60 Minutes



The show has finally started at 9:43pm


So The Voice ran over by 43 minutes from the advertised time? Obviously purposely done to damage the Olivia miniseries on Seven. No wonder people are fed up with FTA television in Australia. How can they run so late past the intended time?




Dangerously long and boring?


Sunday 27 May at 9:30pm [ish]


Rick and Julene Thorburn portrayed themselves as the perfect foster parents, a happily married couple with two talented sons, living on an idyllic property near Brisbane. But behind closed doors, the Thorburns were as evil as could be, as 12-year-old schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer tragically found out. In 2015, ten months after she was unwittingly placed in the Thorburns’ care, one of the sons sexually abused her. But it’s what happened when the abuse was discovered that is truly horrific. To protect his son from punishment, Rick Thorburn murdered Tiahleigh. Then the entire family callously concocted a story to hide their crimes from police. This wicked subterfuge went on for almost a year until police finally had a breakthrough. On 60 MINUTES, Tara Brown reveals what went on in the Thorburn house of horrors, and how the case was finally solved. Her report includes:
• An exclusive in-depth interview with the police officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Inspector Damien Hansen.
• Exclusive access to the videotapes of the Thorburn family’s police interviews, and transcripts of police surveillance of the family.
• The first major interview with Tiahleigh’s heartbroken mother, Cindy Palmer.
Reporter: Tara Brown
Producers: Grace Tobin, Sean Power

As the director of some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters ever made, movies like The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron is used to yelling “action”. But he also lives for it. Cameron spends the millions he’s made from films exploring the deepest depths of the oceans. It’s a highly dangerous pastime, but he gets to visit places no one has ever been to before. On assignment for 60 MINUTES, the Nine Network’s US correspondent, Robert Penfold, speaks exclusively to the legendary filmmaker about his greatest adventures and his death-defying journeys 11 kilometres down to the bottom of the ocean.
Reporter: Robert Penfold
Producer: Gareth Harvey


The report can finally be shown after Rick Thorburn pleaded guilty to killing Tianleigh this morning at the Supreme Court in Brisbane and was sentenced to life imprisonment.


Sunday 3 June at 9:30pm

To the outside world they are highly respected, prestigious institutions committed to supporting young Australians as they embark on their journey through tertiary education. But behind the closed doors of many university residential colleges lurks a very different story. In March, Allison Langdon exposed disgusting initiation rituals, out-of-control drunken behaviour and most disturbingly, sexual assaults at colleges around the country. Following the broadcast of our story, “D for Disgrace” 60 MINUTES was contacted by many more college residents, sick of the toxic culture which they say is fostered by a hierarchy of people who should know better. Now many students want change and they’re determined to fight for it. Their stories sent to 60 MINUTES, along with supporting video and photographic evidence, will shock Australia. As one former college resident warns parents, “Do not send your children to college, because you have no control over what happens, and the atmosphere of secrecy stops you having any knowledge of what your child is going through.” Another tells Allison Langdon that when she raised an allegation of sexual assault with the management of her residential college she was told it was “all part of growing up”.
Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producers: Alice Dalley, Gareth Harvey

To get the most out of their lives together, Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan go to extraordinary lengths. Or heights, to be more precise. Then, dressed in wingsuits, the couple jump out of planes and fly. They’ve soared over some amazing locations around the world and set multiple adventure records doing it. But there’s one place no one has ever flown in a wingsuit: Antarctica. So when Glenn and Heather told Liz Hayes of their dream to fly over the frozen continent, she thought it was mission impossible.
Reporter: Liz Hayes
Producer: Nick Greenaway


Sunday 10 June at 9:30pm

Lena Kasparian didn’t want her partner Marc Zartarian to die. She loved him. But one night at home they got into a fiery argument and he started physically attacking her. In desperation Lena reached for a knife on the kitchen bench. She wanted to scare Mark off and protect herself and her two young children. Defiantly though, he lunged at her and in the scuffle that followed the knife pierced his chest… by a miniscule 14 millimetres. The cut was tiny but Mark was desperately unlucky – it nicked his heart and six days later he died of his injuries. On 60 MINUTES, Tara Brown investigates a family tragedy. For the first time the real events of that awful evening and its chaotic aftermath are explained: the frantic triple-0 emergency calls, and Lena’s despair which is painfully laid bare in her police interviews recorded in the immediate hours following the incident. After years of unfairly being labelled a “Black Widow”, Lena Kasparian now wants Australia to know how the law tried to turn a victim into a perpetrator, and what she had to do to beat a murder charge.

