Background Briefing

By ABC Radio

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Subscribers: 1044
Reviews: 6

Darren
 Apr 11, 2021
Aussie stories you probably won't hear any where else. Reports are well investigated and produced.


 May 13, 2020

Dave
 Mar 14, 2020
worth a listen.

Darren
 Feb 29, 2020
I wish there were more investigation shows like this.

Feels very agenda driven
 Feb 16, 2020
You really feel the writers are trying to manipulate your opinion rather than giving you the facts. It can be entertaining even still

Description

Background Briefing is daring narrative journalism: Australian investigations with impact. Our award-winning reporters forensically uncover the hidden stories at the heart of the country’s biggest issues.

Episode Date
Inside the climate activists’ plan to shut down Australia
41:26
When protesters disrupted one of Australia’s largest container facilities, the NSW Government responded with new broad-sweeping laws that carried 2 year jail terms.
Aug 11, 2022
What happened to the Saudi sisters?
42:01
The mysterious discovery of the Alsehli sisters, who were found dead in a Sydney flat after more than a month, has shocked Australians. But who are they? What were they doing here? And most chillingly - why are they dead? Reporters Rachael Brown and Mahmood Fazal investigate. Listen for free on your mobile device on the ABC listen app, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or your favourite podcast app.
Aug 05, 2022
The billion dollar industry helping students cheat
34:36
When the pandemic pushed university assessments out of the exam room and into the bedroom, many Australian students turned to powerful new allies to help them get good grades. Reporter Mario Christodoulou investigates.
Jul 28, 2022
Who's developing the wilderness?
40:31
There's a big nature tourism project about to take off in New South Wales, but many locals aren't all that happy about it. Reporter Mayeta Clark investigates why.
Jul 21, 2022
The artisan farmers taking on Victoria's meat regulator
38:36
Victoria is marketed as an exciting culinary destination. But organic farmers say they're facing draconian rules that prevent consumers from accessing the ethical food they want. Reporter Mahmood Fazal investigates.
Jul 16, 2022
The fight for control over Black births
40:12
Worried about racial inequities in the health system, First Nations women are fighting for culturally safe birth options. But as Quandamooka woman Carly Williams finds out, not everyone in the mainstream healthcare service is on board.
Jul 09, 2022
Will any koalas be left in Australia's east by 2050?
37:27
Being one of Australia’s cutest animals hasn’t prevented its slide towards extinction.  Reporter Rachael Brown investigates what is being done to try to curb the koala's declining population.
Jul 02, 2022
What goes on inside Australia's first long COVID clinic?
38:28
Thousands of Australians are finding they still feel ill several months after contracting coronavirus. They're experiencing a new and little understood condition called long COVID. As Geoff Thompson discovered, the demand for medical treatment is now overwhelming.
Jun 25, 2022
Kidnapping the Gods | Part 2
45:20
Precious artefacts looted from Cambodia and Thailand made their way into prominent collections here in Australia, and around the world. In the second and final episode of his investigation, Mario Christodoulou investigates why it’s taking so long for these precious works to be returned to their rightful home.
Jun 18, 2022
Kidnapping the Gods
45:45
Many ancient Cambodian artifacts arrived in Australia during the 1960s and 1970s, when the south east Asian country was in turmoil. Mario Christodoulou investigates how some had come from looted historic sites or passed through the hands of suspected smugglers, and now feature in major galleries around the world.
Jun 11, 2022
The teachers are not alright
42:09
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged schools across the country like never before, but it's also shone a light on existing issues within the profession such as a chronic shortage of specialised teachers and growing workload stress. Reporter Mayeta Clark follows teachers in public schools in NSW as they struggle to cover classes and keep their students engaged.
Jun 04, 2022
Why Queensland's sex workers say the law puts their lives at risk
37:20
Many states have repealed tough laws that put sex workers at risk of prosecution. But so far, Queensland hasn't followed suit. Now, the state government is looking at introducing new safeguards to protect those in the industry. Reporter Mahmood Fazal investigates.
May 28, 2022
The 'holy grail' of IVF that went wrong
41:39
IVF has grown into a huge industry, with companies competing to provide fertility services. But in the quest to innovate and gain an edge, one Australian company may have taken things too far. Now hundreds of those who used a controversial new genetic test are taking legal action Reporter Rachael Brown investigates.
Apr 23, 2022
When the floodwater goes, what's next?
40:11
Reporter Geoff Thompson followed several residents of Lismore as they tried to recover from February's monster flood in Northern NSW. But before they'd finished the clean-up, the waters started to rise again.
Apr 16, 2022
The mums accused of poisoning their kids
54:33
An almost unimaginable crime: two women accused of poisoning their own children at the same Sydney hospital. Both were charged and spent years separated from their families, but both say they were falsely accused. Reporter Hannah Ryan investigates whether the system has failed these families.
Apr 09, 2022
The end of Australia's biggest coal fired power plant
40:02
Jim works in the control room at Eraring Power Station, where one quarter of NSW's power is produced. But Jim and his 450 colleagues have recently found out that his workplace will be closing down, 7 years ahead of schedule. Reporter Mayeta Clark investigates what plans are in place to transition communities away from coal jobs.
Apr 02, 2022
The quiet drug crisis you haven't heard about
39:23
Prison authorities know that drugs are constantly finding their way into our prisons. But the most commonly detected drug is one you might never have heard of. And health experts are warning there’s a disaster looming for addicted inmates when they get out. Mahmood Fazal reports. This episode contains explicit language.
Mar 26, 2022
The scientists questioning a serial murder case
42:09
She was convicted of killing her four children nearly two decades ago. But new scientific evidence has come to light, leading some of Australia’s most respected scientists to argue that Kathleen Folbigg was actually the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice. Some of those scientists now say Australia needs to establish a whole new body to review potentially wrongful convictions. Rachael Brown reports. Special thanks to Flinders University Adjunct Associate Professor Robert Moles for his research assistance.
Mar 19, 2022
Inside aged care's Omicron chaos
35:52
This wave of coronavirus caused more Australians to die in aged care homes than any variant before it. This time we had vaccines and we had time to prepare. Reporter Geoff Thompson investigates how it went so wrong during Omicron.
Mar 12, 2022
Catching a Fugitive | Part 2
39:56
Charles Batham has been in hiding for years, and after two narrow escapes the trail goes cold. Then, reporter Erin Parke gets a tip-off that that brings the global investigation back from the brink – but will the truth ever come out about Batham’s dark past?
Mar 05, 2022
Catching a fugitive | part 1
36:24
A tall, eccentric Englishman with a secret double life flees Australia. For nine years he remains on the run. What he doesn't know is that two Australian women are tracking his movements from afar. Reporter Erin Parke was one of them.
Feb 26, 2022
The boss you can't escape from
39:23
Why a part of our workforce is afraid to speak up, even if their lodgings have bedbugs, it's hard to get a shower, or their pay is getting docked by random amounts. Reporter Mario Christodoulou investigates.
Feb 19, 2022
How COVID chokes a hospital
40:29
For months the NSW government assured the public that its hospitals were coping through the pandemic. But frontline staff are now speaking out about the barely controlled chaos behind the scenes. Reporter Mayeta Clark investigates what really happened during Omicron's peak.
Feb 12, 2022
The kids who broke out of detention
42:41
What children experienced inside Tasmania's youth detention centre for a long time remained out of sight, out of mind. But as Mahmood Fazal discovered, the centre's secrets are coming out now, as more former detainees come forward to tell their stories for the first time.
Feb 05, 2022
Summer Season: Her name was Mhelody Bruno
45:07
She died in tragic circumstances, but it seems that the public, her family, even the court may not have been given the full story. Elise Kinsella investigates why. This is a repeat of a program that aired in July 2021.
Jan 29, 2022
Summer Season: A far-right troll's journey from an Ipswich bedroom to global infamy
38:09
A young Australian far-right troll was known to his online fans as 'Catboy Kami'. Thousands followed his 'edgy' videos where he targeted children online with a mix of racial stereotypes and hardcore shock tactics. With that fame and notoriety, he's become a useful recruitment tool in the expansion of one of the globe's most extreme social movements. Alex Mann reveals Catboy Kami's true identity and how this young live streamer from south east Queensland ended up in the United States mixing with the top ranks of the white power movement. This is a repeat of a program that aired in July 2021.
Jan 15, 2022
Summer Season: The hidden park of last resort
44:45
It’s one of the last affordable caravan parks near Sydney's CBD where people can actually make a home. Many of the residents were driven here in one of life's desperate moments, but as Mridula Amin discovers, not everyone wants to leave. This is a repeat of a program that aired in April 2021.
Jan 08, 2022
Summer Season: 'The ghosts are not silent'
43:23
An awkward Christmas lunch conversation sends reporter Sam Carmody on a search for answers about his family history. The stories he finds out about are so disturbing, they have implications not just for his family but for the entire region, where his ancestors have a statue in their honour, a highway and even a town named after them. This is a repeat of a program that aired in September 2021.
Jan 01, 2022
Summer Season: The death Uber Eats disowned
41:24
Relatives of a dead food delivery rider say he was at work when a truck hit him. Uber Eats says he wasn’t. Patrick Begley investigates. This is a repeat of a program that aired in June 2021.
Dec 25, 2021
Summer Season: The place where people mysteriously disappear
43:41
Warren Meyer was a keen bushwalker who always came prepared for a hike. When he vanished in the wild terrain of the Yarra Ranges, police were baffled. Ashlynne McGhee investigates whether his disappearance could be linked to the other unsolved mysteries of Victoria's high country. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2021.
Dec 18, 2021
The giant wind farms clearing Queensland bush
42:30
There’s growing community backlash over the locations chosen for a number of massive new windfarm projects in Northern Queensland. And as Mayeta Clark discovered, its coming from unlikely quarters.
Dec 11, 2021
The infiltrator who helped hatch a terror plot
41:30
A young Melbourne man got ten years' jail after attempting to buy a gun in preparation for a possible terrorist attack. Now his family is speaking publicly for the first time, raising questions about who escalated the plot. Mahmood Fazal investigates.
