Shoalhaven podcaster Andy Dowling is one of six finalists in the running for ‘Host of the Year’ at the Australian Podcast Awards.
He's also planning to expand his show to incorporate the Illawarra.
Dowling's Self Starter podcast was launched last November and has been focusing on Shoalhaven businesses and entrepreneurs.
He has so far released 11 fortnightly episodes.
“The initial plan was to do the first 10 or so episodes in the Shoalhaven,” he said.
"The influence of starting it was unemployment being the hot topic down there.
“I just thought, ‘you’re in a beautiful part of the world, and I’m sure, with a little bit of creativity and the internet, anyone can make money these days’.
“Even if you want to start simple with something like mowing peoples’ lawns... There's always ways to make money if you use a little initiative.”
Dowling plans to expand the show’s focus. He's aiming to do five to ten episodes concentrating on the Illawarra, before heading to other regional areas.
“The interesting thing about people that are self-employed, the stereotype is they have more time on their hands because they're not fixed to an employer,” he said of scheduling guests.
“But at the same time they have a lack of time because they’re so immersed in what they do.
“And also it’s about convincing people about podcasts, which are a pretty new medium and format in Australia.
“It’s been around for a few years now, but I think people are still warming to it, and still trying to understand the concept and the values in it.”
Dowling also plays bass for Wollongong/Sydney metal band LORD.
He has also been hosting The Andy Social Podcast for nearly three years, with more than 120 episodes released thus far.
The weekly podcast has featured Dowling speaking with fellow musicians, pilots, professors, TV hosts, radio personalities, documentary film-makers, community leaders, authors, actors and more.
“It was only off the back of that, that I started to get the confidence to think, ‘well, this podcasting thing seems to be working really well and I’ve some confidence now, how can I take this to the next level and use this format for something else?’” he said.
“If I didn't have the Andy Social experience I wouldn't have even thought to start Self Starter at all.”
The award winners will be announced on May 5 in Melbourne.