Home » Podcast » A popular comedian and business owner who is proud to call Darwin her home – Amy Hetherington

A popular comedian and business owner who is proud to call Darwin her home – Amy Hetherington


In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Amy Hetherington who was a Nominee in the 2019 NT Young Achiever Awards.

Amy Hetherington is a comedian and business owner from Darwin. Her goal is to make things more fun. Her business Amiable Communications offers a range of services from MCing and Facilitating, Content Creation, Skills Development Workshops and Community Engagement to help businesses and groups spread their message and engage with community in fun ways. As a stand-up comedian she travels Australia and has done sold out shows at Adelaide Fringe and MICF and supported acts like Glenn Robbins, Fiona O’Loughlin, Jimeon, Dave O’Neil, Heath Franklin, Akmal, Brad Oaks and Steve-O (MTV Jackass). Also heavily involved in Darwin community as Chair of the headspace Darwin Consortium, a member of the Activate Darwin Board and the Regional Reconstruction Committee and a mentor of the City of Darwin LAUNCH Youth Program.

In this episode:

  • We have a fun filled chat and found out that Amy likes a lot of “P” words – puzzles, podcasts, pools, pina coladas and her pup!
  • Amy believes in saying “YES” to all opportunities, and we get to hear how this lead to her first stand-up gig
  • After sold out shows in Darwin, Amy is taking her show “Don’t feed the ducks” to the Adelaide Fringe Festival


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Annette (00:04):

Welcome to the inspirational Australians podcast, where we chat to people, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today, Josh Griffin.

Josh (00:20):

Thank you, Annette! So, before I get into the episode this week, I’ve got a little bit of a confession, maybe more like an admission and, um, to give some context of what’s going to be the story, if you can bear with me. So I was really excited to have Amy on the podcast and actually I was pretty nervous to be honest. Uh, the reason being is that, you know, I follow a lot of people from down in the Northern Territory in social media and keep up to date with what’s going on up there because we run awards programs in the Northern Territory. And so, you know, like everyone in, uh, up in the NT, you know, I was very aware of Amy and, uh, followed her work and she’s always hosting and emceeing events up there and doing various public appearances. And, you know, she’s, as you hear in the podcast, she’s actually, you know, sold out, shows up in Darwin and, um, holds a couple of records, uh, for, in terms of the Darwin comedy scene. So, you know, when we initially got in touch with Amy during the middle of last year to ask her to be a judge for the brand new NT Community Achievement Awards that we launched, you know, even though we did have a bit of a past association through her being in the Young Achiever Awards, that was a while ago off the top of my head. I think it was five, maybe more than five years ago, probably six, seven, eight years ago. And, uh, yeah, when Amy said yes, I was absolutely stoked. And, uh, as, uh, I found out from our chat on the podcast, Amy’s philosophy is actually say yes to everything. So, you know, apparently it wasn’t that big a deal because she says yes to a lot of things, but beside the point, I was excited to have her on the judging panel. And then, uh, you know, we talked about being on the podcast and she was really keen. And so we’d finally made the schedule work to have our chat. And as I said, I was a bit nervous. Uh, and I don’t know if this counts as irony, but, uh, at the start of our chat, I just said, Hey, I just want to double check everything set up correctly before we, uh, you know, fully dive into the chat for the podcast, make sure everything’s a recording because you know, you’d hate for, for that to something to go wrong. Anyway, it checked in, um, and Annette, who’s the producer does an amazing job. Honestly, Annette is great and this podcast would not happen without Annette, Annette gave the thumbs up yet for all good. And so we’re at a bit of a loss as to what happened because here is the admission part. Somehow something went wrong, it wasn’t recording. And, uh, Amy and I were chatting for over 20 minutes, probably 25 minutes until somehow we realize. And, uh, all of a sudden it was a feeling of dread. Honestly, I was like, Oh my gosh. And I couldn’t believe I joked about it at the start. And, uh, anyway, Amy is A, an incredible professional and B an awesome human. So she was totally fine with it, but basically just prefacing this episode with, there might be a couple of sections that, you know, Amy and I had to double over, um, stuff that we’d already talked about. And, you know, at first I was like, Oh, well maybe we won’t go over that stuff. But some of it was important and it was really good stuff. So we did go over a couple of things twice. Amy was great, really, really want to thank Amy Hetherington for being a great guest and, uh, just was such an awesome chat. So yeah, if, uh, if anything sounds like we’re, uh, we’ve said it twice it’s because we did. So anyway, with that in mind, I hope you really enjoy this chat. As I said, Amy is just a great person and there’s a lot of really nice kind of wise little moments in this podcast as well. And this episode, along with some really funny bits, so, uh, yeah, enjoy the chat with Amy Hetherington. We’re almost there for the chat with Amy, please. Don’t forget to rate and review the podcast. We would love your help with that. It really helps us to get the word out about the podcast. And most importantly, to share the stories of these inspirational Australians that we chat to, because I think everyone needs that extra bit of positive vibes in their week. Plus you can follow us on Instagram, inspirational.Australians is the handle around Facebook Awards Australia and lots of new content coming. So make sure you follow it, follow those accounts. And lastly, you can get in touch with us using the email address info@awardsaustralia.com. Tell us if you know an inspirational Australian, and if you’ve got any questions you want to ask of a guest that we’ve had on, please do. So, we might need to get them back on and do a bit of a Q and a session.

