Next Episode of Australian Story is
Season 24 / Episode 2 and airs on 25 February 2019 09:00
These are the stories of who we are. Australian Story presents unique tales that provide an insight into Australian life with all its complexities and challenges.
Introduced by Magda Szubanski
When Kerryn Phelps first spoke to Australian Story in 1998 she was a celebrity TV doctor with no public political aspirations.
Twenty years later she defied the odds to pull off the upset political victory of the year, winning former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Wentworth as an independent following his departure from politics.
But making history is nothing new for Kerryn Phelps and wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps. Dr Phelps was the first female leader of the Australian Medical Association and is a long-term community health educator and same-sex marriage advocate.
We join Kerryn Phelps and her family and friends behind the scenes to learn about the extraordinary personal events leading to her new career in Canberra and ask: can she win Wentworth a second time when next year's federal election comes around?
Introduced by Jack Rush, senior counsel to the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires
As the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday fires approaches and the nation braces for another devastating bushfire season, we examine the fatal Churchill blaze and the investigation that led police to the enigmatic arsonist, Brendan Sokaluk.
The story retraces Sokaluk's footsteps on the day and delves into his past to look for clues to why he lit a fire on a day of extreme fire conditions. His actions led to the death of 11 people and the widespread destruction of property, wildlife and bushland.
Featuring never-before-seen police interview footage of Sokaluk, The Burning Question asks what we can learn from the events of that day and how we can use this case to identify potential arsonists in the future.
Introduced by writer Elizabeth Farrelly
In a television exclusive, the untold story of James Ricketson, the Australian filmmaker locked up in Cambodia for 15 months on espionage charges.
Ricketson endured squalid conditions and failing health as he found himself a pawn in much larger game of Cambodian politics.
Meanwhile in working for his release his family faced a dilemma — to go along with the Australian Government's "softly, softly" diplomatic approach or ceding to James's demands to shout injustice from the rooftops and risk even harsher punishment (final for 2018).
Introduced by actor and director Simon Baker
When screen legend Jack Thompson checked himself into Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital last year, he had no idea how sick he was.
Unbeknown to Jack, his kidneys had failed and he was 48 hours away from death.
Told that he would have to go on dialysis three times a week for five hours, he realised his acting career was in jeopardy.
The film he was about to shoot was set in remote Kakadu, 250 km away from the nearest dialysis unit in Darwin.
It looked like he would have to pull out of the movie — until a big purple truck came to the rescue, a gesture of friendship and respect from the Territory's Indigenous community.
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