Justin McArthur and Jack Eaton of Ampel Audio

In Dynamic Duos, Mumbrella asks two members of the same organization with a professional and personal affiliation each week to share with readers the importance of workplace relationships in an increasingly hybrid world of work.

Justin McArthur:

Jack and I met over ten years ago, studying media at Adelaide Uni and volunteering at Radio Adelaide. On paper, we have different interests – Jack is a natural, sincere host who’s married with pets and loves the AFL and Eurovision, while I’m a studious researcher/editor who loves spreadsheets and crosswords. We’re both pretty optimistic people, but I can be pretty serious and analytical, while Jack is pretty light-hearted and tends to trust his instincts.

We’ve always been a bit of an odd couple, but I think we have more in common than meets the eye. In particular, we’re strong cheerleaders for each other’s successes, and we’ve held on when times were tough. The media industry can be a tough place, but sometimes all it takes is a few words of encouragement on Instagram at a critical moment, or a quick comment on an edit when no one is responding to your emails. In those moments, you know who is behind you.


Towards the end of last year, we were having coffee and I mentioned that I wanted to start a new science podcast for Ampel Audio. Jack confided that he has always been interested in space – from Laika and Ham to alien conspiracies and billionaire vanity schemes; from the glitz and glamor of the (literal) stars to the menacing infinity of the void beyond us. From there we developed Mates in Space, which combines my love of weird science facts with Jack’s spontaneous wit and charm. I think I’ve always liked listening to podcasts where you learn a little, but above all where you have fun; it’s amazing how much you end up learning about a subject when it’s explained by two friends who are really trying to make each other laugh. But you can’t find that in the edit – it has to happen organically in the piece. When we’re both in front of a mic, I remember why I love doing podcasts. Jack and I are passionate people, and through podcasting we’ve found ways to explore the stories we love to tell.

Jack Eaton:

Justin and I met in our early days at the University of Adelaide, where he was a rising star in writing and philosophical thought, and I wondered if I would make it to the end of the week forever registered. I took a degree in media and politics, which I put to good use by incorrectly picking every winner in the US presidential election since 2008.

From then until recently, we were definitely not on the path to a solid, lifelong podcasting relationship, nor were we running in exactly the same circles. Despite this, something between us clicked. We remained loosely connected to each other through social media for the next few years, casually in and out.
We were briefly reunited when Justin ran for a state byelection in 2012, I was there doing all the heavy lifting (mailboxing) on ​​his behalf. I like to think I’m responsible for the swing he got (unfortunately, though, it was a swing against him).

It wasn’t until Covid came calling in early 2020 that Justin and I realized what gold we had. We had both started independent podcasts, on very different subjects. Justin had forayed into the very serious subject of how lockdowns affect us socially, culturally and emotionally, and whether society will change permanently after the pandemic. I had started one on the Eurovision Song Contest (Twelve Points), and mostly shouted salty comments about British entries into a microphone.

Despite the disparity in content, we had our common interest – we loved podcasting. We caught up. We talked. We shared our visions. We realized it was a match made in podcasting heaven. Soon after, our only good child, Mates in Space, was born and grew steadily from there.

The foundation of our relationship is simple – Justin loves to learn. He soaks it up like a sponge and really enjoys teaching and spreading the truth to people who listen to him. Conversely, I have the attention span of a fly and a problematically fast tongue. It allows for a back and forth, a natural flow of conversation, all rooted in a wonderful friendship that shouldn’t have taken us so long to let blossom. There is a starting point for our careers together, and that’s Mates in Space, but there’s no end in sight – working together has given us a new creative spark born from a love of storytelling. .

Justin on Jack:

Most memorable moment with Jack: It’s all about the little things. When we first started brainstorming ideas for Mates in Space, we spent an hour with an AI image generator putting famed musical theater actress Ethel Merman in a space suit. If that’s not a sign of a lasting friendship, I don’t know what is.

The best word to describe Jack: Effervescent

Jack’s most annoying habit or endearing behavior: Jack has a meme for every occasion. Is it boring or is it endearing? Yes.

Jack on Justin:

Most memorable moment with Justin: Trying to keep the blissfully unconscious elderly out of sight long enough to get a good shot of our Botanical Gardens Instagram promo video. Justin’s poise was holy compared to my sailor mouth.

The best word to describe Justin: Keen

Justin’s most annoying habit or endearing behavior: He’s currently refusing to let me use Ethel Merman in a space helmet as a Mates in Space mascot, but I’ll tire him out eventually.

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