Dec 04, 2021
The biggest financial scandal you've never heard of
39:56
It's been celebrated as Australia's "millionaires' factory". But Macquarie Bank is now caught up in the mother of all tax investigations. Reporter Mario Christodoulou has seen internal company files that show which executives knew what and when. This is a joint investigation made together with German investigative journalism outlet Correctiv.
Nov 27, 2021
Boom time in carbon farming country
41:08
Graziers are discovering there's millions to be made from their flat red earth. Taxpayers are funding billions to reduce the nation's carbon footprint. Reporter Geoff Thompson investigates whether carbon farming will really undo the damage we're doing from burning fossil fuels.
Nov 20, 2021
The hidden terror that's splitting people's identities
41:08
Reporter Tracey Shelton spent years as a correspondent giving a voice to people in war zones who'd experienced trauma. When she returned to Australia, she was surprised to find people here suffering similar symptoms, so she set out to investigate the cause.
Nov 13, 2021
Vulnerable, unvaxxed, and running out of time
37:00
These people were supposed to be near the front of the queue for Covid vaccines. But in Yarrabah, an Aboriginal community near Cairns, local doctors are still scrambling to get the vaccination rate above 50% With only six weeks until the Queensland borders open, reporter Mayeta Clark went to find out why.
Nov 06, 2021
How a conspiracy and a question led to 18 years jail
44:32
He was sentenced for a crime that shocked Australia: the terrorist plot to attack Sydney's Holsworthy barracks. But Nayef el Sayed's family are still confused about why he's doing so much jail time, and they're not the only ones with questions about the law used to convict him. Mahmood Fazal investigates.
Oct 30, 2021
Untouchable Assets | Part 3
29:01
As government investigators close in, Asiaciti realises it hasn't been keeping a close watch on some of its risky clients. In this series finale, Mario Christodoulou traverses from Swiss mountaintop chateaux to a Nigerian coup d'etat, to find out exactly what money was secretly flowing through Asiaciti's products. Then, he takes everything he's found to the man who built up the Asiaciti empire from nothing: Graeme Briggs. The ABC reached out to every person named in this story, we received no response from Du Shuanghua.
Oct 05, 2021
Untouchable Assets | Part 2
37:33
A rock concert ticket scalper and a controversial entrepreneur turn to Asiaciti for assistance. Using products from Graeme Briggs' company, they lock away their riches on a small Pacific island nation, out of the reach of authorities. But soon, Asiaciti learns it's got its own crisis to deal with: a global media scandal that threatens the company's very existence. Mario Christodoulou reports.
Oct 04, 2021
Untouchable Assets | Part 1
42:26
Graeme Briggs enjoys rugby, collecting Japanese fountain pens, and looking after other people's money. The problem for Graeme and his company Asiaciti is that among the many legitimate clients, some of them turn out to be corrupt politicians, fraudsters, and criminals. If that isn't bad enough, nearly two million files from his company's server have been leaked to journalists. So what's Graeme Briggs going to do now? Mario Christodoulou investigates.
Oct 03, 2021
The scientists and shamans of psychedelic retreats
40:29
There's a landmark project underway in Melbourne to find out whether psilocybin - the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms - can be used to improve end-of-life experiences. But many Australians have already turned to the underground because they're convinced psychedelics improve their mental health. Geoff Thompson investigates whether it's worth all the risks. This is a repeat of a program that aired in February 2021.
Oct 02, 2021
The Sydney security expert helping Afghan journalists escape
35:07
Geoff Thompson follows the dangerous journeys of three Afghan journalists as they attempt to flee the Taliban. Two of them succeed with the help of an Australian man who engineers an escape route for them from his house in Sydney.
Sep 25, 2021
'The ghosts are not silent'
43:23
An awkward Christmas lunch conversation sends reporter Sam Carmody on a search for answers about his family history. The stories he finds out about are so disturbing, they have implications not just for his family but for the entire region, where his ancestors have a statue in their honour, a highway and even a town named after them.
Sep 18, 2021
What it's like to face terrorism charges
44:09
Since the September 11 attacks, Australia has enacted a staggering number of laws to counter the threat of terrorism. Over one hundred people have been charged with terror-related offences here, but very few have spoken to the media. One Australian man who was charged with offences that can carry up to 25 years in jail, shares his story with Mahmood Fazal for the first time.
Aug 14, 2021
Inside the epicentre of Australia's Delta outbreak
37:31
As COVID-19 cases surged in Sydney's south-west City of Fairfield, the government enforced tougher restrictions on residents there. But as Geoff Thompson discovers, these constraints have had some devastating repercussions on one of Sydney's poorest areas and where more than half its workers are in industries which can't work from home.
Aug 07, 2021
Reality TV's reckoning
42:03
Reality shows are a central pillar of the television industry, but for the people who appear on them, the productions can be a gateway to years of mental anguish. As Naomi Selvaratnam found out, for some reality TV stars their moment in the spotlight nearly cost them their life.
Jul 31, 2021
A far-right troll's journey from an Ipswich bedroom to global infamy
37:54
A young Australian far-right troll was known to his online fans as 'Catboy Kami'. Thousands followed his 'edgy' videos where he targeted children online with a mix of racial stereotypes and hardcore shock tactics. With that fame and notoriety, he's become a useful recruitment tool in the expansion of one of the globe's most extreme social movements. Alex Mann reveals Catboy Kami's true identity and how this young live streamer from south east Queensland ended up in the United States mixing with the top ranks of the white power movement.
Jul 24, 2021
Myanmar: The Spring Revolution
05:38
In Myanmar, after a military coup in February this year, mass protests were met with brutal force. Borders were shut, the internet was blocked and it is estimated that around 900 people have been killed by the military. But some brave, young activists have filmed their acts of resistance. As their options close, what hope do they have to win back democracy? Due to copyright restrictions there will be no Background Briefing podcast or transcript for this program. You can listen to the full episode here: BBC Radio 4 - Crossing Continents, Myanmar: The Spring Revolution
Jul 17, 2021
Unmasking Monsters
44:55
Bob Montgomery was one of Australia's most famous psychologists. But he was hiding a dark secret. Josh Robertson has the story of how he got away with it for so long.
Jul 10, 2021
Her name was Mhelody Bruno
44:53
She died in tragic circumstances, but it seems that the public, her family, even the court may not have been given the full story. Elise Kinsella investigates why.
Jul 03, 2021
The death Uber Eats disowned
41:29
Relatives of a dead food delivery rider say he was at work when a truck hit him. Uber Eats says he wasn’t. Patrick Begley investigates
Jun 26, 2021
The death Uber Eats disowned
41:29
Relatives of a dead food delivery rider say he was at work when a truck hit him. Uber Eats says he wasn’t. Patrick Begley investigates
Jun 26, 2021
The killer we've invited into the lounge room
35:40
When winter arrives there's nothing like curling up in front of a fire heater with a glass of wine. But there's something disturbing in this cosy picture. As Alison Branley discovers, there's a huge risk to our health that we seem determined to ignore, even though it's estimated to kill hundreds of Australians every year
Jun 19, 2021
How Australians are escaping India's Covid catastrophe
40:35
Thousands of Australians went to India back when it seemed like coronavirus was under control. Some went to care for elderly parents. But, as Alex Mann discovers, their noble intentions counted for nothing when they were locked out of Australia and found themselves in a fight to survive and find a way home.
Jun 12, 2021
The rural stoush fuelled by our chicken meat obsession
39:15
As Australians eat more and more chicken, we need to find places to raise the animals. But as broiler sheds pop up across rural Victoria, the neighbours are learning that there are more downsides than the smell. A chicken shed next door can stop you building on your own land. Rachael Brown heads to Gippsland to investigate why Rosedale locals are worried that their area will soon be nicknamed 'Chickendale'.
Jun 05, 2021
The memo that erased a scandal
42:27
Ballarat orphanage superintendent Hylton Sedgman was due to face nine child abuse charges. Buried in a 1964 file is the reason he never stood trial. Charlotte King investigates why.
Apr 24, 2021
The Archbishop, the luxury pad, and the COVID-ravaged aged care home
38:13
It was the site of Australia's deadliest coronavirus outbreak. This week, Ashlynne McGhee investigates how Melbourne's St Basil's Homes for the Aged has been funnelling tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into the Greek Orthodox Church.
Apr 17, 2021
The hidden park of last resort
44:46
It’s one of the last affordable caravan parks near Sydney's CBD where people can actually make a home. Many of the residents were driven here in one of life's desperate moments, but as Mridula Amin discovers, not everyone wants to leave.
Apr 10, 2021
The Base Tapes | Part 2
45:08
In the second and final episode of his investigation, Alex Mann tracks down the two youngest candidates who applied to join the neo-Nazi group and tries to find out how they were radicalised.
Apr 03, 2021
The Base Tapes | Part 1
41:50
Secret recordings reveal how a global white supremacist terror group dedicated to inciting a race war recruited young Australian men. Alex Mann investigates.
Mar 27, 2021
The small town torn apart by big bets
38:12
Peter and Kath were investors in a secret punters' club that turned out to be a multi-million dollar scam. When the kingpin pleaded guilty, there were nearly two thousand victims left desperate to find out where their money went. Rachael Brown investigates whether the middlemen know.
Mar 13, 2021
The place where people mysteriously disappear
43:28
Warren Meyer was a keen bushwalker who always came prepared for a hike. When he vanished in the wild terrain of the Yarra Ranges, police were baffled. Ashlynne McGhee investigates whether his disappearance could be linked to the other unsolved mysteries of Victoria's high country.
Mar 06, 2021
The chilling secrets of a Melbourne guru
44:26
For decades people have flocked to a bucolic ashram in one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs to hear Russell Kruckman spin his folksy brand of meditation, yoga and spirituality. But as Dan Oakes reveals, there's something rotten in this Shangri La: a horrific list of sexual abuse allegations.
Feb 27, 2021
A nearby nurse and the firefighter left to wait in agony
40:45
Volunteer firefighter Rodney O'Keeffe survived a fire tornado, but it left him with broken ribs and severe burns. A mere 800 metres away, there was a remote area nurse desperately trying to reach him. Jess Davis investigates why she couldn't.
