As journalist Allan Clarke digs deeper into events on the night Mark Haines died, he discovers more about his last few hours. As he cracks the case wide open, he is led to the man he believes is the killer.
Blood on the Tracks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this episode may contain images and voices of people who have died. Over the next two weeks Australian Story and the ABC’s Unravel podcast series will be exploring the mysterious death of teenager Mark Haines. When Mark’s body was found on train tracks near Tamworth 30 years ago his family were immediately suspicious- was there more to his death than met the eye?Despite the family’s concerns police dismissed any idea of foul play and closed the file on the case. It was only when ABC journalist Allan Clarke embarked on a five year investigation that things started to change. Police have now reopened the case and the podcast team have discovered startling new evidence which suggests Mark’s death was no mere misadventure.
The Massimo Mission Like most parents Stephen and Sally Damiani will do almost anything for their children. So when they were first told that their baby boy Massimo had a mysterious illness, the first thing they did was hit the medical textbooks. Despite their lack of scientific training, they shocked the medical world when they helped crack their son’s genetic code and diagnose a new type of leukodystrophy. Australian Story first told the remarkable story of the Damianis four years ago. Since then Stephen and Sally Damiani have made huge strides in their efforts to find a cure for their son’s illness and are now at the forefront of cutting edge research which may one day yield a treatment.
The Choirmaster Morris Stuart is a charismatic choir director bringing the sacred sounds of the Central Australian desert to the world. Over a decade ago, the retired pastor was in Central Australia, supporting his artist wife who was on an extended painting trip. He wandered down Alice Spring’s central mall recruiting for a choir. Within a year he’d moulded 50 amateurs into a top-notch choir. When word of Morris’s magic spread to the Aboriginal community, the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir was born. And so began an unlikely and inspiring trip from the Red Centre to the cathedrals of Germany.
Baby Steps When Claudine and Dave Fitzgibbon’s unborn baby boy was diagnosed with spina bifida, it was devastating. This was their third diagnosis and they couldn’t contemplate the idea of terminating another pregnancy.Their doctor told them about a risky but revolutionary operation that had only been performed in Australia once before. This in utero procedure wasn’t a cure but would hopefully correct a large number of the baby’s physical abnormalities.The stakes were high, but Claudine and Dave decided to take the gamble.Baby Harvey entered the world 18 months ago, but questions remained. Would he still be badly affected by spina bifida? Would he ever be able to walk? This week, Australian Story catches up with Claudine, Dave and baby Harvey to see whether their gamble has paid off.
Concluding the story of Dassi Erlich and her two sisters, who are fighting to extradite their former headmistress from Israel to face sexual abuse charges. After the alleged abuse against the three sisters came to light in 2008, principal Malka Leifer was stood down by the Adass Israel school which facilitated her immediate departure to Israel. Although Australian authorities have been trying to extradite her for several years Malka Leifer convinced the Israeli courts she was too mentally unwell to face a hearing. That prompted an undercover operation to prove her mental fitness which recently resulted in Malka Leifer's return to jail. For Dassi and her two sisters - Nicole and Elly - justice finally seems closer than ever before.
Dassi Erlich and her two sisters are a formidable force. Their ongoing battle to extradite former headmistress Malka Leifer from Israel to face sexual abuse allegations in Australia has made headlines across the globe. But despite the public attention, the personal stories of the three sisters have remained largely private. In the first program of a two-part special, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper give their first Australian interviews and, together with Dassi, speak candidly about their time at the Adass Israel school in Melbourne. The program also features extracts from Dassi Erlich's teenage diary which provide a haunting account of her traumatic childhood. Introduced by Ted Baillieu, former premier of Victoria.
Brisbane woman Emma Betts was living her dream as an aid worker in East Timor when someone suggested she have a mole on her back checked. A year after she had it removed, melanoma showed up in most of her major organs. At 22 years of age, she was given only months to live. Reeling from the diagnosis, Emma was shocked to learn that melanoma is now the most common cancer killer in 20- to 39-year-olds. Emma fell in love, got married and then devoted herself to a blog called Dear Melanoma (http://www.dearmelanoma.com). Her honest account of living with terminal cancer and her candid acceptance of her impending death endeared her to tens of thousands. Using her newfound fame she began campaigning for better awareness of the disease among her generation and in the process has helped save others' lives. Introduced by radio host Sarah Wills.
Mick Bainbridge is a former commando who was left battling a crippling case of PTSD after five overseas deployments. When Mick sought support from his command to move to a training role he says was told to go back to Afghanistan or leave the Army altogether. Enrolling in a law degree, Mick decided that instead of getting mad he would get even, employing his newfound knowledge to take on the system. Now as the youngest councillor ever at the NSW RSL he's using his legal skills to help other veterans take up the fight. Introduced by artist Ben Quilty.