All right, here we are on to Amy. Well, I want to ask you about being a judge in the Community, Achievement Awards. Have you done anything like that before?

Amy (04:56):

Yeah. I’ve been on a few panels and a few judging things, uh, in Darwin, mainly scholarships based or…

Josh (05:06):

Like what type of things?

Amy (05:08):

So the International Student Ambassadors, I helped with the selection panel for them that the government and a few scholarships with the university, but this was the first one, I guess that was a Community Award off the top of my head that I’m thinking of. But I’m also on the, um, Peer Register for Arts NT. So, I helped with a lot of the grant applications and judgement of that, but this was the first one that was like community stuff. That was fun. Yeah.

Josh (05:33):

Yeah, no, I was, um, thanks for being part of it because, uh, it is kind of a tough position to be put in sometimes to, especially I think, and this is just from an outsider from a Melbourne person talking about Darwin. So you can correct me if I’m wrong here, but it seems like in Darwin people seem to be, if they don’t know each other, they’re aware of people in groups and do you know what I mean? More so maybe than in other places. And so being part of that judging panel that I’m on a panel, but helping to facilitate it, the judging members are saying, Oh yeah, I know this person I’ve heard of them more. And so then they’re trying to, you know, really, really, um, impartial and, uh, judge everything on its merits, but that could be hard when you know people, what was it like for you?

Amy (06:16):

Not really, they know everybody in Darwin, so it is, it’s, it’s tricky because there’s not as biases and there’s no nice. There’s that more passion for knowing the work that people have put in and then really an application and just knowing they miss so much, you know, and how much extra work is going into those programs, but they might not have had the skills in an application for an award. So your heart’s really in it. But I think that also means that it’s a fun process to judge those awards because everyone else on the panel has those same stories about different things. So you’re actually able to, you know, work together to discuss who are the best recipients in that sort of space. And there is something really nice about knowing that people or knowing about those different programs, because you feel a sense of pride hearing those stories that you might not know, all the details to when a grant can actually give you an insight into the why that they started these different initiatives. And it makes me really proud to be a part of a community with those kinds of go getters and those beautiful programs existing, because it just makes the place better and a better understanding of that makes us all better citizens in this place as well.



Josh (07:26):

Like that point about you’re aware of what they’re doing and, you know, you know, they’re doing a great job and they’re making huge impact, but you had that background done on why they started it and what’s motivating them. What’s pushing them. Sometimes we, even the people we know the best we forget to ask those really deep questions.

Amy (07:43):

Yeah, yeah, of course. And that’s, um, that it’s such a privileged insight to be on a judging panel because it’s kind of like uncovering a secret, cause it’s not like that person’s told me directly, but because I’m on that panel, I get to read those things and find those, the stories behind the, the face of, of these bigger programs. So it’s, yeah, it’s a real privilege to be a part of it. If anyone ever gets an opportunity to judge an award or be a part of a panel, it’s totally worth it. And the other thing that comes out of it as you get better at your own applications from being on those kinds of panels. So, whenever I go to a grant’s panel, I learn something new about how to make my own work stronger. So, there’s always an opportunity for professional development, as well as community pride for those things.


Josh (08:30):

You would be nailing, great applications now. Yeah, well now, you know what that person on the other end is, uh, is going through their head, what they’re thinking. So, yeah.

Amy (08:40):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So any of that kind of stuff helps and if he knows somebody that’s been on a panel, like being able to ask them and talk to them like this, there’s so much knowledge out there. And I think we’re all so busy and we don’t often take time to ask for that knowledge, but if that opportunity arises, it makes a huge difference.

Josh (08:57):

Yeah, that’s true. So another funny thing about, uh, judging from my perspective and organizing the, uh, the judging and the awards is that, um, and it just reminded me of something you said before. Sometimes it can be hard to get someone onto a panel convincing them that, Oh, this is going to be good and other, Oh, I don’t know if I’ve got time. It’s a big effort. But then as you said, once you’ve said yes, and you realize how great it is then we’ve got usually too many people to choose from. Everyone wants to come back, which is a nice problem.

