This is a huge number of children who have been excluded from normal parts of life that play a major role in well-being. I realised that I could only solve these problems by stepping out of the research lab and connecting with the world.”

    In this podcast, Nicole shares her inspirational personal and professional journeys. She tells Larni about the recent leaps in scientific understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, Asperger’s Disorder and ADHD, and how, when she was a mother of young children, she was shocked by the absence of children with disabilities in her children’s sporting club.

    Drawing on her expertise as a professor of clinical psychology, she started a crusade for inclusion that began with NAB AFL Auskick and led to partnerships with Moose Toys, the National Disability Insurance Agency, Queensland Ballet and its Director, “Mao’s Last Dancer” author Li Cunxin, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, and many other organisations.

    The community response has been phenomenal. The evidence-based, user-friendly AllPlay program is now the world’s biggest game changer for children with a disability in sport. It is also being taken up by education systems, from early learning through to secondary schools, as AllPlay Learn.

    Show Notes

    Inspiration for the 21st Century:

    Nicole recommends:

    • “Mao’s last dancer” (2003), a Memoir written by Chinese-Australian author Li Cunxin, released as a film in 2009.

    More reading:

    Resources:

    • AllPlay – a world-first initiative to create new pathways for inclusion for children with disabilities so they can play, learn, dance and connect into the community.
    • AMAZE – The peak body for autistic people and their supporters in Victoria.
  • Cybercrime – Is this the battle we are destined to lose?

    Cybercrime – Is this the battle we are destined to lose?with Larni Salathiel and Damien Manuel

    Australians lost $10 million to scammers last year. Cybercrime seems headed in one direction, but Damien Manuel is bringing together the best minds and best ideas to combat threats to our wallets, privacy and national security.

    Listen to "Cybercrime – Is this the battle we are destined to lose?" on Spreaker.

    Australians lost $10 million to scammers last year. One in three Australians were impacted. Cybercrime seems headed in one direction – and we need the best brains to combat threats to our wallets, privacy and national security.

    At age eleven, Damien Manuel joined a hacker collective with some friends. This sparked his interest in breaking systems to see how they work and discover their flaws. From those humble beginnings, Damien turned his cyber super-smarts to security and is now Director of Deakin University’s Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation.

    Damien and Larnie consider new trends in cybercrime, the best ways to thwart the criminals and the reams of new honest jobs emerging in the cyber world.

    Show Notes

    Reading for the 21st Century:

    Damien recommends:

    • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018) by Yuval Noah Hararis, historian, philosopher and the bestselling author of “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” and “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.”

    More reading:

    Listen:

  • Movies, popcorn and pop stars – why celebrity matters

    Movies, popcorn and pop stars – why celebrity matterswith Larni Salathiel and Professor Sean Redmond

    We love them, we hate them, or they might be our guilty pleasure, but do celebrities and popular culture really matter? Prof Sean Redmond explains why they do and we should all be celebrity literate.

    Listen to "Movies, popcorn and pop stars – why celebrity matters" on Spreaker.

    We love them, we hate them, or they might just be our guilty pleasure, but do movie stars, movies and popular culture really matter? Is there more than entertainment and escapism to the delirious dreams and fantasies they offer us? One of Australia’s leading cinephiles, Sean Redmond, Professor of Screen and Design at Deakin University, tells Larni why taking popular entertainment seriously does matter and why we should all be celebrity literate.

    Sean’s own boyhood enchantment with the likes of Laurel and Hardy, Elvis Presley and David Bowie led him on a lifelong quest to understand the role celebrity plays in our lives. “It’s on our screens, devices, newspapers and social media. Its writ large across our everyday lives,” he says. “It matters because it matters to people and if we don’t try to understand it, then we’re doing a disservice to culture, to reality, to how knowledge is increasingly communicated.”

    From body image, to the Kardashians, to loneliness and science fiction, Sean unpacks the seductive power of cinema, stardom and celebrity, including its role as “social glue” – connecting people and providing meaning in a time when buffers like religion and community have vanished for swathes of people across society.

    Be dazzled by Sean and Larni’s wide-ranging, deep-dive discussion into cinema, stardom and celebrity and the highs and lows of modern life.

    Show Notes

    Beyond the smoke and mirrors:

    Sean recommends:

    More reading:

  • Trials and tribulations – energy and law

    Trials and tribulations – energy and lawwith Larni Salathiel and Professor Samantha Hepburn

    Prof Samantha Hepburn is a modern-day ‘Athena’ – wielding the law to protect nature. Hear how she became an expert on Queensland’s Adani coal mine case and why we all need to care about climate change.

    Listen to "Trials and tribulations – energy and law" on Spreaker.

    Larni meets a modern-day “Athena,” Deakin University Law Professor Samantha Hepburn, who wields the law to protect nature. You will be shocked, yet galvanised by this frank conversation with Samantha.

    “The Gladiator” movie, starring Russell Crowe, is her favourite and you can see why. Hero General Maximus Decimus Meridius wins over the Colosseum crowd. With similar heroism, Samantha takes on heavy hitters like Adani – projecting her voice and knowledge in the courts and news media.

    As a student, Samantha saw how law could improve land rights and protect the environment. The Mabo case was pivotal – showing Australia wouldn’t be “frozen in an age of discrimination”. Now she is Director of Deakin’s Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law and a world expert on the environmental and energy frameworks governing the Adani approval to mine coal in Queensland. She can explain the science behind the dire straits facing Australia’s World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, and the food / water / energy nexus associated with the worstening impacts of global Climate Change – from droughts in Africa, to sea level rises in the Pacific, to loss of sea ice – and fish.

    Be stirred to find your own inner warrior.

    Show Notes

    Reading to fire your soul:

    Samantha recommends:

    • “The Road” (2006) by Cormac McCarthy, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

    More reading:

    Listen: