17: Shining a Light in Dark Places with Laura Conti

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in a secretive Christian sect? And what happens if you leave? My guest today Laura Conti has done just that and not only left but thrived. Her story is one of fierce tenacity, feminist principles and the power of a good education. More (more…)

17: What It Means To Be A Man with Sandeep Varma

This conversation you’re about to hear today is with an old friend of mine who I met through volunteering with kids from tricky back grounds, taking them on camps over the school holidays. This is actually inadvertently how I met my husband man James too but that’s a story for another day. Sandeep Varma is (more…)

16: Living the Questions with Yves Rees

Today I am joined by Dr Yves Rees. They are a La Trobe University historian, a podcaster, radio broadcaster and now an author of the brilliant, paradigm shifting memoir All About Yves. Yves’ book is searing and articulate, bringing to the fore with real clarity and insight what it was like for them to identify (more…)

15: Finding Your Purpose with Alice Zaslavksy

Were you a weird kid? Did you love things almost too much? Ask too many questions? Feel like a fish out of water at school? Were you lonely or awkward or felt out of place in your own skin?

Well my guest today is an example of what happens when you let all of that pour out, follow your curiosities and compulsions. When you give yourself permission to be fully who you were meant to be. I have a real treat for you today.

This episode of Tonts is a wide reaching lovely conversation with the force of nature that is Alice Zaslavsky or Alice in Frames as she is known around the traps. Alice is a former teacher who is also a cook, writer, broadcaster and speaker who is also deeply passionate about vegetables. She is a polymath (someone who collects knowledge like a bower bird), a vegelante and just an all round creative wonder who loves nothing more than to inspire others to learn about food and where it comes from. I have loved Alice’s writing and her recipes for years and have always wanted to sit down with her and ask her about all the things she makes and why she does what she does. Alice is also a mum to a little human called Hazel and the story of her Jewish family’s immigration from Georgia to Australia is one of heartbreak and triumph and grit. It was a delight to sit down on a sunny afternoon in lockdown and discover a kindred spirit. The weird, nerdy kid that lives inside my head and my heart was full to the brim with joy for this vegetable loving woman. Her message is clear be you and don’t let anyone tell you differently and maybe some magic things will happen. Give yourself permission. Lean into what you love. And for goodness sake eat your vegetables.

14: The Stuff of Life with Charlie Clausen

Welcome to TONTS a podcast about feeling all of it. About the stories we are told about who we are. My guest this week is Charlie Clausen. Co-host of the beloved aussie podcast Tofop, actor in shows including Blue Heelers and Home and Away, Charlie is also a writer and producer working in partnership with (more…)

13: Surviving Home School with Dan Steele

Today my guest is Daniel Steele who is a primary school teacher, basketball aficionado, Dad of two little humans and the brains behind the wonderful website Upgrade Think Learn.

Dan is an old friend of mine and a legend of a bloke who also happens to be a vice principal at a school by the beach in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. He is also a writer and chock full of enthusiasm and creativity. I rang Dan one night after home schooling all day to pick his brains about a worry that many parents and myself had shared about how our kids are going missing so much school. What he had to say made me really think and also allowed me to get some perspective on all of it and realise that more important than how our kids will go academically is how they actually are in themselves.

Dan made me think about what we can do to help them and us through this really tricky time and reminded me that as always prioritising our mental health, how we feel in our heads and hearts will ultimately be the thing that gets us through. That being said this week I’m leaning into getting more sleep, drinking water and getting out each day for a walk or a run. It’s simple but whenever life gets tough I always think those seem to be the first things to go. When I’m spiralling into a really bad head space I run that mental checklist. Have I had water today? Have I eaten? Did I sleep? Have I exercised? It’s amazing how many problems seems more manageable if we’ve done those things. Also side note to any teachers out there thank you, you are on the front lines, are often the one consistent face parents and families are seeing each day and you are so valued. Thank you for showing up for us, our kids and our communities.

