The Imperfects

The Imperfects

We’re all imperfect. On this podcast, founder of The Resilience Project Hugh van Cuylenburg, his good friend Ryan Shelton, and only one of their brothers, Josh van Cuylenburg, talks to a variety of interesting people who vulnerably share their own struggles and imperfections, or expertly pass on their wisdom on the subject of imperfection. Whether it’s in The Vulnerabilitea House, The Academy of Imperfection, or with our very own psychologist, Dr Emily, The Imperfects are here to find some valuable takeaways we can all apply to our own imperfect lives.


May 24, 2024 18 mins

After his sister, Niki, was murdered by her ex-partner, Tarang Chawla made a decision - that he wouldn’t allow Niki to be remembered as just another statistic. Since then, Tarang has become an activist, working to reduce incidents of all forms of violence and abuse towards women in Australian.

In this episode of the IMPERFIX, we reflect on a conversation we had with Tarang back in 2022. Here, Tarang discusses the importance of bel...

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Taking a risk, by definition, is hard. A lot of us spend most of our life avoiding risks, under the assumption that it’s the ‘safe’ thing to do.

As Dr Em explains, we have an evolutionary instinct for self-preservation; tendencies to overestimate danger and underestimate our ability to cope; and we often have early childhood experiences and messages around safety that can coalesce into ‘playing it safe’ behaviours.

In this episod...

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We mean no disrespect to any of our other guests, but when Hugh says that Dr. Kiran Martin, is the most impressive person he has ever met, it’s hard not to agree.

Dr. Kiran Martin is the founder of ASHA in India. It’s a not for profit, that for over 35 years, has provided healthcare and education to millions of people living in slums in India.

In this clip, Dr Kiran tells us of the time she decided to wash the feet of a Dalit wom...

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All too often when talking about infertility, we only tell one side of the story. Traditionally in the public discourse, it has very much fallen into the category of a ‘women’s issue’. However, as our guest this week Reece Conca can all too painfully attest, 40% of infertility issues are actually male factor related.

Reece Conca is a former Australian Rules Footballer, who played over 150 games for Richmond and Freemantle.

When R...

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In this episode of the IMPERFIX, we revisit our chat with Australian comedian Luke McGregor. Many of us live with Anxiety, Luke McGregor has for a lot of his life. For Luke, his anxiety became so overwhelming that it resulted in him having panic attacks on stage in front of audiences. In this clip Luke explains what anxiety looks like for him and what he now does to manage his anxiety, allowing him to continue to work and to get th...

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May 6, 2024 74 mins

Every Thursday over 3 million people want to hear what James Clear has to say. They do so in the form of his ‘3-2-1 newsletter’, one of most popular newsletters on the planet. In 2018 James Clear published his book Atomic Habits, a comprehensive, practical guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day. And that book has now sold over 15million copies. So you won’t be surprised to hear how excited we were to have Ja...

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In this episode of the IMPERFIX we revisit one of our many conversations with Johann Hari. However this IMPERFIX starts with Josh, delivering what may be one of the most powerful and moving acts of vulnerability we’ve ever seen on this podcast, when he felt compelled to share a realisation, that he had been addicted to the internet for much of his life. Johann’s response was as always, heartfelt, engaging, hopeful and empowering. A...

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April 29, 2024 92 mins

What would you do if a teacher said you couldn’t achieve your dreams because your hair and skin colour weren’t acceptable?

When this became Pallavi Sharda’s reality she moved to India by herself and became the first Australian women to lead a Bollywood movie

In this episode we meet Pallavi Sharda, a powerhouse actress, who grew up in Taylors Lakes, a suburban area in Melbourne’s west, who went on to not only clock Bollywood, but ...

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In this week’s ImperFIX, we revisit an episode from season 2 with Australian BMX racer, world champion and Olympian, Sam Willoughby. In 2016, Sam experienced a life-changing neck injury which left him a tetraplegic.

In this snippet, we hear Sam describe the bike accident that lead to his injury and his incredible journey of recovery. Most importantly, he shares how meeting NASCAR crew chief, Booty Barker, inspired him to live life...