Reporter: Tara Brown
Producer: Laura Sparkes


Sunday 17 June "after The Voice"

It’s no secret that Australia’s relationship with China is as complicated as it is fragile. On the one hand, China is the key to our economic prosperity, so if we want to be rich we need to embrace the Chinese. On the other hand, there’s no question we have a fear of China’s expanding influence, and we don’t want them getting too close. Which is why what is happening in the South Pacific is causing growing concern. Somewhat arrogantly, Australia has always considered it our “patch of paradise” to protect and nurture. But now the Chinese are moving in and splashing their cash in places like Fiji and Vanuatu. So what’s next? Tom Steinfort investigates claims the Chinese may ultimately be planning to build military bases right on our doorstep.
Reporter: Tom Steinfort
Producers: Gareth Harvey

For millions of tourists visiting Australia the boomerang and the didgeridoo are iconic and highly sought after symbols of our indigenous culture. But unbelievably, most didgeridoos and boomerangs are now made in Indonesia, in Bali specifically, not here in Australia. It’s not because there’s a thriving expatriate Aboriginal community living up there, it’s all about money. Indonesian workers can churn out cheap copies of our artefacts by the shipload. And that’s very attractive for the businesses involved, which are happy to exploit or disrespect 40,000 years of culture in the pursuit of cashing in on gullible tourists.
Reporter: Liam Bartlett
Producer: Grace Tobin

It is one of the most bizarre crimes 60 MINUTES has ever encountered: the abduction last July of 20-year-old glamour model Chloe Ayling. She says she was snatched off a street in Milan and kept hostage in a remote Italian farmhouse while her kidnappers arranged to auction her off as a sex slave to the highest bidder. Chloe’s escape from this terrifying ordeal was so extraordinary that many accused her of making the whole story up – an elaborate publicity stunt for fame and fortune. Earlier this week a judge in an Italian court had his say, and as Liam Bartlett reports, the intrigue continues.
Reporter: Liam Bartlett
Producer: Stefanie Sgroi


Charles Wooley wrote on 60 Minutes website that the Chinese Embassy in Canberra tried and failed to block the story from going to air last week.
More: https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/how-china-tried-to-shut-down-australian-media-coverage-of-its-debt-trap-diplomacy-in-the-pacific/ar-AAyZkkC
Goes to show China will do anything to block any bad stories against it from being aired or published.



Next week’s episode features an interview with Dhakota Williams, daughter of gangster Carl Williams, speaking for the first time about his murder in Barwon Prison eight years ago.


Sunday 8 July at 8:40pm

Imagine having a professional hitman as a babysitter. Or being showered in tens of thousands of dollars in cash at your christening. For Dhakota Williams, the unbelievable was her normal. This Sunday on 60 MINUTES she reveals the highs and lows of an extraordinary childhood unlike any other Australian teenage girl.

Of course, her notoriety was not of her own making. It came from being the only child of Carl Williams, who for much of the late 1990s and early 2000s was Australia’s most infamous gangster. As Dhakota tells Liam Bartlett though, she knew him as a gentle, doting father, not the baby-faced thug who trafficked drugs and murdered anyone who got in his way.

Dhakota was born in the middle of Australia’s bloodiest gangland war, which was later dramatised in the acclaimed Underbelly series. Growing up, she benefited from the glitzy excesses of her mobster father’s ill-gotten gains, but at the age of nine she also confronted the brutal reality that crime never pays when her father was bashed to death in prison. Now 17, this young woman is trying to step away from the sins of her father. But to do that, she first must discover the truth about why he was killed.


Sunday 15 July at 8:40pm

The love Liz and Sean Whelan feel for their 12-year-old son Max is overwhelming. They’d do anything to protect him. But it turns out it’s them – and their three other children – who need to be protected from Max. Max suffers from a severe form of autism which makes him unpredictably violent. Six or seven times a day he goes into meltdown. It means he can be angelic one second and out of control the next. The stress has become so unbearable that in a desperate effort to save their family Liz and Sean have been forced to take unthinkable and heartbreaking action.
Reporter: Liz Hayes
Producer: Garry McNab

Not even the creators of a James Bond film could come up with a plot as intriguing and frightening as this. Thirty-two-year-old Princess Latifa is the daughter of Dubai’s all-powerful ruler, Sheikh Mohammed. She was born into a life of extreme wealth, but there was one thing her money couldn’t buy: freedom. Four and a half months ago, with the help of a former French spy, she made a daring escape. Yet for all the meticulous planning she failed spectacularly, and on the high seas somewhere between Dubai and India the runaway princess’s yacht was intercepted. Latifa was kidnapped by heavily armed soldiers and hasn’t been seen since.
Reporter: Tom Steinfort
Producers: Nick Greenaway, Eliza Berkery


Surprised that neither Sunday Night or 60 Minutes could put together something on the Thailand cave rescue for Sunday yet Four Corners will screen a special report on Monday.


