Like I'm A Six-Year-Old

Comedian Tom Ballard sits down with politicians, activists, thinkers and comedians to try to talk, laugh, cry and argue about politics. You will learn things and get fired up and hear some swearing. Enjoy.
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Like I'm A Six-Year-Old








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Jun 7, 2016

Sami Shah is a comedian who just so happens to be an ex-Muslim atheist "militant leftist". Raised in conservative Karachi, Pakistan, and now living in Melbourne (after 5 years living in regional WA), Sami has appeared on QI and Australian Story and regularly performs stand-up all across the country. 

Here Sami explains how a book made him a revolutionary and discusses Pakistani politics, the difficulties in criticising Islam and the failures of the refugee rights movement in Australia. 

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Store, July 9th

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival


Sami Shah on Facebook

Sami's podcast Sami Says on iTunes 

Sami's YouTube channel

Sami's episode of QI

"Northern Exposure", Sami's Australian Story

How to fail at being brown by Sami Shah

Dan Carlin's Hardcore Histories

Sami Shah's second life as a comedian  

Article: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in turmoil amid toxic culture claims

Cause of the Week: Edhi Foundation (


May 31, 2016

Eva Orner is an Academy Award-winning documentarian who is exposing Australia's shameful offshore detention regime with her new film Chasing Asylum. The documentary features never-before-seen footage from inside the camps on Nauru and Manus Island and brave whistleblowers speaking out about the horrific things they've witnessed. 

I've seen it and (unsurprisingly) it made me cry and it made me even more furious.

Here Eva details her motivation to make work that speaks to power, torture, her frustrations with the refugee debate in Australia, the parallels between the persecution of Jews under Nazi Germany and Australia's detention system today, government secrecy and what might just help change the conversation. 

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Store, July 9th

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival



Chasing Asylum screenings

Take Action

GetUp petition - Bring Them Here

It's Okay To Compare Australia In 2016 With Nazi Germany, And Here’s Why by David Berger

Taxi To The Dark Side trailer

Cause of the Week: Go see "Chasing Asylum"! 


May 24, 2016

Edward Bourke is a 15-year-old right-wing conservative who loves the monarchy, Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump.

In fact, he loves Trump so much he’s launched The Trump Campaign to support the billionaire’s presidential bid and has been interviewed by Vice, Sunrise and – and now me. In this lively discussion, Edward and I cover class, immigration, the importance of morals, Indigenous Australians and why he finds The Donald so appealing.

Despite all our disagreements, I really couldn’t help but find myself quite liking the guy. See what you reckon.

I'm at the Sydney Comedy Store this week

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Store, July 9th

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

SBS's The Feed's video on Peter Dutton: The douche that keeps on giving

Outstanding claims - The Saturday Paper's editorial


Cause of the Week: Saving the Lion (



May 17, 2016

Rebecca Shaw is a writer, podcaster and twitterer extraordinaire. You may know her best as Brocklesnitch or have chuckled at her parody twitter account, @NoToFeminism (a book is on the way). She writes satire and opinion for SBS Comedy and Guardian Australia

Bec makes me laugh a lot throughout this chat as we discuss the purpose of satire, queerphobia in country Queensland, feminism and the kind of feedback you can expect if you're a woman who dares to express her opinion on the internet. Oh also bad tattoos.

The ABC's Party Room podcast, The Guardian's Australian Politics Live with Lenore Taylor & Katharine MurphySomething Wonky's Wonk The Vote

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Store, July 9th

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival



Bec's Patreon

SBS Comedy's The Backburner

Women Against Feminism

Bec on The Guardian

Bec's podcast with Peter Taggart, Bring A Plate

Cause of the Week: Minus 18 (,


May 9, 2016

First Dog On The Moon is a dog and a Walkley award-winning cartoonist. His work has appeared in Crikey and now Guardian Australia and it is funny and silly and dog-based and sad and great. 

Here Dog and I discuss the origins of his work, the importance of being a good political hater, the problems with empathy, his horrible lefty family, civil disobedience penguins, brussels sprouts and mountain chicken frogs.

