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Four Corners -

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Read the full length transcript of Debbie Whitmont's report on the most revealing account so far of
Cornelia Rau's time in custody.

Date: 04/04/2005

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Just over a year ago, a woman hitchhiking alone walked north along a remote road.
Cornelia Rau was headed for Cape York, the furthest tip of north Queensland.

CHRIS RAU: Initially, we accepted, okay, you know, she has always battled the system, she wants her
freedom. We thought, "Well, okay, why should we continually hound her?" No-one wants to interfere
in somebody's life who's a grown woman who's had a successful career, who's clever, who has
everything going for them. But we were very concerned that she would put herself at risk.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: It was a bad time of year. The rivers were up. Some roads were impassable. Rau
hitched a ride to the Hann River Roadhouse.

MAN 1: You see a lot of odd people up here. Yeah, she seemed pretty blank to me. Like, her eyes at
one stage seemed to stare right through you.

WOMAN: She stared.

MAN 1: As if she had trouble understanding.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Five years earlier, Cornelia Rau had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but she
hated medication and hospitals and would go anywhere to escape them until, inevitably, she'd get

CHRIS RAU: You know, she would ring us and she'd arrange to meet out of the blue. And that was sort
of our reassurance that we knew that she'd be in touch, and that - we knew that if things ever got
bad she would cry for help in some way.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But this time, Cornelia Rau's cries for help would either be misunderstood or
neglected. Increasingly ill, untreated and calling herself "Anna", she would spend 10 months locked
up as an immigration detainee.

CHRIS RAU: We haven't got any axes to grind. We haven't been involved in any sort of political
activism or lobby groups. We're new to this. And we have been - our eyes have been opened to the
sort of information that anyone with a conscience would just find distressing, and where anyone -

DEBBIE WHITMONT: During the wet season, the Exchange Hotel, 500 kilometres north of Cairns, is all
but deserted. When a woman walked in alone, with only a backpack, Barry Port tried to help her.

BARRY PORT: And she walks in the pub here and she sits alongside of me and she asks for - she'd
like to have a drink and she's got no money. So I bought her a can of drink, and then she said
afterwards she was hungry so I bought her a pie.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: When she began asking men at the bar for somewhere to sleep, the publican and his
wife got worried. They gave her a free room for the night and asked the local policeman to come
down and talk to her. She said she was Anna Brotmeyer from Germany.

CHRIS RAU: Even at her worst, she would always seem to be able to attract these terrific people who
were always looking after her. She still has this real knack of finding nice people, and I think
something attracts them to her and her to them.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The next morning, the local police came looking for Anna Brotmeyer. They found her
about 20 kilometres up the road. The Department of Immigration, DIMIA, had had no record of an Anna
Brotmeyer arriving in Australia, and they'd asked the local police to detain her.

By the time she saw the Honorary German Consul in Cairns two days later, "Anna Brotmeyer" was "Anna
Schmidt". She spoke simple German and didn't know her parents' names or her own birthday. She said
she'd walked or gone by train to Russia and China and then arrived by boat from Indonesia with a
people smuggler. It was enough for the Consul to call DIMIA and tell them, "Someone should look at
her." On 5 April, "Anna Brotmeyer" or "Schmidt" was taken to the Brisbane Women's Prison. She was
put into a secure unit with convicted criminals.

Cornelia Rau, though born in Germany, was a permanent Australian resident. She grew up in Sydney.
She loved the sea. She'd been to art school, worked in hospitality and then as a Qantas flight
attendant. It wasn't until her early 30s that she began showing signs of serious mental illness.

CHRIS RAU: You see, that was always our problem, because this was not the Cornelia we knew. The
Cornelia we knew was this open, gregarious, artistic, vibrant person who was very empathetic and
considerate of other people. This person had vanished, to a degree, by 2004.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Cornelia Rau began frequently to put herself in physical danger. She was often
rescued by family, friends or the police. She was admitted to hospitals in Sydney, Brisbane and
Europe. Medication and hospital helped her, but never for long enough.

CHRIS RAU: It had become almost like a revolving door for us, where Cornelia was in and out of
hospital and discharged under Community Treatment Orders and never adequately followed up.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In March last year, Rau was in Manly Hospital. She disappeared the day before a
Community Treatment Order for fortnightly injections.

