Podcast Week: The Howie Games with Craig McRae, Kidspot, Canva’s first podcast

Podcast Week: born funny

Stories From The Culture Equation, Don’t Shoot The Messenger, Nine gears up for the NRL, Grave Matters

Compiled by Tess Connery

Flying high with Craig McRae on The Howie Games

Taking Collingwood to AFL grand final victory last yer, coach Craig McRae sat down with Mark Howard to speak all about perseverance and a positive mindset on The Howie Games.

Notoriously private, McRae opens up about all aspects of both life and footy, from his early life in South Australia to his playing career as a member of Brisbane Lions three-peat, through to winning the flag for Collingwood Football Club.

“He’s the coach of the most famous football club in the country,” Howard told Podcast Week’s Tess Connery.

We see so much about the players, but often you don’t hear about the coach. It’s always great to have a successful person in charge of a successful programme on board – and exactly as I expected, there was so much I didn’t know about him. I didn’t know a lot about his playing career, how close he was to losing his job numerous times and how that shaped him as a coach, and how emotionally connected he is with his players. I came away thinking he would be a fantastic person to coach your kids, and that’s about as high praise as I can offer.”

Delving into McRae’s life, Howard said there were some surprising details that the pair discussed – even more so than the fact that McRae “barracked for Carlton as a young lad!”

“I knew he’d won three premierships in a row with the Brisbane Lions, I didn’t realise that he’d been told his entire career that he was too small to play football, and how he managed to get to that position,” Howard said.

“We think of Voss, Akermanis, Lappin, Lynch, Power, and Black – these guys that are superstars of that side. I just presumed Craig McRae was part of that.

“He certainly shocked me when he said that after both the first premiership and the second premiership, Leigh [Matthews] came to him and said, there’s probably not a spot for you on the list. The way he backed himself in to stay on that list and gave up other opportunities to try and continue to play for the team, and the fact he was able to, that really blew me away.”

the howie games

No matter who he is speaking with, Howard said that the key to getting the most out of guests is to make them feel comfortable and confident in telling their story.

“It’s all about making the person feel comfortable, really listening to their answers and just being a good listener – to provide them with a situation where they feel comfortable. There are certain ways you can make people feel comfortable. By listening and responding to their answers, rather than having a set format, once someone feels comfortable in your presence, then they’re often a lot more comfortable to share their story.”

With the 2024 AFL season kicking off this week, Howard laughs that “You have what your heart tells you, and you have what your head tells you” when it comes to predictions for the year ahead.

“I don’t generally have a lot of AFL people on the podcast, but I find myself following those people. We get Craig McRae on the podcast, and I immediately want Collingwood to do well. Nat Fyfe has been on the podcast and has been through a rough time with injury, so immediately I want Fremantle to do really well. I go for Hawthorn, but you become connected through the podcast.

My head tells me nothing revolutionary, the usual suspects will be up there from last year. I think the one team that could really have an unbelievable year, and if I had to pick a premier right now, I’d go the GWS Giants. Now that could be proven to be horribly wrong, but if I had to pick someone now that’s who I’d back.”

[Listen to The Howie Games with Craig McRae here]

Kidspot creates judgement-free parenting zone with Mum Club podcast

News Corp’s parenting site Kidspot.com.au has launched a new podcast called Mum Club.

Hosted by Kidspot editor and mum-of-three Emily Blatchford and Kidspot lifestyle editor and mum-of-two Leah Goulis, the podcast is a judgement-free parenting zone featuring regular segments including ask an expert, health check and budget buys, as well as life hacks and what’s trending.

Mum Club logo

Released Wednesdays and Fridays, Mum Club will be supported by editorial across Kidspot.com.au and amplified through newsletters, videos, social posts and other podcasts in NewsCast’s slate.

Blatchford said millions of Australian parents rely on Kidspot for advice and support and this podcast was a natural next step. “One of the things I love most about my job is being involved in such a strong online community of mums, so I am beyond excited to take that to the next level with the launch of Mum Club.”

