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Zara McDonald on Shameless, podcasting and being a 20-something business powerhouse.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you’ve probably heard of the Shameless empire – a side hustle that turned into a media phenomenon and explosive podcast that’s been downloaded 10 million times, was awarded Australia’s Most Popular Podcast in 2019 and has captured the hearts and minds of the 20-30 something generation.

In this episode of Human Cogs, hosts Madeleine Grummet and Sabina Read chat to Zara McDonald, one half of the Shameless Media brand, which was born on Zara and her cofounder Michelle Andrew’s bedroom floors in March 2018 after they met working as journalists at the Mama Mia Women’s digital media network.

By their own admission, Michelle and Zara knew sweet F-A about podcasting when they started the journey.

A few years in, they now have millions of listeners, multiple award-winning shows, have just released a best-selling book (The Space Between) plus are at the helm of a juggernaut Australian media brand that just keeps on growing!

But behind the scenes of success, in this conversation Zara candidly shares her journey to now, including her battle with imposter syndrome, feeling like she’s “young, ignorant” and never “doing it right”, and the work she’s still doing to try and build a thicker skin so the opinions of others carry less weight.

This is a fascinating and candid chat about the boundaries that need to be drawn between our (online) public and private lives, the liminal spaces that 20 to 30-something “mainstream-media ignored” women in today’s uncertain world occupy, and how we can all work to make each other feel way less alone by sharing more of ourselves in the raw truths, lived experiences and real human moments of the space between.


Hosts: Sabina Read and Madeleine Grummet
Guest: Zara McDonald
Podcast: Shameless
Book: The Space Between
Socials: Instagram
Technical Producer:
Daryl Missen at Purple Wax

If you like these conversations PLEASE LEAVE US A QUICK REVIEW wherever you get your podcasts so we can share these stories with more people! Thank you.

LISTEN NOW on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts.

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