The ABC's Vote Compass  

My piece for Fairfax: Those Fighting Against Offshore Detention Don't Need All The Answers 

The Pacific Solution's brutal truth: we need it by Jonathan Holmes 

My piece for Guardian Australia: Stop the votes! A message from the Prime Minister of Canberra

LGBTIQ+ Issues in St Petersburg & Around The World (happening tonight!)

Me, Lehmo & Genevieve Morris at Sooki Lounge on May 12th

Ridiculous Laws: A Justice Connect event (Wednesday May 18th)


First Dog's Walkley-award winning cartoon ...then where will we be? 

We Have A Serious Problem by Douglas McGrath

Cause of the week: Oscar’s Law (


May 3, 2016

Writer, engineer, former political candidate and now pollster Osman Faruqi has written for Guardian AustraliaJunkee and SBS and regularly tweets like a mofo. He's the son of Mehreen Faruqi, the first female Muslim to be elected to any Australian parliament (for the Greens, no less) and has recently launched his own polling site, Metapoll, dubbed "the most reliable poll ever". 

Here Osman tells me how he and his mum first became engaged with politics, the dire state of climate politics in Australia today,the lack of diversity in the Greens and the ALMIGHTY POWER OF THE POLLS. 

Room At MyPlace

The World Keeps Happening encore show at the Sydney Comedy Store

Me, Lehmo & Genevieve Morris at Sooki Lounge on May 12th


Osman's writingatGuardian Australia

Osman's writingatmedium


Cause of the Week: The Refugee Advice & CaseworkService (


Apr 26, 2016

Ben Eltham is the National Affairs Correspondent for New Matilda, the Industry Columnist for Arts Hub and has written for Guardian Australia, the ABC's The Drum, Crikey and many other outlets. He's a Research Fellow at Deakin University's Faculty of Arts and Education and a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development. 

Basically, he's a major smarty-pants. 

Ben's very, very good at explaining things and in this chat he kindly took the time to explain to me what the hell negative gearing is and what it means for Australia's housing crisis. We also discuss the myth of a "classless Australia", tax dodging, neoliberalism, the government's attacks on the arts and how the 2016 election is shaping up. 

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Festival this week for TWO NIGHTS ONLY

My speeches at the MICF Great Debate, "Everyone's Entitled To An Opinion"

Five Reasons The Myth About Liberals Running The Economy Best Must Die by Costa A

Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs Speaks Out by Ramona Kavol

We Are The Forgotten People: The Anguish of Australia's Invisible Asylum Seekers by Ben Doherty & Abdul Karim Hekmat


Ben's writing at New Matilda

Ben's writing at Crikey

Why Labor Are Right To Chase Turnbull's Wealth by Ben Eltham

Don't bank On ASIC Saving The Day: The Case For A Royal Commission Is Open and Shut by Ben Eltham

The Baaing Of Our Artists by Andrew Bolt

Neoliberalism: The Ideology At The Root Of All Our Problems by George Monbiot

RRR radio

New Matilda

Cause of the Week: Alzeihmer's Australia (


Apr 20, 2016

Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman who's passionate about progress for Indigenous Australians.

After reading her piece for Vice entitled Fuck Your Constitutional Recognition, I Want A Treaty, I scurried into her (beautiful) bedroom (with her permission) to talk about the problematic nature of recognition, the echoing trauma of the Stolen Generation, white Australia's denialism, what an Indigenous treaty might look like and, of course, Andrew Bolt.

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Festival for TWO NIGHTS ONLY

My final blog for, wrapping up MICF 2016


Nayuka on the Foundation for Young Australians

Maddee Clarke on twitter - @intoreceiving

Welcome to Country App

Colouring The Rainbow

Peopling The Empty Mirror

Gregory Phillips: Should Australian Cities Bear Indigenous Language Names?  

Causes of the Week: Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service (, Sisters' Day Out), Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network (


Apr 13, 2016

Journalist, anthropologist and broadcaster Sally Warhaft is a former editor of The Monthly, host of The Wheeler Centre's Fifth Estate podcast and mother to one-year-old twins. 

In this wide-ranging chat, Sally diagnoses the current state of Australian politics, laments the lack of great political oratory today, explains why Malcolm Turnbull is politically "rooted", shares her thoughts on the cruelty of the death penalty and her friendship with Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and gives me a bit of an insight into anthropology. 