Feb 20, 2021
The fight to stop a tiny battery from killing kids
39:45
Andrea and Allison formed an unlikely friendship after their daughters died in remarkably similar circumstances. Annie Gaffney investigates how they turned their grief into action to prevent that kind of tragedy from happening again.
Feb 13, 2021
The scientists and shamans of psychedelic retreats
45:00
There's a landmark project underway in Melbourne to find out whether psilocybin - the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms - can be used to improve end-of-life experiences. But many Australians have already turned to the underground because they're convinced psychedelics improve their mental health. Geoff Thompson investigates whether it's worth all the risks.
Feb 06, 2021
Summer Season: how one school failed its students
39:55
Kimberly's sunny, athletic and inquisitive about everything. But for years she harboured terrible secrets about what happened to her. This week, Janine Fitzpatrick investigates why her school failed to heed credible warnings that she was in danger. This is a repeat of a program that aired in October 2020.
Jan 02, 2021
Summer Season: This judge’s unfair decisions upended people’s lives. What can be done about it?
41:03
These Australians were denied a fair hearing by one controversial judge. Now, for the first time, they're speaking out about their experiences. Hagar Cohen investigates what happens when the behaviour of a judge inside a courtroom is called into question. This is a repeat of a program that aired in February 2020.
Dec 26, 2020
Summer Season: He wanted an ambulance. He got a police "dog box".
41:08
Tristan was a kind and gentle 23-year-old surfer from Byron Bay. One night he suffered a drug-induced psychotic episode. And ended up driven to hospital in a small steel cage. Police say it is probably the worst place he could be. Tristan later died in hospital. Mario Christodoulou investigates the series of tragic events that led to Tristan's death that raise questions about how emergency services treat young drug-affected people in New South Wales. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2020.
Dec 19, 2020
Summer season: Inside the brazen tax scam where the homeless are made company directors
39:13
It's a long-running ‘dummy director’ scam that’s siphoned tens of millions of dollars from workers, small businesses and the taxpayer. In Victoria, a small group of accountants spent 15 years signing on drug users and homeless Australians to help their clients cheat the system. Reporter Dan Oakes investigates how this was allowed to go on for so long. This is a repeat of a program that aired in February 2020.
Dec 12, 2020
Buyer Wanted - Mothballed Oil Rig
34:46
Did you know you're the lucky operator of a rusty oil rig floating in the Timor Sea? You, along with 25-odd-million others, that is. This week, reporter Alex Mann investigates why Australian taxpayers are forking out four million dollars a month for this facility, some 550km off the coast of Darwin.
Dec 05, 2020
The billion-dollar sports industry that can't keep up with the cheats
35:27
It's got audiences bigger than the Superbowl. Its star players earn more for a single tournament than the winner of the Australian Open. Mario Christodoulou investigates how esports became such a success with the match-fixers too.
Nov 28, 2020
450 days trapped on a cargo ship
39:06
Ronbert has sailed into bustling ports all over the world. But he can't get home or even set foot on dry land. Geoff Thompson investigates how the closure of borders has left 400,000 seafarers stuck on ships and what can be done to save them.
Nov 21, 2020
How contact tracers confront lies on the COVID frontline
40:57
They helped stamp out coronavirus by relying on human intelligence. But as Rachael Brown discovered, there was a weakness in the system. Sometimes people can't be trusted.
Nov 14, 2020
Introducing: Thin Black Line
07:10
On a spring afternoon in Brisbane's Musgrave Park, 18-year-old traditional dancer and amateur boxer Daniel Yock is drinking with his mates. But when a police van arrives, the mood suddenly changes, triggering a dramatic chain of events. Presented by Allan Clarke, Thin Black Line is a deep dive into what happened that day — according to the one eyewitness who saw it all unfold, speaking publicly for the first time in almost three decades.
Nov 07, 2020
The Ponzi scheme that preyed on faith
37:04
Bhavesh was in trouble. His wife had just suffered three heart attacks and he couldn't afford treatment. So he turned to trusted members of his spiritual community for help. But as reporter Meghna Bali discovers, Bhavesh soon started getting death threats instead, and he found himself at the wrong end of one of Australia's biggest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes.
Oct 31, 2020
Welcome to Tent City, the underside of WA's coronavirus success story
33:38
The thin walls of Neville Riley’s makeshift tent do little to block the constant sound of passing cars and trains. And if he was living in a different city when COVID-19 hit Australia, chances are Neville would have been given emergency accommodation months ago. This week, Alex Mann investigates whether a historic opportunity to address homelessness in Western Australia has been lost.
Oct 24, 2020
A horrific playground incident: how one school failed its students
39:42
Kimberly's sunny, athletic and inquisitive about everything. But for years she harboured terrible secrets about what happened to her. This week, Janine Fitzpatrick investigates why her school failed to heed credible warnings that she was in danger.
Oct 17, 2020
Are these two scholars really a threat to Australia's security?
38:17
One's a former translator for Bob Hawke, the other loves Henry Lawson's poetry. So when Professor Chen Hong and Li Jianjun got caught up in a police investigation into foreign influence, many of their colleagues expressed surprise. This week, Hagar Cohen investigates why ASIO declared them to be a potential risk to Australia.
Oct 10, 2020
How banks help criminals get rich: Part 2
36:05
The FINCEN Files have revealed how Australian businesses are involved suspicious transactions worth billions of dollars. This week, Mario Christodoulou follows the money trail home to downtown Sydney and investigates why the system designed to stop it often fails.
Oct 03, 2020
How banks help criminals get rich
31:04
An unprecedented leak of secret US Government reports has revealed how two trillion dollars of suspected dirty money snakes around the globe. This week on Background Briefing, Mario Christodoulou shows how terrorists and mobsters smuggle staggering sums of money through some of the world's largest banks - and often get away with it. This never-before-told story is the culmination of a 16-month-long investigation by 400 journalists for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Sep 26, 2020
Assange's extradition: what's really at stake?
37:12
Human rights advocates describe the pursuit of the Wikileaks founder as "a threat to global media freedom". But when a magistrate decides whether he'll be extradited to the United States, how much will the public's right to know actually matter? This week on Background Briefing, Meghna Bali goes inside his quest for freedom and uncovers never-before-told stories.
Sep 12, 2020
Response from Falun Dafa Association of Australia
05:06
In this podcast extra, Hagar Cohen interviews John Deller from the Falun Dafa Association of Australia about the allegations raised in the series.
Aug 24, 2020
The Power of Falun Gong, Part 3
38:49
Fledgling media organisations affiliated with Falun Gong have formed strange alliances with far right movements overseas. But what about here in Australia? This week on Background Briefing, Hagar Cohen investigates what happens when a pursuit for religious freedom comes into conflict with the transparency and independence required of Australia's fourth estate.
Aug 08, 2020
The Power of Falun Gong, Part 2
38:26
Secluded in dense forest, two hours north of New York City, there's a hidden headquarters for a new religious order. This otherworldly place is called Dragon Springs and it's sacred to Falun Gong devotees the world over. In this week's Background Briefing, Hagar Cohen reveals what goes on inside this gated compound, and how it's led to a strange alliance forged with the Trump Administration.
Aug 01, 2020
The Power of Falun Gong, Part 1
43:29
When you think of Falun Gong – you might think of quiet groups meditating or silently protesting in city parks. But a joint investigation by Background Briefing and Foreign Correspondent has uncovered accounts by former Falun Gong insiders, who reveal that in Australia and overseas, the movement has teachings that could be dangerous. Hagar Cohen reports.
Jul 25, 2020
No one told these country mums why their babies died
36:39
Claire doesn't know if her daughter's death could have been prevented - and she's not alone. Today, babies are more likely to be stillborn in Australia's regional centres than they were 20 years ago. This week on Background Briefing, Charlotte King investigates why the gap between these parts of the country and the big cities is only getting bigger.
Jul 18, 2020
Meet the debt monster
33:43
In little over two months' time, the support payments keeping millions of Australians afloat through the pandemic are due to end. Banks' deferrals on mortgage payments are meant to wind up soon after too. This week on Background Briefing, Geoff Thompson shows how the country is driving towards an economic cliff.
Jul 11, 2020
Why was this woman sent to a men's prison?
40:14
As she entered one of Australia's largest male prisons, Mara Ellis was strip-searched by four prison guards: two men and two women. She says it was the last time the justice system acknowledged she is a woman before Mara was locked away in solitary confinement. This week on Background Briefing, Meghna Bali investigates what happens to women in men's prisons.
Jul 04, 2020
The rallying cry heard the world over
53:40
Could Australia's Black Lives Matter movement bring about real world change? Jared Goyette, Bridget Brennan and Allan Clarke trace how the brutal death of George Floyd has resonated with so many, from the scorched streets of Minneapolis to downtown Melbourne.
Jun 27, 2020
Who seeks to profit from the trauma of abuse survivors?
45:22
Uncle Justin has waited a long time for an acknowledgement that he has survived institutional child sexual abuse. When the National Redress Scheme was established, he was offered help from a private legal firm. But what Uncle Justin and other survivors hadn't realised, Jeremy Story Carter discovered, was their trauma had become a honeypot.
Jun 20, 2020
Why Australia's spies think the far right could find a foothold during coronavirus
34:40
Since Australia's coronavirus shutdown began, there's been a spike in reports of racist attacks, where people are targeted because they just happen to look Asian. Intelligence agencies are now warning that far right groups are exploiting the pandemic to further their own radical agendas. For some, that involves fomenting unrest to bring about a "race war". Mario Christodoulou investigates.
Jun 13, 2020
The controversial push to rebrand raw milk
39:29
Advocates of raw milk say its safe for people to drink the stuff, so long as dairies take proper precautions. But Australian health authorities are wary about re-opening the trade, especially since the death of a toddler was linked to drinking unpasteurised milk. Kathryn Gregory investigates that link and asks whether there could be a valid case to re-open the raw milk trade.
Jun 06, 2020
How were the kids in this town contaminated?
