55: Motherhood, Midwifery & Witchcraft with Clementine Ford (Part Two)

This is Part Two of my conversation with writer, feminist thinker and broadcaster Clementine Ford. Clementine Ford is a Melbourne based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is the author of four books, Fight Like A Girl, Boys will be Boys, How We Love and het latest book I Don’t the case against marriage. She (more…)

54: Inside a Mother & Baby Unit with Sabrina Kennedy

TONTS. On The Road. This episode is part of series of episodes that were recorded on the road as part of my tour of the UK and Ireland last year. In this first on the road episode I talk to the incredibly kind Sabrina Kennedy Charge nurse at the Bristol New Horizon Mother and Baby (more…)

53: Still birth & Art as Healing with Larissa Reinboth

Larissa is a freelance illustrator with many strings to her bow. In 2021 she decided to couple her creative powers with her entrepreneurial mindset and founded the bereavement care charity Possum Portraits. This charity provides bereaved Australian parents with keepsake portrait drawings of babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death free of charge.

You can find more from Larissa at https://www.larissa-reinboth.com and find more about her incredible work with Possum Portraits at https://www.possumportraits.org

52: Bluey with Mary Bolling

In a very special episode of TONTS. I deep dive into the wonderful world of Bluey podcast with Bluey expert and podcast host Mary Bolling. Mary is a journalist, mum and kids culture enthusiast, and one half of the Gotta Be Done podcast, deep-diving Australian juggernaut Bluey (and parenting, pop culture and everything else!) since 2019. In typical TONTS. and Bluey fashion we talk about the themes in Bluey that so closely match our own experiences. Two mums deep diving into the highs and lows of parenting, grief, loss, miscarriage, the power of story and the vital role of play and silliness. What a joy!

You can find more from Mary Bolling on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/marytbolling/ and listen to her podcast Gotta Be Done here https://www.blueypod.com



You can contact the show at [email protected]

Editing: RAW Collings

Social Media: Maisie JG

51: Queer Joy, Motherhood & Creativity with Tess Lehman

Tess Lehman is a photographer, creative, proudly queer and a mother of 3 living in Newcastle, Australia. Her story is honest and raw and an example of what happens when we have the courage to really live a creative life and find ourselves with vulnerability, humour and joy. In this episode we talk about Tess’ coming out story and why it took her to midlife to acknowledge she is queer, what it was like to completely change her life, single parenting, motherhood and identity and also her ADHD diagnosis. We also deep dive into her love of boiler suits. Of which I definitely share. Who doesn’t love a onesie with pockets?

You can find more from Tess Lehman at https://tessdoes.com/ and on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tessdoes



You can contact the show at [email protected]

Editing: RAWCollings

Social Media: Maisie JG

50: Good Mourning with Sally Douglas & Imogen Carn

Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn met after the sudden deaths of their mothers only months apart. Their experiences led them to launch a podcast, and their no-holds-barred, relatable approach to talking about grief sparked a growing following of people eager to have honest conversations about what it really feels like to deal with loss. Good (more…)

49: La Loba, The Wolf Woman

An early episode of TONTS. and the final episode of the year. Thank you so much for the support. Trigger Warning – this episode discusses themes of emotional abuse and trauma. If this brings anything up for you at all please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 Tickets to the live album launch are available (more…)

48: Rediscovering Ourselves with Holly Ringland Part Two

Part Two of this beautiful conversation with author, storyteller and presenter Holly Ringland. For more from Holly you can find her here https://hollyringland.com/ For more from Claire you can find her here https://www.clairetonti.com/ Show credits: Editing – RAW Collings, Claire Tonti Music – Avocado Junkie Sorry mate, you need to be signed in to access (more…)

47: Discovering Magic with Holly Ringland Part One

Holly Ringland is a writer, storyteller, and television presenter. Her award-winning, bestselling debut novel, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, has been published in 31 countries/territories and will stream globally in 2023 as a seven-part series on Amazon Prime, starring Sigourney Weaver. In May 2019, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart won The Australian Book (more…)