CHRIS RAU: It didn't surprise us because we know that she hates hospital, she dislikes medication
and she doesn't think that she's ill and therefore why should she take medication. And she knew
that she would have been under an order that was a compulsory medication order the next day, so she
had, you know, quite carefully planned her escape for the day before.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Cornelia Rau, or, to those who met her, just "Anna", had been without medication
for more than two months when Debbie Kilroy saw her at Brisbane women's prison. Kilroy and her
organisation, Sisters Inside, had been visiting the prison for more than a decade.

DEBBIE KILROY (SISTERS INSIDE): I'm not a mental health professional. However, I know when someone
isn't well and you could tell that she wasn't well. She would come right up to your face and have,
like, a "no" effect and say over and over again, "I shouldn't be here. I don't belong in here. I
haven't done anything wrong. Please get me out of here."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: This woman, who can't be identified, was in prison with Anna.

'ANITA': She was obviously distressed. And she didn't know why she was there. She knew she didn't
belong there. She had done nothing wrong, was something she'd always say: "I've done nothing

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Although Anna was in jail, she was an Immigration detainee and not a convicted
criminal. So it was the Department of Immigration, DIMIA, that had overall responsibility for
looking after her. A private Ministerial enquiry into her case is already underway. For that
reason, the Minister declined to comment yet on the Department's actions.

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE (IMMIGRATION MINISTER): Well, that's one of the reasons we've got an
enquiry so that a proper assessment can be made at a distance with all the facts at hand as to what
was appropriate, if there was anything that wasn't appropriate and, more to the point, if there's
any change in procedures we can make that would improve the likelihood of us picking up this
extraordinary event earlier.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: One question will be whether the department breached its own existing procedures.
So far, DIMIA can only confirm making three visits to Anna during the more than six months she was
in prison. She asked Debbie Kilroy's group to contact DIMIA for her. They did, phoning at least
five times.

And what did she want you to deal with them about?

DEBBIE KILROY: She wanted to know when she would be getting out - like, she hadn't done anything
wrong. And the conversations with those bureaucrats were to the effect that they'd checked with the
German national identification card system, which is quite comprehensive, and her name had not come
up, so we will just have to wait till she tells us who she really is.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: This statement, read by an actor, is from another former prisoner who can't appear
on camera. She told us that, when other immigration detainees were taken to see DIMIA, Anna would
be left behind.

'KYLIE': And we'd say, "Why isn't Anna going?" because they'd all be lined up and they'd all be
taken over with the guards and Anna never went. She'd go to Immigration to ring them and she'd
forget who she was and that was so frustrating that no-one could help her.

CHRIS RAU: Well, I think it's appalling because, if someone's identity is in question and they are
being locked up under your care, being put in isolation, then DIMIA has a duty of care and their
duty of care is obviously to establish her identity. Now, I think one visit per two months is to me
- personally, to me that is neglect.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The Department of Immigration's own regulations say immigration detainees held in
jail should be visited once a month.

That would seem, on the face of it, to be a breach of the duty of care.

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: Well, what I'd say in relation to the prison is that when they're in the
prison - when you say they'd been visited three times, I wouldn't want you to create the impression
that they were alone all that other time. As you are well aware, they are in the prison under the
care of the Brisbane prison officers.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But I'm talking about your regulations.

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: Yes, I understand that, I understand that. And I have answered that
question and I don't intend to add to that.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: As the months passed and they heard nothing, the Rau family grew increasingly

CHRIS RAU: My mum used to lie awake at night imagining really sinister stuff because one of the
things we did contemplate was that she was held against her will, but not under these sort of

DEBBIE WHITMONT: By June, now three months without medication, Anna's behaviour began to
deteriorate. She was seen as a troublemaker. She paced constantly around her cell or the exercise

'KYLIE': She'd get violent, she'd slam doors or push the TV over and we were, like, trying to get
her out of trouble. The pacing, you know, would drive me mental because she wouldn't just do it for
five minutes, she'd do it all day - just pace - and you can't tell me that it's not a mental

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Did you think she might have been mentally ill?

'ANITA': I did think of that, yes, I did.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Did you raise that with people and how far did you manage to push it?

'ANITA': As far as I went, I spoke to the officers who were on at the time, someone that I'd known
and could have told hoping that they would do something about it, which obviously they didn't.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But Debbie Kilroy says some prison officers told her they were worried.

