Mafia on the move: How the ndrangheta came to Australia

Domenico Belle

Connie Agius A MAFIA MEMBER who turned informant warns that the ndrangheta, or Calabrian mafia, have an organised presence in Australia. But experts say we don’t have the laws to deal with this powerful crime syndicate.


Connie Agius: The ndrangheta in Italy have not been front-page news for the past few years. But an informant giving evidence in a courtroom in the north of Italy earlier this year has made some stunning revelations.

Domenico Agresta: [translation] The rule of ndrangheta, among affiliates is that we must stay true. It’s unthinkable for affiliates to talk. Those that do are marginalised. There’s a criteria. We are a serious family inside the ndrangheta.

Connie Agius: And the prosecutor at the centre of this murder case, Dr Stefano Castellani, says this man’s testimony has put Australia in the spotlight.

Stefano Castellani: I can just tell you that Domenico Agresta has confirmed that also in Australia there are members of the ndrangheta, members of his family that immigrated to Australia and have established at least two different locales in Australia.

Connie Agius: Criminologist Dr Anna Sergi says the Australian ndrangheta have been and still are involved in Australia’s drug trade, including ice.

Anna Sergi: Australia is not just an island country, but is very far from the normal routes, the common routes of drugs, which makes the risk of trafficking much higher. So only certain types of criminal groups can take those risks on as a business model. The ndrangheta clans are strong enough and powerful enough and wealthy enough to absorb the risk in the trafficking, which is why whenever you see big shipments of drugs, the ndrangheta might easily be involved because they do have the money to move things around across continents.

Connie Agius: And Background Briefing can reveal there are concerns that Australia’s laws are not equipped to deal with their complex networks. In a courtroom in northern Italy, a man is about to give evidence. No one can see him. They can only hear his voice coming from the speakers. The man, Domenico Agresta, is under witness protection. He’s a member of the ndrangheta, one of five judicially declared mafia groups in Italy, and he’s decided to turn his back on them. He’s been in prison for eight years for the murder of a young man. But today, Agresta is giving evidence about the killing of prosecutor, Bruno Caccia, and exposing the secret world of mafia culture. The judge asks Domenico Agresta whether he promises to tell the truth. His reply:

Domenico Agresta: [translation] I promise to tell the truth to the best of my knowledge.

Connie Agius: The prosecutor starts asking him questions, and one of them is whether he’s part of the ndrangheta. He confirms he was part of this transnational criminal network. Domenico Agresta is not only exposing crimes committed by members of the ndrangheta in Italy. He also, as part of his testimony, has provided a written declaration against members of his family, who are over 14,000 kilometres away, here in Australia. Agresta’s family, like others in the ndrangheta, has ranks, like the police or army. He’s risen to the highest levels, he starts listing the ranks. He was on track to become the local boss of his family group. And some of his extended family have come to Australia to set up criminal cells. I had been in Italy for three months when I first came across the story of Domenico Agresta. I’d spent most of my time in Calabria learning about the effect the ndrangheta have on people’s lives. But the story of Domenico Agresta takes me to the northern city of Turin. It’s as far as you can get from the clichéd Godfather idea of the mafia we have in Australia.

Italians hate this, the romanticised idea of the mafia that you’ve seen on your TV screen. Movies like The Godfather made the Sicilian mafia famous, almost popular. The reality is this group has ruined many lives, and their war against the state has left 10 judges dead.

Journalist [archival]: Judge Paolo Borsellino, one of the key judges looking into mafia activities, died with five others in a powerful explosion in Sicily.

Journalist [archival]: It was an almost identical attack to the bombing of leading anti-mafia crusader Giovanni Falcone in May. The convoy of cars carrying Judge Borsellino and his bodyguards was bombed just as it passed by the apartment block where the judge’s mother lives.

Connie Agius: The assassination of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992 emboldened ordinary Sicilians to speak out against the mafia. Borsellino’s wife was crying as she spoke to a crowd of protesters.

Speaker at rally: [translation] What future will Sicily have if it continues to be a theatre of violence, blood and deaths?