I gots nominated for the 2016 Barry Award golly gee!

The World Keeps Happening at the Melbourne Comedy Festival

Boundless Plains To Share at the Melbourne Comedy Festival

The World Keeps Happening at the Sydney Comedy Festival

The 2016 MICF Great Debate on tenplay

Article: "I've cried researching my comedy show about refugees"

The Wheeler Centre's Fifth Estate podcast

Well May We Say: The Speeches That Made Australia  

Cause of the Week: Reprieve Australia (


Apr 1, 2016


The good news is this episode is well worth the wait. Simon Hunt is a political satirist, film maker, lecturer, sound designer, musician and activist who's best known for his creation "Pauline Pantsdown" - a hugely popular and scathing parody of the One Nation politician Pauline Hanson. 

In this extraordinary chat (recorded on the day of Mardi Gras 2016), Simon recounts his experiences of growing up gay in NSW in the 80s and explains his his fascination with religious right-wingers like Fred Nile and Anita Bryant, his politicisation in the face of the AIDS crisis, how he came to create Pantsdown and what Hanson says about us as a country today. Plus he's got some stories that are fucking funny. 

The World Keeps Happening at the Melbourne Comedy Festival

Boundless Plains To Share at the Melbourne Comedy Festival

My episode of Wil Anderson’s Wilosophy

My piece for The Saturday Paper on visiting detention centres and writing a comedy show about refugees 

SBS’s The Feed story on Boundless Plains To Share


Pauline on Facebook

Pantsdown clips on YouTube

Pauline Pantsdown on the Star Observer

Electoral Guerilla Theatre in Australia: Pauline Hanson vs. Pauline Pantsdown by Lawrence M. Bogad

Cause of the Week: minus18 (


Mar 15, 2016

Yes, he is the nerdy one with the glasses and the guitar from Tripod, but Scott "Scod" Edgar is also a politically-conscious clever-clogs who just so happens to be directing my upcoming show about Australia and refugees, Boundless Plains To Share

I'm a huge fan of Scod's - Tripod were a huge inspiration for me getting into comedy in the first place - so working with him has been an absolute privilege. Here we talk about the history of Trades Hall (our venue and rehearsal space), how Scod's education shaped his worldview, the politics of the live music scene and what motivated him to explore this debate by working on this show.

My article: Busting some myths about asylum seekers and refugees

The World Keeps Happening is on now in Brisbane

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016, 11 shows only, cheap preview tickets for opening weekend 



Tripod’s 101 Hits at MICF 2016

The Perfectly Good Podcast on iTunes

Dolly: An ASRC Benefit at MICF 2016

The Moosehead Awards

Marches for Justice for Refugees this Palm Sunday

Cause of the Week:


Mar 8, 2016

Since 2011, Jay Weatherill has served as the premier of South Australia - a state where the Labor Party has been in power for the past 14 years. 

He's been attracting some headlines over the past few months as he's spoken out in favour of raising the GST and offered his state as sanctuary for vulnerable people seeking asylum who are in danger of being returned to Nauru. 

I was allowed into the Premier's (very nice) office to discuss what his thinking was here, as well as his journey into politics (as inspired by his father George), the number of lawyers in our parliaments, cynicism, the political history of SA, making submarines, the Bulmer-Rizi case and marriage equality and how he sees 2016 turning out. 

Watch back the 2016 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras on SBS Demand

The World Keeps Happening is coming to Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016  


Article: Premier apologises to Marco Bulmer-Rizi

Cause of the Week: Catherine House (


Mar 1, 2016

I saw Irish comedian Aidan Killian performing at the Adelaide Fringe and knew that he'd be good value for a chat. 

The former Bear Stearns investment banker is currently touring The Holy Trinity of Whistleblowers around Australia and the world and sat down to tell me about his karate his experience, why he opposed marriage equality, why he doesn't vote, his attraction to conspiracy theories and why Assange, Snowden and Manning matter. 

The World Keeps Happening is coming to Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

I'm co-hosting SBS's coverage of the 2016 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras this Sunday night, 8:30pm

Aidan's tour dates


Aidan on YouTube

Cause of the Week: Wikileaks (


Feb 24, 2016

Brad Chilcott is a highly-principled pragmatist. A progressive pastor, political activist and founder of super-cool outfit Welcome To Australia, I've come to know Brad over the last couple of years and find him to be an extremely inspiring dude. 