DEBBIE KILROY: They told me, yes, they were concerned about her health and that, you know, "She
shouldn't be here. She hasn't committed a crime. We've tried to raise this but we've been told to
mind our own business. She's an illegal immigrant and DIMIA will deal with her."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: On several occasions, Anna was put into the so-called "suicide cell".

'ANITA': I've seen her in there for up to three days, it could have been possibly longer. It's just
a unit; in my eyes it's degrading.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Do you know why she'd been put in there? Was she suicidal?

'ANITA': No, I think it was mainly because of her behaviour.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: It was a kind of punishment?

'ANITA': Yeah, it is a basis of punishment.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In July, a Queensland Government investigation into alleged abuse taped interviews
with 25 prisoners. One of them was Anna. She complained, in a well-spoken Australian accent, about
more solitary confinement, this time in the detention unit, or DU.

"ANNA": Well I got put into the DU for just wanting to get the newspaper. Like, basically I went
out of my unit wanting to get a newspaper from the other unit and the officer just said "NO" for no
reason. And I just said, "Why?" and he said "No" and then he just -

INVESTIGATOR: And did he breach you?

"ANNA": He breached me for just getting a newspaper and that's not right. I had to stay five days
in that terrible setting where you only have one room and there's nobody else. There's only a bible
and that's all in the room.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: She asked if she could be moved to another part of the jail.

"ANNA": I was just wondering if I might be able to move to "res" - residential - because it may
take a while to get my things organised and I would just like to move out of that area.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The investigator was "bewildered by the severity of Anna's treatment." A week
later, he raised it with the prison general manager but was told DIMIA would be moving Anna in a
couple of weeks to a detention centre. Despite that, she stayed in the prison for another two
months, more than six months in all, with five weeks spent in isolation. The prison guards couldn't
control her.

'KYLIE': She was manhandled every day to get back in her cell. She'd be forced back in. They'd push
her in and slam the door. She had no concept of where she was and she couldn't understand why they
were being so mean to her. She cried all day.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: One problem was her name. When officers called her "Anna Brotmeyer" she'd say
"Anna Schmidt". One day she told 'Anita' something entirely different.

'ANITA': We were sitting on the steel chair in front of the TV and Anna looked at me and she said
to me, "I have a secret. I'm going to tell you a secret, will you keep it?" And I just said, "Of
course I will," you know. And she told me her real name.


'ANITA': Cornelia Rau. So I kept that secret. I didn't tell anybody 'cause she was scared that if
they found out her real name they were going to send her back to Germany and that was her fear.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But soon 'Anita' wasn't the only one in the jail to hear the name "Cornelia Rau".

'KYLIE': In the line-up they used to call her "Brotmeyer" and she would say, "Schmidt". One day
she'd ID'ed in the muster line, "I'm Cornelia Rau." And the officer said, "Oh, yeah, and so who are
you going to be tomorrow, then?" I said to her later, "What's your real name, you silly duffer?
Tell me all the names, and we'll try and sort it out." But she couldn't.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: By August, the prisoners were so concerned about Anna's strange behaviour that
they put in a group request to have her see a doctor. By now, she'd been five months without
medication. The prison psychiatrist wrote:

PRISON PSYCHIATRIST: "10th August 2004 ... Female with German background of unclear name, age and
reason for being in Australia!! ... Behaviour very unusual ... poor hygiene, inappropriate toward male
officers, laughs to herself, stands for hours staring at the wall or pacing up and down ... Behaviour
has become increasingly bizarre and current presentation is consistent with psychotic disorder but
given inconclusive and odd presentation need to exclude an organic cause ... Recommendation for
assessment ... Will approach Department of Immigration and Princess Alexandra Hospital."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The same day the prison psychiatrist saw Anna in Brisbane, the Rau family in
Sydney was writing to the police to report a missing person. It occurred to Chris Rau that her
sister might be in a jail.

CHRIS RAU: I thought of a jail but I thought that, if she had ended up in jail, then there would
have been a connection between the prison system and the police missing persons and that this would
automatically come to light that she was in a jail. Of course, this was hampered by her false
identity that she was giving.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Was it your understanding that that missing persons report would go interstate,
would go all around the country?

CHRIS RAU: I thought it was an automatic national register.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: It wasn't, and although the NSW Police launched a campaign other States weren't
notified. In Brisbane, Anna was admitted to Princess Alexandra Hospital. Though she stayed six
days, it seems she revealed little. It's noted on her discharge: "This lady although displaying
some odd behaviour does not fulfil any diagnostic criteria for a mental illness."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: It seems, in the circumstances, a surprising assessment.