Amy (09:26):

It’s a good problem to have a lot of people. And I think as well, like some, some of the challenges of those things are about time, because time is such an important thing and not everybody has a lot of availability of it. And sometimes it’s easier for people. If they work for an organization that’s willing to pay them for their time on those kinds of panels. That’s a useful thing too. So there’s some of those, you know, different connections that can come out of these things. But I think it’s, if you’ve got time, there is value in it. It’s not one of those things that you’re wasting time you’re gaining from it let alone the connections that you make within that panel, um, which are always good in a networking sense.


Josh (10:04):

Speaking of time, how do you balance yours when you know, you’re touring or tour plan’s coming up, um, and you probably have really intense periods of work. Do you have to then balance that with periods of downtime as well?

Amy (10:18):

Yeah, I try. I try to, um, to balance it definitely in the dry season, in where everything’s happening, say June, July, August, everyone’s going an event, everyone’s got a conference, I’ve got festival things on. It’s a really busy time, which is dry show seasons. Like January, January, February, or December. I try really hard to do the opposite and have lots of space and lots of relaxing. Uh, cause there’s only so much you can do this any time they settled, it can be sustainable to keep running. Uh, and that’s my, I think the 2021 is to learn how to just chill. I’m a pretty energetic human being. So I get a lot of energy from being around other people and doing lots of things, but I’m, I’m learning now that I need to be to balanced. Cause you know, burnout in my industry is pretty high, especially for freelancers that are doing their own thing. So I’m trying to practice what I preach because I do a lot of workshops on wellbeing and looking after yourself and trying to be a healthier human. And if I can’t look after myself, then it’s, you know, it’s a bit rich to run those kinds of workshops.

Josh (11:24):

True. And so what, what do you do to, uh, to chill? What’s kind of Amy’s way of, uh, relaxing and winding down

Amy (11:32):

And winding down. Depends on that. I love a good puzzle. I love puzzles. I can smash out a puzzle like a thousand piece puzzle a week just sitting there and just working my way through it. Puzzles and podcasts. Pretty good. I’ve got a cute little dog who see behind me at the moment. She’s pretty good for just letting time pass and just hanging out with her. There’s so many beautiful places to walk in Darwin too. So I love a good walk and like in nature or by the waterfront and things like that and trying to spend more time with the friends that I have that bring me the most joy because I kind of reenergize things on. I’ve got a pool too. So I’m spoiled. I’ve got so many ways to relax. I can just sit in the pool and drink pina coladas, tropical drink.

Josh (12:20):

And so your dog been there the whole time. I haven’t seen her move.

Amy (12:24):

Yeah. Hang on. Uh, where is she trying to show you on the screen that she is Tilly the golden retriever? She’s an absolute delight of a dog, but also probably one of the dumbest dogs you’ll ever meet. Yeah.

Josh (12:44):

She heard the burn and she wasn’t, it wasn’t a fan. I’ve got to Whippet. And they’re also renowned for being quite dumb. And this poor fellow he’s also got really low vision. And so combined his poor intelligence with his poor eye sight. And it’s just, it’s a mess sometimes.


Amy (13:00):

Yeah. Yeah. I kind of everything,

Josh (13:03):

Uh, throw him a tray and it’s like a meter away from, he just can’t see it like you should know stocks have good noses. Come on.

Amy (13:12):

Tilly’s hilarious. Cause she’s, she’s all the enthusiasm in one little dog. And when people come over her tail that wags it’s like her entire body dissipates from side to side and she shakes her entire body to welcome people. And it just looks like, like an L plate and trying to reverse park, really confused, but she’s yeah, she’s good. I love having a dog makes a lot better.

Josh (13:38):

I agree. Yep. If, um, and if you’re walking in Darwin this time a year in the wet season, do you expect to get wet or….

Amy (13:45):

Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes you, you plan your walk for when the storm is on its way, because it’s just so nice and relieving to walk in the rain because when it’s not raining, it’s what we call the buildup. So you’ve got that humidity and that muddiness and that heat, but without the reprieve of the rain, so it can be really uncomfortable. So sometimes it’s nice, if you look on the BOM app on your phone, and you try to judge when the storm is going to come and you start, you walk in there in the heat and then it rains on you, it’s a really good feeling, but then yet a dry season, there’s no rain at all. So it’s best days ever. We’re spoiled up here. Really.

Josh (14:21):

Yeah. I agree. Um, as there for the Community Achievement Awards, the one that we’re talking about with the judging before, and I got caught in one of those rain and you know what it makes so much sense. Now you explain it. I was not a local, so I didn’t know. It was really hot and muggy and it felt like the temperature ramped up like a couple of degrees and then it rained. And I was like, Oh, okay, now I’m what?