Connie Agius: The Italian state was forced into a public confrontation with the Sicilian mafia. A lot of people think they’re the only mafia in Italy. They’re not. While the government was distracted by its fight against the Sicilian mafia, the ndrangheta families seized the opportunity to grow into one of the most powerful criminal organisations in the world. Turin is a city surrounded by the rolling green hills of Piedmont, a region in north-west Italy famous for its good wine and great food. And it’s here Domenico Agresta did something that members of the ndrangheta rarely do; speak to the authorities. Not far from the city’s main railway square is the headquarters of Turin’s anti-mafia division. I’ve come to meet a key prosecutor in mafia investigations, Dr Stefano Castellani.

Stefano Castellani: Domenico Agresta, who is the person who has decided to cooperate in recent months with our prosecutor office. The grandfather of Domenico Agresta came here to Turin for working reasons and then he had two sons, Saverio and Antonio. Saverio is the father of Domenico, the pentito, the people who cooperate with us. And they become the main ndrangheta family in Piedmont. They established and they organised a group here which is called a locale.

Connie Agius: Agresta comes from a prominent ndrangheta family. He caught the attention of authorities in 2008, when he was only 20 years old.

Stefano Castellani: We investigated a crime, a murder, a very cruel murder, of a young boy committed in a small village near Turin.

Connie Agius: Prosecutor Castellani’s blue eyes widen as he continues to tell me the details of the 23-year-old’s death.

Stefano Castellani: The boy was shot in his head, and then the body and the car where the victim was burned to erase evidence and all the traces that people left during the act of committing the crime. So we started an investigation from this crime, from this murdering. We identified the people who committed the murder, one of them was Domenico Agresta. And the reason of the crime was that that boy didn’t pay an amount of money for drug reasons, and Domenico Agresta, with another two people, decided to kill him.

Connie Agius: He owed €3,000 for drugs. But it wasn’t about the amount he owed.

Stefano Castellani: He had to confirm and to establish his role, his presence and his power before the environment in which he operated as a criminal, and also before the family, to demonstrate to them that he was a reliable person, member of the ndrangheta, he was powerful. That’s why he decided to kill that boy.

Connie Agius: Not paying the debt was a sign of disrespect, and the young man’s murder was a warning to others not to do the same.

Stefano Castellani: We arrested Domenico Agresta, he was sentenced to life in jail in the first degree. In front of the court of appeal in the second degree, the punishment has been reduced to 30 years.

Connie Agius: Prison would scare most of us, but for people who are part of the ndrangheta, it’s different. Agresta told the court he was raised to believe that prison was an important step in becoming a man of honour.

Domenico Agresta: [Translation] Prison is a place of training from an ndranghetsti’s point of view, to progress in the sense of skills, knowledge and experience down a criminal path.

Connie Agius: Prosecutor Castellani explains that when Agresta first got to prison, he brought with him the rules that he’d been taught by the ndrangheta from birth.

Stefano Castellani: They taught him bad values within the family, within the relatives, within the family environment. They taught him bad values that he thought were the right values because that was his environment in which he passed his childhood.

Connie Agius: And those values say that if you’re caught, you don’t testify, you don’t blame others, you simply don’t talk. It’s a vow of silence, or omerta. There is even music that enforces these rules; honour, omerta, respect. All through the court case, Agresta never betrayed the ndrangheta’s values. But in October last year something changed for Agresta.

Stefano Castellani: After eight years of jail he decided to cooperate. He asked for a meeting with the prosecutor’s office and then we organised the meeting for the first interrogation, and he started to cooperate.

Connie Agius: Agresta knew that if any other ndrangheta member or associate found out he was talking to prosecutors, he could be killed. Even more dangerous for him, his uncle came to the prison. But somehow he still managed to get a message out that he wanted to talk. The authorities secretly moved him from the prison to speak to Prosecutor Castellani. It may be the first time a member of the ndrangheta in Italy has revealed details of the group’s expansion into Australia.

Stefano Castellani: I can’t tell you the details of the declarations of Domenico Agresta because of the secret of the investigation. But I can just tell you that Domenico Agresta has confirmed that also in Australia there are members of the ndrangheta, members of his family that immigrated to Australia and have established at least two different locales in Australia.

Connie Agius: The ndrangheta is organised into locales, groups of 3 or 4 criminal families that live in the same area. They support each other, like a network. And when a member goes to jail, the locale might provide money to support the family of the person in prison. Domenico Agresta says his family has established a network in two Australian states. And Background Briefing has been told he’s given evidence that another ndrangheta family is active in a third Australian state. Prosecutor Castellani says that the Agresta family are involved in serious criminal activity.

