This Saturday Morning: Kim talks to Ben Ryan, the ginger-haired Englishman who coached Fiji to Olympic glory in rugby sevens; Marama Mullen on living with HIV - and her work to ensure the path for others is easier; David Shearer checks in from South Sudan, which is facing another year of devastating famine; Dr Karl Sallin on a tragic, mysterious syndrome in Sweden afflicting the child refugees; Edible Garden's Kath Irvine gives a primer on what we should be doing to our fruit trees through winter; Cat Leahy and Leisha Jungalwalla, otherwise known as This Way North, on the ways they "sass the patriarchy" through rock, and fellow Australian, Atticus Fleming, on the world's largest cat-proof fence.    



8:09 Ben Ryan - Sevens Heaven 

Ben Ryan and the Fiji sevens

Ben Ryan and the Fiji sevens Photo: supplied

Ben Ryan was the coach of England's rugby sevens team for seven years. In 2013, he was given 20 minutes to decide if he wanted to coach Fiji's sevens team - without ever having been to the country. His work with the team resulted in triumph at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, with Fiji winning its first ever Olympic medal.  After the win, Ryan received the Companion of the Order of Fiji, was depicted on the back of a commemorative 50c coin and $7 banknote, and was named Pacific Person of the Year. He's just written a book about the experience, called Sevens Heaven

9:04 Marama Mullen - HIV support and advocacy

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Photo: Supplied

Marama Mullen (Ngatiawa ki Kapiti) contracted HIV from Peter Mwai in 1993. She was part of the case against him and had a long road to recovery in the wake of the trial and her diagnosis. Mullen co-founded INA - the Maori, Indigenous & South Pacific HIV & AIDS Foundation which provides advocacy and support for indigenous people in Aotearoa and around the world. She has spoken at the UN and the World Health Organisation and is a board member of the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations. She has received an ONZM for services to HIV. Mullen has three children and lives in the Waikato town of Tirau.  Her story is the first in a new television series, I Am, which premieres on TVNZ 1 on June 12.   

9:40 David Shearer - South Sudan update

Displaced children sit at a camp near Kadugli, the capital of Sudan's South Kordofan state

Displaced children sit at a camp near Kadugli, the capital of Sudan's South Kordofan state Photo: AFP or licensors

Labour MP David Shearer.

Labour MP David Shearer. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Former Labour leader David Shearer is into his second year leading the United Nations' mission in civil war-ravaged South Sudan from his base in the country's capital, Juba.  The world's newest country, formed after independence in 2011, has not only been home to constant internecine conflict but also to extreme famine, the combined effect of which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced an estimated 4 million. Aid agencies are now warning that South Sudan is on the brink of another devastating famine.

10:04 Karl Sallin - Resignation Syndrome 

Dr Karl Sallin

Dr Karl Sallin Photo: supplied

It's an illness that seems to respect Sweden's borders - occuring only within that country, and only to the children of refugees and asylum seekers. The victims of Resignation Syndrome withdraw from life - they don't eat, walk, talk, or open their eyes. Those who are most vulnerable have witnessed, and fled, extreme violence. Dr Karl Sallin is a paediatrician at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, part of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, who is researching Resignation Syndrome.

10:35 Kath Irvine - Winter gardens 

Kath Irvine

Kath Irvine Photo: supplied

Kath Irvine is a permaculture designer and has been designing and managing edible gardens since the late 1990s. She runs a series of  workshops from her permaculture home garden, called Edible Backyard, giving people the opportunity to learn organic gardening and garden planning and design from her Levin premises. Irvine has recently released her second book called Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner's Guide.  




11:04 Cat Leahy and Leisha Jungalwalla - Sass the Patriarchy

Cat Leahy (left) and Leisha Jungalwalla

Cat Leahy (left) and Leisha Jungalwalla Photo: Supplied

Australian duo, This Way North, comprises drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla. They kick off their NZ tour in Auckland on June 7, teaming up with the crew running Some Feminist Club Nights at the city's Wine Cellar for 'Sass the Patriarchy' - an event the duo has been running in Australia to celebrate and empower women in music and discuss strategies to improve equality in the industry.  This Way North is about to release its new EP, Vol 2. In 2017 the duo played over 120 live shows across Australia, New Zealand and Canada including the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon, just 200km south of the Arctic Circle, and the Wide Open Space festival in Australia's Northern Territory desert.




11:40 Atticus Fleming - Cat-proof fence


Atticus Fleming

Atticus Fleming Photo: Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Australia has completed the world's largest cat-proof fence to protect its endangered marsupials from feral cats. The 44km fence surrounds Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, a former cattle station that has been bought by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and which is home to endangered species such as the bilby, the burrowing bettong and the rufous hare-wallaby, or mala. Feral cats kill an estimated one million native birds every night and have caused the extinction of 20 native species. Atticus Fleming is the AWC chief executive.




Books mentioned in this episode:


Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji's Olympic Dream

by Ben Ryan

ISDN 9781474608268



Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner's Guide.  

by Kath Irvine 

ISDN 978-0-473-44119-7. 

Fern Publishing 

Music played in this show

Artist: Emily Fairlight
Song: Body Below
Composer: Emily Fairlight
Album: Mother Of Gloom
Label: Emily Fairlight
Played at: 8:55

Artist: Lake Street Dive
Song: Good Kisser
Composer: Bridget Kearney
Album: Free Yourself Up
Label: Nonesuch
Played at: 10:30

Artist: This Way North
Song: Nothing to Say
Composer: This Way North
Album: Vol. 2
Label: This Way North
Played at: 11:05

Artist: This Way North
Song: Make it Work
Composer: This Way North
Album: Vol. 2
Label: This Way North
Played at: 11:35