We chat with Allana Bianchi about her Women of Wynnum and Manly Podcast which shares the stories of the many women who contribute in various ways to the Bayside community. You can follow the Podcast here and listen to back episodes here.

What is your background? Did you have any experience as a podcaster prior to the Women Of Podcast?

I have a professional background in child protection, disability, equity and diversity and a whole variety of other roles. Outside of paid work, I try to live values of contributing to the community.   I currently volunteer for Orange Sky, annually at Schoolies and up until recently was a parkrun health and wellbeing ambassador. Producing a podcast was something brand new to me when I started Women of Wynnum Manly, and I had to learn everything – designing the artwork, learning how to use the recording and publishing platforms and marketing each episode. I had a couple of good female friends that supported me in my learning. 

What was your motivation for the podcast?

I had enjoyed listening to podcasts for about a decade and wanted to create my own. I couldn’t quite work out what the angle of my podcast should be; what was of interest to people and what would I genuinely engage in.  One weekend in 2022 I was thinking about all the great women I knew in Wynnum and just like that, I had the idea. I listed five names down on my computer and approached each of them to be a guest. Not one said no, and some have provided recommendations for future guests. I have interviewed 40 women now, only a handful I had met before they walked in to record.  I intentionally don’t do a lot of research on guests, as I want the recording to be an authentic conversation.  I am by nature a curious person so it works.

Which has been your favourite episode so far?

I have been asked this before, and I respond by saying it would be like admitting to who your favourite child is! I like each guest for different reasons. I have reflected lately on an episode last year with Ida Yang.  Ida approached me directly about being a guest, which isn’t that unusual.  She shared that she had  two small children, was living with stage 4 cancer and coordinating a cancer support group.  I met Ida with trepidation about how tough the interview would be.  It was not tough at all. She was incredible – warm, funny, super smart and this positive mindset about life.  Just after Christmas last year I heard that Ida had sadly passed away. Since then I have noticed an increase in listeners to her episode. I have been thinking about what a beautiful memory the podcast has created for Ida’s friends and family, a full 30 minutes of hearing her talk about her life, her children and her incredible attitude. 

What do you love most about the Wynnum / Manly area/community?

I moved to the Bayside in 2016 after 20 years living in Carina. The community within the area is something I had never experienced. The Wynnum Manly people are very welcoming and the environment is relaxed, almost holiday like. Within 6 months of moving here I had joined a bookclub, a choir and a running group.  Some of the ladies I met in the running group are now some of my best friends, and I have met a whole extended community through them.  Whilst I do love a good bargain in the op shops (half of my wardrobe is second hand!), I love seeing the growth of the area, with new bars, shops and businesses popping up.  Going to the movies is one of my favourite things to do, so I am super excited to hear of the cinema opening up again soon. The community has been really supportive of the podcast, and I am always receiving messages with ideas for future guests. Keep them coming!