Peak autism organisation Amaze has expressed concern that last night’s segment on 12-year-old autism sufferer Max Whelan was reporting autism in a negative light, using demeaning language and taking away Max’s dignity.


Sunday 22 July at 8:40pm


As capricious and powerful as they knew the ocean could be, the seven courageous crewmen of the fishing dive boat Dianne didn’t fear it. Rather, Ruben McDornan, Ben Leahy, Adam Bidner, Zac Feeney, Adam Hoffman, Chris Sammut and Eli Tonks thrived during their adventures at sea. Instinctively, this band of best mates also understood that whenever they left port to earn their living diving for sea cucumbers, looking after each other was always the priority.

But on October 16 last year the unthinkable happened – the sea off the coast of central Queensland revealed its fury, the Dianne capsized and six of her crew were lost. Only one man survived.

In a special edition of 60 MINUTES, Ruben McDornan speaks publicly for the first time about the tragedy. He recounts the Dianne’s final journey and tells Allison Langdon about his miraculous escape from an underwater tomb, as well as the frantic efforts of the rest of the crew to free themselves. In his gripping account, he also describes the eight frightening hours he spent alone at night in the middle of shark-infested waters; what stopped him from giving up; and his freakish, against-the-odds rescue.

Langdon says: “Ruben’s story is bravery beyond belief.” But for Ruben himself, it’s all about paying tribute to his crewmates, his much-loved “brothers” who didn’t make it home.

Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producers: Bryce Corbett, Nick Greenaway


Sunday 29 July at 8:40pm

Henri van Breda had a privileged life, growing up in Perth, the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, and then Melbourne. A few years ago he and his well-to-do family moved back to their homeland in South Africa. Everything appeared well until one night in January 2015 when Henri’s mother, father and brother were murdered by an axe-wielding assailant. Last month, after an extraordinary trial, 23-year-old van Breda was found guilty of the horrific crime and will spend the rest of his life locked up. On 60 MINUTES, Liz Hayes is given world exclusive access to the police investigation, and reveals the substantial evidence which proved van Breda was a killer. But just as remarkably, she also meets two people who still believe Henri van Breda is innocent. His girlfriend, Danielle Janse van Rensburg, and his aunt, Leenta Nell, say there is much more to this disturbing case than has already been reported, and that Henri is not a murderer, but a victim.
Reporter: Liz Hayes
Producers: Eliza Berkery, Grace Tobin

“Thank you” – two simple words Tatiana Johnson wants to tell Zane Urasli’s parents. She owes Brooke and Ibrahim Urasli so much, because when their little boy, Zane, was tragically killed last year they decided to donate his organs. As a result, Tatiana’s son, Mason, received new lungs and a new life. Four other lives were also saved. But there’s a dilemma: in Australia, it’s against the law for medical authorities to help organ recipients and donor families meet, even if both wish it to happen.
Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producer: Michelle Tapper


Sunday 5 August at 8:30pm

You don’t need to be Einstein to know there is something wrong in our classrooms. But we might need an Einstein to fix the problem. That’s because when it comes to quality education, the United Nations says Australia has free-fallen to 39th in a list of 41 advanced countries. The embarrassing fact is that if you want your kids to be smarter, they’d be better off studying in Lithuania, Slovakia or Kazakhstan. Much of the blame is directed at the controversial NAPLAN tests for primary and high school students. The results of this year’s exams will be released later this month, but one outcome is certain about NAPLAN: it’s causing more and more pupils – and teachers – to be stressed out and anxious. On 60 MINUTES, Tom Steinfort investigates why and asks if now is the time to spit the dummy and demand a change.
Reporter: Tom Steinfort
Producer: Alice Dalley

Perris used to be an unremarkable middle-class suburb in southern California, full of streets of identically anonymous homes. But in January this year its inconspicuousness was blown when police received an extraordinary 911 call from a 17-year-old girl. She claimed she and her 12 brothers and sisters, who ranged in age from 29 to 3, had for years been held against their will in the family home. She said they had been chained up, tortured and starved. Worst of all, she accused her parents of being responsible for the abuse. Following the emergency call, police and welfare authorities raided the home and rescued the children. They also arrested the parents, David and Louise Turpin. As Liam Bartlett reports, the mistreatment the 13 Turpin children endured is now considered to be one of the worst cases of child neglect and abuse in American history. But even more shockingly, he discovers the shameful family secret that started this nightmare.
Reporter: Liam Bartlett
Producer: Stefanie Sgroi