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High profile Australians reveal lessons from life's tough moments

High profile Australians reveal lessons from life's tough moments

Press Release · Brisbane QLD, Australia ·

Deadset Studios and ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia today announce the eagerly anticipated return of podcast series Curveball, where high-profile Australians reveal how they confront their toughest moments in life, and share stories of grit, determination and the triumph of the human spirit.

Host and Executive Producer Kellie Riordan is the former head of podcasts at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and creative force behind award-winning podcasts Conversations, Ladies We Need to Talk, Unravel, The Pineapple Project, and Fierce Girls. Her production house Deadset Studios developed and produced Hooked, Hitched, and Hung Up with Britt Hockley and Laura Byrne (for iHeartPodcast Network Australia) and has produced podcast series for the University of Queensland, the Judith Neilson Institute, and PinnaFM.

Each episode of Curveball features a candid, in-depth interview with an influential person who takes you inside a challenging time, one where they’ve struggled at a crossroads, or come entirely and unexpectedly unstuck. They offer rare, unfiltered and inspiring insights into tackling life’s tricky and traumatic moments, making difficult choices, and showing courage in the face of fear.

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Series three kicks off with SAS Australia star, Olympian, doctor and mother-of-six Jana Pittman, who opens up about the moment she chose a surgical room over athletics training, how changing careers impacted her identity, and finding balance as a lifelong overachiever. “I pushed too hard, but it wasn’t my nature to turn that switch down. And this year having twins … I finally had to sit back and go, ‘Right, what can I take away? I’ve got to live a more measured existence or my children are going to miss out.’”

Celebrity fitness trainer Michelle Bridges reflects on the self-belief that helped her turn a teenage passion into a multi-million-dollar empire. She also discusses her evolving leadership style, and how she grappled with a very public relationship breakdown. “I learned a lot about how beautiful vulnerability can be,” she says. “It’s true what they say, when trauma hits or tragedy strikes you soon work out who’s got your back.”

You’ll meet Kath Koschel, who’s at the heart of an extraordinary story. She taught herself to walk again – more than once – and experienced some devastating personal losses, yet the founder of The Kindness Factory still considers herself to be the luckiest person alive. “I say that because I’m not my family or my closest friends. I think a much harder thing to do would be to support someone to go through the things I have. For that, I just think they’re the toughest and strongest and most incredible people I’ll ever know.”

FinTech entrepreneur Dom Pym, the co-founder of digital bank Up, shares never-before discussed lessons from an international deal that almost took him to the brink of collapse. He gives you a glimpse into an ‘overnight success’ that was 20 years in the making. “We always thought it was going to work, but we also knew it could fail. Having permission to fail, and having failed before, gives you sort of a good foundation for success,” he says.

You’ll also hear how leadership expert and author Kirstin Ferguson honed her skills in the cutthroat military culture of the 1990s. “We were definitely outnumbered by men but everything around surviving at ADFA had a real masculine sort of sense to it. That need to fit in became sort of core to my ability to succeed there,” she says.

Former Sydney Swans player Brandon Jack reveals where relations are at with his estranged family, following his decision to walk away from an elite sporting career in AFL.

And in a unique twist, podcast superstar Richard Fidler, host of the ABC’s Conversations (the very first podcast Kellie Riordan produced) will have the tables turned as Kellie puts him under the spotlight to discuss his career behind the microphone.

“Curveball leans into life’s messy moments. We rip back the curtain to show you what it’s really like for some of Australia’s most inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs… The people at the top in their most vulnerable moments. They reveal how to thrive in challenging times,” said Kellie Riordan.


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