40:49
For children in Port Pirie there is no 10 second rule. When you grow up in a “lead town” eating off the floor is forbidden, and could be harmful to your health. But when a mum follows all the strict and unusual rules of the town to keep her son safe and his blood lead still continues to rise, she asks: what am I doing wrong? Can a town coexist with a lead smelter? Paul Culliver investigates
May 30, 2020
Having a baby alone: How the pandemic has changed how we give birth
13:36
Pregnancies and births around the world have been radically changed by the spread of COVID-19. Background Briefing reporter Katherine Gregory is 39 weeks pregnant, and has been watching this news closely. In this episode, as she goes through her own pregnancy journey, she uncovers how maternal health experts are trying to prevent any long-lasting impacts on new mothers and their babies. This is the final episode of our three-part series on how Australia is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 21, 2020
Drive-by dinners: Food relief in the time of Corona
10:46
Social distancing measures have robbed many charities of the human connection so crucial to their already vulnerable clients. But, as our reporter Geoff Thompson finds out, one charity has radically transformed its service, and still feeds almost eight thousand people a week. This is part two of a three part series into how Australia is coping with COVID-19 Pandemic.
May 19, 2020
Prison outbreak: Prisoners released to protect them from COVID-19
13:24
Australian prison operators say they're well equipped to deal with a possible COVID-19 outbreak inside their walls. But inmates claim unhygienic conditions are making them fear for their lives. Now, some are being released early to protect them from getting the virus. Reporter Meghna Bali speaks to one prisoner about her early release. This is part one of a three part series into how Australia is coping with COVID-19 Pandemic.
May 14, 2020
Hotel Corona: How the pandemic could fix homelessness
39:36
People experiencing homelessness are being moved from the street and shelters into four-star hotels. The radical plan is meant to protect them from the pandemic and it's temporary. But as Hagar Cohen discovers, there are questions about what happens once the virus crisis is over.
Apr 25, 2020
Who's profiting from the pandemic?
41:28
The coronavirus pandemic is causing pain and suffering the world over, but then there are always those who never let a good crisis go to waste. Some are benefiting from COVID-19 for legitimate reasons: just think of companies that make video conferencing apps, ventilators, or canny investors. But there are also more nefarious players looking to bank a win off the back of coronavirus fear and confusion: scam artists, fraudsters, counterfeiters. This week, Geoff Thompson, Mario Christodoulou, Meghna Bali and Kat Gregory investigate who's winning in these turbulent times and how.
Apr 18, 2020
'People will die': Country hospital fears it won't cope with coronavirus
38:35
What does it take to prepare for a pandemic? Many hospitals around the world are already overwhelmed by patients infected with COVID-19. Australian doctors and nurses are bracing for something most of them have never faced before. In our country hospitals, resources are already stretched: beds are in short supply and there’s a greater proportion of older people. Preparation will, in many cases, be the difference between life and death.
 ABC National Regional Reporter Jess Davis takes us inside the Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham, Victoria, as the team tries to prepare for the unimaginable.
Apr 04, 2020
How we're getting through this
53:17
Coronavirus is changing the way the entire human race lives. Emergency workers are scrambling together contingency plans, fearing hospitals could soon be overwhelmed. Scientists are racing to invent a faster, cheaper Covid-19 test kit available for us all. Restaurants are reinventing themselves as delivery services, artists are turning to live-streaming to make a living. This week, the entire Background Briefing team investigates how each of us are finding new ways to get by.
Mar 28, 2020
He wanted an ambulance. He got a police "dog box".
41:47
Tristan was a kind and gentle 23-year-old surfer from Byron Bay. One night he suffered a drug-induced psychotic episode. And ended up driven to hospital in a small steel cage. Police say it is probably the worst place he could be. Tristan later died in hospital. Mario Christodoulou investigates the series of tragic events that led to Tristan's death that raise questions about how emergency services treat young drug-affected people in New South Wales.
Mar 21, 2020
Mutants or miracles? Australia's GM cows
36:21
Mar 14, 2020
'If I can't get my house fixed, I'm homeless'
38:43
Even after the black summer Australians have just endured, it's not bushfires that's keeping the nation's insurers awake at night. Climate change is bringing cyclones further south - towards highly populated areas like Brisbane, the Gold Coast and northern NSW. Insurers are warning that unless the Federal Government takes drastic action, parts of the country may even become uninsurable. And as Geoff Thompson discovers, it's not some threat on the horizon - the conditions are already here.
Mar 07, 2020
How fracking could threaten Australia's Paris target
37:43
The Morrison Government claims Australia will meet its emissions targets "in a canter". It points to Australia's status as the world's largest LNG exporter to show how the nation's carbon footprint is getting smaller. But Background Briefing has seen bombshell emails by government advisors that reveal a very different picture. Jane Bardon investigates the true extent of Australia's fracking emissions.
Feb 29, 2020
Inside the brazen tax scam where the homeless are made company directors
39:28
It's a long-running ‘dummy director’ scam that’s siphoned tens of millions of dollars from workers, small businesses and the taxpayer. In Victoria, a small group of accountants spent 15 years signing on drug users and homeless Australians to help their clients cheat the system. Reporter Dan Oakes investigates how this was allowed to go on for so long.
Feb 15, 2020
This predator targeted victims on Tinder for years. Why wasn’t he stopped sooner?
41:25
Glenn Hartland is a serial rapist who lured four Melbourne women on Tinder. His victims say he continued to use dating apps while on bail. How did the police, the court, and the company behind Tinder allow this to happen?
Feb 08, 2020
This judge’s unfair decisions upended people’s lives. What can be done about it?
41:03
These Australians were denied a fair hearing by one controversial judge. Now, for the first time, they're speaking out about their experiences. Hagar Cohen investigates what happens when the behaviour of a judge inside a courtroom is called into question.
Feb 01, 2020
Summer special: Murder on trial
40:56
In 2011, Boronika Hothnyang was accused of fatally stabbing her best friend, William Awu, directly in the heart. But when police arrived at the scene of the crime, Boronika's apartment in Dandenong south-east of Melbourne, she was fast asleep. Six men who had earlier been drinking at her place each gave detectives a very different version of events. In this episode, Sarah Dingle uncovers new evidence that raises serious questions about the strength of the case against Boronika.
Jan 25, 2020
Summer special: The Golden Nugget Affair
40:01
The annual Uluru Camel Cup attracts a prize pool of tens of thousands of dollars, but is largely unregulated under NT law. After a champion camel named “Golden Nugget” won the 2018 race in controversial circumstances, allegations surfaced that the result was rigged. Reporter Alex Mann delves deep into the Camel Cup operator’s colourful past to investigate what really happened that day. This is a repeat of a program that aired in July 2019.
Jan 18, 2020
Summer special: The Birdman of Surry Hills
43:48
From piles of rubbish to leaking sewers, rats, and gas leaks. Pierre the Birdman is on a one-man mission to save his public housing block -- but he doesn’t own a computer, only just got a mobile phone, has never had legal training, and he barely finished high school. Despite this... he’s been winning cases against the NSW Government. Mario Christodoulou reports.
Jan 11, 2020
Summer special: This meth we’re in
45:10
Jacki Whittaker thought one of the bedrooms in her Melbourne rental home smelt like "cat piss". But the real culprit was something far more sinister. The previous tenants had been cooking methamphetamine in the bathroom resulting in significant contamination. Jacki and her two adult children were told by a testing company they must leave immediately because it wasn’t safe to stay in the house. But no one really knows how many of us are actually at risk from meth residues because even scientists haven’t even worked it out. In this episode, Hagar Cohen investigates how some operators in an unregulated meth testing industry are scamming the public and profiting from our fear. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2019.
Jan 04, 2020
Summer special: Welfare to worse
45:21
Whistle-blowers from inside Australia's lucrative employment services industry are claiming profits are being prioritised over the needs of vulnerable welfare recipients. Reporter Andy Burns investigates alleged murky behaviour inside the government's 350-million-dollar "Parents Next" program. She follows allegations that some private providers are benefitting at the expense of single mothers, some of whom are homeless. This is a repeat of a program that aired in August 2019.
Dec 28, 2019
Summer special: Flight of Fancy
43:22
When he rediscovered the elusive night parrot in 2013, John Young became a hero in the bird world. But his reputation is now in tatters after the veracity of his latest fieldwork was criticised by a panel of experts. Did the charismatic naturalist fake evidence of the green and yellow feathered creature? Ann Jones investigates a scandal that threatens to undermine conservation efforts. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2019.
Dec 21, 2019
Licence to drill
40:29
Sydney hip-hop group OneFour are one of Australia’s most popular new musical acts. A month ago they were on the cusp of making it, with millions of streams, major label offers and a national tour. Today half the group is behind bars. Osman Faruqi investigates the rapid rise and fall of an Australian hip-hop phenomenon and why one of the country’s most high-profile police strike forces wants to shut them down.
Dec 14, 2019
The problem with winning
44:00
Australians lose more money gambling than any other country in the world. But what if you found out the odds were stacked against you? Steve Cannane lifts the lid on how one of the world’s most successful sports betting agencies, bet365 uses secret tactics to gain an advantage over its customers.
Dec 07, 2019
'Should have been a wedding, not a funeral'
43:04
People are dying in Queensland mines. Seven workers have been killed since July last year and the pressure to act is mounting. Soon, some mining bosses could serve jail time if their negligence results in a workplace death, but is it too little too late? Katherine Gregory investigates.
Nov 30, 2019
"No water, no us"
42:22
What happens when we run out of water? That might seem a long way off, but after years of drought, taps are running dry in towns all over central New South Wales. The region's dams have gone from overflowing to almost empty in just three years. So where did all the water go? Reporter Meredith Griffiths explores life after day zero.
Nov 23, 2019
Where to now?
43:32
Its been two years since a campaign of brutal violence and mass rape forced almost a million Rohingyas to flee Myanmar. The International Criminal Court has now agreed to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed against them. In the weeks leading up to this major development, Sarah Dingle travelled to the world's biggest refugee camp in neighbouring Bangladesh, where close to one million asylum seekers are being hosted. But as she discovered, compassion is turning into resentment as tensions simmer among locals.
Nov 16, 2019
State of emergency
54:06
Extraordinary measures have been ordered across New South Wales. There's 60 fires burning in that one state alone. Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong are facing catastrophic fire conditions ahead. That's why we've updated a story we produced a month ago, which asks the question: are our emergency services equipped for what's ahead? This episode was made in a collaboration between ABC Regional, Landline, and Background Briefing.
