Mums Gone Troppo
By Mums Gone Troppo
Welcome to our little podcast where we, as fairly new mums, are having a casual chat about life in Australia's tropical north, raising our family and the challenges and joys of motherhood.
We also sit down with with some well-known and some not as widely known women who call the Territory home. We talk about all things NT, their mum journey and why they’re raising their family in the Northern Territory.
This podcast is recorded on Larrakia country.
Music thanks to Alan Withers.
Mums Gone TroppoNov 28, 2023
Shari Togo on growing rugby league in Darwin, a healthy dose of 'she'll be right', and why homework won't make or break a kid.
Find us a person more excited to develop women’s rugby league in the NT than Shari Togo.
A mum of two who lives on 30 acres with cows, pigs, chooks, and anything else you can think of, Shari’s parenting mantra is teamwork and a healthy dose of ‘she’ll be right’.
She’s just returned from PNG coaching the Australian women’s Prime Minister's side, but no matter how high she climbs - the Litchfield Bears is still her club.
Unapologetically herself, Shari can work a room like it’s no one’s business, all in the interest of furthering her own opportunities for someone loving and living in the NT.
Jess Smith and Amanda Jarrett on sisterly bonds, the BRCA gene, and why getting on a quad at Wagait is always the right choice.
Jess Smith and Amanda Jarrett have embraced everything Darwin has offered, and more.
Jess owns Pasarella Models, and Amanda owns Moo Media and Married by Moo, along with years of experience working in local media around Darwin.
Jess, a mum of one, and Amanda, who just finished her second round of IVF, share the lasting impact of losing their mum to cancer, who they describe as their best friend.
Amanda opens up about her IVF journey to eliminate the cancer gene she carries, talking openly about the difficult path she's on, and how far it is to fall when things don’t go to plan.
The sisters have well and truly made the most of the opportunities Darwin presents, and look forward to a future filled with family in the place they love the most, even if it's on the back of a quad at Wagait.
Please note, this episode discusses IVF and fertility in great depth.
Dr Sarah Mackney on the trek to Everest Base Camp, denial after seven positive pregnancy tests, and why being in the Territory makes you a better doctor.
Sarah Mackey is a mum of three, an emergency department doctor and and the deputy medical director at CareFlight, who came to Darwin on a six-week elective as a medical student but never really left.
Her husband is a pilot with his own flight school business, who swiped right on her Tinder profile - the rest is history.
She’s traveled the globe doing some of the world’s most treacherous tracks, including making it to Everest Base Camp in the name of fun, and she almost didn’t make it as a doctor, coming close to choosing a career in the performing arts.
But despite hectic nature of her life, the Territory is the calming force she needs.
Jo Hersey on the flood that changed Katherine, marrying your housemate’s cousin, and why dehydrated mango is the only way to eat it.
Jo Hersey reckons she’s had two jobs her entire life, and she’s loved them equally.
She’s a hairdresser by trade, having trained in one of Adelaide’s biggest salons before moving north for love and owning her own salons in the decades that followed.
She’s also currently the Member for Katherine, and you’d be hard pressed finding someone who loves the Top End town more than her.
But she’s also a mum of three, hates mango, believes in manifesting, and is still, 25 years on, emotionally moved by the events of the Katherine Flood in 1998.
Susannah Ritchie on awkward teenagers, the first ultrasound with twins, and finding peace in grief.
First and foremost - this episode needs a tissues warning! It gets emotional.
Susannah Ritchie is a born and bred Territorian who left Darwin for uni with zero intentions of coming back. But like so many of us, the allure, familiarity and ease of the NT drew her home - having a husband and a new little baby certainly factored in.
Head of English at Haileybury Rendall School, she's also a proud boy mum, pushing back on the societal expectations of women wanting a daughter, and being disappointed if they didn't have one.
In this episode, we also touch on the cruelty of losing a parent - especially a mum - at a time when you’re trying to navigate the crazy and frightening world of mumming .. and doing it so without her. Trigger warning - it gets emotional. But Susannah has a beautiful perspective that truly warms your heart.