CHRIS RAU: It could have been possible that she could have presented a good front perhaps for the
hours in which she was seen by doctors. I can't imagine that during that six days she wouldn't have
shown some signs of illness if she were being properly monitored by the nursing staff.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Both the Queensland Health Department and the hospital told us they couldn't
comment on the Rau case. On October 6, Anna Brotmeyer was given a valium - her first medication in
more than six months - and flown to Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia. Four hours drive
from Adelaide, Baxter is Australia's newest and first high-tech, high security detention centre.
It's controlled overall by the Department of Immigration. But most of its day-to-day operations are
contracted out to a private company, GSL, or Global Solutions Limited. At present, Baxter holds
more than 280 detainees. About one-third have spent more than three years in detention. Every
Thursday, Sister Claudette Cusack and other ministers conduct a church service.

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: I first met Cornelia Rau at the church service and I was struck by her odd
behaviour. When I say 'odd', I mean that she would avoid all eye contact and any attempt at
conversation and at first I thought, "This is because she doesn't have the language." But then
during the service, at the sign of peace, I was near her and when we turned to say, "Peace be with
you," she said, "Peace be with you" with quite an Australian accent. And I thought, "Well, that's
very strange."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Cornelia Rau, now Anna-Sue Brotmeyer or Schmidt, had arrived at Baxter the day
before in tears. From the start, she was difficult. The Baxter psychologist thought she was

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "7th October 2004. It is my impression at this stage that her behaviour
exhibits a severe form of a personality disorder ... She has not demonstrated psychotic experience ...
Her behaviour appears to be very reactive and prevalent when in the company of others ... Her
behaviour appears to be an attempt to push boundaries in order to draw others toward her on a
constant basis."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Detainee Amir Javan met Anna on the same day.

AMIR JAVAN (FORMER BAXTER DETAINEE): All her behaviour was completely abnormal.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Why, what did she do?

AMIR JAVAN: Just when you approached her to just have chatting, she refused and she went to the
yard and just - she was looking at her feet more than 15 minutes.

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: I saw her two or three times at the church service week after week. But
then the detainees kept saying to me, "She's crazy," you know.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Why did they think that?

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: Because they had been with her in the compounds and had witnessed her

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Four Corners can reveal that both DIMIA and GSL were made aware of Anna, and in
particular the risks she faced from her inappropriate actions around men, almost as soon as she
arrived in the centre. In early October, the Baxter psychologist wrote a confidential report to
centre management.

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "For DIMIA, GSL management only ... Detainee Anna has proved to be very
difficult to manage ... She has been: walking into the rooms of other detainees uninvited, disobeyed
direct instructions, broken rules, increasingly inappropriate behaviour. For example, last night
she stood nude in her bedroom for a few minutes in the presence of males."

CHRIS RAU: We hear also that because of the disinhibition of her illness, she did remove her
clothes sometimes. That is not in her nature, that is the illness.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The Baxter psychologist, though not a trained doctor, didn't believe Anna could be

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "There are no treatments that are likely to be effective in this situation.
Environmental management will be the only option."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: He was worried, though, about detaining her among men.

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "The ideal solution would be for her to be managed in a female compound at a
centre such as Villawood."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But Anna wasn't transferred to Villawood. Instead, she was kept for nearly three
months in the two compounds the Baxter psychologist had specifically warned DIMIA and GSL in his
confidential memo were unsuitable to hold her in. The first was the management unit.

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "Detainee option ... "ANNA" Move to management unit. This is only useful in the
short term and is likely to increase dependency and escalation of problem behaviours."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Father Arno Vermeeren is one of the very few outsiders to have seen the management
unit. He was taken there by DIMIA before Baxter opened.

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: It looked like, well, solitary confinement cells with no privacy. The toilet
was visible through the window and so was the bed. I said to them, "This is really inappropriate."
They said, "But the officers won't look through the windows."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: What did the DIMIA people tell you about punishment and the use of these cells?

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: They said that they'd - I asked them that specific question and they said,
"We haven't got the ability to punish. It's specifically forbidden by the Act for us to punish
people for something they've done."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: GSL too told Four Corners it does not punish detainees, but at least one former
detainee would disagree. Now deported to the UK, Eric Upton found himself in Baxter for overstaying
his visa. After 10 days there, he lost his temper and was taken to the management unit.

