Welcome to the wrap up episode of Season One of Cerebral Conversations. Here are some highlights and never heard before stories from the great minds at Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) and our special guests and hosts.
And as you have heard throughout the series from the likes of Hannah Diviney, Bronya Metherell and Tara Moss, just how important storytelling is. We’d like you to share your story with us in Season Two, so if you have an idea you’d love us to tackle, send an email to email@example.com,or join the CPA Facebook Community Group and tell us there.
We’d love to hear from you. And in the meantime, please stay subscribed if you haven’t done so already, tell your friends about Cerebral Conversations and you can keep the conversation going between seasons by leaving us a rating or review on your favourite podcast platform.
Listen to Episode 13 here:
Andy McLean: Hello and welcome to the wrap up episode of Season One of Cerebral Conversations. My name’s Andy McLean.
Ben McAlary: And my name is Ben McAlary, G’day. Well, Andy, we are back to recount our favourite moments of season one and even share some never heard before stories.
Andy McLean: Yeah. What a fun season it’s been. The response has been sensational. So first of all, Ben, I just want to thank everybody who has listened to the season, commented, shared and helped spread the word. We’ve been really quite overwhelmed by some of the feedback that we’ve had. It’s been lovely.
Ben McAlary: Yeah, and Cerebral Conversation set out to tackle some of the biggest disability issues like able ism and accessibility, advocacy, inclusion and tech innovation. And I think we’ve achieved that. Just recently, a mum and advocate for a little one with cerebral palsy told us how valuable the show’s been in raising the awareness and understanding of cerebral palsy, which will no doubt have a really positive impact on her child’s future.
Andy McLean: How good is that? And it’s actually been a really big year for disability awareness. More broadly, we’ve had the Paralympics, t he launch of We The 15 and even COVID 19 has offered some surprising silver linings, with so many things moving online and making it easier for some people with disability to get involved.
Ben McAlary: Yeah, and I think these conversations have also played an important part.
Andy McLean: Yeah, it’s nice to think we might have made a small difference ourselves too with the podcast, Ben and even Apple recognised that . They showcased Cerebral Conversations in their new and noteworthy list for a couple of weeks, which is a huge achievement. We were delighted to see that .
Ben McAlary: We’re stoked with that. Not all podcasts appear on that list, so that was wonderful. Andy, with that in mind, I wanted to ask you what was your favourite moment of the season?
Andy McLean: Oh, so you’ve basically saved the most difficult question for the very end of the podcast season, Ben, that’s cruel.
Ben McAlary: Had to,had to.
Andy McLean: It’s really, really hard to pick. But look, I mean, as a creative professional, I suppose one guest that stuck with me was Emily Dash. Emily’s a prolific actor, writer, playwright. She’s living proof, I think that it’s possible to overcome barriers to employment with a disability and to have an exciting, fulfilling career of your own choosing. Let’s play a clip now, actually, that I think really highlights Emily’s positive. It’s a sense of humour, and I think that if you think about it, it’s the positivity and the sense of humour being two of the great enablers for her in her career so far.
Ben McAlary: Let’s take a listen.
Emily Dash: So one day I was at a theatre performance with my friend Julie McPherson, and we were we decided that we were getting ice cream at intermission, and that all sounded really great. Until I discovered that it’s very hard to feed someone ice cream without making a very large mess. So, you know, we’re laughing and, you know, trying to get me cleaned up before the lights went down again. And she said yeah, my my determination in eating the ice cream. And I told her it was kind of what my life, and she said, What do you mean? And then out of nowhere, I said, “life is like eating an ice cream. It’s often difficult, sometimes messy, but always enjoyable if you can find the sweetness in it.” And that is something I would say that is like my life motto from then on out.
Andy McLean: Yeah, there you go. Indeed. So that was Emily Dash, who is such a great storyteller. If anyone’s listening right now and they haven’t yet heard that episode, I guarantee you will love it. Go back, check it out. There’s some great yarns in there involving a stellar list of actors that Emily’s worked with. In fact, I’m still feeling a little bit starstruck from it. So, Ben, you’ve asked me the difficult question. I’m going to throw it right back to you, mate. What was your highlight for the season?
Ben McAlary: Well, Andy, it’s really hard to go past episodes one and three for me, so if I can take you back. These were the episodes with Professor Nadia Badawi, and she talks about her incredible work that she does in neonatology. And it really resonates with me because I think I may have mentioned in the episode, Andy, that my daughter spent her first couple of days in a NIC unit, so hearing those stories from Nadia really took me back there. And I think anyone who’s had a baby in the NICU would be touched by Nadia’s story and just how much those who work in neonatology care about these little babies. So Andy, the c lip that I wanted to share, i t’s actually an extended cut from episode one, and it goes into what inspired Nadia to become a neonatologist. Let’s hear it.