We also had some small technical difficulties during this episode, and apologise for the issues with one mic in particular.
Gella Catis on big Greek weddings, three kids under one, and the future of Darwin's favourite shoe store.
Gella Catis owns Stomp Shoes in Darwin’s CBD.
She’s from a big Greek family, and she's a mum of three - at one stage with three under the age of one, falling pregnant with twins when her eldest daughter was just four-months-old.
Darwin born and bred, she moved to Melbourne to persue a career in fashion, before the call of home, her friends, and family came loud and clear after the birth of her eldest daughter.
What was meant to be a two-year stint in the Top End, is now more than a decade in, and with a business, a Greek dance school, and a beautiful life in Darwin, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Kaila Handcock on the real impacts of covid lockdowns, life in a caravan, and the freedom of life in Darwin.
In the depths of Covid lockdowns, Kaila Handcock, her husband and two little girls packed their life away for the trip of a lifetime around Australia.
Running from lockdowns, they made it around Australia in one year and back home to Echuca, but something was missing.
Only weeks after arriving home, they knew it was Darwin that stole their heart, so they packed up their life again and came back to Darwin.
Kaila, a hairdresser by trade, talks about life in a caravan with two kids, why they chose Darwin over any other spot in Australia, and the true impacts of Covid lockdowns.
Follow Kaila's travels on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/two.tiny.trekkers/
Terese Trayhern on meeting her forever cowboy, the dark side of opioids, and how she made a blended family work.
Terese Trayhern packed her three boys into the backseat of her car and headed north after a marriage breakdown, back to her home town of Darwin, not knowing what was ahead.
She arrived in Darwin, met and married a cowboy at the Noonamah Rodeo, bought a childcare centre on a whim and has never looked back.
The childcare centre she bought was struggling for numbers, and now has a waitlist until January 2025, and she's looking at buying more.
She talks about her large blended family, how important it is to be a team, her husband's debilitating back injury and how he returned from the dark side of opioid use.
The Northern Territory Government have an extensive list of organisations available to help people with drug use. Please visit: https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/health-conditions-treatments/alcohol-drugs-and-your-body/alcohol-drug-rehab-services
Brad Morgan on watching wet season sport, the hardest years of his career, and the immediate urge to embarrass your children.
This is the last episode of our Dads Gone Troppo series, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.
Our final guest - it’s said Brad Morgan is one of the hospitality industry’s most head-hunted men.
His established career has seen him run casinos in Alice Springs, Darwin and Townsville, and league clubs in Brisbane. He now runs three of his own venues - two here in Darwin and one in Adelaide.
He’s also a dad of five, a husband, and a grandad who calls Darwin home with his growing family.
Brad talks openly as a breadwinning parent achieving great things in his career while balancing that with a large family, and what he’s missed because of it.
He also talks about some of the most difficult years in his professional career.
His humor is dry, but he’s one of the best bosses you’ll ever have (according to Molly).
Francis Gill on dad guilt, opportunities for all kids, and the classic case of you can have it all, but maybe not all at once.
We speak often of mum guilt and loss of identity on this podcast, but you rarely hear about it from the other side.
This episode's guest is here to change that.
Francis 'Gilly' Gill is open about the heavy weight of dad guilt and the huge shift in identity he felt when he welcomed his first child, and still feels as a dad balancing work, home with his wife and three kids and a sport which he loves deeply.
He is the principal of Seda College here in Darwin, a dad, heavily involved in the Pint Football Club, loves cricket, and his wife Jess.
It’s a classic case of you can have it all, but maybe not all at once, and a lesson in the changes that come as children grow.
Matt Cunningham on the 10 minute commute to work, having one leg shorter than the other, and the moment he realised the Top End was home.
The next person in the Dads Gone Troppo series is one of the Territory’s most well known and respected journalists, not just locally but nationally.
If someone can sniff out a story - it’s Matt Cunningham.
