Australian Podcast Awards 2023: Best factual podcast

Podcasts have built their considerable following in part because they’re a fantastic way for real people - often those who would not have access to more traditional channels of mass communication - to tell their stories. The factual category recognises podcasts that are setting the tone for nonfiction podcasts, and that deal with some of the most complex and important real-world issues affecting communities today.

Winner: First Eat

While it may sound like just another food podcast, First Eat is less about seasonings and flavours, and more about untangling the complex relationship between food and colonisation in Australia.

The show does this by looking into a single question: what would dinner look like if First Nations people owned the land? Host Nakkiah Lui, a Gomeroi and Torres Strait Islander woman, takes listeners into farms and kitchens around Australia, to examine the issues. The podcast sees her not just consulting with farmers and cooks, but with sovereignty advocates, lawyers, historians and maternal health experts. 

As you might expect from the premise, it’s an often confrontational and raw listen, but Lui’s expert presenting skills bring enough levity to make these heavy topics accessible and engaging. It’s a superb way to understand more about Australia’s history and power structures from a First Nations perspective.