Stefano Castellani: They are involved in drug trafficking because they can count on the links with other ndrangheta members, both in Italy and in Central and South America, and they are also involved in other crimes, for example illegal detention of weapons, selling of weapons and so on. Part of the Agresta family, cousins, uncles and so on, are part of these two locales of ndrangheta in Australia.

Connie Agius: It’s important to say that not every family in the country with the surname Agresta is part of the ndrangheta. But according to Domenico Agresta, some of them are. There are people in Italy and around the world desperately trying to understand the ndrangheta and lift the lid on their secrets. 32-year-old Dr Anna Sergi is one of them. She’s a lecturer in criminology at the University of Essex, and an expert on the ndrangheta’s global networks, especially in Australia. Dr Sergi was born in Calabria, where the ndrangheta originates. Her knowledge about the mafia group isn’t just academic, it’s personal.

Anna Sergi: My earliest memory might have been when I was 6, 7 year old, so early ’90s. I was in the car with my father who used to work for one of the national newspapers, he was a journalist at the time, and we were just driving through to go home from my grandparents’ house, we had to stop because the newspaper called him. There had been a mass shooting in one of the towns, and we got there. I was locked in the car for a couple of hours while Dad was doing his job, and at some point he just came in, grabbed my new Barbie, who was a present from my grandparents for Christmas, and just told me that I needed to give my Barbie to a little girl who just lost her dad. And I didn’t want to give my Barbie to them obviously, I was 6 years old, I didn’t understand what was happening, but I was told ‘don’t be mean, her father just died, the ndrangheta killed him’.

Connie Agius: What did your family tell you about the ndrangheta?

Anna Sergi: My father was working for one of the national newspapers, as I told you, so he was covering all the kidnappings at the time, so we were constantly updated on what was happening. We did have some issues as my father decided to become the mayor of his village, which was a mafia village.

Connie Agius: Why did he have problems?

Anna Sergi: Some of the problems that my father had were obviously related to his being a journalist at the time. We had issues with people being unhappy with what he wrote. And then when he became the mayor of the village, he was trying to promote a culture of legality and trying to do little things like building an amphitheatre or using funds to create a library or things like that, but these funds were obviously of interest for the local clans and they used to hijack the funds, so we had threats and intimidation.

Connie Agius: Dr Sergi stumbled upon the ndrangheta’s Australian connection while doing academic research.

Anna Sergi: With Australia, it was a series of fortunate events. I managed to visit the Institute of Migration and the study of Calabrian history at the University of Calabria, where they hold a number of records, migrant records. And I was looking out of boredom at some of the records of migrants from the ’30s and ’40s to Australia and I did see something very peculiar. Some of the migrations and the chain migration recorded there was from very specific villages in the Aspromonte region which is unfortunately heavily associated with mafia activities, and some of their surnames resounded more than others as being mafia surnames, and that is my interest in Australia, it started from a migrant history interest.

Connie Agius: One of those villages was Plati, the same town Domenico Agresta’s family originally came from

Anna Sergi: Plati is a village in the Aspromonte where most people migrated, and most people who migrated, migrated to Australia, in an area between NSW, Griffith and Riverina Valley and Fairfield Sydney, and I do realise it’s quite a vast area.

Connie Agius: In the ’70s a scandal broke when a mafia figure from Plati told people he was going to Fairfield in NSW with ransom money secured from violent kidnappings.

Anna Sergi: This money was money they were trying to clean and launder from the proceedings basically of the kidnappings. This person was basically saying that he was going to Fairfield where he had his family, and the newspaper just started to dig a little bit deeper into this, and what they found was that there was some heavy presence of mafia families in the area of Fairfield and these families were all connected to families in Plati. So that was the scandal at the time, and that’s why in Plati as well, Fairfield was known in the ’70s and ’80s as the new Plati.

Connie Agius: This music comes from a festival in Calabria, it’s a religious event with some mafia families in attendance. Outside the church you can hear shouting. A mafia leader’s daughter is dancing. Everyone knows this. The shouts are public recognition of her family’s status. One thing that’s made the ndrangheta so successful is the ability of members to indoctrinate their own children into the family’s mafia business. The ndrangheta use their children, and there’s no better example than through the life of our whistle-blower, Domenico Agresta. The youngest in the family, he told the court he was groomed from birth to become a criminal.