His love of the NT is real, and he projects that through not just his work, but in the way he raises his kids.
His story on coming to the Territory is simple and beautiful - he just didn’t want to be in the big city rat race any longer.
But it was a moment in the car with his wife on holiday in the Top End that really cemented their move back north, and they’ve never looked back.
Matt Cunningham is a dad of three, a husband and a media heavyweight with one leg shorter than the other.
Andrew Bruyn on love and loss, the joys of being a grandpa, and an old family pub in Armidale.
Andrew Bruyn is the first in our dads gone troppo series.
Asking him on as a guest was a no-brainer, as he is someone extra special to Kathleen - he is her dad.
A long-term and well-known Territorian, many might remember Andy when he was a reporter for the then Channel 8 news, his long time affiliation with the Nine Network, or the countless boards and positions he’s held over the years, championing many causes around the Territory.
One thing is for certain about Andy Bryun - he can spin a yarn like no one else. Listen in for stories about growing up in a regional pub, finding love for an older woman, stories of old school Territory and the newest joy in his life - his granddaughter Sally.
Prepare the tissues because this is a beautifully raw and emotional interview, with a man who loves being a dad, loves where he lives, and can spin a yarn like no one else.
Ruth Palmer on blended families, leaving home at 15 and meeting your husband over busted plumbing.
Ruth Palmer is best known for her role as Executive Director of the Property Council NT, but away from work she’s gone through a lot in her life.
She left home at 15, experienced abuse at the hands of two different partners, came to the Territory, fell in love, found herself as a single mum, rebuilt her life and then found her forever happy place over a funny story involving a busted pipe in a brand new home.
While she may not have been born in the Territory, she loves the Territory lifestyle - shooting, fishing and hunting, you name it.
Enjoy this episode with a woman who is nothing less than truly inspirational.
Marcia Russell on dressing to meet the Queen, the stories behind used sewing patterns, and life in remote communities.
Marcia Russell is the designer and dressmaker behind Darwin's Black Cat Couture. Her love of Indigenous textiles and vintage sewing patterns is contagious, and she regularly hunts around Australia's op shops for vintage sewing patterns.
Marcia’s designs and creations have featured on many best dressed around the Top End and beyond. One outfit was even worn by our former Administrator when she met the Queen.
She’s a mum of two and a grandmother of two who’s dabbled in a few professions before really finding her calling.
Kristy O'Brien on being the NT's First Lady, balancing careers with your husband, and taking kids on the road.
Kristy O'Brien is a journalist, presenter and documentary maker based in the Northern Territory. Her job has taken her around Australia and the globe. Her passion is telling and sharing the stories of people who live and work on the land in some of the most remote parts of Australia.
In the other side of her life, Kristy is married to Michael Gunner - the NT's former Chief Minister. In that role, she preferred to take a quieter, supporting role as the NT’s first lady, balancing the career of her husband and her own, as well as entering early motherhood.
But her most important job to date has been as Mum to their beautiful boys - Hudson and Nash. It's a role which Kristy has had to learn to accept and adapt to in her new identity.
Sammy Perry on being a florist allergic to flowers, love at first sight, and putting the Territory on the map.
Originally from Engadine in Sydney, Sammy Perry is one of Darwin's best known floral artists, but is now bringing Aboriginal fashion to the world through her work with DAAF.
She's worked in NYC as a florist, but lost her job after the 9/11 terror attacks, has two children through IVF and stayed in Darwin for the lamb....we mean kids. She stayed in Darwin for the kids.
Sammy has lived 10 lifetimes in one, has discovered the beauty of the NT, and is now working tirelessly to spread the good word of the Territory.
Jamie Collins on poorly-timed nappy changes, teaching kids to be confident, and training for a marathon.
Born and raised in Alice Springs, Jamie Collins is a proud eastern Arrernte woman now living in Darwin.
She's got her plate full with two young kids, a full time job and running her own successful business - My Glow Darwin.
