About Dave Riley and RatbagMedia

Dave Riley :I'm a blogger and podcaster based in Brisbane , Australia.This blog was called Life of Riley for four years of its existence and was the first experience in blogging. I then explored (audio) podcasting and now produce a series of podcasts and web audio streams.

I aggregate my productive output under the label of RatbagMedia.

Life of Riley was originally the name of a regular satirical column I wrote for Green Left Weekly during the 1990s. As well as writing satire I've written journalism and short plays.

In the 1970s and again in the 1990s I formed and ran street theatre troupes.
Today my online street theatre manual is apparently used by colleges in the US -- either that or I'm getting paid for my good looks.

I also ran theatre projects in mental hospitals while at university in the sixties and the play and feature film, Cosi -- written by the playwright, Louis Nowra -- is based on the experience during one of those productions.

In 1985, I developed Fibromyalgia and this chronic arthritic condition has formatted my life style since, limiting it so often to domestic activities. This is why I am so active in matters of the web. It's my way of working from home.

For a time I neglected to post items to Life of Riley because I was focused elsewhere but am now utilizing the site as a home for videoblogging. My interest in creating video came about because of my exploration of and use of multimedia. My work in that regard is located at LeftClick -- blog and multimedia for a left and green perspective.

Since taking up video production my work has been shown on community television, archived by the Queensland State Library as part of their video collection, and shown before hundreds as part of film screenings, conferences or forums.

I've been a Marxist since 1969, helped found the Democratic Socialist Perspective in 1972, and am today an active member of the Socialist Alliance.


In my working life -- prior to 1985 -- I've been a psychiatric nurse, political organiser, process worker, storeman in a wool store, cement worker, truck loader, shop assistant & pollster. While I've been a disability pensioner for most of the time since, I nonetheless established myself for a time as a mask maker, Punch and Judy Professor, and community artist. It was as a puppeteer that I promoted myself as Professor Ratbaggy (and his Red Cordial Show). That's how the "Ratbag" got his name.

When not slaving over a hot world wide web, I have to maintain an exercise regime so that I can keep some of my symptoms from worsening. So I do boxing training and ride a kickbike around my neighbourhood. I also work in my permaculture inspired garden and walk my dog,a Jack Russel Terrier, named Nugget -- usually daily if I'm not laid up.

I live on the northside of Brisbane "in cooee of the swamp and in the shadow of the Golden Circle Cannery" with my partner of 21 years, Helen, who is currently doing a doctorate on late discovery of genetic origins.

I have two offspring-- Keir and Anae.

I used to play clawhammer five string banjo but now have a preference for Cajun and Zydeco music and dance. I once built a gamelan and appreciate classical Persian music. I sometimes play bodhran and other frame drums but I 'm no good at it.

I'm a member of the Queensland Irish Association as my forbears on my father's side were transported to Australia as convicts in the 1830s. My mother's family were descendants from Penzance (where the pirates come from)tin miners who settled along the Murray River Valley in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in the 1860s before being pauperised by the 1890 Depression when they moved to Sunshine to work for International Harvester. My grandfather's brother, a socialist, once punched PM Billie Hughes for being a "labour rat" when he caught him crossing Chapel Street Prahran one day during the anti-conscription campaigns of 1916/17. My great grandmother met Ned Kelly; and my father received two shillings from Melbourne gangster Squizzy Taylor at his first communion. I grew up in Melbourne and although I've lived in many eastern seaboard cities, I have resided in sub tropical Brisbane since 1985.

I'm a jack of many trades but master of none.

Guide to Dave Riley on the web.

At last count I had a hand in over 30 blogs. For many of these I am mentoring others, but I nonetheless have spread my presence across the web.

  • RatbagMedia Videoblogging: as you now know it to be, a videoblog.
  • LeftClick: blog and multimedia for a left and green perspective. LeftClick carries a lot of political material and is usually updated daily: commentary, audio, video, slideshows...from across the 'RatbagMedia Network'.
  • LatinRadical: podcast and radio show focusing on Latin America and Timor Leste. Produced by Warwick Fry out of Nim FM community radio station in northern New South Wales. I used to produce weekly reports from Venezuela but now handle the web side of publishing this broadcast.
  • LeftCast: a news and commentary audio podcast project "generated from a left and green perspective" where I publish interviews and street stories.
  • The Blather:"Dave Riley's mordant view of the political process". A continuation of my satirical interests in audio monologue form.
  • Kickbike: a kickbikers' journey. While this blog began life to report on my experiences with the kickbike, it now also functions as my exercise and movement workshop.
  • Education for Socialists: where audio about socialism,Marxism and activism is shared.
Wikis & other
  • RatbagMedia Hub:This is where I lay out all the elements and published items in the RatbagMedia enterprise.
  • The Activist Toolkit:a wiki project that aggregates handy DIY information for activists.
  • AltMediaNetwork:a wiki site that carries how to information about web audio
  • Climate Capitalism Socialism:political notes, resources and references
  • LeftClickTV: An internet TV station I run by aggregating a selection of political videos and documentaries as well as other digital presentations such as slideshows.
Social Networking
Contact Dave