The Unforgiving60
S1E33- Chris Huet- The Precision of a Fighter Pilot and the Passion of a Poet

S1E33- Chris Huet- The Precision of a Fighter Pilot and the Passion of a Poet

December 20, 2019

Chris Huet flew fighter jets with precision and now speaks with passion! He is an award winning, national poetry champion and communications coach, who also applies the principles drawn from his flying fast jets.

Chris's Air Force career started with a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian Defence Force Academy before graduating to being a Hornet pilot. In a near-20-year career with the RAAF, Chris ultimately led the fighter training school with a staff of 200 personnel as well as 14 F/A-18 Hornet jets.

Chris had always written poetry. He realised that communicating was his passion. And that his poetry was a key vehicle for communications, and it has plenty of transferrable components. 

Enter CJ Bowerbird. Chris's 'nom de plume'. Chris was the Australian champion of the Australian Poetry Slam. CJ Bowerbird loves to challenge our emotions- to make us feel!

To just feel something!

In 2018, Chris released Beyond This Blue, a recording of the show he wrote and performed with the Downfall Choir for the 2017 National Folk Festival.

This interview left Ben and Tim grinning from ear to ear- just listen to the poem about the billy cart!


Tim then was on a flight.... and he wrote this to Chris:


"Chris, A big thanks for yesterday. We had a quick listen to the audio and we think that it will be very special. Thanks for sharing. Indeed, more than that for me. Thanks for inspiring. On full charge from CJ Bowerbird, last nights whisky and today’s Eckhart Tolle.... I put pen to paper in flight and wrote for the first time in years.

It made me feel again.
Regards, Tim ".
Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)
3:30 Just listen to this.... just LISTEN.
6:00 The poem, the poet, the pilot and the person
14:38 What is poetry?
19:00 Poetry and flying fighters
22:10 Is there anything Chris has written and never shared?
25:35 About 'Clicktivism'- to be passionate v to be 'showful'
28:15 Who is CJ Bowerbird?
30:45 'Performance'- Is it a lost or dying art?
38:45 Stage craft..... how much work goes into the 'theatre' of poetry
42:10 CJ Bowerbird on TedX
44:30 Ambush Poetry?!
46:50 Authenticity- the tension between yourself and expectations. Playing the role...
49:30 Ben on his art and authenticity.... how hard it was for Ben to be an artist in the SAS
50:50 On Daydreaming... and beyond
56:15 To rhyme or not to rhyme .... that is the question! (?)
59:00 What about making up words?
1:01:50 Can you learn poetry?
1:02:10 Does Chris even write drunk? (How and why Ben does art drunk).
1:05:50 How kids (teenagers) can learn (to love) poetry. Song lyrics as poetry?
1:09:20 Poetry collides with Music: CJ Bowerbird and the Downfall Choir
1:16:40 Quick Questions/ Quick Answers.
1:22:35 A snippet of 'I am the poem'.
More About Chris Huet and CJ Bowerbird

CJ Bowerbird & the Downfall Choir:



As always from The Externals .... available on spotify


More about the Unforgiving60 Podcast

Unforgiving60 Playlist (songs from our guests):






S1E32- Go Run Trails! Melina Mellino on trail running and embracing fun, nature & life

S1E32- Go Run Trails! Melina Mellino on trail running and embracing fun, nature & life

December 5, 2019

This episode is just great fun! Melina Mellino is a former United States Airforce Computer Systems Operator: But she knows nothing about computers!

Melina claims it was good sales work by the US Military that got her into the Airforce. So good that instead of 4 years she signed up for 6 years of ‘adventure’! Melina served in Afghanistan, including driving trucks and tactical vehicles as her secondary task. After Afghanistan she served in Turkey, where Melina reflected that people’s problems with internet connections were in stark contrast to people problems in Afghanistan.

Melina left the military after Turkey and went to ‘just hang out’…. back in Afghanistan.

Melina then got the lure of Australia to study natural medicine. But she needed a laptop!? Who would have thought!? And that clearly didn’t last!

Trail running has always been her passion and we talk- lycra, headbands, shoes, nature and the community of trail runners.

And we talk power songs!