Amy (14:44):

Yeah. People walk at their offices just to go and stand in the rain and that’s the, that’s the joy that it brings and we’ve had, Oh, we’ve had such a good dry or wet season. The beginning of this year, it’s been raining so much. And my husband’s a civil engineer, seen designs, a lot of the drainage around town. So, he loves rain. Like, that’s what he’s here for. He’s here to design, storm, water and underground things to make sure that this town flows in certain ways. And occasionally we get the car and we go in and we’ll look at drains because that brings them in a whole bunch of joy. So we’ll go and see how the water’s flowing. And if the retention basins are filling up, there’s actually a big base in near the airport in Darwin. And when it rains really good, there’s a bunch of cars parked there and people just watch it flood because of that. It’s designed to take the water and then disperse it. But now when people love rain. Love it, I’ll watch it all day.

Josh (15:41):

Well, engineers are a special breed. Um, I found this, I’ve got a story similar to your husband. Um, it was one of the finalists in the Young Achiever Awards for South Australia, I think two years ago. And she was an engineer. Um, I’m very proud of the projects that she, she was leading some of these projects, which was, you know, really cool. Um, and so for the finalist kind of promotion we ask, all right, send us some photos of you, uh, with your work so that we can promote it. She sent me 10 different photos of like bridges and overpasses and civil engineering projects that she led. And I was like, okay, these are great, but you like, we need to have, you know, you featured them and as well because we’re telling a story about you. Um, and so then she went back to all those locations. There were 10 different locations and had someone take a photo with that in the background. And it was the purest thing though, because she was so proud of it work. I also realized that my instructions were maybe not, I dunno, maybe they weren’t detailed enough, but…

Amy (16:39):

She did. She delivered exactly what you asked as an engineer. They follow instructions. Um, uh, that’s so relatable. I love that. I love engineers. They are just their unique breed. Their brains work a little bit differently, but in such a way that I can, I can just create so much. Yeah. We for dates when we first moved to down and Paul would take me to things he built and we’d just watch how they go and intersections. Cause he designs a lot of intersections up here we go and sit and watch how effective they work. Um, which is so romantic. Right. I’m such a lucky girl. I like it. Yeah. It’s good. It’s good. When people find their passion though, like to be able to work in that kind of field.

Josh (17:25):

Yeah. So, so you guys, where did you meet? Not in Darwin.

Amy (17:27):

No, we made it, um, Curtin university in WA. So I’m originally from Alberni in Western Australia. So small town down there and went to Perth for uni, which is where I’m at Paul. And we met in the volunteer group there, um, the student ambassador program. So we would go around to schools and talk to them about uni. That’s how we met. But actually before that program we’d met on campus, um, completely unplanned. I went to the Royal lecture theater because I was just a country kid. I didn’t know how this big uni work and I went to the Royal lecture theater and sat there for half an hour and nothing happened in the lecture theater. And I thought there was supposed to be a presentation, but it hadn’t started. And there was three boys at the back of the lecture theater. And after half an hour, I turned around and I said, do you know if this events like happening soon? And it just so happened to be Paul who answered. And he said no no, you’re a week early, like you’re at the wrong place. That’s next week. And he didn’t say anything like, we’ll see you there. Cause we’re a part of that program or hope you’re okay. It was just like, you’re a week early. You know, this is very practical and rational. And I thought to myself, I was like, I never want to see that guy again. And then a week later he was the person in charge of the program that I was supposed to be attending that I’d gotten the week or the week wrong. And it was just so funny to have this first random meeting at a campus with 50,000 people because it’s a big uni and I’d be like, Oh, this guy, I never want to see what a, what a rude engineer. And then now get together for how long, like 12 years married for five of them. So, it turned alright for me in the end, isn’t it?

Josh (19:11):

Yeah. So first impressions do last but they can be overcome.

Amy (19:16):

Well, my first impression was accurate. He was a rude engineer. It just so happened that he was also a lovely human being as well which is a bit cheeky.

Josh (19:23):

Yeah. No, that’s great. So you moved to Darwin, um, and uh, yeah. What brought you to Darwin in the first place?

Amy (19:32):

Yes. Cool. Um, my husband got a job on their Impacts Project designing some of the roads and the accommodation village, actually that Howard Springs accommodation they use it as a center for quarantine now Paul did the civil design for that when it first got built. So he thoroughly enjoy seeing that on the news, but a different role. So we moved up to that and I came up and followed him. Um, not knowing anyone, not really having any plans, but just feeling like it was the right thing to do and spent the first six months trying to work out the place and understand how it sort of operated. And then yeah, 10 years on, it’s home. I’ve moved my mom and my dad and my sister here. My whole family lives in Darwin. We’ve got a house and the dog,

Josh (20:19):

You must be very persuasive.