Nadia Badawi: I’m half Irish and half Egyptian, and I’d grown up in Egypt predominantly, and my parents, especially my father, had had quite a difficult childhood. So he was very sympathetic to the plight of women and children in particular, and saw that in poor countries or where there’s any political strife, women and children are always the first victims. So I think that over the years he talked to us and said, Look, you guys, as four of you, you’re pretty lucky and you’ve had a good education. And it really it’s important that you try and help other people. So I chose initially planning to do obstetrics and gynecology because I was very sympathetic to women and what happens in low income countries. But I found myself increasingly interested in the babies and realised that you can do a lot around that time to change the trajectory of somebody’s life. And if you have good newborn intensive care or special care, then that really has a huge impact on that person, their family and the whole community. Because I think most Australians would be shocked to realise that about 10 percent of all babies in Australia are going to end up in a newborn intensive care unit or a special care nursery. So if we don’t get it right at that time, that really affects the life of that child forever. And you only have to stand a newborn intensive care and see the parents, the grandparents, the siblings to see that you’re it’s not just that baby, it’s the whole family and the community are impacted forever.
Andy McLean: That was Nadia Badawi and just some extraordinary work that she and her colleagues do. Ben, another highlight I’m going to cheat now. You asked me for one, but I can’t. I’m going to have to have a second one. As a dad, I can’t stop thinking about the story of Little Eve Darcy and our chat with her dad, Joe, where he recounted her birth story and the miracles that followed. And thanks to Nadia Badawi and her team, actually, this is the clip that really stayed with me. So Joe, the family’s all together. You’ve got Eve in your arms. What happened next?
Joe Darcy: Yeah, it was it was quite quite difficult to kind of get your head around that you’re lying with this little, this little baby here and waiting for her to slip away because they had said it’ll take a bit of time for that lungs to saturate or something like that that she would just stop breathing because the brain stem couldn’t tell the lungs to work. That’s what I was got in layman’s terms. The information. But yes, we kind of didn’t recognise, don’t know how long we were there. It seemed like a probably an hour or two hours, I don’t know. But. After a while, the doctor doctors were coming in and out, and she’s you can see the look on their face like, Oh, she’s still here. You know, that type of thing. And then one particular doctor came in and he said he just came over and checked her in, and then he put a glove on on his hand and then just put his finger in her mouth, and she started sucking on his finger. And he was OK. This this this isn’t right. That shouldn’t be happening to this. I don’t know. And we’ve got to get her some food. I don’t think doctors knew that because they knew what was happening. Probably never saw that before that you’re on the end of end of life. And next of all, it’s oh, she’s doing what we were told couldn’t be done. And so now the lungs are working and the brain stem is telling the lungs to work. Now we have to get her some food and and try and come out of this sort of this kind of fog that we’re in of, of letting her go next of all it’s, Oh, well, she’s probably going to be all right. Oh, so that’s an amazing roller coaster to be on to tell her that one minute you’re saying you goodbyes. The next minute you’re celebrating that she’s she’s still here. And then the next day and the next day, it’s just it’s just a blurred. And after that, how it all came came from that, you know.
Ben McAlary: I’m getting quite emotional just listening back to that, Andy. And it certainly was a bit of a tearjerker when we were in the room recording it with Joe, wasn’t it? Before we wrap up, I want to revisit one last clip and that’s from our youngest guest in the series, Mr. Arran Keith, an athlete and an aspiring Paralympian. I love Arran’s determination and passion to create a future where disability is completely normalised. Take a listen to this.
Arran Keith: And last year, I also got elected as school vice president. Yeah, I think it’s really good that the younger kids get to see me up there with my walker and stuff with this really, because that normalises it, so yeah , and I also want to become Australia’s first disabled prime minister.
Andy McLean: So there you go. We’ve given you an exclusive in this podcast season. You now know that Australia’s first disabled prime minister will be Arran Keith. And you know what? He’s got my vote for absolute certainty.
Ben McAlary: Absolutely. Wouldn’t that be wonderful and Andy, we could probably share more and more of these clips, but like all good things, it must come to an end. And as we close the curtain on season one, we wanted to share with you our plans for season two.
Andy McLean: Yeah, great news. We’re going to be back in your ear holes in 2022 with more stories, more laughs and more conversations between great minds that think differently. Talking about how we can change expectations, attitudes and culture around some of the biggest disability issues in our world today.
Ben McAlary: And as you have heard throughout the series from the likes of Hannah Diviney, Bronya Metherell and Tara Moss,
just how important storytelling is. We’d like you to share your story with us in Season Two, so if you have an idea you’d love us to tackle, send an email to ask@ cerebral palsy. org.au, or join the CPA Facebook Community Group and tell us there.
Andy McLean: Yes, so get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. And in the meantime, please stay subscribed if you haven’t done so already, tell your friends about Cerebral Conversations and you can keep the conversation going between seasons by leaving us a rating or review. So, until next time. Thanks again for listening and goodbye for now.
Ben McAlary: You’ve been listening to Cerebral Conversations, a podcast produced by Cerebral Palsy Alliance .
Andy McLean: To learn more, check out the show notes to this episode.
Ben McAlary: And if you enjoyed the show, please rate or review on your favourite podcast platform.
Andy McLean: And to join the conversation, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Ben McAlary: Thanks again for listening.
The music for this podcast was kindly supplied by Ocean Alley. Check out the band’s music on Bandcamp or visit oceanalley.com.
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