ERIC UPTON (FORMER BAXTER DETAINEE): The guards basically ushered me off down this corridor and
locked me in a room with nothing in it. There was nothing - no tables, no mattresses, there was
nothing. They locked me in there for, like, about four or five hours. Then it was getting towards
night time and I'm banging, kicking on the door.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Detainees are supposed to be let out, though still in isolation, for four hours a
day. But inadequate staffing can mean they're locked up longer.

ERIC UPTON: You're just locked in a hole, basically. It's like something in the movies - in the
jails, you get locked in the hole. That's exactly what it looked like.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: For some time, Father Vermeeren has been particularly concerned that detainees,
especially those who might be mentally ill, have spent long periods in the management unit or, as
it's known, management.

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: Well, I know of two instances - two people, one of whom I would estimate
would've spent five months out of the six-month period in management. And one other detainee I
would estimate in a six-month period would've spent three months there, possibly more.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: What sort of effect did it have on these people that you saw?

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: My impression was it caused them to be much more withdrawn. Whatever their
problems were seemed to be exacerbated.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In November - by now eight months without medication for her schizophrenia - Anna,
too, was put into isolation in the management unit, or management.

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: Well, I just know that every time she had to be put back into her room
that it took three or four officers in their riot gear to come and put her back.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: That's what you were told?


DEBBIE WHITMONT: From somebody who saw her?

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: From detainees who were there, yes.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In management?

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: In management, yes.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Dr Andrew Frukacz is the Baxter psychiatrist. He visits the centre every six to
eight weeks. He saw Anna in early November. He can't talk about her specific case, but Four Corners
has obtained a copy of his report. He wrote: "Diagnosis unclear but possibilities include: 1.
Schizophrenia, 2. Personality disorder. Her posturings, bizarre behaviours, withdrawal and
guardedness lead me to consider schizophrenia."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: DIMIA has confirmed Anna spent two periods in solitary confinement in the
management unit. The second was after Dr Frukacz reported it likely she suffered from

What effects could isolation have on someone who is schizophrenic - isolation in a little cell?

DR ANDREW FRUKACZ (BAXTER PSYCHIATRIST): Isolation - if someone is suffering from schizophrenia and
they're placed in a contained area, then it can be quite frightening.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: On the first night he was in the management unit, at about 11pm, Eric Upton heard
banging from the next room. Anna had already been there for a week.

ERIC UPTON: And I heard this banging and banging and kicking and, "I want my food!" This is what
drew me to this other room next to me, and I was like, "Who's that next door?" "Oh, it's this lady,
she's a bit cuckoo, you know."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: The next morning, when Upton walked past her room, he saw Anna.

ERIC UPTON: I was a bit ashamed, myself, but when I looked through her window, there she was in the
shower. I could clearly see straight into her shower. She had no shower curtain. My room had a
shower curtain, but her room didn't.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Later, though he couldn't see what they were watching, Upton saw two guards
staring through Anna's window. The next day, Upton and Anna were both moved to Red 1, the other
compound the Baxter psychologist had specifically warned DIMIA and GSL was unsuitable for Anna.

BAXTER PSYCHOLOGIST: "Confidential ... Detainee "Anna" ... Options ... Move to Red 1 compound. The Red 1
compound is designed for long term behaviour management in individuals who consistently break the
rules. If males are present in Red 1 compound this position would be untenable."

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: It is for people who have some sort of behavioural difficulty, that's

DEBBIE WHITMONT: So wasn't she put at risk, someone exhibiting that behaviour?

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: Well, I think that's up to other people to make an assessment on whether
that's more at risk. My own assessment would not agree with that. I think that's where she would
frankly be safer, but different people may have a different view.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Red 1 is Baxter's newest compound. It was purpose-built to avoid riots and
disturbances by separating difficult detainees and locking them in their rooms 18 hours a day.

What do people understand is the purpose of that whole regime?

AMIR JAVAN: About Red 1? Punishment.

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: My own personal impression - this is just my own feeling - is that they had
a facility and they were going to use it in order to, in my impression, punish people and to deter
others from doing the same thing.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: In Red 1, Eric Upton tried to befriend Anna. She was the only woman in the

ERIC UPTON: I could clearly see there was something wrong with her. I would say one can short of a
six-pack, but she was actually probably four cans short of a six-pack, which means there was
definitely clearly something wrong. And even the guards knew there was something wrong.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: One day, Upton saw Anna get into trouble with an officer for hoarding food.

