Built on Lies
Who could ever forget those images after the Christchurch earthquake, of the local television station reduced to rubble? One hundred and fifteen lives were lost in that building. Now one of the key people responsible for its construction has been revealed as a monumental impostor. Brisbane man Gerald Shirtcliff conned his way into the building trade. For 42 years, this fraud masqueraded as an English engineer called Will Fisher. He stole Mr Fisher’s name, his birthday and his professional qualifications. It was a monstrous deception, a real life “Catch me if you Can” – as audacious as it was evil.
Imagine not being able to communicate with your own child, never knowing what they’re thinking or how they feel. That’s what life’s like every day for the parents of severely autistic children. And it’s just as distressing for the kids who have no way of expressing themselves and often lash out in frustration. But finally, there’s a way. Just as computer apps have revolutionised our lives, they’re also changing how autistic children interact with their world. Now they’re truly connecting with their mums and dads for the first time. And if you think that’s remarkable, consider this: world first technology has made it possible for doctors to see how autism affects the brain, providing hope that we’ll one day find a cure to this most mysterious of conditions.
As a 60 Minutes reporter, Charles Wooley has been lucky enough to have travelled to every continent on earth – bar one. Antarctica, that vast icy wilderness at the bottom of the world. Well, finally he made it. Charles spent an unforgettable week there and the images will stay with him forever. The incredible scale, the wildlife, the night-less skies, the frightening emptiness and, amazingly, the colours of ice. Australia is the biggest stakeholder in this beautiful land and we’ve pushed harder than anyone to protect it from exploitation. But, as Charles discovered, change is on its way.