The Unforgiving60
@RV12- On Richard Baker, RSL, Alyssa Azar, SAS Selection as an Everest and Climbing Active Volcanos

@RV12- On Richard Baker, RSL, Alyssa Azar, SAS Selection as an Everest and Climbing Active Volcanos

November 14, 2019

Tim and Ben use this RV to cast their minds back over their recent chats with Richard Baker, Maxine Brown (for the ‘Returned and Services League’ (RSL)) and adventurer Alyssa Azar.  We then talk about Ben and Tim’s Everests. And that includes discussing poignant moments on SAS Selection and looking death in the face while climbing Mawson’s Peak, an active volcano, on the sub antarctic Heard Island.

Shamelessly riding on the coat-tails of Richard’s much better podcast The Last Voyage of the Pong Su, the boys talk about what a pleasure it was to speak with him and to share their experiences, which is one small component of Richard’s cracking and far-reaching exploration into the incident. On ‘shades of grey’ and what is a ‘bad person’ and promoting reductionist views which means polarising views and opinions.

Ben then struggles to explain what ‘RSL’ stands for as they recount their discussion on mateship in an interview with the RSL’s Maxine Brown.  When they eventually work it out, they talk a little bit more about the importance of mateship and maybe even displaying a little bit of vulnerability from time to time, and provide an insight into their stint as cover models for the RSL magazine.

They finish the episode by talking about Everests – both literal and metaphorical.  Literal, in their discussion about the amazing chat with super-inspirational Australian mountaineer Alyssa Azar; and metaphorical, through describing their own individual ‘Everests’. 

We hope you enjoy this RV and it in some small way, that it helps you go ‘a little further’ in filling your own Unforgiving60s.

 Get in touch with us at

Music from the original SAS Band, The Externals..... check them out on Spotify!! 


S1E30- Alyssa Azar- With the World at Her Feet. The youngest Australian to climb Everest

S1E30- Alyssa Azar- With the World at Her Feet. The youngest Australian to climb Everest

November 11, 2019

Despite Alyssa first summiting Everest at 19 years old, this is much more than a climbing story. It is a story of setbacks and challenges, tenacity and toughness and staring down death; but most importantly why you don’t ever give up on your dreams.

‘Control what I can control and accept everything else’- Alyssa

Alyssa is the youngest Australian to Summit Mt Everest. She did this at 19 years old on the 21st May 2016. Not being content with that, two years later Alyssa also became the youngest woman to summit Mt Everest from the North Side (Tibet) at just 21 years old.

Her story began early. She walked the challenging Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea at the age of 8. By 10 years old, she had climbed ‘the Aussie 10’ (the 10 highest peaks in Australia). At 14 she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

And she has never looked back…. Or down!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 03:00. How it all began
  • 05:03. Things in common- Alyssa, Ben and Tim
  • 06:04. Alyssa’s unconventional schooling
  • 07:11. No crying in boxing!
  • 11:30. Why Alyssa took a photo of her brother to the summit of Everest
  • 12:15. Alyssa on ex SAS soldier and author Keith Fennell.
  • 13:40. Ben on ‘Fenno’ and similarities with Alyssa
  • 14:50. Keith Fennell talks about Alyssa
  • 21:15 Final climb before Everest
  • 22:10 First setback- Everest 2014 at age 17
  • 25:13. Second setback- Everest 2015 at age 18. Near death experience
  • 30:08. Building resilience through these setbacks
  • 33:00. Third attempt on Everest!
  • 34:40. Starting for the Summit. Avalanche! Toughest day on Everest
  • 36:55. At Camp 4. South Col. The summit push
  • 38:20. It all came down to this day (Summit Day)
  • 42:27. South Summit to Hillary’s Step …. and onto the Summit
  • 44:15. Time stands still…. The world at her feet
  • 46:30. Sponsors, pressure and expectation
  • 47:45. Arriving home!
  • 51:20. Going back! (to climb Everest again)
  • 01:01:20. Thoughts on ‘peak bagging’ Everest
  • 01:02:30. A past comment on Alyssa as being ‘very distant and unapproachable’
  • 01:03:10. Other interests…
  • 01:06:40. Quick Questions/ Quick Answers
    • What are you scared of?
    • What’s your favourite book? (Sorry Keith Fennell!)
    • Who inspires you?
    • What’s the best climbing movie ever made?
    • How do you train?
    • What’s your guilty pleasure?
    • What do you watch on Netflix?
    • What’s still left that interests you?
  • 01:10:28. Final Comment from Alyssa


