In Bob Hawke — 23rd prime minister, fearless reformer and Labor giant — Australia found a political leader, the likes of which we’d never seen before. Australian Story remembers the late Bob Hawke.
Adam Boland was just 26 years old when he was handed the reins of the ailing Sunrise program on Channel 7. It was the start of something very new and a game changer for the networks. Some observers credit Boland with paving the way for the current ascendancy of the Seven Network. But it's been a tempestuous ride for Adam Boland. Now in the aftermath of a very public implosion, he's walking away from the industry that he says nearly destroyed him.
When a 21-year-old Menindee farmer came across thousands of dying fish in her beloved Darling River she was determined to tell the country what was happening. Four months on, what's happened to the people of Menindee?
How far would you push yourself for a cause you believe in? Mina Guli attempted 100 marathons in 100 days, showing the extent someone will push their body to raise awareness to the global water crisis and create change.
Movie directors Jocelyn Moorhouse and PJ Hogan talk candidly about the challenges, heartbreak and unexpected joys of living with two severely autistic children.
Jocelyn Moorhouse and PJ Hogan are two of this country’s most celebrated movie directors. The success of their debut films had Hollywood calling and they have since worked with some of the biggest names in film. They are also the parents of four children, two of whom have severe autism. And the experience of raising those children has shaped their personalities and careers. Jocelyn gave up her career to concentrate on her son and daughter’s therapy. She didn't expect to direct again. But in 2015, 18 years after making her last film, she made a triumphant return with The Dressmaker. In this intimate portrait, the family speaks candidly about the challenges, heartbreak and unexpected joys of living with two severely autistic children. Introduced by Cate Blanchett
The Seekers were the trailblazers of Australian music in the 1960s, knocking heavy hitters such as the Beatles off the top of the charts in the UK and taking the US by storm. Best known for their unique blend of harmonies and the voice of Judith Durham, the band were unlike anything of their time. Now, fresh off the back of a record deal featuring their final tour, The Seekers are taking part in the first television documentary since their split 50 years ago. All four band members Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley, Judith Durham and Keith Potger discuss their music, the impact of sudden fame and the painful fallout from their famous parting. Introduced by Myf Warhurst.
The extraordinary story of Behrouz Boochani, the man who won Australia’s richest literary award but remains unable to set foot in this country. The stateless refugee, who is in detention on Manus Island, smuggled out his entire book text by text on a smuggled mobile phone. In January, No Friend But the Mountains won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, Born during the Iran-Iraq war and suffering persecution as a Kurd in his homeland, Boochani fled Iran, seeking refuge in Australia. Arriving on Christmas Island four days after the government toughened its stance on refugees arriving by boat, he was taken to Manus Island where he has remained for five years. This is the story of determination to celebrate life, even when virtually all hope of escaping a hellish situation has been dashed. Introduced by writer Anna Funder.
Writer and comedian Rosie Waterland has made a successful career out of seeing the funny side of her traumatic childhood. Whether it’s growing up with alcoholic parents, hiding from welfare workers as a "houso" kid or finding her father’s 'dead’ body', the darker things got in Rosie’s life, the funnier she became. But as Rosie's star was rising, the trauma of her childhood caught up with her. It's been her three sisters, torn apart as children when the family disintegrated, who’ve been the ones helping her back to wholeness. Introduced by Osher Günsberg.
This week’s Australian Story takes viewers behind the scenes of the Australian effort to separate Bhutanese conjoined twins Nima and Dawa. It took a village of medicos, health workers and volunteers to bring them to Australia, perform the ground-breaking operation and assist in their five month recovery. The story features exclusive interviews and vision, including the first moments the toddlers reunite with their father in Bhutan as newly independent individuals.
It’s widely accepted nowadays that pregnant women shouldn’t take any medication unless it’s absolutely necessary. But in the early 1960s that wasn’t the case. Reassured by their doctors, thousands of women around the world took the drug thalidomide as a treatment for morning sickness, only to be faced with babies born with catastrophic disabilities. Born in March 1963, Lisa McManus is one of Australia’s youngest survivors. She’s leading a group who have taken their fight to Canberra’s Parliament House, in a last ditch battle for recognition, compensation and an apology.
Revisit the life of legendary broadcaster Mike Willesee who died of throat cancer on Friday. Willesee's career in television spanned five decades. He shaped Australian current affairs and was considered the best interviewer in the business. In 2017 he let Australian Story into his life to chronicle his difficult journey through throat cancer. His long-time friend, Ray Martin, introduces this story on Mike Willesee’s extraordinary life.
Tim Duncan was a junior doctor, on the brink of leaving medicine for a filmmaking career, when he found himself in desperate need of medical care. Lying by the side of an outback road, with critical injuries, he knew his only hope for survival was immediate medical attention. In that moment, as his life was ebbing away, Tim made a pact: if he survived, he would devote himself to emergency medicine.
For years Jack Thompson has used his profile to help Indigenous people. Now, as Jack faces a kidney condition, the Northern Territory's Indigenous community is helping him, by lending him their mobile kidney dialysis unit.
A candid and eye-opening account of filmmaker James Ricketson's time in a Cambodian prison on espionage charges, the ordeal for family members trying to negotiate his release and family tensions that remain.
As another terrible bushfire season approaches, Australian Story looks at the tragic case of Black Saturday arsonist Brendan Sokaluk and asks what lessons we can learn.
When celebrity TV doctor Kerryn Phelps first spoke about her same-sex relationship on Australian Story in 1998, it was revolutionary. 20 years later we catch up with the newly-elected Wentworth MP and her journey to Canberra.
Hell's Angel As Western Australia reels in shock from a succession of family mass murders, Perth advocate Dr Ann O’Neill offers a powerful message of hope. Twenty-four years ago, Ann’s estranged husband killed their two children and left her an amputee. She turned her grief into good and rebuilt her life to become one of the country’s leading trauma experts. In this update of a powerful episode from 2004, we follow Ann as she works with the Margaret River community in the wake of May's horrific mass killing. As she helps those struggling with sudden loss, Ann offers hard-won wisdom about how to carry on in the face of sadness and grief.
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