Students present The Tonic

Smithton High School students Logan Popowski, 15, and Kaleb O’Halloran, 16, co-hosted The Tonic podcast from their school last Thursday. The episode will air this evening. Pictures: Jelena Potpara. Guest speaker Ella Di Guglielmo of The Cancer Council with Rural Health’s Dudley Billing.

Broadcast. Old timers will remember listening to radio shows in the ‘50s, tuning in each week to hear the voices they knew so well.

New timers have reinvented the classic, and it’s called a podcast.

A bunch of local youths is involved in hosting and producing The Tonic, a podcast that focuses on health and wellbeing by delving into a new topic each week.

The hour long broadcast features students interviewing experts across a wide range of topics around health and wellbeing.

For an hour every Thursday they spend time interviewing experts in the subject matter, any element of holistic health from the social determinants of health through to the treatment and prevention on chronic conditions.

Rural Health youth and community worker Dudley Billing says that the youth are what make this process so valuable.

“By engaging young people from the community as co-hosts we hope to broaden the scope of these conversations whilst giving youth an opportunity to participate in this exciting new field of broadcast.

“The best thing about the podcast format is that everything is pre-recorded and then edited before going to air.

“This means presenters and interviewees alike who may not have much experience with media can be more relaxed and conversational during the recordings.”

The pilot program was recorded in February with Dudley and Smithton High School student Brodie Edwards interviewing Rural Health’s mental health counsellor Jodhi Wilkinson.

The content was presented to Coast FM and the result is a weekly time slot.

“I have now co-hosted the program with 15 different young people from around Circular Head and they’ve all done a fantastic job,” Dudley said.

“I have recorded one episode with Wynyard High School which is yet to air and hope to get around more schools with this program throughout the year.

Now onto the tenth episode, the podcast has been recorded at Smithton Primary School and the Circular Head Health and Wellbeing Expo but has settled in to a weekly schedule at Smithton High School.

“It’s another great use of the new community studio we obtained through the Tasmanian Community Fund.

“I want to continue to sharpen the program and get more young people involved both as co-hosts and particularly at the production end of the show.”

Last week’s episode was on personal trainers and included interviews with locals Dwayne and Kyle Everett, Scott Bryan, Leanne Gifford and Bianca Lee Apted.

Tonight’s (Thursday June 29) episode is on cancer prevention and services. Listeners will hear from Ella Di Guglielmo from The Cancer Council and Marianne Hercus, general manager of the new North West Cancer Centre.

Year 10 students Logan Popowski and Kaleb O’Halloran helped co-host this podcast.

“I enjoyed it because it was something I haven’t done before so it was good to see what it’s like, interviewing Ella was [good] because I found out a lot of things I didn’t know before the podcast,” Logan said following the session.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Kaleb said. “But overall it was very easy and straightforward.”

From July, episodes will be available online from the Rural Health Youth Team Facebook Page and posted weekly for listeners who are unable to tune in on Thursdays.

Tune into Coast FM on Thursdays at 6pm to hear local students present The Tonic.

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