More about Alyssa Azar


Alyssa’s Book- The Girl Who Climbed Everest:


More about Keith Fennell, ex SAS Soldier and Author




As always from the original SAS band, ‘The Externals’

Find The Externals on Spotify:


Special Episode- On ‘Mateship’. Ben and Tim are interviewed by Maxine Brown from the RSL

Special Episode- On ‘Mateship’. Ben and Tim are interviewed by Maxine Brown from the RSL

November 5, 2019

Ben said that they should never talk about this again. Plus this was never supposed to be a podcast.


More unauthorised audio!

This starts as a interview on 'Mateship' by Maxine Brown from the Returned and Services League (RSL).... but then it takes some unexpected turns.

Ben and Tim talk:

  • 'Mateship'
  • Them Meeting
  • Starting a business
  • Risk taking
  • Family
  • That Napkin!
  • The importance of silly hats
  • Having difficult questions early
  • When did you know 'he' was a mate?
  • ... And a very difficult question from Maxine: 'Can you describe each other in one sentence?'


PS: No one should talk about this.... ever!


More About the RSL 



S1E29- Richard Baker- Journalistic Royalty- Proving the pen is mightier than the PONG SU!

S1E29- Richard Baker- Journalistic Royalty- Proving the pen is mightier than the PONG SU!

October 10, 2019

Richard Baker is one of Australia’s most decorated investigative journalists. He has five Walkley Awards and 15 Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards. Embracing the medium of podcasts, his last two series won global and national awards.

In 2016, he created and co-hosted a major investigative podcast series called Phoebe’s Fall, which led to legislative changes in Victoria, Australia. The series attracted millions of downloads, and won a Gold Medal award at the NYE Festivals in 2017.

Richard’s second podcast series, Wrong Skin  won the Australian Podcast of the Year in 2019!

In Richard's wider work, he has covered topics ranging from international corruption, crime, drugs in sport, the justice system, politics, and sexual abuse. 

This year Richard released a podcast series entitled “The Last Voyage of the Pong Su”, which (unfortunately for Richard) collided his path with Ben and Tim! It’s an action movie podcast…. And it’s available now!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 00:00. Ben’s excellent research skills
  • 04:00. The quick guide to winning multiple awards as a journalist
  • 06:55. What’s the skill in writing to communicate a story?
  • 11:01. The tension between storytelling, entertainment and news.
  • 13:05. Attention spans and journalism.
  • 14:45. On social media as an entry point.
  • 16:15. The importance of a headline?
  • 19:02. Competition means ‘it’s got to sing’.  
  • 20:22. Is there such thing as bad investigative journalism.
  • 22:50. The new medium of podcast. Good for investigative journalism?
  • 25:20. The podcast format- correlations with the 1940s?
  • 26:50. The community of downloaders and awards.
  • 29:00. The new series that brought Richard together with Ben and Tim
  • 29:50. What was it like on the North Korean Drug vessel the MV PONG SU?
  • 34:00. Is there black and whites? About ‘shades of grey’.
  • 40:00. What the drug ship did well… and poorly.
  • 46:30. Quick Questions/ Quick Answers!