Nov 11, 2019
Are Australians aiding China's surveillance state?
44:34
In the shadow of the Hong Kong protests on university campuses, Australia’s top universities are working with blacklisted Chinese entities involved in Beijing’s surveillance state. This week Background Briefing and Four Corners investigate how Australia’s hi-tech ambitions became a high stakes gamble. Experts warn these partnerships could be a risk to national security.
Oct 12, 2019
Are Australians aiding China's surveillance state?
44:34
In the shadow of the Hong Kong protests on university campuses, Australia's top universities are working with blacklisted Chinese entities involved in Beijing's surveillance state. This week Background Briefing and Four Corners investigate how Australia's hi-tech ambitions became a high stakes gamble. Experts warn these partnerships could be a risk to national security.
Oct 12, 2019
Prepare to burn
53:41
It’s been the most devastating September for bushfires in this country on record. Experts are warning of more unprecedented weather events than ever before, and they’re calling for urgent national leadership. In this special collaboration with ABC Regional and Landline, Background Briefing asks if we’re prepared to fight the fires of the future.
Oct 05, 2019
Who is burning sacred objects in the outback?
42:10
A new wave of Pentecostal missionaries is dividing remote communities in Australia’s north. Some are promoting the idea that traditional Aboriginal culture is a type of witchcraft or devil worship, and their followers are setting fire to sacred artefacts in an attempt to drive away the devil. Aboriginal leaders have accused the preachers of exploiting vulnerable communities. Erin Parke from ABC Kimberley investigates.
Sep 21, 2019
What happens in Surf Club...
43:49
Surf life savers hold an almost mythical status as Australian heroes who risk their lives to save others. But these dedicated volunteers say they’re being silenced by their own organisation. Now, they’re speaking out about poor governance and money being spent on surf sports, rather than essential lifesaving equipment. Kat Gregory hears their stories.
Sep 14, 2019
Who watches over our judges?
42:42
He comes from a family of legal royalty but this judge is attracting controversy. Judge Sandy Street presides over more refugee cases than any other in the Federal Circuit Court. His defenders say he’s an extraordinarily hard worker. But Street’s rulings have been successfully appealed 90 times in the past five years. Hagar Cohen investigates.
Sep 07, 2019
How vaping will make you free
42:44
It's mostly illegal to sell nicotine for vaping in Australia, but there are some powerful players who want to change that. The tobacco industry wants smokers to take up vaping, but it's also getting help from libertarians all over the world who believe the right to vape represents personal freedom. Ariel Bogle gets onboard the Vape Force One bus to find out more.
Aug 31, 2019
Out of jail, 2 nights to find a home
42:46
You’ve just been released from jail in a country town. You’re given two nights in a motel, half a dole check, and one set of clothes. Where do you go from there? Liz Keen follows repeat offenders as they cycle between rural prisons, grungy roadside motels, and homelessness, in a fight to start their lives over.
Aug 17, 2019
The Birdman of Surry Hills
43:46
From piles of rubbish to leaking sewers, rats, and gas leaks. Pierre the Birdman is on a one-man mission to save his public housing block -- but he doesn’t own a computer, only just got a mobile phone, has never had legal training, and he barely finished high school. Despite this... he’s been winning cases against the NSW Government. Mario Christodoulou reports.
Aug 10, 2019
Welfare to worse
45:53
Whistle-blowers from inside Australia's lucrative employment services industry are claiming profits are being prioritised over the needs of vulnerable welfare recipients. This week on Background Briefing, reporter Andy Burns investigates alleged murky behaviour inside the government's 350-million-dollar "Parents Next" program. She follows allegations that some private providers are benefitting at the expense of single mothers, some of whom are homeless.
Aug 03, 2019
The Pub Test: why Australia can't stop drinking
45:56
Leaked documents show the influence the alcohol industry wields over the federal government’s National Alcohol Strategy. Experts warn this will have dire consequences for the nation’s ability to deal with a massive public health problem. With unprecedented access inside one of Australia’s biggest rehab facilities, Katherine Gregory takes on the grim reality of alcohol.
Jul 27, 2019
Under The Hammer
48:16
Some paintings by contemporary Australian artists are worth millions of dollars. But what if what you see isn't always what you get? There are claims the art market is plagued with questionable works by Brett Whiteley, Howard Arkley, Charles Blackman and more. Hagar Cohen exposes question marks over three expensive artworks... and traces their origin back to one group of high-profile dealers in Melbourne's art market.
Jul 20, 2019
The Golden Nugget Affair
40:38
The annual Uluru Camel Cup attracts a prize pool of tens of thousands of dollars, but its largely unregulated under NT law. After a champion camel named “Golden Nugget” won the 2018 race in controversial circumstances, allegations surfaced that the result was rigged. Reporter Alex Mann delves deep into the Camel Cup operator’s colourful past to investigate what really happened that day.
Jul 13, 2019
"Slaughter" house — the scandal inside ANZ
42:42
Porsches and $5 million bonuses, drinking and late night strip clubbing — we go deep into one of Australia’s biggest ever corporate investigations. This is an alleged rate-rigging scandal that engulfed our third largest bank, dragging in some of the most senior people in the industry. But has everyone involved been held accountable? Mario Christodoulou investigates.
May 25, 2019
Proxy war: The outsiders campaigning for the major parties
44:47
This election campaign has involved more than political candidates and parties on the hustings. We’ve seen grassroots community groups, political activist organisations and social media players getting involved too. But, just how influential are they? And is there enough scrutiny on them? Katherine Gregory investigates.
May 11, 2019
From bias to brutality: How Australia is failing minority groups
40:27
They’ve been spat on, punched in the face, and told to go back to where they came from. Minority groups in Australia insist hate crimes are on the rise since the Christchurch massacre. There have been thousands of reports of property damage as well as verbal and physical abuse arising from racial discrimination. So why have so few people been convicted? Hagar Cohen investigates.
May 04, 2019
Shitposting to the Senate: How the alt-right infiltrated Parliament
44:28
The global rise of the alt-right movement has caught the attention of politicians and police in Australia. But few could have predicted its followers would have already found a home in our federal parliament. Background Briefing has obtained leaked messages revealing Senator Fraser Anning has employed staff with connections to fascist groups. The messages also detail a secret plan to disrupt the current election campaign with racist stunts in order to help re-elect him. Alex Mann investigates.
Apr 20, 2019
The sexual abuse scandal nobody's talking about
43:56
When you place a parent or loved one into a nursing home, you trust they'll be looked after by staff. But sexual abuse in aged care is on the rise and the perpetrators are often the very people paid to care for residents. The disturbing trend has been allowed to flourish in the absence of mandatory reporting and a national register of employees. Anne Connolly investigates.
Apr 13, 2019
How some of Australia's biggest live music shows were funded by a Ponzi scheme
39:13
The 2000s were a great time for Australian live music lovers with some of the biggest artists of the decade touring the nation. It was also a time when many of these acts were financed by an elaborate Ponzi scheme. With an exclusive interview with the man behind the fraud, Mario Christodoulou reveals the threats and behind-the-scenes deals that fans never get to see. Welcome to the brutal and high risk world of concert promotion.
Apr 06, 2019
Flight of fancy: The mysterious case of the night parrot
43:25
When he rediscovered the elusive night parrot in 2013, John Young became a hero in the bird world. But his reputation is now in tatters after the veracity of his latest fieldwork was criticised by a panel of experts. Did the charismatic naturalist fake evidence of the green and yellow feathered creature? Ann Jones investigates a scandal that threatens to undermine conservation efforts.
Mar 30, 2019
Haircuts and hate: The rise of Australia's alt-right
45:53
On Friday 15 March 2019 an Australian man opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people and wounding as many. There has been much speculation since about where he came from and what his motivations were. A manifesto published online by the shooter before the attacks bears many of the hallmarks of white supremacist rhetoric, including anti-immigrant sentiments and white genocide conspiracy theories – views that align with those of Australia’s Alt Right, which we investigated in a program late last year. In this replay of our investigation into how Australia’s Alt Right has been covertly influencing mainstream politics, Alex Mann tracks operatives from a secretive fight club in Sydney to the moment one member was elected to the NSW executive of the Young Nationals.   He also confronts the men involved and asks: what is their vision for Australia, and how far are they willing to go to achieve it? We’re not suggesting these men were in any way involved in the Christchurch mosque shooting. Since we first broadcast this story – the members we exposed have been kicked out of the Young Nationals. This is a repeat of a program that aired in October 2018.
Mar 21, 2019
This meth we’re in: Businesses profit from residential drug lab contamination fears
45:48
Jacki Whittaker thought one of the bedrooms in her Melbourne rental home smelt like "cat piss". But the real culprit was something far more sinister. The previous tenants had been cooking methamphetamine in the bathroom resulting in significant contamination. Jacki and her two adult children were told by a testing company they must leave immediately because it wasn’t safe to stay in the house. But no one really knows how many of us are actually at risk from meth residues because even scientists haven’t even worked it out. In this episode, Hagar Cohen investigates how some operators in an unregulated meth testing industry are scamming the public and profiting from our fear.
Mar 16, 2019
Inside Australia's segregated hotel rooms
42:53
In this episode, we investigate allegations that staff at a popular Alice Springs hotel managed by Australia’s largest hotel group, Accor, have been segregating Aboriginal guests into inferior rooms. Undercover recordings and a whistleblower account reveal Aboriginal guests being charged $129 for a room with dirty sheets on the bed, and chicken bones and broken glass on the floor. Reporter Oliver Gordon meets the people falling through the cracks of a flawed complaints system.
Mar 09, 2019
Doxxed: Exposing the terrifying new frontier in online abuse
52:10
You've heard of online trolls, but what happens when they share your private data, like your contact details, with malicious intent? ABC Life’s Osman Faruqi found out the hard way. Last August, a far-right activist posted his phone number on social media. Osman was inundated with racist text messages and phone calls that continue to this day. In this episode, which is a co-production with ABC Life, Osman confronts the man responsible. And with the help of reporter Alex Mann, he investigates why law enforcement is seemingly powerless to protect victims.
Feb 23, 2019
What if your day in court lasted just five minutes?