Domenico Agresta: [Translation] My father said that I had to be affiliated, so my father made the decision, he made this choice for me. I spoke to a relative and he explained to me that there is a structure called a locale, and he told me about my role. I entered and took part in this criminal cell.

Connie Agius: Prosecutor Castellani says this locale, this criminal cell, was so strong it took over the Piedmont region in north-west Italy from the Sicilian mafia in the ’90s. At this time Domenico Agresta was just a child. But like many children born into the ndrangheta, he was being indoctrinated into criminal life.

Stefano Castellani: It is up to the mother and the female person of the family give education to the child, son of ndrangheta members. At the age of 13 or 14, when they become teenagers more or less, they receive also an education, a criminal education, by the male member of the family, like for example brothers or cousins, and they start committing crimes or they start taking part in specific crimes, for example drug trafficking, with small duties.

Connie Agius: Domenico Agresta was just 20 when he shot a young man in the head over a minor drug deal disagreement. After he went to jail, it took him eight years before he was ready to inform on his family. The prosecutor Stefano Castellani says that period was a long process of unlearning what he had been taught from birth.

Stefano Castellani: During the detention he decided to attend high school and he started studying. He met very valuable teachers, and thanks to this period he realised the choice that he had done so far before starting cooperation was wrong.

Connie Agius: Agresta came to realise that his previous way of thinking was wrong. He told Castellani he’d been taught from a young age that the government and the police were the enemy. To understand this mentality, I spoke to Dr Tiziana Catalano, a psychologist who has worked with children born into mafia families, especially the ndrangheta.

Tiziana Catalano: [Translation] Mafia behaviour isn’t something that’s taught to sons and daughters in an explicit way. These families are completely different from a standard family, who would normally try to stop their children from getting involved in dangerous situations. The ndrangheta families will put their children into dangerous situations. As soon as they’re born, these kids learn that the police and the government are either bad or something they can corrupt to reach a criminal goal. You’re either fighting against the state or you’re corrupting it. By the time kids reach 14 years, they don’t see governance, law and order as good. They’re convinced the state is bad. And the more important an ndrangheta family is, the more closed they are. The children will only go out with children from other ndrangheta families, so it’s not an open society, it’s a closed environment.

Connie Agius: As a witness in the trial of prosecutor Bruno Caccia’s assassination, Domenico Agresta described how going back to school in prison allowed him to break free from this way of thinking.

Domenico Agresta: [Translation] I was able to do it, thanks to some valuable tools that I was able to learn in school. It opened my mind and a new world. I learned lots of new things, the teachers were able to sift through a lot that lay within me and were able to take out qualities within me that I didn’t know existed. It pulled me out of the ndrangheta’s values. I discovered literature, art, culture. I have a conscience now. I started trusting people, even those who work in justice, professors that love their job, that are willing to help people like me, a psychologist who believed in me, who saw that I wanted to leave all that negativity, the jail of the ndrangheta and their rules.

Connie Agius: Agresta explains to the court that his uncle tried to stop him from going to school in prison.

Domenico Agresta: [Translation] It was hard with my uncle, Uncle Mimmo, who really tried to interfere in every possible way. My uncle saw that I was maturing, I was forming a new mind, and I was going against the wishes of my father and the underworld. When he saw that I really believed in this new road and that I was pouring my heart and I had a soul, my uncle started to get in the way. He wanted me to stop studying and he started blackmailing me, until I asked for help. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it with my uncle in prison with me. He wasn’t letting me be free with this new journey I had embarked on. I wasn’t fortunate to be born into a good family. I couldn’t choose my family. You have to understand, not even one of them isn’t part of the ndrangheta. I was born into an important family in the ndrangheta. No one could take me away from the environment. This process of collaboration is not what my family wants. This is my choice.

Connie Agius: Prosecutor Castellani says Agresta’s choice to inform on the ndrangheta has come at a very high cost.

Stefano Castellani: ‘I will lose all my family, also my mother. For my mother it is better my death than my cooperation.’

Connie Agius: It’s this intense loyalty to the ndrangheta’s rules that makes mafia different from ordinary organised crime, and why their networks are so difficult for law enforcement to penetrate. Australian court cases have proven their involvement in cocaine trafficking and the production of cannabis and methamphetamine.

Journalist [archival]: Federal police have arrested 16 people across Australia in connection with what they say is the world’s largest seizure of the drug ecstasy…

Connie Agius: The most famous case was the world’s biggest ecstasy bust in 2008. Over 15 million tablets came through the port of Melbourne.