About Richard


The Last Voyage of the PONG SU



As always music by: The Externals. 'US Radio' (available on spotify)

@RV11- On Jim Molan, the MV Tampa, English Channel Swimming, Aviation Business and ‘Cheek-sent-me-high’

@RV11- On Jim Molan, the MV Tampa, English Channel Swimming, Aviation Business and ‘Cheek-sent-me-high’

October 3, 2019

In this RV, Tim and Ben reflect back on the recent interviews with Jim Molan, Sam Penny and Jack Moshovis.  In the course of this, Ben tries to remember when the MV Tampa incident occurred and provides some reflections from his perspective as a troop commander during this operation, following which Tim and Ben offer some extremely shallowly-researched thoughts on boredom.  

Per convention, they also use the RV to field some great questions from listeners, starting with more attacks on Ben’s dress and bearing, this time from a previous platoon sergeant who is extremely disappointed to note Ben’s slip in grooming standards since leaving the military.  They also debate whether 'work-life balance’ is actually achievable, and Tim challenges us to swap the word ‘busy’ with ‘focused’ in our lexicon. 

And finally, Ben continues his very average track record of mispronunciation while trying to name-drop academics (for note, the researcher he was struggling to remember was Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced ‘cheek-sent-me-high’) who pioneered the concept of ‘flow’) and reflects on how enjoyable it is to interrupt Tim in the middle of a ‘pomodoro’. 

Enjoy the RV and - as always - we wish you luck in filling your own Unforgiving60s with some quality distance run. Just get started!


**Music by our great friends at The Externals (available on Spotify)

S1E28 – Jack Moshovis – Building High Performance Aircraft in the Sky!

S1E28 – Jack Moshovis – Building High Performance Aircraft in the Sky!

September 26, 2019

Jack Moshovis was always mechanically minded. He used to look up at aeroplanes with fascination as a kid and ponder who built and maintained them and, indeed, how they flew. He always had some sort of a project going in his younger years and unsurprisingly after finishing high school he got an apprenticeship working as a mechanic on Air Force aircraft … learning his craft on high performance military lead-in fighter aircraft.

Fast forward a few years, Jack got an opportunity to be in the business of aviation. He committed to being a business owner. So what do you do when you come to work and the hangar is cleaned out by your business partner- including everything in the fridge!?

You start again!

Jack has worked with the Red Bull Air Race World Champion- Matt Hall. In fact Matt Hall described Jack as ‘a life saver’. Of course we talk with Jack about Matt and the Red Bull Air Race.

And then you fall in love …. with a high performance aircraft. You hug it every day- literally. And when the Company comes up for sale. But you don’t have the money. What do you do?

Jack explains what he did. 

He now owns MX Aircraft. 

This is a great chat with a great bloke!


Let’s get on with the show!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

00:00-  Let’s start with Amateur Hour!

02:15-  How it started…. The meeting and the history

06:00- What the reward is…

06:25- Jack’s favourite thing to work on

08:20- Jack and World Champion Matt Hall…. Matt described Jack as ‘a life saver’

11:50- How technical is Matt Hall?

13:50- Jack on The Red Bull Air Race

15:10- On his first failure, regret and let down... and what you do about it

19:10- The MX high performance aerobatic aircraft

20:15- Why you hug an aircraft as a mechanic!

21:00- ‘One day I’m going to own you’- Jack M

24:00- The MX types….

26:25- The teething problems (fatalities!) …. & what Jack did.

33:12- Tim’s aerobatic proficiency! And what this amateur has flown!

36:45- Sales and marketing

37:50- Quick Questions/ Quick Answers  ….. to Jack

  • How important is family?
  • Definition of happiness?
  • What are you reading?
  • Last good movie?
  • Choice of food?
  • Favourite holiday destination?
  • If you could change one thing in the aviation industry?
  • The future of aviation?
  • 4th Industrial Revolution…. And aviation maintenance


Website and Links

Rob Holland and his MX Aircraft:



As always…. Courtesy of 'The Externals' …. Available on Spotify

S1E27- Sam Penny: English Channel Swimmer- ‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far’

S1E27- Sam Penny: English Channel Swimmer- ‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far’

September 19, 2019

Sam Penny is a father, cheesemonger, civil engineer and endurance athlete who is currently training to conduct a DOUBLE crossing of the English Channel.  Looking at his physical accomplishments – which in addition to Channel crossings, include the conduct of a Backyard Ultra running race and swimming a mile in ice water - you could be forgiven for thinking that he’s some kind of superhuman.  But, as we find out in this interview, Sam is a refreshingly normal guy who likes to set lofty goals and then work towards them - one step (or stroke!) at a time.