47:41
"Bush Court" is based on a simple premise. If you live in a remote Australia, you won't be forced to travel to the city to seek justice. Instead, justice will come to you. It's kind of like a judicial roadshow with a judge, prosecutor, and defence team touring 30 Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory each year. Unfortunately, despite having dozens of matters to resolve, they don't stay longer than a day or two. But does the fast food of justice deliver the best outcomes? Allan Clarke investigates.
Feb 16, 2019
Murder on trial: Was a Melbourne woman’s conviction beyond reasonable doubt?
40:56
In 2011, Boronika Hothnyang was accused of fatally stabbing her best friend, William Awu, directly in the heart. But when police arrived at the scene of the crime, Boronika's apartment in Dandenong south-east of Melbourne, she was fast asleep. Six men who had earlier been drinking at her place each gave detectives a very different version of events. In this episode, Sarah Dingle uncovers new evidence that raises serious questions about the strength of the case against Boronika.
Feb 09, 2019
Gridlock: Australia’s electricity system buckles as politicians stall on energy policy
46:01
Australia's national electricity grid has once again buckled under the pressure of a scorching hot summer. Consumers are furious not only about blackouts but rising power bills, too. For decades, politicians have promised solutions they failed to deliver. Reporter Mario Christodoulou investigates the toxic politics of energy.
Feb 02, 2019
Haircuts and hate: The rise of Australia's alt-right
44:36
In this episode, Alex Mann investigates how Australia's alt-right movement is covertly influencing mainstream politics. He tracks operatives from a secretive fight club in Sydney to the moment one member was elected to the NSW executive of the Young Nationals.   He also confronts the men involved and asks what is their vision for Australia, and how far are they willing to go to achieve it? This is a repeat of a program that aired in October 2018.
Jan 26, 2019
Death in Chinatown: Who's looking after international students?
41:43
An alleyway brawl that left a Melbourne schoolboy dead, has raised questions about who’s responsible for keeping international students safe in Australia. Year 12 student Jeremy Hu, was repeatedly kicked and stomped on, and he later died of his injuries. None of his friends called an ambulance that night, and instead of taking him to the hospital, they checked him into a hotel. Reporter Jane Lee takes a hard look at the $30 billion international education industry and follows the murder trial in the aftermath of Jeremy Hu's death. A warning you'll hear some strong language and descriptions of violence. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2018.
Jan 19, 2019
Not fare: How taxi licences collapsed in value, destroying lives and livelihoods
02:13
After a spate of recent suicides, taxi licence holders and their families are warning of the mounting human toll of deregulating their industry. Since the arrival of Uber and other ride-sharing apps, a once lucrative investment has plummeted in value. Who is to blame? Alex Mann investigates. This is a repeat of a program that aired in August 2018.
Jan 12, 2019
The drugs don't work: Patients and paramedics expose Queensland Ambulance Service scandal
37:30
Thousands of patients may have been put at risk of exposure to tampered drugs by the Queensland Ambulance Service. One 74-year-old grandmother from Brisbane, Barbara Cook, believes paramedics unwittingly gave her a contaminated IV injection. She also believes that she contracted a life-threatening bacterial infection as a result. With secret recordings, leaked documents and whistle-blower testimony Hagar Cohen uncovers how the service botched an investigation into one of its biggest-ever drug tampering scandals. This is a repeat of a program that aired in July 2018.
Jan 05, 2019
Dirty rotten phone calls: The anatomy of a scam
41:50
Binary option scams are one of the biggest financial scams in the world right now and Australians are targets. Scammers use flashy websites to trick victims into thinking they're trading on financial markets. But it's all a charade aimed at encouraging people to hand over their money. Reporter Mario Christodoulou speaks to a former scammer and Australian victims who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is a repeat of a program that aired in March 2018.
Dec 22, 2018
From verbal abuse to axe murder: The death of Canberra mum Tara Costigan
37:15
Three years ago Marcus Rappel murdered 28-year-old Tara Costigan with an axe. The murder continues to confront our definition of domestic violence because despite a pattern of verbal aggressions, Rappel had never previously physically abused Costigan, the mother of his child. Canberra journalists Elizabeth Byrne and Susan McDonald investigate how health professionals, and law enforcement could have prevented the death, were they equipped with the right information at the right time. Family members of both Tara Costigan and Marcus Rappel speak out for the first time since the death. This is a repeat of a program that aired in July 2018.
Dec 15, 2018
From verbal abuse to axe murder: The death of Canberra mum Tara Costigan
37:15
Three years ago Marcus Rappel murdered 28-year-old Tara Costigan with an axe. The murder continues to confront our definition of domestic violence because despite a pattern of verbal aggressions, Rappel had never previously physically abused Costigan, the mother of his child. Canberra journalists Elizabeth Byrne and Susan McDonald investigate how health professionals, and law enforcement could have prevented the death, were they equipped with the right information at the right time. Family members of both Tara Costigan and Marcus Rappel speak out for the first time since the death. This is a repeat of a program that aired in February 2018.
Dec 15, 2018
The bird and the businessman: A billionaire developer's plan to build on a protected wetland
45:01
It’s only 30 kilometres east of Brisbane but the economic gap between Cleveland and the Queensland capital is massive. Now an influential developer wants to revitalise the coastal town by building a $1.4 billion precinct on the foreshore. There’s just one problem: the region’s wetlands are protected under an international treaty known as the Ramsar convention. So who prevails in a battle between birdlife and business? Steve Cannane investigates.
Dec 08, 2018
The Implant Files: Global investigation reveals extent of harm caused by medical devices (Part 2)
46:51
Depending on who you believe, getting medical devices approved for use in Australia is either too difficult or alarmingly easy. An investigation by Background Briefing in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has revealed the number of patient deaths and injuries linked to medical devices around the world. In part two of this series, reporter Alex Mann looks at how manufacturers use gaps in regulations to get their products to market as quickly as possible.
Dec 01, 2018
The Implant Files: Global investigation reveals extent of harm caused by medical devices (Part 1)
46:11
At their best, they save lives. At their worst, they end them. There are more than 57,000 medical devices approved for use in Australia, but how safe are they? An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in partnership with Background Briefing reveals the extent of the damage caused to patients across the world. In part one of this special series, our reporter Mario Christodoulou explains why many medical devices known to be dangerous are still on the market.
Nov 25, 2018
Burning obsession: The fight to stop bushfire arson
33:02
Why would someone intentionally start a bushfire? And if authorities knew why, could they stop them? Background Briefing gains rare access to convicted arsonists and at-risk teens to find out. Alex Mann investigates a new approach that fire authorities say could split those with an interest in fire from those with a burning obsession. This is a repeat of a program that aired in November 2017.
Nov 24, 2018
Slavery in the suburbs: Migrant women abused for dowry
43:23
It’s domestic violence with the added threat of deportation. In many South Asian cultures, the bride’s family often pays the groom. But sometimes the demands for dowry don’t stop with the wedding. Migrant women in Australia speak to Sarah Dingle for the first time about falling unwittingly into abusive relationships.
Nov 17, 2018
Breaking point: Australia under pressure to evacuate sick children from Nauru (Part 2)
22:35
The federal government says it's been "quietly" removing children from Nauru "in accordance with our policies", but lawyers in Australia tell a different story. They've been fighting the Department of Home Affairs in the Federal Court to secure the evacuation of sick kids on the island. In part two of our special investigation, Olivia Rousset is given exclusive access to the solicitors working tirelessly on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, and their families.
Nov 07, 2018
Two years of Trump: Is America great again?
41:48
He promised to ''drain the swamp'' in Washington, but has Donald Trump kept his word? The upcoming midterm elections are shaping up as a referendum on his presidency so far. Reporter James Bennett travelled to Virginia to investigate whether the businessman and reality TV star can maintain support from working class Americans, who abandoned the Democrats in 2016.
Nov 03, 2018
Breaking point: Australia under pressure to evacuate sick children from Nauru (Part 1)
37:15
Has the federal government been ignoring a mental health crisis among child refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru? Background Briefing has obtained dozens of questionnaires that provide a snapshot of how kids on the island were faring between 2015 and 2017. A prominent psychiatrist says the results would have been given to senior immigration department bureaucrats yet requests for medical evacuations were repeatedly denied. Olivia Rousset investigates.
Oct 27, 2018
Seeds of doubt: The strawberry punnet whodunit
43:13
Across the country, there have been more than 100 reports of needles found inside strawberries picked and packed for public consumption. The contamination scandal brought an industry to its knees and police are no closer to the truth. It's a mystery ripe for investigation. Hagar Cohen reports.
Oct 20, 2018
Haircuts and hate: The rise of Australia's alt-right
44:43
In this episode, Alex Mann investigates how Australia's alt-right movement is covertly influencing mainstream politics. He tracks operatives from a secretive fight club in Sydney to the moment one member was elected to the NSW executive of the Young Nationals.   He also confronts the men involved and asks what is their vision for Australia, and how far are they willing to go to achieve it?
Oct 13, 2018
More than a fight: Was the death of an Indigenous teenager an accident or murder?
44:35
On New Year's Eve, 1983, the driver of a train passing through Kempsey in NSW made a grim discovery. The body of Lewis "Buddy" Kelly was strewn across the tracks. Police said the 16-year-old's death was an accident, but his family suspects foul play. The case is one of three eerily similar mysteries. Is there a pattern here? Allan Clarke investigates.
Sep 29, 2018
Update: The talented Mr Daly
43:57
It was a $20 million investment scheme that saw the retirement savings of more than 100 investors used as a piggy bank for company directors who borrowed funds to cover cash flow problems and even a divorce settlement. This week, Mario Christodoulou updates his investigation after sighting internal documents suggesting the firm behind the scheme was lying to regulators and associating with "undesirables".
Sep 22, 2018
The clinic of last resort: Why it's so hard to get a late surgical abortion
44:49
They're legal in most states, subject to conditions, so why are women so often denied late surgical abortions? In this episode, Hagar Cohen goes inside the only private clinic in the country where pregnancies can be terminated between 20 and 24 weeks.
