Political Psychology Series Episode 2 - Jim Penman

The Discernable Interviews

Political Psychology Series Episode 2 - Jim Penman

1 Hour 19 Minutes

If you grew up in suburban Australia, you would be familiar with the green and gold trailers regularly appearing on our streets to mow our lawns. Jim’s Mowing has since expanded and the Jim’s Group is now the largest franchise in Australia and New Zealand with some 4,000 franchise owners turning over more than $500m a year serving 35,000 customers a day!

But don’t let the blue-collar grass mowing success story fool you – Dr David Jim Penman, that’s right…Dr, is an avid student of history and how its cyclical nature is determined by biology, epigenetics and character amongst other things.

Buckle up for a wild ride as we explore a huge range of topics including how civilisations are built, how to reverse their decline with epigenetics, why he is fighting the Victorian lockdown laws, and how Jim’s franchises are truly a family.

Business Innovation Series Episode 2 - Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne Arron Wood AM

The Discernable Interviews

Business Innovation Series Episode 2 - Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood

51 Minutes

Arron Wood is not your typical politician. In fact, I’m not sure he’s a politician at all! Granted – he does hold the office of Deputy Lord Mayor for the City of Melbourne, and he is campaigning in next month’s council elections to become the Lord Mayor. But when I came across Arron on social media, it wasn’t via a political ad or a sponsored post. I simply noticed someone who was posting sympathetic, thoughtful, and engaging content, and perhaps most tellingly a majority of that interaction was in replies and comments to other people.

Political messaging is often unidirectional, and getting community leaders to listen and engage in a genuine way is rare but I’m convinced it’s the key to electoral success. It would be no surprise to me then should I be addressing Arron as Mr Mayor at the end of next month. And it’s my pleasure to welcome him to our Series on Business Innovation which explores how business can and will rise from the ashes of COVID-19, and the unprecedented lockdowns around the world.

Show Notes:

1:14 – A non-politician politician

3:20 – Why enter politics?

5:00 – Who would Arron vote for in a federal or state election?

7:04 – Arron’s long walk to political office

9:40 – Business destruction under government lockdowns

11:20 – Extending 5km radius limit to 10km

13:36 – A better way out of lockdown

15:50 – 15% of Melbourne hospitality businesses are already gone

17:00 – Melbourne is a conversation town

18:25 – The fabric and heart of Melbourne

19:50 – Arron’s condemnation of the lockdown

22:30 – The internal machinations of political parties

23:25 – Arron lays out an alternative plan for Melbourne

25:25 – Switching from handouts to cutting red tape

26:20 – We should expect COVID cases to go up when lockdown ends

28:38 – The shift in tone around lockdowns

30:18 – Arron predicts Melbourne’s recovery timeline

33:35 – Resurrecting Melbourne without the government

35:50 – Make your bed!

36:55 – Environmentalist or businessman?

39:30 – A plan to export hydrogen worldwide

41:10 – What does Arron drive?

43:30 – Sustainability is more than the environment

44:20 – Sustainability in regional Australia

47:00 – Ambitions for state parliament and the original intent of parliament

Follow Arron:



Pre-emptive and indefinite detention in the new Victorian Omnibus Bill

Discernable® News and Editorials

Pre-emptive and indefinite detention in the new Victorian Omnibus Bill


The Victorian Government is trying to pass laws that allow pre-emptive and indefinite detention for those who are ‘likely’ to break a law.

  • What is the COVID-19 Omnibus Bill?
  • How will it affect Victorians?
  • What is this about ‘pre-emptive, indefinite detention’?

Here is a breakdown of the Bill which is not due to be passed by the Legislative Council until early-mid October.

Business Innovation Series Episode 1 - Pia Therese

The Discernable Interviews

Business Innovation Series Episode 1 - Pia Therese

1 Hour 28 Minutes

Today we are going to the gym. My guest Pia Therese is a small business owner in Melbourne, Australia who risked it all and opened a fitness studio called MFW Fitness. Under what is now likely the world’s longest and most severe lockdown, small businesses like MFW have been smashed. And this is despite plenty of evidence that small businesses are not only willing but are capable of opening up in a COVID-Safe way.

Take for example gyms, where we are now learning that they were never a source of COVID transmission, and in fact are better equipped than the government to conduct deep contact tracing because of their detailed and close relationship with their members. This is to say nothing of the fact that COVID-19 is a disease of immunity, like all coronaviruses are, and yet we have seen no messaging from authorities on living a healthy life that encourages a robust immune system.

But It’s not just our bodies we are told to hide inside from this virus, daily messaging from our Premier downplays the incredible and growing mental health harms that result from lockdown rules that increasingly appear arbitrary and not based in science.

I’m hoping this conversation with Pia will give us an insight into what’s really happening with small businesses in Melbourne, and open up a broader conversation on what we all struggle with but don’t admit to anyone – mental health, social media, and the evolving definition of community.

Show Notes:

2:32 -Pia loves control

3:41 – Pia’s fitness journey

6:14 – Managing addiction

8:08 – Losing weight and exercise is uncomfortable

9:02 – Pia’s video on mental health

10:50 – Why we need to exercise

13:30 – Vulnerability and not comparing

15:20 – Women’s only gyms

16:35 – The journey of MFW Fitness

19:05 – Starting a business at the beginning of COVID-19.