Here we have a big fat yarn about how his faith has informed his life and his activism, what he's learnt from his son Harrison's battles with ill health, the luxury of dismissing things as "politics", his criticisms of the progressive left and the story of and idea behind WTA.  

The World Keeps Happening is in Adelaide now, coming to Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

My tour blog for

Me and my fellow hosts covering the 2016 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for SBS


Activate Life Church

Campaign For Australian Aid  

Article: I Donated A Kidney To My Son - Don't Tell Me Not To Make It Political

Article: Fighting Hatred With Hatred At Reclaim Australia Rallies Is A Failure Of Progressive Politics

Article on Brad and boat turnbacks at the Labor conference

Cause of the Week: Food 4 Education (


Feb 16, 2016

You probably know Corinne Grant best from her comedic work on Rove, skitHOUSE or The Glass House. She’s been passionate about social justice and politics all her life but has recently made the decision to get her law degree and get her hands dirty for what she believes in.

Here we discuss Sophie Mirabella, unions, how she tried (and failed) to marry her comedy with her politics, the Glass House and ABC bias, the disappointments of Labor, writing speeches for Julia Gillard, Australians and their apathy and refugee rights. We also reflected on a difference of opinion we had a few years ago surrounding gay male comedians and misogyny.

The World Keeps Happening is in Adelaide now, coming to Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

Minus 18's 2016 Same Sex Formal & Gender Diverse Formal

Mums4Refugees sing "Age Of Reason" to say #LetThemStay


Article: Let Them Stay Thousands Turn Up To Rallies But Millions Turn Their Backs

I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

Corinne's piece on gay male comedians and misogyny; my response

Cause of the Week: The Fitzroy Legal Service (, on Facebook here


Feb 4, 2016

Episode 50 you guys!

Senator Scott Ludlam is a Greens Senator for Western Australia. He’s co-deputy leader for the party and its spokesperson for issues such as communications, housing, mining and nuclear power.

Whilst in Perth I chatted with Scott about everything from DJing to his viral hit speech to the cult of personality to his journey into politics to why he’s a “Senate nerd”. Plus the issues that drive his passions: nuclear disarmament, digital rights, Julian Assange, our shitty foreign policies, the TPP, the NBN and the possibility of a Greens government.

The World Keeps Happening coming to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne AND NOW SYDNEY!

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

Gimme Shelter: a fundraiser for Road to Refuge


No Shame: Why Most Australians Feel Okay About Tormenting Asylum Seekers

Ep 48: Jim Coad


Scott’s blog:

Julian Assange found to be unlawfully detained by UN

Article: Foreign policy that blindly follows the US isn’t in our national interest

CAUSE OF THE WEEK: Save Beeliar Wetlands (, Rethink The Link (


Jan 24, 2016

January 26th is upon us again!

To reflect on the issues of blind nationalism and patriotism that Australia/Invasion/Survival Day (of Mourning) throws up, here's a slice of Stan Grant's speech on racism and my conversation with artist Jim Coad, the man behind the Castlemaine civil event named "Chuck another flag on the barbie?"

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF

Stan Grant's speech

IQ2 Debate: Racism is destroying the Australian Dream

Australia Day is a time for mourning, not celebration by Nakkiah Lui

The problem with Australia Day by Martin Flanagan


Chuck another flag on the barbie? on Facebook

ABC article on Jim's event


Cause of the Week: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (


Jan 19, 2016

Mohammad Ali Baqiri is a former refugee who came to Australia by sea as a child. He spent three years in Australian immigration detention on Nauru. 

Here he kindly shares his story with me and explains what it's really like to be a "boat person".  

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF


Mohammad on Facebook

Article: Burning the Stakeholders 

Cause of the Week: Road to Refuge (

Gimme Shelter! A Road To Refuge Fundraiser



Jan 12, 2016

Fiona Patten is a former lobbyist for the sex industry, she's the founder and leader of the Australian Sex Party and she was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 2014 as the member for the Northern Metropolitan Region.