[Listen to Mum Club here]

Canva dives into the podcast world, releasing its first series

Canva has launched its first podcast: Design Surfaces. Covering all areas of design, from brand campaigns to UX flows, the podcast digs deep into the intricate parts of designers’ brains to unearth valuable insights, unique perspectives, and what makes them tick.

design surfaces

Hosted by Canva’s head of design, Andrew Green, it explores the work happening across the different design surface areas at Canva. Each episode features a conversation with a designer, delving into their journeys, what inspires them, and the stories behind their craft.

In the podcast’s first episode, Canva co-founder and chief product officer Cameron Adams sits down with Andrew to dive into the evolving landscape of design, the critical role of taste, and the transformative impact of AI on creativity.

[Listen to Design Surfaces here]

Stories from The Culture Equation focusses on the power of culture transformation for business growth

Culture transformation consultancy, The Culture Equation (TCE), has launched its new audio channel with its first podcast series, Stories from The Culture Equation. The podcast is aimed at sharing real stories of culture transformation to drive business growth and ultimately improve quality of life.


Produced by Sonic Experience Agency, Ampel, the first drop of 6-episodes explores the experiences of multiple employees of the same company to describe why culture change was needed, and how it dramatically affected their business after it was brought in.

Narrated by Hiam Sakakini, CEO and founder of The Culture Equation, Stories From The Culture Equation features organisations including Western Sydney University, Ingleburn RSL, First Focus and Digital Creators sharing the highs and lows of the reinvention of brand culture as a means to improve performance, and in turn improve client service.

[Listen to Stories From The Culture Equation here]

Don’t Shoot The Messenger celebrates two major milestones 

SEN podcast Don’t Shoot the Messenger, hosted by journalists and best friends Caroline Wilson and Corrie Perkin, reached two achievements last week – airing its 300th episode on February 29 and surpassing 3 million total downloads since its premiere in 2017.

Known for its dialogue on topics ranging from news, sport, cooking, and reading, Don’t Shoot The Messenger has garnered an audience who tune in for the hosts’ points of view on life, typically exchanged over a casual glass of wine.

Don't Shoot the Messenger

Acknowledging the 300th, Corrie Perkin said, “Caro and I have been sharing conversations for 45 years. It is a joy to share these via the podcast – and a joy to be her friend. We still have so much to discuss!”

Caro added, “Corrie has been an absolute joy to work with for the past seven years, and I hope we do it for many, many more years”.

[Listen to Don’t Shoot the Messenger here]

Nine gears up for the NRL with new seasons of footy podcasts

Fresh off the back of the double-header in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, Sydney’s 2GB and Brisbane’s 4BC have announced full details of their 2024 season coverage.

9Podcasts’ original NRL podcasts, The Billy Slater Podcast (released each Monday) and Six Tackles with Gus (released each Wednesday) will return in 2024, with both programs available on 9Now or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Stories of Origin (new season launching in April) podcast will also return for a third season in the lead-up to this year’s State of Origin series, reliving some of the greatest rivalries in Origin history.

[Listen to NRL podcast on 9Podcasts here]

Explore the afterlife with SBS’ Grave Matters podcast

Explore some of the biggest taboos and questions we all face around death, grief and mourning, guided by hosts Nadine J. Cohen and Anthony Levin. Over 10 episodes, the duo chat to a forensic scientist, Muslim death doula, First Nations grief counsellor, trauma therapist, climate researcher, tech innovator and more.

Grave Matters artwork

Long-time friends, Cohen is a writer and refugee advocate, and Levin is a human rights lawyer and writer.

Grave Matters looks at death and dying from all angles. We meet incredible people doing work they’re very passionate about, and some have real character. It’s not a morbid or depressing podcast. It’s a fascinating look into a world we could all know more about,” said Cohen.

[Listen to Grave Matters here]

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