12: Your Own Kind of Girl with Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch is an author, singer and gifted story teller, a troubadour and advocate for those without power or voice. Her songs and work have meant so much to so many in our Australian community. She is an ARIA award winning musician for best female artist, won Rolling Stone’s Woman of the Year (for contribution (more…)

11: The Urgent Need for Equality & Empathy with Tarang Chawla

This week I talk to Tarang Chawla about the stories that men in particular are told through culture about who they should be. Award winning anti-violence campaigner and writer Tarang is also a trainee lawyer using his background to advocate for social and political change particularly in our approach to mental health and gender equality. Tarang also founded the Not One More Niki movement, Australia’s largest campaign to end violence against women in culturally diverse communities, named after his younger sister Nikita who was murdered in 2015 by her former partner. Tarang is warm and funny and has done what I think the only way through is when it comes to the hardest, most heart breaking moments in our lives. Like a rock under intense heat and pressure becomes a diamond he’s taken his and his family’s pain and turned it into something beautiful and important.

10: The Best Parenting Advice I Have Ever Received with Carley McGauran

Carley McGauran has been a psychologist for 15 years. In her work she has spent time with kids, young adults and their families assisting them with her sage advice about everything from how to process emotions, practice self-soothing and manage trauma to what the bloody hell we should all do about iPhones and screen time. (more…)

09: I Give My Marriage A Year with Holly Wainwright

My guest today is Holly Wainwright, much beloved podcaster of both Mamamia Outloud and the parenting show This Glorious Mess. She is head of content for the Mamamia women’s media company and Holly’s honest, funny and relatable voice is one of my favourites in the Australian podcast landscape. She is an author of three books (more…)

08: Working 9 to 5 with Maria Angelico

Let me take you back to 80s feminism with my guest today Maria Angelico. You might recognise Maria from her lead role in the hit show Sisters (now on Netflix) or from the gripping drama Stateless on the ABC. We are going to talk about her favourite movie 9 to 5 with the dream team (more…)

07: The Dark Underbelly of TikTok

My old friend, teacher Martin McGauran, never expected to be talking to parents about TikTok, Only Fans or graphic online content when he began running workshops on how best to use technology and the internet in primary school classrooms over 8 years ago. A qualified Google educator, incredible teacher and footy guy, Marty is warm, (more…)

06: Coming to America with Zainab Johnson

My guest today is the whip smart powerhouse that is stand up comedian, writer and actor Zainab Johnson. You may remember her from NBC’s last comic standing, or in the TV shows 100 Humans and Upload. You might have even been lucky enough to see her before at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival or on (more…)

05: Beauty & Worthiness with Hilary Holmes

This is a big conversation about womanhood and beauty and self love.

About overcoming childhood trauma and backing yourself. It’s about the incredible highs and lows of motherhood and the complicated relationships we have with beauty, our faces and our bodies. My guest today is make up artist Hilary Holmes. She runs her own makeup and styling business as well as teaching masterclasses to women about how to apply their make up based on their individual needs.

Just a heads up we also talk about disordered eating, childhood trauma and mental health. If you find any of this difficult or triggering please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or talk to someone you trust.

04: Jumping in with Sammy P

What if the very things that make our lives difficult, make us feel like outsiders or the oddball in the room actually are the things that will make us grow, feed our creativity and ultimately help us to fly? In this episode we talk about fear and the things that hold us back. We also talk through the stories we tell ourselves and whether they are helpful or true. My guest this week Sam Peterson (Sammy P) knows this and his philosophy is to just ‘jump straight in’ before you think too much about it all. Sammy P is a stand up comedian, producer, podcaster and film maker. His story will surprise you and encapsulates what it means to feel the fear and bloody get on with it all anyway.

03: Comedy & Rage with Jess Perkins

Jess Perkins is a stand up comedian, Triple J radio host and podcaster. She is one third of the smash hit comedy podcast Do Go On and also hosts a new show called Simply the Jest. In this episode we talk about rage and take a look at some common stereotypes around female characterisation in (more…)

02: Heartsick with Jessie Stephens

Great mate! It’s an extra early episode of TONTS. A podcast about feeling all of it. You can find more from Jessie on Instagram @jessiestephens90 and find her book ‘Heartsick’ right here. Subscribe here for – tontsnewsletter You can find me on instagram @clairetonti or at www.clairetonti.com You can email me with suggestions for episode topics (more…)

01: Worth, Weight & Womanhood

This is TONTS. a podcast about feeling all of it. In this episode I chat with author, podcaster, gender advocate and former advisor to Prime Ministers Jamila Rizvi. We talk about coming of age, self esteem and the stories we were told as kids about who we should be. Jam shares openly about her career, (more…)