In this discussion, we find out how Sam does this, as well as how he deals with the physical and mental discomfort associated with endurance feats of this kind. We also learn about his greatest fear and how he overcomes this through a deliberate action plan, and ponder why the cheese is so good in Vanuatu.

Just count to 10!

Enjoy the show!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

2:07            The excellence of cheese in Vanuatu

4:30            Sam’s early athletic career, including his triathlon days and the dangers of a life of complacency

7:30            How Sam got into swimming and ocean racing

9:20            Sam’s early fascination with swimming the English Channel

10:00          Preparation for the channel swim

13:00          How modern life breeds complacency and takes away our ability to dream

15:30          Sam discusses goal setting, both long- and short-term

17:45          What does a training program for a double English Channel crossing look like?

19:40          Shutting off your mind during long distance swimming

22:40          “I didn’t come this far only to come this far”- Tom Brady

23:40          Last One Standing – Sam does a Backyard Ultra

29:30          The mental barrier of crossing the channel and how Sam overcame this

31:10          Ben asks the big questions – in a double crossing, is it compulsory to tumble-turn at France?!

33:25          Sam talks his goal time for the double crossing

35:32          How do you rest when swimming for the best part of a full day?

38:30          Chats from the Chest Fridge – why Sam sits in a converted freezer full of ice water

41:30          Controlling breathing in ice-cold water

43:07          The Ice Mile – the most stupid thing Sam has ever done

52:07          Sam talks heart rate – and reveals his very impressive resting heart rate!

55:30          Sam’s shark attack action plan

1:00:30       Sam’s definition of happiness





S1E26- General Jim Molan, AO, DSC - No Backward Step

S1E26- General Jim Molan, AO, DSC - No Backward Step

September 12, 2019

General Jim Molan, AO, DSC is a former soldier, diplomat, author and speaker. We explore all things from why 'Andrew' is called 'Jim' through to winning the war in Iraq, border security and national energy policy.

Of course we go low-brow too!

Jim has unfinished business in Australian politics. He explains why!

Unbeknownst to Jim, we personally selected 'General Jim's' close protection team leader in 2004.... and we have some inside information on General Jim! We share it too!

As always we continue to show learned insubordination to our highest ranking former military officer!

PS: Apologies for the audio quality ..... as you know we suck at podcasting! 



Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 3:45. Speaking Tok Pisin! Papua New Guinean 'Tok Ples'. A Young Jim in the Pacific Islands Regiment.
  • 5:40. Jim gets warned!
  • 6:10. Tim talks Henry Kissinger!
  • 6:40. What Jim is most proud of.
  • 12:00. What Jim is least proud of.
  • 14:00. On styles of leadership. 
  • 17:40. Kipling's world.
  • 18:45. The human part of leadership.... and a lack of hubris.
  • 19:40. General Jim on East Timor.... what would he have done differently (hindsight)?
  • 21:41. Clausewitz and Jim. War is politics by other means.
  • 25:45. Is politics, war by other means?
  • 28:05. 2004 Iraq. Stories from Jim's SAS Close Protection Team Leader 
  • 33:00. 2004 Iraq (cont'd). When there is an SAS guy involved.... the walls have ears! Stories from the walls!
  • 36:39. Why Jim's SAS Close Protection Team didn't let him nap!
  • 38:15. Leadership advice to any junior leader
  • 44:25. The battlefield of politics. 
  • 49:25. The future of Jim in politics? Paraphrasing Churchill......
  • 50:00. On border security.
  • 52:40. On energy security.
  • 55:10. Quick Questions/ Quick Answers (kinda!).
  • 58:38. Who Jim invites to his dinner party (living or dead).
  • 1:01.00. The final say (and appropriately).