Amy (20:25):

My sister could see that I was having the time of my life and all of my social media posts were just joy. And every time she came up here, she had a good time. So she moved up first and then mom and dad saw that both their daughters lived here. So that was an incentive, but my parents are incredibly clucky and keen for me to have grandkids. So, they figured if they lived within 15 meters of 15 minutes, it would be easier them to bully me into it rather than on the other side of the country. So…

Josh (20:50):

Smart move by them. Smart move by you to get your sister first, parents are going to have to follow.

Amy (20:56):

Yeah, look, I’m a pretty bossy human being. My, my family are all very sweet. Um, very kind and caring humans and I’m the most extroverted of the four of us. So a lot of the time it was whatever I wanted because they were very happy just to go with the flow, um, which has probably, uh, extended the character of who I am to be just a little bit of yet, whatever I say is problematic. But, um, it worked in this case.

Josh (21:28):

So you’re extroverted one in the family. That makes sense that you’re the comic where you, uh, you were comedian in your early days there in Perth, or did that start later?



Amy (21:39):

I didn’t do comedy until I moved to Darwin. Something about, um, the weird things that happen up here in the, the sweaty, strange people, doing weird things at the NT news that made comedy a lot easier for me. Um, but I, uh, I never thought of comedy that is something for me? I never thought of myself as an artist. And it was, it was kind of an accident that I got into it in the first place I was doing…..

Josh (22:02):

What led you to that? What led you to just start doing it?

Amy (22:06):

Yeah, so I was doing October. So, raising money for healthy Harold, um, the delightful giraffe that teaches kids about healthy things and my gimmick for October, because everyone does fundraisers all the time. You see it on everyone’s Facebook and Instagram just, Hey, I’m doing this thing, donate money. And after a while, you kind of say the same thing over and over again. So I tried to think about it differently. And I did a gimmick which was damning to do something you would never do sober and then attach your money, figure to it. And if I did it, then you have to donate. So people were doing like things like they would never imagine not having alcohol in their system doing. So I got dared to do karaoke for a hundred bucks. I got dared to go nightclubbing until 2:00 AM for 50 bucks. Um, and a bunch of things like that that I just did sober and one person was like, well, look, I’d never do stand-up comedy sober. And they put $200 on that. And I was like, all right, let’s do this. So I did a show, I did a five minute spot at an open mic night and um, got the $200 and loved it. I loved comedy so much and I’d never realized that performing and art was actually something that I was sort of meant to do. You know, sometimes you try something for the first time and it feels like, like the right thing for you. And now that’s like the main thing I do for, for work. I, I tour around Australia or I do these big shows. I see myself more as the comedian than anything else. And that’s all just come out of saying yes and doing some things that are a little bit different.

Josh (23:38):

Plus you must’ve thought this was very lucrative, five minutes and 200 bucks. That’s a…

Amy (23:42):

That is not the general rate for comedian, to everyone listening to this podcast, if you’re an open mic-er and you’re expecting that, but it was, it was a good, it was an effective way to fundraise

Josh (23:54):

For sure. That’s a really cool idea. I love that. And it takes the right type of person to be willing to do those dares because singing karaoke for me is like Ooh

Amy (24:04):

Yeah, comedy is nothing compared like I, I’m not scared of comedy at all, but singing in public makes me feel very, very vulnerable.

Josh (24:15):

Definitely. Um, and so you’ve done your first gig as an open mic. And then what made you think, Oh, I’m just going to keep doing this.

Amy (24:23):

Darwin is the kind of place where if you try something or you get involved in it, it just keeps rewarding it and it’s a small enough place to, to make a difference. And to be a part of scenes that is big enough, that there’s lots of things going on and lots of audiences. So I just, I enjoyed it. I went back again. Um, second show wasn’t as great, but that’s always the way it is. And, and then just kept on going and going and going and loved it and found that it was something that people wanted and needed. And I had a voice that people found interesting in Darwin. So I, yeah, I, I think it escalated pretty quickly. I ended up in the Rural Final City NT in front of 400 people for my third gig. So that was a pretty decent start. And then from there, I just, I’m a pretty driven person when I find something that I love. And then I know because I’m driven by bringing joy to other people and, you know, providing moments of entertainment. Like I really like being able to share, joined to make things a bit more fun for people. And comedy is just such a good way to do that. So I, I pushed myself really hard to go on these regional tours and go down to Adelaide fringe and just do as many gigs as possible for a darn good. And that’s all led to where I am now. Like I reckon half the things I do wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t do comedy. So it’s one of those beautiful things where if you just say yes and try something, it can lead to all sorts of all sorts of wonderful things.