46: Fertility with naturopath Freya Lawler

Freya Lawler (naturopath) joins me again to discuss how we can care for our fertility throughout our lives and also what to do when we are faced with subfertility and the challenges to conceiving. Even if you have had children or don’t plan to this conversation is so important as Freya has so much to (more…)

45: Endometriosis with naturopath Freya Lawler

Album Launch Tickets available here https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/claire-tonti-album-launch-tickets-460602724147 Freya Lawler joins me again today to deep dive into Endometriosis, a condition that effects so many women and is still chronically under diagnosed and often misunderstood. Freya Lawler is a bachelor qualified nutritionist, naturopath and natural fertility educator specialising in reproductive health, fertility and hormones. She is passionate (more…)

44: ADHD, Marriage & Murder with Sally Hepworth

Album Launch Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/claire-tonti-album-launch-tickets-460602724147 Sally Hepworth is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, most recently The Younger Wife and her new release The Soulmate. Her novel, The Mother-In-Law (2019), has been optioned for a TV series by Hollywood actress and producer, Amy Poehler. Drawing on the good, the bad and the (more…)

43: Giving it a RED HOT GO with Lizzy Hoo

My guest today is Lizzy Hoo WHO is many things – a writer, noodle enthusiast, designer, actor, sports lover, and rescue greyhound owner. Lizzy is also a stand-up comedian who has rapidly become one of Australia’s most exciting new voices. Lizzy only started doing stand-up in 2017, originally as a way to gain more self-confidence. (more…)

42: Boundaries & Self Love with Sam Buckingham

Sam Buckingham is an alternative pop, folk singer songwriter based in Byron Bay, Australia. In May 2020, after receiving a Resilience Fund grant from the Australia Council, Sam Buckingham setup up a makeshift studio in her living room to start pre-production on her new album Dear John. Co-produced with long time collaborator Kent Eastwood, the (more…)

41: Climate Action & What We Can All Do Right Now with Claire O’Rourke

My guest today Claire O’Rourke is an author, environmentalist and advocate, with more than two decades working in journalism, communications and campaigns across Australia and around the world. Claire helps others take action on climate change, currently as Australia Energy Transformation Program Co-Director at The Sunrise Project. Claire’s first book, Together We Can, was published (more…)

40: Joy, Art & Queerness with David Martin Harris

My guest today is David Martin Harris. They are the CEO of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, they have worked for the Australian centre for contemporary art, as the chair person and co-curator of SEVENTH gallery, they have been the co-recipient of an FBI Smack Award for best NSW arts program and they were also (more…)

39: Writing & Motherhood with Jane Harper

My guest today is bestselling author Jane Harper. Jane’s first novel The Dry following the story of Detective Aaron Falk was written in 2016 and has since sold over 1.5m copies in Australia and 3.5m worldwide. It also became a hit film in 2020, starring Eric Bana as Falk. The Dry is now the 15th (more…)

38: Hormones, Perimenopause & Chronic Stress with Naturopath Freya Lawler

Freya Lawler is a bachelor qualified nutritionist, naturopath and natural fertility educator specialising in reproductive health, fertility and hormones. She is passionate about helping people achieve whole body wellness through a root-cause approach to women’s health. In this episode we talk PCOS and gut health, fertility, heavy periods, PMS and PMDD, how to eat better (more…)

37: Toxic Masculinity with Tim Loveday

Tim Loveday is a poet, a writer and editor. He writes primarily on masculinity, intergenerational violence and rural communities reckoning with climate collapse. Look out for his forthcoming book titled Your Father Was A Bastard. Tim is the recipient of a 2021 Next Chapter Wheeler Centre Fellowship, a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship, a 2022 Bundanon (more…)

36: Why Stories Matter with Astrid Edwards

My guest today is Astrid Edwards. The host of The Garret: Writers on Writing, you can also read her book reviews in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Future Women, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue and Australian Book Review. In 2021 Astrid contributed to the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia. She is one (more…)

35: Fall in love with your clothes with Lucianne Tonti

Today I speak to my little sister Lucianne Tonti about her book Sundressed that has just been released (so very very proud) but also about how to fall in love with your clothes and by extension yourself. About our parents, about womanhood and creativity and about a future we can find that is beautiful and (more…)