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April 22, 2024 61 mins

Have you ever felt so elated, that in that very moment, you felt yourself and the world around you were in perfect harmony? That feeling is joy! 

But for many of us, ‘joy’ can seem elusive, almost impossible to experience, or an emotion that we feel we just don’t have time for. And for some of us, it may feel like we have lost the ability to experience joy altogether. 

In this episode, our resident psychologist Dr Em explores the...

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April 19, 2024 31 mins

In this bonus episode of The Imperfects, Hugh, Ryan and Josh have an imperfect conversation about mens violence against women.

To say it's a massive problem in Australia is an understatement. Violence and aggression can take many forms that span from small micro-aggressions all the way through to rape and murder. It effects ALL women, with the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community, at the greatest risk. We don’t have t...

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In this episode, Scottish comedian, Fern Brady joins us in the The Vulnerabilitea House.

In pulling the card “how would your ambitions change if you only had one year to live?”, Fern shares a very recent story, after receiving a terrifying phone call from her doctor.

Fern also discusses being diagnosed with Autism in her 30s, 20 years after telling a doctor she thought she was Autistic. 

Fern talks with with great insight and hu...

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Imposter syndrome and self doubt aren’t necessarily things you think when you think of Australian comedian Hamish Blake. However when Hamish visited us for a VulnerabilTea House in season 4, that’s exactly what came up.

In this episode of The IMPERFIX, we revisit  a vulnerable moment where Josh shared his very real self doubt about his role on the show. This evolves into a beautiful conversation about the self doubt we all feel in...

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Imagine being falsely imprisoned, in a foreign country, where you barely speak the language, during a military coup, with no guarantee of a trial (fair or otherwise) and no idea whether you’ll ever be allowed home? 

That's what Australian economist Sean Turnell lived through for 650 days, when in 2021 he was arrested during a military coup over-throwing the democratic government of Aang san Suu Kyi.

Sean is a remarkable person an...

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In 2018, writer, author & change advocate Jamila Rizvi was met with horrible news. She was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and needed surgery.
In this episode of The Imperfix we revisit Jamila’s story; the tumour and its varied complications, the surgeries and how Jamila and her husband communicated the news to their son. 

Jamila is an all round wonderful human being and this is an incredibly moving episode.
You can...

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We’re not sure if podcasts can date. But if they could we would want to date Elizabeth Day’s podcast - ‘How to fail?’. (A proposition Hugh awkwardly put to Elizabeth in the final moments of the show).

This conversation covers a lot of ground. Elizabeth vulnerably discusses her journey through infertility, IVF and her eventual decision to stop fertility treatment; we explore the role exercise and strength training can have in recla...

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March 28, 2024 18 mins

In this episode of The Imperfix we revisit one of our most popular episodes ever and in it, a topic that is very close to Hugh, Ryan and Josh’s respective bones. The ongoing battle of Truth vs Harmony.

Do you choose to live truthfully? Or harmoniously? And what does that even mean? And how does living ‘truthfully’ or ‘harmoniously’ affect us and the people around us?

To listen to the full Truth Vs Harmony episode, follow this lin...

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Very few people have experienced Gary Barlow’s level of success and fame. He’s the lead singer of the nineties British pop band Take That, he’s won 6 Ivor Novello Awards for song writing & composing, sold more the 50 million albums and filled stadiums of screaming fans across the world! But despite all this, as we’ve come to learn, he’s one of the nicest, most genuine people going around.

In this episode, Gary shares his exper...

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In 2018, Christian O Connell was one of the most successful people in British Radio, he was on top of his world, and then…the panic attacks began. The attacks got so bad and so regular that he couldn’t perform live and it nearly cost him his career.

In this episode, we revisit Christian’s experience, the physical and mental toll of his panic attacks as well as the societal pressures and expectations he felt as a man - his need to ...

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“Get your butterflies in formation”. If you take one thing away from this episode, it’s how to handle the nervous, anxious, flutter of stomach butterflies that arises when we’re socially anxious.

Social interactions can be challenging. You may believe that everyone else has all their shit figured out and can effortlessly walk into a social situation and just be themselves. But it turns out, we all, at some point, get social anxiet...

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