ERIC UPTON: He goes, "We're gonna have to make a report about this." And she just spat at one of
them. And he goes, "Right, that's it. That's it. That's assault." And so they just dropped
everything, and they went, "Right, Anna," and they just marched off. Next minute, they locked us
all up. Next minute, there was about 10 officers - about three females and about seven males. And I
remember the one bastard, I call him, his name was (BEEP). He had these plastic straps - you put
both hands in and they pull them and strap them together. He had a set, this other big fat guard
had a set and they're all marching down and they're all laughing. I couldn't see but you could hear
Anna going off - "Oh, you wanna take it, you take it!" and all this stuff. And then about five
minutes later they're all walking back and they're all laughing and that. They'd obviously calmed
her down and locked her up.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Late last year, a group of Christian ministers wrote to Baxter management about
both Anna and the worsening mental health problems of long-term detainees. They were brushed off
with a brief reply.

SISTER CLAUDETTE CUSACK: It more or less inferred that we'd got our information from the detainees
and it was third-hand. But I don't think they realised that we had actually - we were one of the
few outsiders who actually met Cornelia, or Anna.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Father Vermeeren and another minister also raised concerns about Red 1 and Anna
with the Government's advisers on detention centres, a group known as IDAG, just before the
Government advisers visited Baxter in mid-December.

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: I raised the harassment and what I call bastardisation in there, yeah.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: And what did you think they'd do?

FATHER VERMEEREN: Well, I - when they sort of seemed concerned, I thought if they went out to
Baxter, they would visit Red 1. But subsequently I discovered that they didn't visit Red 1 and
neither - they didn't talk to Cornelia and didn't visit Red 1 at all.

MAN 2: There's no doubt that there are many people in detention who are driven mad in the same way
that Cornelia Rau has presented herself in lay terms as being mad.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: For some time, psychiatrists outside Baxter have complained publicly that the
centre's treatment of mentally ill detainees is inadequate. The outsiders have been dismissed as
biased. But now, for the first time, a former Baxter psychiatrist is backing them.

DR HOWARD GORTON (FORMER BAXTER PSYCHIATRIST): The people I saw and treated at Baxter were the most
damaged people I've seen in my whole psychiatric career. Up until that time, I'd never met an
adult-onset bedwetter. I'd never met someone with psychological blindness. And there were also a
few physically crippled people who believed they were unable to walk, and this was probably
psychological too.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Dr Gorton was disciplined over an unrelated matter that occurred prior to his
employment at Baxter. But, over the years, a number of psychiatrists and lawyers have tried to get
detainees out of Baxter to hospitals like Glenside in Adelaide for psychiatric assessment. But
DIMIA has often resisted.

line in my experience. They tell us that they've got it under control, their own doctors don't see
the need for psychiatric assessment. It's not unusual to find them accepting the opinion of a GP
over that of a psychiatrist in relation to whether somebody requires a particular kind of
psychiatric intervention.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Barrister Claire O'Connor has acted for a number of detainees and now acts for
Cornelia Rau.

CLAIRE O'CONNOR (BARRISTER): I think the problem becomes that there's a mindset within the
detention environment that people are acting out or, in fact, faking psychiatric problems or
conditions for some ulterior purpose. If you have that mindset in the unit that is then operating
the mental health service, then I think there's a danger of not diagnosing people properly. And I
think that's what happened to Rau.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Although the Baxter psychiatrist, Dr Frukacz, recommended Anna for psychiatric
assessment in a hospital in November, she would remain in Baxter untreated until February. The
question is why, after a diagnosis of probable schizophrenia, it still took three months to get
Anna to hospital. At first, Baxter moved quickly, calling the State Mental Health Service in
Adelaide to ask for an assessment. The Mental Health Service wanted written reports on Anna, but
none came. Learne Durrington is the executive director of Mental Health Services in SA.

second conversation. What happened at that point, there was discussion about putting her on a
waiting list for transfer to Glenside for an assessment. However, through that conversation, the
psychologist reported that largely it was a behaviour issue being presented and that they were
managing the behaviour and that it wasn't urgent.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: As a result, the clinical team at Glenside took Anna off their list for
assessment. The written reports on Anna did arrive two days later but, in light of the earlier
phone call, the case remained non-urgent. For six weeks, nothing happened.

