New Voices #9 - Easy to Love! The Zephyr to wisdom

Mon, 27 July 2020

Episode 9 of New Voices takes you on a gender quest, sign-posted by Scottish immigrant disturbia, and travelling in a ‘60s Ford Zephyr. Destination? Wisdom!

by Maria Issaris, Producer New Voices

Remember reading Alice in Wonderland for the first time? The dizzying journey from rabbit to Mad Hatter to the Queen of Hearts, and a whole cavalcade of crazy but believable characters, in which the most unbelievable thing is that Alice sensibly stays sane. Well, welcome to episode 9 and an interview which, similarly, takes you to a familiar and sunny picnic spot, spreads out the blanket, and after 15 minutes sets you to wondering whether in fact your cordial was spiked with something seriously illegal.

Our writer for episode 9 drawls his way into your heart as only a down-to-earth Ocker bloke can; spinning yarn after yarn in a Henry Lawson meets Banjo Patterson way, fondly recalling his Scottish immigrant parents. And that’s the end of normality as we know it. We are placed in the backseat of an old Zephyr, and, with three brothers all cramped beside you, mum out front, follow dad’s journey throughout Queensland and NSW, trekking from town to town, and escaping from not sure what and heading towards not sure where.

Our writer grows up, becomes a pilot, has four marriages, yes, four; and then comes face-to-face with a gender quandary. He lives for a period of time as a woman, decides he is neither gay nor transgender, and he will have you questioning, as he did me, what exactly does gender mean? And can a person possibly have ‘two spirits’?

His critiquer is one of the most august of our interviewers here at our radio station, Barbara Sullivan. She was in the publishing industry for most of her career, spending most of her time in the US, and now runs one of the most highly regarded disability programs in community radio, Ablequest, interviewing politicians, heads of disability organisations and the list goes on.

She calls Craigs’ journey into his identity as a gender quest, and nails his storytelling style, valuing the way in which he celebrates the laconic nature of Australian-ness. She points out the ease with which he is able to rummage through his rucksack of classics to chuck in a few erudite metaphors and references, that elevate, surprise, entertain, and simply delight.

Our writer is currently in incognito mode. We call him Craig in the interview, but he likes Ewan as well, which we will call him at his request in this article. However, his pic looks suspiciously like Gary Cooper....

So dive down this rabbit hole with me - I can guarantee neither your safety nor your sense of ‘normality’, and hopefully we will all find each other on the other side enjoying a sensible cup of tea with whatever characters decide to turn up!

Maria -

Here is the Teaser for Episode 9 -

Ewan: Day Job ..........

NV Ewan

[Image: Looks suspiciously like John Wayne but this is 'Ewan's photo choice.]

Writing: Creative memoir

When I asked ‘Ewan’ for a bio - he offered the following:

‘Ewan’ :What about ex SAS assassination techniques instructor, now retired, who teaches wellness techniques and crystal growing to Double Bay matrons?

Maria: It's your show! And what about a pic ‘Ewan’?

Ewan: Here it is, Maria! What do you think?

Maria: Looks just like you!

Critiquer: Barbara Sullivan


[Image: Barbara Sullivan]

Barbara Sullivan has been a 2RPH volunteer for over 12 years now and enjoys a variety of on-air opportunities, especially her role as this week’s reviewer on New Voices.

Since graduating from UQ with a BA in English Literature and Journalism, Barbara’s career and interests have involved the media and communications in all its forms – print, broadcast, TV, online and audio. For over 20 years, Barbara has worked as an executive in the print and online publishing industry in New York and London. Now she indulges herself in reading prodigiously for pleasure and is particularly keen to support emerging Australian writers.

Episode 9 is being broadcast at 5.30pm on Monday 27 July, and repeated at 1.30pm on Sunday 2 August! Tune in on 2RPH - 1224AM, 100.5FM, digital DAB+ and web streaming -