When Justin Yerbury's family members began to die from motor neurone disease he made a life-changing decision. He turned his back on a professional basketball career and enrolled in a science degree. Almost 20 years later, he is an internationally recognised expert on the disease, leading the way in the search for a treatment. Recently, however, Justin's work took on a terrible urgency as he too developed symptoms of MND. As Australian Story filmed with Justin and his family, his condition deteriorated dramatically, requiring difficult decisions to enable him to continue his search for a cure. Having met Justin in 2017, Professor Stephen Hawking recorded the introduction to this story shortly before his death from motor neurone disease.
Eddie Woo is Australia's most famous maths teacher. He first came to prominence with Wootube - his free YouTube channel that went viral with its fun and easy to understand explanations of difficult maths concepts. Over the past year since Australian Story first profiled Eddie, his career has skyrocketed. He's gone from suburban high school maths teacher to award-winning celebrity, because of his unique and contagious teaching style. He was named the 2018 Australian Local Hero in the Australia Day Awards and he's in the running for the $1.3 million Global Teacher Prize - and the title of the world's best teacher. But Eddie's spectacular success has come at some cost to his own students and family.
The Matildas are the "darlings" of Australian sport right now. Their recent run of wins and positive style of play have seen them catapult to No.4 in the world rankings and attract media attention like never before. But it has been a long hard road to football fame. Today's celebrity footballers were yesterday's "circus freaks". We go behind the scenes with today's team and legends of the game as they reflect on the events that have shaped today's Matildas. Introduced by Matildas striker Samantha Kerr.
Outback nurse Gayle Woodford was working alone at night on call in the remote South Australian community of Fregon when a man came to her door asking for Panadol. Moments later she had vanished. "I knew she was in trouble," said her husband Keith Woodford who woke up the next morning to an empty bed. "I just knew". The discovery of Gayle's body in a shallow grave three days later threw the tightknit community of Fregon into freefall and ignited a debate about the security of remote area nurses working alone. In an effort to ensure they stay protected, a grassroots campaign began with the goal of introducing Gayle's Law into every parliament in the country. In this Australian Story exclusive, we hear from Gayle Woodford's husband and work colleagues for the first time and about the issues they hope can be resolved in the aftermath of her death. Introduced by Skye Kakoschke-Moore, former Senator for South Australia.
When medical student Dinesh Palipana was left a quadriplegic after a horrific car accident, he was told he would never become a doctor. Unable to feel anything in his arms and legs, he knew as a third-year medical student that his spine had been damaged and his life had changed forever. Not even his best friends thought he would be able to finish medical school. Eight years later, he's one of the top young medicos working in busy Gold Coast University Hospital. Introduced by Queensland Ambulance Service medical director Dr Stephen Rashford.
Meet the Billy Elliots of Australia! From humble beginnings in western Sydney, Steven McRae and Alexander Campbell have made it to the top of world ballet. The two men first met as boys competing on Sydney's dance circuit and their careers have been closely intertwined ever since. Both followed unlikely paths into ballet. Steven grew up in a family of drag racers and Alexander was a talented cricketer. Now, in a rare feat for Australia, they're both principal dancers at the prestigious Royal Ballet in London. A surprising story of rivalry, family sacrifice and sheer determination.
When scientist Jim Bowler saw a human skeleton emerging from the sandhills of the remote Willandra Lakes in 1974, he had no idea his chance discovery would radically rewrite Australian history. The full excavation revealed a complete skeleton covered in red ochre and in astonishingly good condition. Scientists would date Mungo Man at around 42,000 years old, pushing back the known date of human occupation in Australia by thousands of years. But for Mungo Man's traditional owners, the Mutthi Mutthi, Ngiyampaa and Paakantyi/Barkandji peoples, his discovery and removal to Canberra was a deep source of upset. When his remains were finally returned to country late last year it was an emotional homecoming for all, including Jim Bowler.
In the season return of Australian Story, we go behind the scenes of the country's most high-profile same-sex wedding. Like many families across the country, the family of Christine Forster and her brother, former prime minister Tony Abbott, was divided by the same-sex marriage debate. After 10 years together, Christine has married her long-term partner Virginia Flitcroft. But beyond the champagne, frocks and flowers is a story of overcoming heartbreak, regret and family divisions.
Sydney-born woman Justine Damond Ruszczyk was living in Minneapolis and weeks away from her wedding when she was shot dead by a US police officer in shocking circumstances that are yet to be explained.
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