Josh (25:47):

Um, and that’s probably a good way to, you know, settle yourself into a new community, into a new town, just to say yes to opportunities and immerse yourself.

Amy (25:57):

Mm. A hundred percent biggest bit of advice. If you’re living in a new place, just say yes to things. Get involved like that. First six months I lived in Darwin, I didn’t know anybody, but I just volunteered and joined committees and associations and help doubt and use the skills that I had to help. But then also that almost worked like a, a living resume. People were able to see what I could do and what I cared about and what set me apart so that when it came to applying for jobs and getting other opportunities, I wasn’t a note like I, wasn’t an unknown. I put myself out there and given first, and I think that’s a really valuable lesson for anyone who wants to be a part of a community is that you have to give first before you can take the benefits of that community.

Josh (26:44):

That’s a lovely little quote there Amy I like it. I bet it’s true. Volunteering can be such a beautiful experience, something to be proud of. So often volunteers get as much out of it for themselves as the, you know, the help of the impact that they’re giving.

Amy (27:01):

Yeah. I met my husband in a volunteer group. Every job I’ve ever really had, came out of volunteering first, I just it’s the most, most wonderful thing that you can do. But also it’s, it’s the backbone of a lot of things like in the territory. Um, one-third of all territorians are a volunteer. A third of the territory is, is as volunteers. So it’s, it’s an insane thing to think about, but it’s those numbers that make a community. And I think if you’re ever feeling a bit lost or a bit down, it’s such a beautiful way to build yourself back up. And especially after a year like 2020, I think being able to look to volunteer and to grow your, your community and your space and to, to give is a really quick way to, to feel more connected and more resilient.


Josh (27:49):

Yeah. That’s for sure. That’s good advice again. I agree. You are very wise.

Amy (27:53):

I have my moments, I’m drinking a peppermint tea. So obviously I must herbal tea and advice is the theme for today.

Josh (28:02):

Very much. So, coming back to your comedy career just quickly. Um, so this is, it just blew me away a little bit. So you’ve got open mic as a dare. Second show did not go well apparently, that was your word.

Amy (28:13):

Yeah, second show was awful. I was too confident and was not prepared

Josh (28:18):

Why did you think the first one went well? So, I’ll just specialist on this.

Amy (28:22):

Generally, for comics, what happens is the first gig is a high adrenaline. And because it’s your first key everyone’s supporting you and comedy is a lot of tension and release. So people are tense for you for your first time. So they’re more likely to laugh second time that that magic is missed. And now you actually have to work on your material as opposed to the, the beauty of a first time show. Um, but yeah, the third one was 400 people at the entertainment center. Why not? Um, yeah. And then, and then I guess in there it’s been leaps and bounds, like even this last weekend and just being, I did the biggest show of my life in front of 2000 people at the convention center alongside QSI and Peter Helliar and Denise Scott and Tripod and Akmal and all these incredible acts in what was the Northern territory, biggest of a comedy show. And that’s, that’s all come from some dare to do comedy, to raise money for healthy Harold.

Josh (29:20):

Full on. So what was it like to, um, be on a bill like that?

Amy (29:26):

Like those kinds of things you only dream of and let alone. And this is the thing I’m probably most proud of is that I held my arm against those comics. Like the audiences when they recognize a name and they know somebody from the TV, it’s easier to, to laugh because you understand that person. And I think a lot of comedy comes from liking and knowing the person first, and then the material comes after that. I think a lot of it needs to be built on the relationship that you can form on stage. And Darwin was so beautiful that night because I got such a huge round of applause because people were like, yeah, dog and girl yeah, the material was, was $4 and it went, it went really well. So that was great. And even better than that, all those beautiful comedians who I see on the TV, just beautiful human beings. It was so nice backstage. Everyone was so lovely. Um, and I think a lot of them were pretty grateful to be out of places like Melbourne and Sydney where they can’t take gigs to 2000 people. So, I think everyone was in a really good mood.


Josh (30:30):

Totally, that would have been just a, such a great experience for those, you know, people just that’s what their bread and butter is doing, doing what they do in front of audiences. And they haven’t been able to.

Amy (30:42):

Yeah. Yeah. I think, um, the gratitude they felt was really high and then like afterwards, we went out at a pub with a cover band in Darwin, which isn’t classy or sophisticated and what you expect from television celebrities, but I’m now having the best time ever, like Peter Helliar even said it to me, he’s like, look at me, it doesn’t matter where we are. We’re outside without our masks and there’s a live band. This is the best day ever. It’s like providing the goods. It turned out.

Josh (31:12):

Yep. It’s so true because, um, yeah, I mean, I don’t know what Sydney is like exactly, but in Melbourne, you know, you’re, you got your mask on to go into the bar. You can take it off once you’re drinking and then you have to adjust your rate of like, I’ve got a drink in my hand, so my mask can be off. And, um, you know, dancing is not a thing in Melbourne. I think it might be coming back.