To add to all that, she's also part of the Indigenous Marathon Project, and will be travelling to New York in late 2023.
She's terrible at cooking, wants to teach her kids to speak up for themselves and tells a good story about a Freddo Frog.
Her gut is always right, she's changed a shocking nappy where no one wants to change a nappy, and has huge goals for My Glow Darwin.
She's personality + and is a role model for young indigenous women in this honest chat, our first one back after a few week's break.
Dr Louise Woodward on saving lives, a tantrum to end all tantrums, and why not knowing the rules is often a blessing in disguise.
Paediatrician Dr Louise Woodward doesn’t wear cape, but a stethoscope around her neck.
She’s a well-known general paediatrician in Darwin, who moved here with her husband and young daughter a decade ago. Now a mum of three, she’s still here 12 years later.
Louise has a breadth of experience in all areas of paediatrics from newborn to late teens, and her goal is to improve the care of all children in the Top End through advocacy, medical education, and providing high-quality service.
Working at both Royal Darwin and Darwin Private Hospitals, as well as in her own practice, Louise is also heavily involved with the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, and her story there is nothing short of phenomenal.
As the famous Ray Martin said - she’s made miracles happen.
Natasha Fyles on the journey to the top job, speed washing sport uniforms, and finding hope for her son on the other side of the world.
Natasha Fyles has been in politics since 2012, when she was elected as the Member for Nightcliff. She’s now 12 months into her Chief Ministership.
But her political persuasion and decisions, whether you agree with them or not, and the job as a whole, are a small part of who she is.
You might see her on your television, hear her on your radio, see her at the Nightcliff Markets, or on the floor of Parliament. To many, she’s just a politician, but she's also mum. She packs lunchboxes, washes school uniforms, signs excursion paperwork and feeds a dog every single day. She’s a born and bred Territorian, a former teacher, and mum to two gorgeous boys.
It certainly hasn’t been an easy journey for her and her family. To be frank, some things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
But somehow - impressively - she still manages to hold it all together and turns up day after day all while in the public eye.
In her most raw and honest interview yet, Natasha Fyles reveals the mum behind the politician.
Beccy Pryer on fit pregnancies, fighting fires, and finding the perfect sperm donor.
Beccy Pryer and her fiancé Kat have recently welcomed their little boy Jed - a beautiful and happy little boy, now 14 months old.
He exists thanks to the generous donation from a stranger on the other side of the world, with Beccy sharing a heartfelt message to their donor.
In this interview, we delve into a same sex relationship and the difficulties and joys of going through IVF and finding the perfect donor to start a family.
Love pho? Kat and Beccy each reckon they know the best place to get the best pho in Darwin, and Sally joins us for her first ever podcast appearance.
Three Maas and a RaRa on life on the spectrum, finding your tribe and lessons learnt from your childhood.
This episode is a first, where Molly and Kathleen chat to two guests.
These ladies, Sorcha and Jenna, are two of four woman who call themselves Three Maas and a RaRa.
They're a a group of like-minded mums and a grandmother - affectionately known as their RaRa - who are raising awareness and funding for Autism NT.
Their passion and drive comes from personal experience, with each member of their team having a loved one on the spectrum. Last year, they raised a personal best fundraising goal of $10,000 and their blue shirts are hard to miss while walking around Darwin.
They’re by no means experts but want to raise awareness, understanding, and acceptance to create a more inclusive and safer community for all kids.
Join us for this heartwarming chat with two wonderful Darwin mums.
Tracey Hayes on fate, dealing with tragedy, and fighting for the people and place she loves.
Tracey Hayes is one of the most recognisable names and faces in the Northern Territory.
There’s not much she can’t or won’t do.
She’s been named one of Australia’s most influential women, was the first female CEO of the NT Cattleman’s Association, and led the charge in the class action against the Commonwealth fighting for compensation after the live cattle ban.
She holds positions on countless boards, and also runs her own successful business out of Alice Springs.