Journalist [archival]: Police made the arrests in four states this morning as part of a year-long investigation into an international drug syndicate.

Journalist [archival]: The police investigation follows the seizure of 4.4 tonnes of ecstasy in Melbourne last year and a further 150 kilograms of cocaine in the last two weeks.

Connie Agius: The Australian Federal Police were able to link the ndrangheta with the drug importation, something that can often be hard to prove.

Federal police commissioner Mick Kelty described it as:

Mick Kelty: …a major disruption to transnational organised crime, both in this country and abroad.

Connie Agius: Criminologist Dr Anna Sergi, who has travelled across Australia for her research, says the drug trade is where the ndrangheta flourish.

Anna Sergi: The Australian market is much more profitable. We know this is very much the case for cocaine where the price of cocaine on the streets of many Australian cities is four or five times more than many European cities. The market for ice and MDMA is much higher than a lot of other countries in the world. Australia has its own MDMA and ice (especially ice actually) crisis, and that is a very profitable source of profits.

Connie Agius: Another way in which the ndrangheta flourish is by exploiting legal loopholes created by the crossover of state and federal police jurisdictions. Dr Anna Sergi says this needs reform as a matter of urgency.

Anna Sergi: State police obviously has an organised crime capacity but they are bound to remain at state level because they cannot go beyond their jurisdiction. Then you have the Federal police who’s in my view is the only one that has the capacity, the human capacity and the legal capacity somehow to investigate across borders, but their set of interventions is limited because they have to have a cross-border case cause otherwise they are not going to get involved, or they are going to be involved when the crime reaches a certain level of seriousness, so when there is a certain amount of drugs that is arriving. And then you have a number of crime commissions which are supposed to keep their investigation private because they are intelligence led, but sometimes they might be investigating people that also other forces are investigating and that is a waste of energy and efforts and money.

Connie Agius: Dr Sergi suggests one tool that could close this loophole is something similar to America’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. It would introduce a special unit that incorporates representatives from all levels of police and intelligence. The multi-agency approach would centralise national investigations into organised crime and mafia groups. Dr Anna Sergi says the ndrangheta isn’t an outlawed organisation because, unlike motorcycle gangs, they’re hard to identify and they don’t fit easily into the legal definition. Something like the RICO Act would also allow a group of people to be prosecuted as an enterprise, even if they aren’t part of an outlawed group.

Anna Sergi: Criminal law in Australia works through anti-association legislation for organised crime, which basically means that you have to prescribe an association illegal before you can prosecute anyone for membership into that association and that doesn’t work for the ndrangheta. It might work for some of the outlaw motorcycle gang groups that Australia has been struggling with in the past 10 years because they do have clear membership and they do have a very identifiable sub-cultural set of values, but it doesn’t work with ndrangheta.

Connie Agius: The ndrangheta are not just involved in drugs and violence. They hide behind legitimate business. Dr Sergi says they have the money and connections to distance themselves from the crimes that are committed.

Anna Sergi: Most of the ndrangheta figures and ndrangheta clans do not like to be involved themselves into the crime. They are generally hands-off. That’s why they benefit from working with others in certain areas such as Queensland or Sydney or Melbourne even or Adelaide. There is definitely an involvement, a penetration into society which is now reaching levels that in Italy we would call governance level, levels in which the political influence and the business influence are consolidated because most of the people close to the clans are either involved in politics or involved in high-level financial activities.

Connie Agius: Not only do they infiltrate the highest echelons of society, they use their family connections in Australia to escape prosecution in Italy.

Anna Sergi: One of the people involved in the big ecstasy bust of 2008, he had arrived in Australia in 1985 trying to escape prosecution in Calabria. He was going to be arrested for attempted murder and possible involvement in a kidnapping, so he escaped because he had family in Melbourne.

Connie Agius: He’s not alone. Convicted mafia members, Bruno Crisafi lived in Perth, and Antonio Vottari slipped into Adelaide.

Anna Sergi: He had a family in Adelaide, he arrived in Adelaide, studied eventually as well and then the moment he decided to come back, he was arrested in Italy. Similarly last year in Perth, another member of another clan in the San Luca area of Calabria who had family in Perth decided to travel to Perth and stay in Perth for a number of months, work there, trying to escape prosecution.

