The Understanding Boys


Conversations about what makes a good man and more

David Leser

UB Podcast

S1: David Leser

David Leser is well known for being a journalist, feature writer and public interviewer. He’s an Australian author of seven books, most recently ‘Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing’, a twofold investigation following the #MeToo movement, patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

David embarked on this journey despite the criticisms and appropriateness of a male responding to a women’s private hurt publicly revealed by the #MeToo movement. He believes that the story of women’s oppression can’t be told without examining men’s role as oppressors. 

David is passionate about the injustices of discrimination against women and unearths how men can be part of the solution.


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

01:06 – Guest introduction
02:12 – How he’s been handling the pandemic
04:18 –  The art of interviewing
08:05 – Considerations for telling people’s stories
13:44 – Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing
18:05 – David’s reading of a letter he received
20:27 – Challenges he faced while writing
23:59 – Contesting the truth
27:57 – Masculinity and raising boys
34:46 – What makes a good man
35:23 – A story he would tell a young boy



Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

Season 1

14 episodes
Episode 14

David Leser

David Leser is a journalist, feature writer and public interviewer and author of ‘Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing’, an investigation following the #MeToo movement, patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

Episode 13

Judy Chu

Dr Judy Chu is a lecturer in Human Biology at Stanford University with a fantastic insight into into masculinity issues that are relevant to all men and boys.

Episode 12

Trevor Hendy

Former Ironman Australia Trevor Hendy AM shares with Dr Ray Swann his journey from professional lifesaver to motivational speaker and life coach, and the lessons that he has learnt along the way. His personal mantra of, ‘these are my perfect conditions’, has served him well and made him a better man today.

Episode 11

Dianne Vella-Brodrick

Head of Research at the Centre for Positive Psychology, Dianne has a special focus on young people while working with all types of organisations to assess and promote wellbeing for all.

Episode 10

Jim Lawrie

This podcast will be a little different to our usual format we’ll explore Jim’s artistry as a young man, talk about growing up and his thoughts on masculinity.

Episode 9

Michael Reichert

Michael explains how the paradigms about boys needing to be stoic and ‘man like’ can actually be destructive and the key to changing the culture lies in how parents, educators and mentors help boys develop socially and emotionally.

51 minutes
Episode 8

Megan De Beyer

International parenting expert Megan De Beyer gives her tips on how to navigate the challenging teenage years and foster connected, meaningful relationships between parents and sons.

48 minutes
Episode 1

Tim Costello

Reverend Tim Costello speaks with Dr Ray Swann about faith and the importance of modelling empathy in the shaping of good men.

33 minutes
Episode 2

Lisa McCune

Lisa McCune, one of Australia’s most successful screen and theatre actors, shares her experiences on mentorship, motherhood and modern manhood.

40 minutes
Episode 3

James Kerr

James Kerr, author of Legacy, discusses how he uses the power of storytelling to reach out to young men and encourage them to have a good understanding of self and authenticity.

31 minutes
Episode 4

Steve Biddulph

Steve Biddulph AM is an Australian author, activist and psychologist who has written a number of influential bestselling books; and lectures worldwide on parenting, and boys’ education.

28 minutes
Episode 5

Simon Rice

Leading mental health researcher, Dr Simon Rice outlines a collaborative research project with BGS around positive masculinity to improve outcomes for boys’ mental health.

34 minutes
Episode 6

Liz Dawes

Liz Dawes speaks earnestly on helping children deal with loss. She shares her son’s own battle with brain cancer and her continued determination to raise awareness and funds for a disease which kills more young people than any other form of cancer.

29 minutes
Episode 7

Jeff Kennett

Jeff Kennett AC, founding Chairman of beyondblue, speaks on what it takes to be a good man today and shares his aspirations to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community.

21 minutes