Music By:  The Externals    (as always!!!!)...... check them out on Spotify




@RV10 – On Susan Saleeba and Chris Collard, Servant Leadership, Psychopaths and Ben’s Leather Vest

@RV10 – On Susan Saleeba and Chris Collard, Servant Leadership, Psychopaths and Ben’s Leather Vest

September 5, 2019

As the RV concept hits the meteoric height of double figures, Ben and Tim talk about their interviews with Susan Saleeba and Chris Collard, reflecting on topics ranging from gentle African words to getting punched in the head by a world champion. 

They then field a number of fantastic listener questions, which sees the conversation switching from a discussion of arrogance and sociopathy straight to pondering who was the GOAT (greatest of all time) servant leader! 

Ben also speaks to some of his unfortunate historical fashion choices, including addressing allegations that he used to get around in a leather vest and a Mustang, while Tim talks about failure, foibles and regrets.

Amongst all this, the boys discuss a great new method of passing a little piece of goodwill to someone, through Phil Hayes-St Clair’s Be in Motion project.

And, in a departure from the normal The Externals outro music, Ben and Tim finish this RV with a very special recital of Banjo Patterson’s The Man From Snowy River from recent guest and all-round good guy Sans Tattoo.



social media: @unforgiving60    #unforgiving60 

S1E25- Chris Collard- No Barriers! From Jail to World Champion in 5 Years.

S1E25- Chris Collard- No Barriers! From Jail to World Champion in 5 Years.

August 22, 2019

Chris Collard is a world champion indigenous kickboxer and professional fighter. But it has not been an easy path. Chris spent his early years in and out of the juvenile justice system. Chris ‘celebrated’ his 18th birthday in prison BUT five years later he won his world title fight.

This is a story of inspiration- from a broken home to a happy home. A man wanting only to encourage belief in those who feel there is none.

Chris has over 70 professional fights across kickboxing, Muay Thai and pro boxing. He is also a three times Victorian middleweight boxing championship

And he’s also a bricklayer! Chris talks also about how being a brickie has been great for his fighting career.

With no role models and coming from a broken family this is also a story of tenacity and hard work. On how to turn your life around. It is a heart-warming interview with a man who now only wants to inspire and mentor those who may have started life like him….

“Fighting is like a game of physical chess. The best man with the best moves’ wins” – Chris

Breathing and mindfulness? No.

On visualizing the fight? No.

Pre-match rituals? No.

Footnote: Ben also got in the ring with Chris. He got punched a lot .… Ben that is! Marc Wohling (in Episode 23) talks about this fight, and describes Ben as looking like he was working out a puzzle. 


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 4:00. How, where and why it started.
  • 4:50. Chris’s recollection of his first ever fight in the ring.
  • 5:25. Chris’s tough upbringing.
  • 8:30. Chris’s professional record.
  • 12:30. That world title fight!
  • ‘He planted him like a tree!’ … Footage of that fight:
  • 16:40. That feeling of winning a world title
  • 18:50. How to work through pain.
  • 27:10. Chris’s next MMA fight.
  • 29:40. Being a role model.
  • 32:45. About being a bricklayer.. and the benefits!
  • 34:10. On fear, nerves and fighting.
  • 35:40. On breathing and mindfulness, visualizing the fight and pre-match rituals
  • 36:05. The Steve Dale fight… and Chris wearing silver sunnies:
  • 41:40. A Hypothetical Fight with Danny Green.
  • 42:20. A Hypothetical fight with Anthony Mundine.
  • 43:20. Chris’s toughest fight.
  • 43:35. Chris’s shortest fight.
  • 44:10. The one must do training exercise for boxers.
  • 47:10. Home life now in comparison to Chris’s upbringing.


Music by The Externals:  Song is Seven Brothers from the Album Bushranger Rock .... available on Spotify.

  • Hear our interview with The Externals on Episode 16.