Sep 08, 2018
Burning down the house: The Liberal Party leadership crisis
39:35
We now have our seventh prime minister in 10 years. What the hell is going on? This week, Background Briefing brings you a three-part special on the Liberal Party's leadership crisis. We witness the downfall of Malcolm Turnbull, speak to the conservative insurgents who challenged a sitting PM, and look at the consequences for our nation. (Language warning: This program contains profanity.)
Sep 01, 2018
The talented Mr Daly: The story of a businessman, 150 investors, and a $20 million opportunity
43:01
Peter Daly projects confidence and success. He wears gold rings, gold cufflinks, and a gold watch. The market, he says, is his backyard and he knows it "damn well". But the 59-year-old is actually in a world of trouble. The corporate watchdog, ASIC, accuses his network of companies of mismanaging funds, misleading investors, and breaching the Corporations Act. Against the advice of his public relations team, Mr Daly agreed to an interview with Background Briefing. Reporter Mario Christodoulou investigates.
Aug 25, 2018
Notes on a scandal: Leaked documents expose hospital’s deadly failures
43:25
Jaimie Byrne was supposed to be checked by nurses every 15 to 30 minutes while he was sleeping at Coffs Harbour Hospital in NSW on July 5, 2014. But the 42-year-old was found dead inside the mental health unit the next morning, leaving his wife and seven children desperate for answers. A joint investigation by Background Briefing and 7.30 has uncovered a series of critical failures by the Mid North Coast Local Health District. It has also found staff on duty at the time were responsible for the care of another man who died at the facility under similar circumstances five years earlier. Sarah Dingle investigates.
Aug 18, 2018
Russia, If You're Listening: Paul Manafort On Trial
21:38
Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort is the subject of the first trial of the Mueller investigation, which is underway in Alexandria, Virginia. Despite the fact that his charges have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, there is intense scrutiny on it, and speculation about whether it will lead to Manafort turning on Donald Trump, or receiving a Presidential pardon. But what is Manafort on trial for? And what shenanigans has he been up to while he's been in custody? Find out in this episode of Russia, If You're Listening.
Aug 11, 2018
Not fare: How taxi licences collapsed in value, destroying lives and livelihoods
41:56
After a spate of recent suicides, taxi licence holders and their families are warning of the mounting human toll of deregulating their industry. Since the arrival of Uber and other ride-sharing apps, a once lucrative investment has plummeted in value. Who is to blame? Alex Mann investigates.
Aug 04, 2018
Rough justice: Can the NT keep its kids safe?
43:06
The shocking rape of a two-year-old girl in the Northern Territory this February exposed a child protection system in crisis. Some caseworkers say the threshold for removing a child from their family is too high and that authorities should intervene earlier. But a relative of the toddler is sceptical, arguing the solution is to tackle the underlying causes of violence in the community. Jane Bardon investigates.
Jul 28, 2018
They're still victims: Redress scheme may reject abuse survivors who turned to crime
44:16
There is an ethical dilemma confronting the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse. Should applicants who have themselves committed serious crimes receive financial assistance? The federal, state, and territory governments believe anyone who has spent five or more years in jail should be subjected to a special assessment process. But critics argue that childhood trauma often sets victims on a dangerous path. Samantha Donovan investigates.
Jul 21, 2018
When the dust settles: Home renovators, the next wave of asbestos-related deaths
38:21
Asbestos continues to kill more people than car accidents every year in Australia. Once seen as a wondrous building material it remains in millions of homes in neighbourhoods around the country. Reporter Mario Christodoulou investigates Australia’s asbestos legacy and talks to the next generation of unwitting victims.
Jul 14, 2018
The drugs don't work: Patients and paramedics expose Queensland Ambulance Service scandal
37:28
Thousands of patients may have been put at risk of exposure to tampered drugs by the Queensland Ambulance Service. One 74-year-old grandmother from Brisbane, Barbara Cook, believes paramedics unwittingly gave her a contaminated IV injection. She also believes that she contracted a life-threatening bacterial infection as a result. With secret recordings, leaked documents and whistle-blower testimony Hagar Cohen uncovers how the service botched an investigation into one of its biggest-ever drug tampering scandals.
Jul 07, 2018
Remembering Liz Jackson
46:38
Last week, Australian journalism lost one of its greats. Liz Jackson, who won multiple Walkley awards, is perhaps best known for her work at Four Corners, but she cut her teeth in investigative journalism here at Background Briefing. In 1992, Liz travelled to Somalia to document the violence severely hampering aid efforts and costing hundreds of lives daily. In this podcast special, you’ll hear what made Liz always so great at her job: her fearless questioning, her beautifully precise storytelling, and her overwhelming interest in - and care for - other people.
Jul 04, 2018
Carers who kill
40:03
Almost one person with a disability is killed by their carer every three months in Australia. For the first time, Background Briefing has calculated this number by reviewing years of court documents and media reports. When a person with disabilities is killed, the burden of caring is often cited as a reason for the killing and may lead to lighter sentences. Reporter Sarah Dingle investigates bias in the courtroom and asks the question: Does excusing carers who kill lead to a contagion effect?
Jun 23, 2018
Changing habits: Regional city calls for drug and crime rethink
42:03
A community in regional NSW is pushing for a different approach to how it handles drug-related crime. While politicians have promised a drug court to divert offenders into rehabilitation, very little has been done. In this Background Briefing investigation reporter Bronwyn Adcock speaks to community leaders in the city of Dubbo who are fed up with drug addicts having no other option than to be sent to jail.
Jun 16, 2018
Unravel: Blood on the Tracks
43:41
30 years after a young Aboriginal boy was found dead on the train tracks in the NSW town of Tamworth, the cause of his death remains a mystery. After a botched police investigation, his family decided to seek answers on their own – with devastating consequences. This week Background Briefing brings you a special investigation in collaboration with the Unravel True Crime podcast, prising open a thirty year old cold case. Reporter Allan Clarke has spent five years of his life covering this case, revealing a police investigation overshadowed by the politics of race.
Jun 09, 2018
Macquarie'd - The advice scandal at Australia's fifth-largest bank
42:30
Former Macquarie Bank clients are accusing the institution of pushing them into higher risk trading categories with fewer protections. Thousands of customers, including those with self-managed superannuation funds, were categorized as “sophisticated investors” , allowing the bank to trade their money without having to explain the risks or consequences in writing. In this co-production with the 730 program reporter Mario Christodoulou speaks to a couple who literally bet the farm on Macquarie. And lost.
Jun 02, 2018
Introducing ... Russia If You're Listening
18:31
The oligarchs hold the power and the money in Russia. So who are they and why does your average Russian billionaire care about who sits in The White House? This week on Background Briefing we're introducing you to the ABC's new podcast, Russia if You're Listening. It is about is the most important news story of the decade—the investigation which could bring down US President Donald Trump. Each week, host Matt Bevan will bring the story of a character involved in the investigation. This is episode 3: The Oligarchs. Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast app to find out how this story ends.
May 29, 2018
Fentanyl: A national emergency (part 2)
37:56
Paramedics across Australia are stealing lethal opioids to cope with workplace trauma. Freedom of Information documents reveal nearly 100 investigations into the misappropriation of addictive drugs by ambulance workers since 2010. In this co-production with the 730 program, reporter Hagar Cohen asks why paramedics have stolen fentanyl for personal use. A warning, this episode deals extensively with suicide. It might not be suitable for everyone and if it brings up any issues at all for you please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
May 26, 2018
Fentanyl: A national emergency (part 1)
36:05
Alarming numbers of Australians are dying from fentanyl overdoses at increasing rates and undercover recordings show just how easy it is to get it. A NSW coronial inquest into the deaths of six people has just found double the amount of people die from prescription opioids than they do from heroin. In the first of a two part investigation, reporter Hagar Cohen revisits a story first broadcast last year, she speaks to people whose lives have been torn apart by fentanyl abuse.
May 19, 2018
Best laid plans update: The Senate votes
17:08
The Australian Senate passed an amendment to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan this week. This means that remaining water recovery, more than 600 billion litres, for the environment will not go ahead. Reporter Sarah Dingle and executive producer Alice Brennan cover this and other developments since our investigation went to air. Update: A Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan has concluded with a scathing report accusing the Commonwealth government authorities of maladministration, negligence, and unlawful actions. You can read it here: https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/murray-darling-basin-royal-commission-report.pdf?v=1548898371 Media Award: Background Briefing's two-part investigation into the declining health of Australia's largest river system won the UN Day Media award for Promotion of Responsible Consumption and Production. See all the winners here: https://unaavictoria.org.au/media-awards/winners-finalists/current-winners-and-finalists/ Earlier: This story is subject to an editorial complaint. Please refer to this statement: https://about.abc.net.au/complaints/background-briefing-29-april-6-may-2018-abc-news-facebook-26-april-2018/. 
May 10, 2018
Best laid plans: The Murray-Darling Basin in crisis (Part 2)
40:06
The Federal Senate is due to vote on major changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan– if it passes, it will effectively end further water recovery for the environment in the river system. The Basin States claim we can stop water recovery now, because they have 36 engineering projects throughout the Basin which can achieve similar outcomes. But critics hotly dispute that. In part two of our investigation into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, reporter Sarah Dingle reveals the politicking going on behind the scenes for Australia's most expensive environmental program. Note: Professor John Sheehan is now a former Commission of the Land and Environment Court, not Acting. Update: A Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan has concluded with a scathing report accusing the Commonwealth government authorities of maladministration, negligence, and unlawful actions. You can read it here: https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/murray-darling-basin-royal-commission-report.pdf?v=1548898371 Media Award: Background Briefing's two-part investigation into the declining health of Australia's largest river system won the UN Day Media award for Promotion of Responsible Consumption and Production. See all the winners here: https://unaavictoria.org.au/media-awards/winners-finalists/current-winners-and-finalists/ Earlier: This story is subject to an editorial complaint. Please refer to this statement: https://about.abc.net.au/complaints/background-briefing-29-april-6-may-2018-abc-news-facebook-26-april-2018/.  Editor's note: An investigation by the ABC’s independent complaints handling body has concluded that undue weight was given to the research paper by Grafton & Williams cited in the program and included two factual errors. References to the SDL Adjustment Mechanism, which was the subject of a Senate vote, and the statement “The Federal Senate is due to vote on major changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – if it passes, it will effectively end further water recovery for the environment in the river system”, should have included reference to the potential recovery of 450 GL through additional efficiency measures. While the likelihood of the recovery of the 450GL is disputed, this was required material context. Further, it was misleading to suggest that the creation of licences given to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder as a direct result of the infrastructure subsidies are equivalent to “printing notes” and are not underpinned by real water, without pointing out that the scheme involves transferring existing water entitlements and no new entitlement is created. A summary of the finding is available here.
