Season 2, Ep 8: The systems we inherit, and the ones we choose to change

 
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This conversation is for anyone who’s ever been ambivalent about their phone (or secretly longed to smash it), as well as those of us trying to thoughtfully navigate our way through a beautiful, troubled, at times exhausting world with love, hope and joy.

On today’s episode of the reMAKERS, Millie and Lily sit down with Toni Hassan. Toni is a Walkley Award-winning journalist, writer, visual artist, parent and the author of Families in the Digital Age — a book about parenting in these complicated tech-heavy times. She’s also an Associate with the Centre for Responsible Technology with The Australia Institute, and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University.

Toni was born in Durban, South Africa, and grew up on Gadigal land in Sydney. She started her career in journalism working for the ABC, but as the tech revolution took hold found herself longing to be able to switch off more, model something different to her kids and create in new ways. This led her to complete her Honours in visual arts in 2021, and today she’s recognised as an emerging artist, with work held in the public collection of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

This is a deeply reflective, wise and wide-ranging exchange spanning big themes — from apartheid and internalised racism to the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ in the age of the smart phone; as well as the role of the arts in helping us to lose ourselves and find ourselves. We invite you to let Toni’s words wash over you and maybe even settle into your bones. Then go get muddy and let us know if you smash your phone.

SHOW NOTES

Things we mention

Apartheid

Jim Crow

Ubuntu: ‘I am because you are,’ and the teachings of Desmond Tutu.

Bunnings (and others) using facial recognition software.

The ACT government introducing Google Chrome books from year 7.

Things you can do

Buy a copy of Families in the Digital Age: Every parent’s guide.

Read more of Toni’s written work. (“Time to reclaim the lifeblood of human society,” and “Facebook is ripping society apart, and other reasons to abandon social media,” are two that touch on today’s themes.)

Think about when you’re playing to your ‘small self’ vs your ‘big self’. Permission to opt out of the crap!

Check out the Centre for Responsible Technology, increase your digital literacy and join with others interested in remaking tech for the public good.

Start a conversation with your MP, school or workplace about the role of technology in our lives and how it can serve us better.

Make art, garden, spend time in wild spaces, find ways to quiet your mind, create intentional rituals, get muddy.

Share this episode with friends (yes, we recognise the irony of asking you to post on social media). Write a review, spread the word.

Leave a message for the show by calling (02) 7257 2619, or email us at podcast@AustraliareMADE.org.

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