23:00 – Commercial landlords in Melbourne during COVID-19

26:38 – Small businesses left behind

27:50 – Dividing society into ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’

31:40 – Refusing to give up on her business

34:00 – Pia’s mental health realisations

38:22 – How we can unite the Victorian community

42:30 – Protests at the Queen Victoria Markets

45:48 – Puppies

48:50 – Stop exaggerating fears

52:00 – Melbournians love Melbourne

53:50 – Being a leader – staying positive

55:40 – Pia’s voice and managing social media

1:04:50 – Pia’s message of empathy

1:06:50 – Behind the scenes – extra discussion

1:11:15 – New TV Show – Pia interviews Matt

1:13:30 – Who Pia follows for news updates

1:15:45 – Getting Pia’s advice on content creation

1:19:30 – Pia gets angry about the media covering for the government

1:21:30 – Crazy diets – carnivore

1:23:00 – Finding what works for your body

Follow Pia Therese​ on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mfwfitness


Political Psychology Series Episode 1 - Topher Field

The Discernable Interviews

Topher Field - Political Psychology Series Episode 1

1 Hour 23 Minutes

Topher Field demands attention. Not for his own popularity – quite the opposite! In fact, he would rather the spotlight pass him by so he can quietly raise his young family in the suburbs of Melbourne.

But when the world that you are raising those children into appears darker and more authoritarian than the world we grew up in, silence becomes complicity.

For years Topher has warned us that the freedoms we enjoy may have been free to us, but they didn’t come cheap. They were in fact purchased, just not by us. The choices we make today decide whether we keep them or dispose of them.

And that’s why you just can’t look away from Topher. The beautiful thing about this man is that when you dig into him, on the inside is not a doomsday message, but a utopian one. Somehow he remains an optimist and prosecutes the case for hope in forums like his new podcast Living Value.

It was my honour to interview the man, the myth, the legend – to find some clarity around the strange times we are living in.

Show Notes:

2:37 – Haircuts

3:39 – The Little Government That Could

5:52 – Why do we support authoritarian governments?

10:10 – Failure of parenting and learning to provide

11:22 – The Welfare Trap

13:05 – The Malthusian Trap

14:50 – Innovation pre-dated the industrial revolution

16:00 – Capitalism is the default mode of mankind

18:23 – The default state of humanity is poverty

21:45 – The failure of Venezuela

25:30 – Crony capitalism

30:10 – Travelling with 680 condoms

35:04 – The morality of civil disobedience

37:48 – Natural law

38:40 – The new religions

42:00 – Do pro-lifers really care?

47:50 – Jesus the solution to condemnation

50:15 – Topher’s revelation of fallibility

53:00 – Wrong does not equal evil

54:00 – Seeing behind the conservative curtain

57:00 – Premier Dan Andrews has no empathy

58:50 – Victoria Police is completely demoralised

1:01:00 – Civil disobedience

1:03:50 – Disobeying immoral orders in the military

1:06:00 – Military deployed on Australian soil

1:07:40 – Militarisation of police

1:08:30 – The Dunning Kruger Effect

1:10:10 – Victoria Police Reputation

1:12:40 – ALP spill in Victoria

1:14:30 – Optimism and faith in each other

1:18:00 – Making a choice to show empathy

Follow Topher: www.facebook.com/topherfield

Support Topher: https://www.locals.com/member/TopherField

Case Study on how NOT to police a population

Discernable® News and Editorials

Case Study on how NOT to police a population


Whether in the workplace, your family or in society, policing by consent actually generates the greatest overall compliance.

Victoria is a helpful study on how to get this very wrong.

Empathy Series Episode 1 - Damien Silm

The Discernable Interviews

Empathy Series Episode 1: Damien Silm

37 Minutes

Damien Silm is an apple farmer in regional NSW who stands to inherit a fortune. I’m not referring to assets, to land or even to the legacy of his great-grandfather who planted those apple trees so many decades ago.

It is clear to me that Damien, as one of the most empathetic people I know, will inherit the future as our world increasingly values empathy in all spheres of life.

Not only does empathy make you a more agreeable person it means that you are more easily able to understand other people’s perspectives. And that can be pressed for a commercial advantage when designing products and services that the market actually wants.

It was refreshing to interview Damien for our series on empathy, as he joined me live from the rolling plains of NSW.

Show Notes:

02:37 – Cedar Creek Orchards

05:20 – Farmers show more empathy

06:57 – What apple farmers actually do

09:38 – The difference between sympathy and empathy

13:09 – Empathising with Victoria during lockdown

14:45 – The commercial advantage of empathy

17:35 – What is ‘reconstituted juice’?

19:47 – Why you MUST live on tank water!

21:02 – Why Damien grows apples instead of being a pilot

24:15 – You must enjoy your career

26:15 – Did you feel ‘trapped’ in a generational business?

28:28 – Other states don’t understand Victoria’s mess

29:12 – Is Victoria a leper state?

31:03 – Melbourne protests – justified?

32:35 – Damien displays his empathy

34:00 – Defending Dan Andrews

35:04 – What would a farmer say to millions of people?