Connie Agius: The mafia has a long history in Australia. One person who has studied the ndrangheta is Clive Small. He’s the former Assistant Commissioner of the New South Wales Police who’s spent decades investigating the ndrangheta, which he refers to as the Calabrian mafia. Reports about ‘the mafia’ or a ‘black hand’ started in 1922. Clive Small says two separate inquiries confirmed their presence in the ’60s.

Clive Small: In 1965, when there were two major inquiries into the Calabrian mafia, one for the Victorian Government and one for the Federal Government, both inquiries found that bribery and corruption of law enforcement, the judiciary and politicians was a significant factor. What happened to those reports? They were put in the drawer for decades.

Connie Agius: It’s a sunny winter morning and the annual Festa delle Salsicce e Salami, or sausage festival, is in full swing at Griffith Pioneer Park in far western NSW. They finally sell, for around $4,000 each. Around 60% of the population in Griffith claim Italian heritage, and the majority are honest people who migrated from Calabria. They brought with them their farming and winemaking skills. In the 1970s, the town was tarnished with the mafia label when anti-drugs campaigner and former Liberal Party candidate, Donald Mackay, disappeared on a cold winter’s night.

Journalist [archival]: Mr Mackay’s wife Barbara is convinced that her husband is dead and that his death is connected with his campaign against local marijuana growers.

Man [archival]: There’s no doubt in my mind he was attacked and the only people that had anything to hide from Don Mackay were people concerned with drug activities.

Connie Agius: He’d spoken out against the so-called grass castles, cannabis crops growing in the region, and he told detectives about the people behind them. His body has never been found. It was a hard reality for his now deceased wife Barbara Mackay, speaking here in 1987.

Barbara Mackay [archival]: I don’t know the truth about what happened to Don, and I find that terribly difficult to handle, even now. It would be a great relief to know what happened to Don.

Connie Agius: Mackay’s murder was one of the reasons the Woodward Royal Commission into drug trafficking was set up in the late ’70s. Clive Small was one of the commission’s investigators.

Clive Small: What we found was that the Calabrian mafia had entered the drug trade at the instigation of Bob Trimbole. Donald Mackay had been murdered because of his objection to the trade, and the Woodward Royal Commission certainly exposed that corruption, the strength of the Calabrian mafia, and for about a decade it was looked at. By the late ’80s, there were mafia meetings that were recorded where they discussed the level of police and political infiltration and corruption, the judiciary and how to expand the growth of their organisation and their involvement in the drug trade and the other matters they were involved in, which were very significant. Again, very little was done after that.

Connie Agius: Robert, or Bob, Trimbole was found by the commission to be in control of a group of people distributing marijuana, and channelling the profits back to families in Griffith. He’s also believed to be one of the people behind the contract killing of Donald Mackay. Clive Small was shocked by many things the commission uncovered.

Clive Small: One of the things that really did surprise me that came out the longer the Woodward Royal Commission went on were the family connections between different families that had been involved in the drug trade and were said to have be involved in the Calabrian Mafia or were said to have been connected to various other crimes

Connie AgiusBackground Briefing has seen an official document mapping out ndrangheta families across Australia. It shows authorities suspected at least 52 families linked to the ndrangheta living in Australia in the ’80s. This information was updated in a report in 2003, which shows law enforcement learned more about how the group operates and their criminal networks. The Australian Federal Police and Federal Ministry of Justice declined our requests for an interview. In my time reporting on the ndrangheta, I’ve heard stories about women swallowing acid after testifying against their mafia families, or a woman having her throat cut because she fell in love with the wrong man. I can now add Domenico Agresta’s story to that list. He murdered a young man over a drug debt, for which he’ll serve at least another 22 years in prison. And his family want to murder him for betraying them.

Stefano Castellani: He risks his life. Surely he has been sentenced to death by other ndrangheta members, even if we don’t have evidence of this, but this is what happens in these cases, in these situations. Now he is alone, but he has the culture and the school as a reason for staying alive and maintaining his purposes. This is a very effective and very important part of his life, the school and the culture.

Connie AgiusBackground Briefing‘s coordinating producer and sound engineer is Leila Shunnar, fact check by Emma Lancaster, Jess O’Callaghan is our series producer, and Suzanne Smith is our executive producer.

This program is dedicated to the late Mark Colvin who passed away in May this year. You can subscribe to Background Briefing wherever you listen to podcasts, or hear us on the ABC Listen app.


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