LEARNE DURRINGTON: Ultimately, if we go back to the guiding principle, which is that Baxter has the
duty of care for the individual - and that's very clear - that ultimately, it is their obligation
to call us, and that's how it has worked to date, if they were seeking either a change or whatever.
So ultimately, it's their obligation.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Meanwhile, the Baxter psychiatrist, Dr Frukacz, went on holiday. Anna was put into
the management unit and then left in Red 1. Emily Ackland has been visiting detainees for more than
two years. She phones up Baxter almost daily.

EMILY ACKLAND: I was talking to someone else who was in Red 1 at the time on the phone, and I could
hear her in the background. She was crying in the background.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Emily had several disturbing conversations with Anna and with other detainees
about her. By now, Anna had spent more than nine months untreated.

EMILY ACKLAND: Well, when I first heard about Cornelia, it went from she'd sometimes walk around
semi-clothed occasionally, to by January, it was that she was going to the toilet on the floor in
people's rooms and she was always screaming. It just became more and more, I guess, yeah, traumatic
for her.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: By January, the Baxter psychologist was getting worried. He wrote to the State
Mental Health Service and called them twice about getting Anna assessed in a hospital.

How urgent was the case presented as being?

LEARNE DURRINGTON: Again, not the level of urgency or criticality that would've suggested that she
required an immediate transfer.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: At this point, the State Mental Health Service had not seen Anna and had no right
of access to Baxter to assess her there. Her fear of medication meant she wouldn't go to hospital
voluntarily. The only way to forcibly hospitalise her was for a doctor to schedule her under the
Mental Health Act, but the Baxter GP was reluctant to do it.

LEARNE DURRINGTON: It was the GP's decision that he did not want to detain her for that assessment
at that point in time.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Is that a medical decision?

LEARNE DURRINGTON: That's a medical decision.

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: The advice I have is that the GP, I believe it was, wasn't happy to sign
the papers straight away and wanted to give it further consideration.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Later, in January, the question of scheduling Anna was raised again, but the
Baxter GP remained reluctant. By now, activists like Pam Curr and State Mental Health officials had
alerted DIMIA in Canberra.

PAM CURR (ASYLUM SEEKER RESOURCE CENTRE): I contacted every human rights agency. I contacted the
five people listed on the DIMIA website as having scrutiny of detention centres. I talked to senior
psychiatrists and senior lawyers.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: But, in the end, it wasn't until after Baxter was told Anna could be missing
person Cornelia Rau that the Baxter GP finally scheduled her. His decision came soon after New
South Wales Police sent Baxter a photo of Rau. Her mother, having read a small newspaper report
about a German woman in Baxter, had raised the alert that the woman could be her daughter. At about
10pm on 3 February, Cornelia Rau was taken from her shower in Baxter's Red 1 Compound. She was
brought to Port Augusta Hospital naked, with only a sheet to cover her. The next day, she was
admitted to Glenside Hospital. She's still there.

Cornelia Rau's experiences in prison and in Baxter have shocked and distressed the Rau family.
Chris Rau believes the current private inquiry is inadequate. She wants an open investigation with
protection for vulnerable witnesses.

CHRIS RAU: The sort of accounts that we are getting are, personally, to me so chilling and so
embarrassing and so reflective of cruel behaviour that I feel humiliated for Cornelia each time I
read it. And if people are routinely treated like this within the detention system, then I think
there should so much be an open inquiry so that we can all look at this behaviour with disgust and
say, "Let's not let it happen again."

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Are there any circumstances under which you would consider a full judicial

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE: I've made it clear, the Government's made it clear to Mr Palmer, that if
he concludes that he needs extra powers - and that includes a variation on the inquiry - that we'll
look at that. But I think you need the information at hand before you can make such a decision.

DEBBIE WHITMONT: Anna's story has shocked Australians. But the question is: was her case remarkable
because of how she was treated or simply because she turned out to be Australian?

AMIR JAVAN: I should mention that Cornelia Rau has been discovered at least. She's got a family in
Australia to look after her. But we should think about the rest of the guys that are still there
and they haven't got anyone. They haven't got anyone, and no-one come to find out what's going on
about them.

FATHER ARNO VERMEEREN: It's an absolute tragedy and everyone's shocked and horrified that this
should happen to an Australian person. But they're not shocked and horrified that it should happen
to someone who's not one of us.