This week, we launched our first ever original podcast, Motherlode. This has been a year in the making and we couldn’t be more excited and proud! Motherlode is a historical investigative podcast about early computer hacking in Australia and its evolution during the past three decades. It was conceived and recorded in Melbourne. You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, and most other places you listen to podcasts.
The very talented Lucy Kent produced the podcast. Lucy is a television, radio and online producer, with more than two decades of experience working in the Melbourne media. Most recently, she has worked at the national public broadcaster where she produces national multi-platform stories for the ABC’s news and current affairs division. We spoke with Lucy to find out more about the podcast and her experience bringing it to life.
1. Tell us about the premise of Motherlode in your own words
At its core, Motherlode is a podcast about the early activities of computer hackers in Melbourne in 1980’s and 1990’s. But in saying that it’s about so much more! The series also dives into the story of Julian Assange – detailing his first forays into hacking in the 1990’s and what led him to start Wikileaks, as well as exploring the evolution of the internet and what it means for society today.
2. How did you get involved with the project?
In early 2020, I was approached by Ranieri and Co. to work with them on a podcast series. When they pitched me the idea of a podcast about a group of teenage boys who hacked computer systems around the world from their bedrooms in suburban Melbourne, I was immediately hooked!
3. What's your favourite part of working on the podcast?
My favourite part of working on the podcast has been chasing down fascinating interview talent, often from three decades ago. I have also loved going down “rabbit holes” to find them. Let’s just say there was never a dull day when we were making this podcast!
4. What was the most challenging aspect of creating Motherlode?
There’s been many challenges encountered along the way but the stand out for me is the hoops we had to jump through to access public documents. There still remains a lot of sensitivity around early computer hacking activities in Australia.
5. Who do you think will enjoy this podcast?
This podcast has something for everyone. Listeners interested in international politics and technology from the past three decades as well as Julian Assange and Wikileaks will especially love it.
6. Who was your favourite guest on the show?
It’s so hard to choose just one! Some of the hackers we interviewed were fabulous story-tellers. Skeeve Stevens aka Optic Surfer and Andrew Bagwell aka Optimus Prime immediately come to mind. Other favourites include our international guests. NASA’s network security manager Ron Tencati from NASA and New York Times technology reporter John Markoff both gave unique insights into the early hackers and what systems they managed to break into.
6. What other podcasts are you listening to at the moment?
I have just listened to The Line, a true crime Apple podcast about Navy Seals. I loved this series because the interview talent was excellent and they told a fascinating and confronting story from multiple angles. Other favourites include The Daily from the New York Times and British Scandal from Wondery.
Now you have heard Lucy’s account of Motherlode, you can dive into episodes 1 and 2 now. The subsequent five episodes will be released in the coming weeks. You can also read our interview with host Greg Muller here, for an additional perspective. If you have any questions on creating an original podcast or advertising on podcasts, contact us here.
About Ranieri & Co
In Australia and New Zealand, Ranieri & Co. exclusively represents the world’s largest independent podcast publisher: Wondery. Ranieri & Co. also makes custom branded podcasts that hit the sweet spot between what brands want to talk about and what audiences are genuinely interested in. Stories that inspire, inform and entertain.
Ranieri & Co. represent leading local podcasts The Byron Cooke Show, The Mind Muscle Project, The Fitness and Lifestyle Podcast, Single Minded and The Junkees with Dave O'Neil and Kitty Flanagan.
Find out more at www.ranieriandco.com