34: Finding Your Voice with Santilla Chingaipe

My guest today is the extraordinary journalist, filmmaker, advocate and writer Santilla Chingaipe. Meeting Santi I was immediately drawn into her whip smart, funny and deeply insightful perspectives about the human experience. From her short documentary Black As Me to the TV series Third Culture Kids or Date my Race, Santi explores identity, migration, politics (more…)

33: Inside Our Broken Hospitals with Dr Neela Janakiramanan

My guest this week is the powerhouse that is Dr Neela Janakiramanan. In her own words Neela is a reconstructive plastic surgeon who spends most of her time playing with power tools to fix hands and wrists, while accidentally teaching, mentoring, writing, and fighting the patriarchy. She can also change a flat tyre and operate (more…)

32: Kindred Women with Erin Pluekhahn

My guest today Erin Pluekhahn is a doula, an event manager and now founder of kindred women – a beautiful business that creates women’s circles, gatherings and retreats that aim to nurture, care and restore women through meditation, journaling, movement, nature and sound immersion. I attended a session ran by Erin and it was such (more…)

30: Music Therapy with Pip Reid

My guest in this episode is a very old friend of mine Pip Reid who is a music therapist and one of my heroes. Which I know sounds very corny but I’ll explain. She is someone who shares my enthusiasm for well almost everything and is a big feeling type of person. When I met (more…)

29: Teenage Girls Are Awesome with Maggie Zhou

My guest today Maggie Zhou @yemagz is a writer, producer, instagrammer and slow fashion advocate. She has become a really influential voice in the fight for sustainability in the fashion industry here in Melbourne and her instagram photography gives you such a joyful window into the way she views the world. We talk about what (more…)

28: The Mother Wound with Amani Haydar

My guest this week Amani Haydar is a writer and artist. Her story is one of unimaginable pain and also triumph in the face of the murder of her mother Salwa Haydar at the hands of her father and the loss of her grandmother Teta who was murdered in the 2006 war in Lebanon. Her (more…)

27: Inherited Memories with Siân Darling

It is clear to me that my guest today Siân Darling who is also a dear friend and the partner of my dad’s cousin Paul Kelly, has lived a life impacted by the stories and memories of her families past. She is a little bit magic, deeply feeling, highly creative, a champion of people who (more…)

26: Play Therapy with Felicity Odgers

My guest today is a very good pal of mine Felicity Odgers. Flick was a primary school teacher and is now a qualified play therapist with a masters from Deakin University. Flick and I team taught many years ago in a remote community in the Kimberlys, working with a very special group of first nations (more…)

25: Living Fearlessly with Rhiannon Joyce

My guest today is Shameless Media’s Rhiannon Joyce. Rhi is an integral part of the Shameless team – spear heading brand partnerships which is an integral role in growing what is a really fresh new approach to media. If you haven’t heard of Shameless let me fill you in. Co-founded by Zara McDonald and Michelle (more…)

24: Knowing Your Body with Freya Bennett

My guest today is Freya Bennett musician, illustrator, writer and founder of the digital magazine Ramona. Ramona Magazine is full of content from cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experiences of women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people (more…)

20: Office Space with James Clement

This week on TONTS. I talk to James Clement (otherwise known as my husband man or Mr Sunday Movies). This is the final episode in the season and is one of my favourites. James and I discuss why the film Office Space changed the trajectory of his life, what it’s like to become a parent, (more…)

19: Dirty Dancing with Ellen Steele

Jennifer Grey’s character of Baby in the 80s iconic film Dirty Dancing was a revelation writes the Guardian’s Melissa McEwan and in re-watching this classic movie for this episode I whole heartedly agree. I remembered this movie for the swoon worthy Patrick Swayze, the corny but brilliant soundtrack and that lift at the end. In (more…)

18: Writing Your Own Story with Benjamin Law 羅旭能

Benjamin Law grew up in Queensland, gay, Asian and from a big, hilarious, hardworking family. Benjamin is my guest this week and he is a writer of books and TV shows and plays. You might recognise him from the award winning SBS TV series The Family Law based on his memoir of the same name. (more…)

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.