Amy (31:32):


Speaker 2 (31:36):

It is, it’s ridiculous. Recently amate sent me a video of him lining up to go on the dance floor because they could have 20 people on the dance floor and there was a line.

Amy (31:44):

Oh, good. My heart. We have. So yeah. So weirdly lucky in Darwin that it hasn’t affected us. Look, if anyone’s listening to this and going, Oh, this is a certain realization, come up a holiday in Darwin. Like you can, you can dance, you can do whatever. Oh, like watching Pete Helliar, Denise Scott and Tripod, dancing to a Darwin cover band and singing along to Summer of 69 is just forever going to be the best memory that, because it’s such a, such a, such a dodgy bar, but just the perfect place to go.

Josh (32:21):

And sometimes they’re the best nights.

Amy (32:23):

Oh yeah. Girl, no expectations.

Josh (32:26):

Exactly. Now that’s a beautiful memory. That’s so great. Yeah. So 2000 people at the convention center, that’s incredible. How does that match up to the other highlight? Maybe I don’t want to speak on your behalf, the other comedy highlight you had where you sold out.



Amy (32:40):

Last year, I wrote my new solo show, which is called Don’t Feed the Ducks and silver lining of 2020. And people not necessarily being able to two up to Darwin meant that the entertainment center was booked my show originally in the studio space, which is 200 seats, but that’s sold out in two days. And then they put me in the Playhouse 500 seat theater, and I sold that out and first ever solo act and Darwin to sell out the Playhouse, which is insane. Yeah. So I started good. And with the show, I’m so proud of, you know, like I got to do an Darwin festival as well, four nights at Darwin festival, which sold out. So I guess in total 600 or 700, people came to see that show, which is insane for me to think about. And it’s, I love that show so much. And I’m really looking forward to touring agenda Adelaide fringe, and then maybe taking it to other states and territories as well, because it’s nice when you write something you’re proud of as well as you enjoy performing. It’s a cool thing.

Speaker 2 (33:42):

So, don’t feed the ducks. I heard you say before it’s not about ducks.

Amy (33:43):

That’s not about that. It’s not about ducks at all. Um, well, I don’t know. I got to say the shot. There is something about ducks. I dunno. It’s about, um, being an adult and then realizing that you’re ready for a new chapter in that journey. So me and my husband, uh, ready to start a family. So we’re at that stage in our lives. Now the show is really about how terrifying it is to realize that you can have a kid without a license. Um, and yeah, all the fears that come with that, but then all the realities and the hilarious things that happen as a part of that process. So it’s a lot of oversharing, a lot of silliness, uh, and parents will enjoy it or couples will enjoy it. But then also people that, you know, there’s a whole section in there about why dogs are better than people and why white wine may actually do dumb things. So that system, it’s a fun show that isn’t about ducks.

Josh (34:39):

Yeah. I like it. And so it sounds like the, your parents and the bullying has kind of worked yeah.

Amy (34:45):

Oh look, if there’s any style on that, you can tell my mom, no, she’s, she may be introverted, but she is assertive if she wants something. But yeah, I think, I think it’s an exciting time. That’d be my husband that we’re at, we’ve decided that we’re ready. And that part of the show is me just going around, asking parents for advice, because there’s not many courses you can do about raising a child. You can do a short course that had a drug forklift, but not how to keep it.

Josh (35:13):

Yeah. That’s one thing my wife and I found is that there’s um, yeah, there’s a course at the hospital for the labor, but after that, it’s like, all right, I’ll figure it

Amy (35:22):

Go forth and conquer. Make sure it’s breathing. That’s all it says.



Josh (35:27):

Pretty much. Yeah. No, it’s, um, it’s interesting, but you’ll be great because you just talking about how you’re a yes person and, uh, you know, moving past to infant stage and to toddler stage, if you’re just a yes person, your toddler will think you’re the greatest human that’s ever lived.

Amy (35:42):

Yeah. Well, that’s going to be a whole thing for us. We’re going to have to work out. Who’s the disciplinary person, me and my husband and I don’t, I can’t imagine Paul being a disciplinary because he’s, he’s a massive pushover. Like it’s going to have to be me. I think that’s all right. I can, I can work on that.

Josh (36:04):

It’s hard to be a yes person when that the toddler for the 10th time has said, daddy tell me a story. I’m like, okay. I’ve told 10 stories today. I need to.

Amy (36:16):

Yeah. All the little people. Yeah. See, I’m excited. Be fun. Have fun to have a little mate

Josh (36:21):

For sure. Have you heard about anything? And this might be, I don’t know. You might not know about this, but Melbourne international comedy festival asking for a friend. Okay myself, but is that on your radar? Is that even going in ahead? Do we even know?