May 05, 2018
Best laid plans: The Murray-Darling Basin in crisis (Part 1)
39:18
Australia is halfway into the most expensive environmental program ever mounted—the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Apr 28, 2018
Part 2: Is that a steroid in my supplement?
36:42
More Australians use sports supplements than almost any other country – but do we know what’s in them? triple j reporter James Purtill and Alex Mann investigate the killer contaminants fuelling Australia’s body beautiful obsession. The team talks to supplement importers who are selling banned ‘synthetic steroids,' off the shelf.
Apr 21, 2018
Part 1: Is that a steroid in my supplement?
38:27
Organised criminals and heavy steroid users are importing raw powders to manufacture the drugs in their own backyard. Our two part program shows that while police trumpet their successes through rising arrest figures, users and dealers say it’s never been easier to get steroids in Australia. Reporter Alex Mann and triple j's James Purtill investigate this murky world of steroid supply and find a fascinating web of fake identities, encrypted messaging apps and dodgy backyard chemistry.
Apr 14, 2018
Paying for their sins
41:56
Background Briefing investigates the stretched finances of the Anglican Church. The Newcastle Diocese is struggling to find the money to pay victims of child sexual abuse so it is using money raised from selling churches to foot the bill. Reporter David Lewis travels to a small coastal community where residents are fighting to protect their place of worship.
Mar 31, 2018
A standard deviation: Sexual harassment in Australian science
41:12
Sexual harassment allegations against one of Australia’s most esteemed statisticians are forcing the country's science organisations to confront the issue, head on. The science community has been quietly grappling with the issue, but until now it’s remained out of the spotlight. Hagar Cohen reveals details of the investigation into Professor Terry Speed.
Mar 24, 2018
Death in Chinatown: Who's looking after international students?
41:12
An alleyway brawl that left a Melbourne schoolboy dead, has raised questions about who’s responsible for keeping international students safe in Australia. Year 12 student Jeremy Hu, was repeatedly kicked and stomped on, and he later died of his injuries. None of his friends called an ambulance that night, and instead of taking him to the hospital, they checked him into a hotel. Reporter Jane Lee takes a hard look at the $30 billion international education industry and follows the murder trial in the aftermath of Jeremy Hu's death. A warning you'll hear some strong language and descriptions of violence.
Mar 17, 2018
Dirty rotten phone calls: The anatomy of a scam
41:52
Binary option scams are one of the biggest financial scams in the world right now and Australians are targets. Scammers use flashy websites to trick victims into thinking they're trading on financial markets. But it's all a charade aimed at encouraging people to hand over their money. Reporter Mario Chistodoulou speaks to a former scammer and Australian victims who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mar 10, 2018
Introducing ... The Signal
19:13
ABC has a new daily podcast. It’s called The Signal, and it's here to sort the news from the noise. To get a new episode of The Signal every morning, search for it where ever you get your podcasts, and hit subscribe.
Mar 01, 2018
From verbal abuse to axe murder: The death of Canberra mum Tara Costigan
37:13
Three years ago Marcus Rappel murdered 28-year-old Tara Costigan with an axe. The murder continues to confront our definition of domestic violence because despite a pattern of verbal aggressions, Rappel had never previously physically abused Costigan, the mother of his child. Canberra journalists Elizabeth Byrne and Susan McDonald investigate how health professionals, and law enforcement could have prevented the death, were they equipped with the right information at the right time. Family members of both Tara Costigan and Marcus Rappel speak out for the first time since the death.
Feb 24, 2018
Stash pad: How criminals are laundering their dirty cash in Australian real estate
36:58
International experts are warning that Australia is one of the most attractive destinations to launder money through real estate. Criminals from all over the world are looking at mansions in the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney to park their cash. Reporter Connie Agius investigates the gaps in our money laundering laws and why they haven't been closed.
Feb 17, 2018
Copping it: The cost of complaining when you're in the police
42:40
Each year, NSW Police officers lodge around 200 harassment complaints against their own colleagues. About a quarter of those are for sex-based harassment. But for many victims, speaking out can be just as bad as the abuse itself. Alex Mann investigates the efforts by NSW Police to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace and the experience of officers who try to report it to their superiors.
Feb 10, 2018
The quiet epidemic: patients speak up about the forgotten cancers
36:41
They're responsible for half of all cancer-related deaths in Australia, but receive only a small amount of research funding. As a result, rare and less common cancers have incredibly low survival rates. Reporter David Lewis follows one woman's desperate search for a treatment that could extend her life.
Feb 03, 2018
Ear Hustle: Left Behind
00:29
How do inmates with profoundly long sentences cope with their realities, and maintain a sense of hope and well-being as the years pass?
Jan 20, 2018
Introducing Ear Hustle
15:11
How do you make a podcast inside prison? Ear Hustle's Nigel Poor talks risky stories, Australian listeners and toilet humour.
Jan 03, 2018
How did Westpac's e-waste end up on the worst dump in the world?
35:24
Summer series: A computer monitor from St George Bank, destined for recycling in Australia, is found on a toxic e-waste dump in west Africa, being pulled apart by children as young as five.
Dec 23, 2017
The Base: Pine Gap's role in US Warfighting
43:12
Summer series: Top-secret documents exclusively obtained by Background Briefing reveal the extent to which Australia is assisting the United States military in conflicts worldwide. Peter Cronau reports.
Dec 16, 2017
No place for paedophiles
31:11
Summer series: Prisons and aged care providers are sounding the alarm over the growing number of elderly convicted sex offenders and other serious criminals, and the lack of appropriate aged care facilities to take care of them their twilight years. Alex Mann reports.
Dec 09, 2017
Fire ant threat: Mismanagement of Australia’s eradication effort
39:23
Whistleblowers accuse the agency in charge of the largest pest eradication effort in Australia’s history of mismanagement.
Dec 02, 2017
Prescription killer: Australia's imminent fentanyl epidemic
37:11
New exclusive figures show alarming numbers of Australians are dying from fentanyl overdoses at increasing rate.
Nov 25, 2017
Burning obsession: The fight to stop bushfire arson
34:00
Why do bushfire arsonists commit their crimes? Alex Mann investigates.
Nov 18, 2017
Katherine Hospital: Back from the brink
41:19
Repeat: How Katherine Hospital turned its fortunes around and the lessons to be learned.
Nov 11, 2017
The toughest schools: Walgett's education experiment
41:08
Can a failing school be turned around with money and community engagement? Brendan King investigates.
Oct 28, 2017
Betting on bitcoin: The risky world of cryptocurrency
33:36
The technology behind cryptocurrency could revolutionise our financial system—but is this unregulated innovation worth the risk?
Oct 21, 2017
Fiji silenced part 2: Controlling the message
41:58
First-hand accounts and leaked documents reveal the extent of the Fijian government’s control over the media and public service, and why freedom of the press is at an all-time low. Hagar Cohen reports.
Oct 14, 2017
Fiji silenced part 1: China's secret mission exposed
40:31
Why did Chinese police enter Fiji and deport 77 of their own citizens? Hagar Cohen investigates.
Oct 07, 2017
Mafia on the move: How the 'ndrangheta came to Australia
40:18
A mafia member who turned informant warns that the ‘ndrangheta, or Calabrian mafia, have an organised presence in Australia. Connie Agius reports.
Sep 30, 2017
Drug justice: The Duterte solution
41:31
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has seen hundreds of thousands imprisoned and many killed. Ginny Stein reports.
Sep 23, 2017
No place for paedophiles
31:11
Prisons and aged care providers are sounding the alarm over the growing number of elderly convicted sex offenders and other serious criminals, and the lack of appropriate aged care facilities to take care of them their twilight years. Alex Mann reports.
Sep 16, 2017
A whisky business
41:54
It was a whisky investment scheme marketed by a famous cricketer and a fast yacht, but it turned into an almighty hangover, with hundreds left wondering where their barrels went. David Lewis investigates.
Sep 09, 2017
South Sudan: a failure to act
00:15
When local and international aid workers came under attack in South Sudan's capital, why did UN peacekeepers just over a kilometre away fail to respond?
Sep 02, 2017
Critical failure: the preventable deaths that keep happening in hospitals
40:13
How a series of blunders and the death of an 18-year-old girl have fed a wave of anger over the treatment of suicidal patients in hospitals. Tim Roxburgh investigates.
Aug 26, 2017
The Base: Pine Gap's role in US Warfighting
43:13
Top-secret documents exclusively obtained by Background Briefing reveal the extent to which Australia is assisting the United States military in conflicts worldwide. Peter Cronau reports.
Aug 19, 2017
Shot to pieces: How the Adler fight threatens our national gun laws
40:00
Could the political fight over the Adler unravel Australia’s national gun laws? Paddy Manning reports.
Aug 12, 2017
Rape shaming: Why some women are naming their alleged attackers online
41:34
Women who say the police have failed to properly investigate their rape cases are taking matters into their own hands, and they have police worried. Hagar Cohen reports.
Aug 05, 2017
Nowhere to go: Disability housing sell-off sparks fears for vulnerable
35:06
A radical move to privatise government group homes for people with disability is underway in NSW ahead of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. David Lewis investigates.
Jul 29, 2017
Europe's drug wars
00:34
Twenty years after the assassination of Irish crime reporter Veronica Guerin, gangland killings continue in Dublin. The gangs have links across Europe, where authorities are struggling to keep up with an ever-changing drug trade.
Jul 08, 2017
Drill and fill: dentists up in arms over the risks of corporate dentistry
38:50
As health insurance companies and corporate chains buy up surgeries, some dentists say benchmarks and bonuses are influencing the type of treatment you get when you’re in the chair. Paddy Manning reports.
Jul 01, 2017