On top of all that, she’s a mum to four boys who are all sixth generation Territorians.
Her story of success on the corporate ladder is not without tragedy in her personal life, as Tracey tells us how fate twists and turns in the most unexpected and devastating ways.
An open and honest chat with a woman who has faced adversity and fought to oth and nail for the place and people she loves and calls home.
Lauren Hoar on always wearing your best undies, the challenges of living remote, and the best cauliflower and cheese in the Northern Territory.
Lauren Hoar with her husband and four boys own Moroak station, a 530,000 acre cattle station six hours drive from Darwin.
It’s a life many of us can only imagine seeing on the screens of our televisions.
Lauren tells us about love at first sight, why you should always wear your best undies, and how you really send four boys to school when living so remote.
Strap in for a funny and lighthearted conversation with this mum who’s well and truly fallen in love with her Territory life.
Brigid Stock on owning multiple businesses, the devastation of multiple miscarriages, two rainbow babies, and ignoring all the clues of an impending labour.
Please note: This episode discusses miscarriages and pregnancy loss. If this is triggering for you or anyone else listening, please call Amber NT on (08) 8948 5311 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Two rainbow babies.
Five devastating miscarriages.
Brigid Stock has caffeinated most of Darwin, her croissants are to die for, and she’s just opened a pasta bar in Darwin's CBD.
But her story to motherhood has been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster.
The self-confessed beige mum talks about life with an eccentric toddler and chilled baby - her two rainbow babies, and what it’s really like undertaking years of fertility treatment.
It’s raw, honest and emotional from this passionate mum whose journey is far from over.
Amanda Jagers on pregnancy testing cows, premature babies, and mowing the lawn when you're heavily pregnant (and why you maybe shouldn't).
For this episode, we were on the hunt for an everyday mum with an extraordinary story. But what we found was an extraordinary mum with an even more extraordinary story.
Meet Amanda Jagers. She’s from Katherine, and if her journey getting there doesn’t blow you away, the story of the birth of all three of her children will.
Our convos range from pregnancy testing cows, buying a bed and breakfast in New Zealand, to why you shouldn’t mow lawns when you’re pregnant.
Another epic episode from a mum who’s well and truly gone troppo.
Fiona Upstill on mistaking your husband for a mass murderer, hanging with the Hemsworths and hitch hiking up the red centre.
This episode is a special one, where we sit down with Molly’s mother in law Fiona Upstill.
Her story of settling in Katherine for 40 years is so textbook Northern Territory, as we discuss how that fateful hitchhiking trip up the red centre shaped the course of her life.
It’s a story of community spirit only found in Katherine, working remote and building homes in Bulman, and having premature babies in the hottest time of the year without the comfort of aircon or electricity. There’s also tales of killing snakes when heavily pregnant, and mistaking your husband for a mass murderer, and we even talk about their friendship with the Hemsworths.
Bridie Duggan on why seeing a women's physio is so important, getting back to exercise after having a baby, and caring for your pelvic floor.
We dare you to try and not do your kegel exercises while listening to our first bonus episode!
Join us as we chat to Bridie Duggan who is one of Darwin's most popular women's physios, working primarily in postpartum care (she's also a qualified PT). Have you even had a baby in Darwin if you haven't seen Bridie six weeks later!?
We discuss all things from returning to exercise after having a baby and caring for your pelvic floor, to what kegel exercises should actually feel like (hint - it's a milk-based drink). There's also a Q&A with questions sent in by our very own Mums Gone Troppo listeners so strap in and enjoy this bonus episode.
Kyrrie Blenkinsop on shoes she's never worn, pregnancy loss, and living with a blended family
Before we get started, this episode comes with a content warning for miscarriage and suicidal thoughts.
Amber NT support Territorians through the unimaginable loss of a child for any reason, from conception to 18. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, illness, suicide and accident.
They can be contacted on (08) 8948 5311.
Lifeline are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
They can be contacted on 13 11 14.
