Jon Doust on education, The Voice, the art of losing and much more


November 10th, 2023

1 hr 14 mins 13 secs

Season 5

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

On this episode of Post-Growth Australia Podcast, we are joined by Jon Doust - professional writer, speaker, comedian, performer, activist and trouble maker. Not only does Jon live in the same town as your PGAP hosts (Albany), he went to the same school as Michael. In this episode, we exchange notes on our formative years, which for Jon are documented in his trilogy of books ‘Boy on a Wire’, ‘Return Ticket’ and ‘To the Highlands.’ This provides a springboard for an in-depth discussion around the role that formative education plays in creating the psychologies of modern society and how addressing many of our existential crises requires some deep unlearning and relearning.

John Doust

This interview was recorded on the eve of Australia’s Voice Referendum, to which Jon worked tirelessly for the Yes campaign. Jon was also running for the Albany council elections as a progressive voice in a typically conservative part of the world. This lead to a sprawling discussion across many topics, issues and amusing anecdotes, where Jon’s mercurial skills as a storyteller truly came to the fore. Also evident throughout the interview is Jon’s love and dedication to the First Nations Noongar Menang community. Further, as fellow activists, we reflect on our losses and how moving ahead requires the art of learning how to be a better loser (and continue on anyway with even more dedication!)

Jon Doust books

You can find out more about Jon at his Blog or at Fremantle Press.

Michael Bayliss was joined by co-host Mark Allen for the introduction and outro discussions to this episode, recorded after the results of the Voice referendum. As proud ‘Yes’ supporters, we reflected with sadness at the results. We observed the phenomena of people voting No as a ‘protest’ to the government and reached the conclusion that there are far better ways to ‘voice’ your protest against the government – punching downwards is not the solution. We were pleased to note that the Albany Council now has a progressive councillor following the election, so that is one silver lining.

In the outro, we compare notes on our personal education experiences and how these have been an impediment with regards to gaining the wisdom (or even the practical skills) to deal with the multiple human induced crises that lie ahead. We make it very clear that we are knocking THE SYSTEM and the vested interests that lie behind the veil, NOT individual teachers, many of whom are heroes in our eyes and work uphill everyday against the crumbling system.

You can find out more about your hosts Michael Bayliss and Mark Allen. All the MANY opinions raised during this episode are individually held by your hosts and our esteemed guest Jon Doust and may not always reflect the opinions of our supporters.

Enough about us – what are your thoughts on all the above? Let them be known by contacting PGAP at our Contact Page. If you liked this episode (or even if you didn’t!) rate and review us on Apple Podcast or your favourite platform. Share PGAP with your friends, family and networks and grow the post-growth conversation!

This episode was recorded on the traditional lands of the Menang Noongar people that were never ceded. We continue to plunder, concrete and colonise their lands, without consultation, in the name of growth. We pay respect to all elders past, present and emerging and hope that we can learn from their wisdom in navigating the turbulent times ahead as we enter deeper intothe decade of consequence.