Fiona is passionate about civil liberties and honest conversations about everything from sex to drugs to voluntary euthanasia. We had a great ol' time talking and laughing about sex work (and her personal experience with it), porn, the history of Fyshwick, abortion clinic buffer zones and more.

Midsumma Hypothetical - 2022: A Queer Odyssey

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF


Guardian profile on Fiona

Cause of the Week: Harm Reduction Victoria (


Jan 5, 2016

Paul Farrell is a Guardian Australia journalist who writes about juicy stuff like national security, privacy and immigration. He’s concerned with what our government does and doesn’t let us know.

In this conversation Paul and I discuss Freedom Of Information, data retention, whistle-blowing, what’s happening inside Australia’s detention centres and the shocking truth behind Channel Nine’s Border Security.

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF


Paul's writings at Guardian Australia

The Detention Logs

Episode 34 with Freya Newman

Cause of the Week: Open Australia Foundation (


Dec 30, 2015

James Fry is a writer whose debut novel, That Fry Boy, tells the story of his journey from a normal happy childhood to a violent white supremacist (and back again).

James kindly shared his story with me and we discuss what lessons it might hold for the current conversation about the radicalisation of young men by Muslim extremists.

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld 

My mailing list


That Fry Boy

James on Q&A 

Waleed Aly's editorial, ISIS Is Weak 


Cause of the Week: Medicine Sans Frontier (


Dec 22, 2015

My chat with the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby continues.

Things get heated as Lyle and I discuss the ACL's objections to the Safe Schools program and how we educate young people about sexual and gender diversity.

My Radio National documentary, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Gay Bomb

The World Keeps Happening tour 2016

My chat with Lyle (Part One)


The Safe Schools Coalition

Lyle talks with Walt Heyer


Cause of the Week: Alliance for Gambling Reform (



Dec 17, 2015

Here's a quick taste of the in-depth radio investigation I put together for ABC Radio National.

In the mid-1990s, the US Air Force considered investing $7.5 million in the development of a 'Gay Bomb'—a chemical weapon designed to alter the enemy's sexual orientation.

When out-and-proud comedian Tom Ballard saw this story being referenced on one of his favourite TV shows, he thought it was hilarious. When he found out that it actually happened, he was gobsmacked.

So Tom decides to do some digging… and finds out a lot more than he bargained for.

After finally receiving security clearance from the very highest echelons of the American military, he can now officially bring you this unbelievable story: a story of political intrigue, secrets, betrayal, death and sex; a story that proves once and for all that truth is always stranger than fiction.

Listen and download the piece in full here


Dec 15, 2015

Merry Christmas everyone! To remind us all of the reason for the season, who better to talk to than the Managing Director of the Australian Christian LobbyLyle Shelton.

The ACL is a significant political force in Australian politics and Lyle and his team are active and determined about advocating on public policy issues from a faith perspective, from life issues to same-sex marriage to Australia's treatment of refugees. 

In the first part of this polite but passionate conversation, Lyle and I discussed the role faith should play in politics, evidence, reason, marriage, parenting and gender. 

The iTunes Top Podcasts of 2015

The World Keeps Happening tour 2016


Buzzfeed profile on Lyle

Kevin Andrews' Maybe I Do

A "reality check" for the Regenerus study on gay parenting

It's An Urban Myth That Same-Sex Couples And Married Heterosexuals Have Equal Rights by Tracey Spicer 

Cause of the Week: ChilOut Sydney fundraiser at Giant Dwarf Theatre


Dec 8, 2015

Activist Ali Hogg is the Victorian convenor of national marriage equality campaign Equal Love. She's proudly radically progressive and she's been leading the call for same-sex marriage in Australia for over a decade.

In this chat Ali talked me through her progressive upbringing, her personal experiences with homophobia, the Socialist Alternative, the next steps in the equal marriage debate, the ethics of protest and that time she charged into a restaurant on Lygon Street to confront former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

My 2016 show The World Keeps Happening touring to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane & Melbourne 

ChilOut Sydney fundraiser at Giant Dwarf Theatre


The Socialist Alternative

Students stage a protest during Q&A

Article: Abbott not gay about dinner ambush

triple j says It Gets Better

Cause of the Week: Equal Love (


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