Kyrrie Blenkinsop has more experience in front of the television cameras than most journalists in the NT. She’s worked for Channel 9 in both Darwin and Sydney, and she’s traveled the world for her work landing high-profile jobs in Europe and the UK.
Outside her successful career, she’s a mum of two and lives in Darwin’s rural area with her blended family. She talks openly and honestly about her miscarriages and postpartum struggles but also the joys in travelling with babies and kids, shoes she’s never worn, and how the Territory came calling when she became a mum.
Sarrita King on falling into her art, never looking back, and raising the Strange brothers in the NT.
She’s one of the Territory’s most well-known indigenous artists. Her phenomenal work has featured on North Melbourne’s indigenous round jersey, The Block, and Samsung’s ‘The Frame’ TV.
She’s got personality spilling out of her cup and this episode is sure to leave you in stitches.
Sarrita King jumps behind the mic for episode 4 of Mums Gone Troppo.
PLEASE NOTE: There were some audio issues in the first few minutes of this episode, but keep listening as it only gets better!
Amy Culpitt on dream wardrobes, questionable Christmas gifts for kids, and exactly what a sputum test really is.
This episode's guest is Territory media personality Amy Culpitt. You might have seen her on your evening television screens as a journalist, having worked at Nine Darwin and as a presenter at ABC Darwin.
Amy is a long-term Territorian and mum of two, and tells stories of raising her children with the Territory spirit we all know and love. Amy discusses keeping her daughter Grace's spirit alive, by buying questionable Christmas gifts and taking her fishing, camping and pig hunting. She enlightens us as to exactly how she keeps the family running when her and husband works opposite hours, and how she came to acquire Darwin's most enviable wardrobe.
Join us for the ride with this wonderful Top End mum.
Amy Hetherington on touring Australia with a baby, moving her entire family to Darwin, and being a 'one and done' mum
Amy Hetherington has lived in the Top End for 10 years now. While she initially wasn’t particularly happy here, she was won over by the charm of the NT and has now carved out an impressive and successful media career. She's now the first to shout from the rooftops how great the Territory is.
She is also a talented and funny comedian, drawing inspiration from her day-to-day life as a mum of 18-month-old Ruby and the challenges that come with toddlerhood.
She's just returned from touring her award-winning show and sits down with Kathleen and Molly to talk all things mango madness while living her best life in Darwin.
Katie Woolf on being your kids’ biggest cheerleader, losing a parent, and life as Darwin’s most recognisable voice.
Katie Woolf is one of Darwin’s most recognisable voices, an absolute powerhouse on air, and one of the most respected people in the Territory.
Her show is broadcast across the NT, she is a voice for the people, and has won some of radio’s most respected awards for her work. She's been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to broadcast media and her charity work through It’s A Bloke’s Thing, and of course Run with Dad, which she started to raise money for prostate cancer in memory of her own Dad.
She’s also an MC for some of the biggest events in the NT - but you’re more likely to see her at Park Run on a Saturday morning, or in her most favourite role as her kids’ biggest cheerleader.
Join us for this rollercoaster of an episode.
Mums Gone Troppo is a podcast bought to you by Molly Upstill and Kathleen Gazzola talking all things parenting in the tropics, with plenty of banter, pearls of wisdom and mango madness along the way.
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Who's behind Mums Gone Troppo? Get to know us!
Molly Upstill and Kathleen Gazzola are two mums who call Darwin home. They love everything the Territory has to offer, including the moments of mango madness all Top Enders have come to know and (sometimes) love.
Tune in to this introductory podcast to get to know Molly and Kathleen, as they sit down and talk all things parenting in the tropics.
Don't forget to like us on social media and subscribe to the podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Mums Gone Troppo Teaser
Introducing your two hosts of Mums Gone Troppo - Molly Upstill and Kathleen Gazzola.
We're two mums who call Darwin home, and chat about life in the tropics, raising our family, and the challenges and joys of motherhood.
Join us as we sit down with some of the Territory's wonderful women and share our moments of mango madness.
Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!