Amy (36:33):

I think it’s going ahead. Um, I don’t know if I’m going to fit it in this time. Uh, there’s a, there’s less venues and smaller spaces. So the cost of coming from Darwin to do a show, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to cover my costs. Um, I’d be looking at doing your show outside of festival time. I’d imagine. So if I’m going into Melbourne, I’ll have a holiday and then put a show on as a part of that. Um, I do love performing in Melbourne. I love to Melbourne comedy festival was a couple of years ago when I was there. Last, had a really great time with my show, um, where they like crazy. That was really fun. There is no comedy festival for me this year. But you will have a great time with the show there.

Josh (37:15):

And so people want to follow you and watch out for where you might be touring this year. Where can they kind of get that info?

May (37:22):

So social media is probably the easiest thing. So Amy Hetherington Comedy on Facebook is a good one. Um, I tend to have all my shows and things on there, but yeah, I’m hoping, I’m hoping to do some more shows. Inter-state this year, um, outside of festivals, just put on like hire a venue, put on a show and share that down and voice in different places. But I guess we’ll see. One thing that I’ve learned about last year is that you just gotta be flexible. You make some plans, but then you have the resilience and the bounce to go. All right. Well that didn’t work. Let’s see what else we can do. Try it that way.


Josh (37:56):

I agree. And so on top of Facebook and suggest people follow you on Instagram. Cause you’re very fun to follow on Instagram.

Amy (38:03):

Yeah. There’s lots of dog content on there. Yes. So that’s just, amyhetherington. I was really lucky. I got the handle without any numbers, any underscores, just Amy and, uh, there’s two other famous Amy Hetheringon in Australia. One of them is the editor of the Big Issue, which is pretty cool. She’s an incredible Amy, Heather and I really like her. And then the other one is a bikini model in Queensland, um, who I often get accidentally tagged in photos. I’m on Facebook for myself, but she has, she’s got millions of followers and a very different lifestyle.

Josh (38:45):

Yeah. That’s um, three very different Amy Hetherington. Yeah.

Amy (38:49):

Very much so.

Josh (38:52):

Well, yeah. I’ve got tagged in something recently. It was um, uh, Josh Griffen on Instagram. Who’s this incredible visual artist

Amy (38:59):

Yeah. I did my photos for the duck shot. Yeah, that Josh Griffen is my photographer.

Josh (39:05):

It’s just a different spelling though, but he seems very impressive. So

Amy (39:08):

He’s insanely impressive. So yellow’s ducks were those he did. Yeah. He’s insane. He’s Tik Tok famous too.

Josh (39:14):

Yeah. I think I remember seeing some incredible number of Tik Tok followers.

Amy (39:21):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s uh, he’s he’s he’s the real deal. Darwin boy.

Josh (39:25):

Okay, there you go, are you in Tik Tok?

Amy (39:27):

Nah, nah, I, I lose my mind if I was on another social media platform and I worked with too many young people. I want to give them their space.

Josh (39:37):

Fair enough. Now, Amy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us for those listening at home. We, uh, we’ve been chatting for a long time because we lost some content at the start.

Amy (39:47):

It’ll be interesting to see what actually made it into the podcast. The amazing power of the record button. That’s funny.

Josh (39:56):

No, that’s awesome. Thank you, Amy. Appreciate it. And um, yeah, hopefully we’ll see you at that Melbourne show.

Amy (40:01):

Yeah, definitely take care of human beings that are listening. Be kind to each other.

Josh (40:05):

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed that interview. If you liked it or any of our other episodes, it would be great. If you can rate and review the inspirational Australians podcasts, it really helps us out. If someone, you know, needs a little dose of inspiration, why not let them know about this podcast? And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribed so that you won’t miss an episode, join us each week. As we talk with ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things, you can always head through our website at awards australia.com/podcast, for more information and details on each guest. Now, before we go, I’d like to thank Annette, our producer. Here’s a fun fact, Annette is my mum and our other hosts. Geoff is my dad. This podcast is brought to you by Awards Australia, a family-owned business that proudly uncovers the stories of people who make a difference for others. We can only do this with the support of our corporate and not-for-profit partners as they make our awards programs possible. So, do you know someone making a difference? If you’d like to recommend someone to be guests on the podcast, get in touch through our Instagram page, Inspirational.Australians, or maybe your business might like to sponsor the podcast or get involved with the awards. We run head to our website, awardsaustralia.com for more details until next week, stay safe and remember, together we make a difference.


Annette (41:33):

Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational Australians podcast, we hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. So, it’s goodbye for another week. Remember, together we make a difference.