Melina now owns and runs the Perth Trail Series where she encourages people to get out there, run, have fun and just 'woohoo'!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 02:55 How it all started
  • 04:00 How the military sucks fun out of fun activities
  • 05:50 On flying
  • 08:30 Why we yelled at communications experts
  • 09:45 In Afghanistan. Endearing thoughts. Running convoys from Bagram Air Base to Mazar e Sharif
  • 13:00 In Turkey
  • 16:00 Hanging out… back in Afghanistan
  • 19:15 Into Australia. Chase the sun
  • 19:55 Studying Natural Medicine
  • 21:35 Fact check Australia’s coastline length
  • 27:50 Trail running as a vocation
  • 28:30 Zoolander struts into the conversation (Ben!)
  • 31:45 What is trail running?
  • 36:35 Ben’s mountain running and bathrooms
  • 44:10 Is it a competition?
  • 49:01 How Melina describes her leadership style
  • 55:55 Power Songs!  Melina, Tim and Ben’s power songs
  • 01:01:00 Lycra
  • XX:YY:ZZ  Is no one still reading the show notes?
  • 01:02:15 Tee Shirt or Singlet?
  • 01:02:40 What prose/ poetry inspires Melina
  • 01:03:10 Tim reads Edward Abbey


“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.” 
― Edward Abbey


About Perth Trail Series



As always….  by the Externals.

Find more Externals music on Spotify


Contact Us


S1E31 – Jimmy McKeown- Master Distiller of the Year; The Young Whipper Snapper

S1E31 – Jimmy McKeown- Master Distiller of the Year; The Young Whipper Snapper

November 28, 2019

Tim and Ben like jobs where you can drink at work.  This week they get to do just that during their interview with Jimmy McKeown in the ‘Black Room’ of Whipper Snapper Distillery.  Whipper Snapper is fast becoming a well-known brand amongst whiskey lovers and the go-to drink for many, and in this episode, Jimmy talks us through its amazing origins – and his equally amazing personal story.  From an illegal moonshine still run by a World War II bomber pilot to being recognised as a certified ‘Icon of Whiskey’, the Whipper Snapper story is a cracker.

Jimmy discusses his attitude towards risk and regret, both of which served as catalytic elements in starting the distillery, before taking us through the ingredients and distilling process.  He then talks about their range of spirits, from their flagship 'Upshot' to more experimental lines including quinoa whiskey, the soon-to-be released red corn whiskey and – of course – their 'Crazy Uncle Moonshine'. If you don't know who your crazy uncle is ... then it's you!

Tellingly, one thing that Jimmy doesn’t talk about is the fact that he had – just the week prior to the interview – been named as Master Distiller of the Year in the Icons of Whisky 2020 Australian awards. Truly humble, a truly great bloke and a truly tasty drop of whiskey – enjoy!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 02:00 – Jimmy’s early years
  • 06:45 – Vic’s story – Lancaster bombers and illegal moonshine
  • 09:15 – Ben makes up some statistics about WWII Bomber Command attrition rates
  • 10:25 – Jimmy on risk and avoiding regret
  • 13:45 – What is an Australian whiskey? Jimmy talks grain and flavour profiles and the dream of making an Australian whiskey at scale
  • 16:30 – “Full disclosure”
  • 17:10- On the ‘microfactors’ that help make Whipper Snapper different to mass produced whiskey
  • 18:30 – What goes into Whipper Snapper’s whiskey?
  • 21:20 – Red Corn whiskey (coming soon!) – a crazy idea which highlights Whipper Snapper’s close relationship with its grain growers
  • XX:XX - Does anyone actually read the timeline in the Show Notes?!
  • 23:20 – How to make whiskey
  • 33:20 – The story behind the Whipper Snapper’s logo – and its name!
  • 39:40 – Quinoa whiskey – superfood!
  • 45:10 – The whiskey environment in Australia
  • 51:20- Signature Whipper Snapper cocktails
  • 53:50 – Marketing Whipper Snapper
  • 56:30- The Special Operations relationship
  • 1:02:00- How many stories could be tyold over a glass of Upshot
  • 1:03:00:– Quick Questions / Quick Answers!
  • 1:08:00- Jimmy’s favourite quote: From CS Lewis.
  • 1:09:23 – Jimmy’s toast to the entire world!


About Whipper Snapper



As always music by The Externals. Hear more of The Externals on Spotify.

@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