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Efficient getting to Purple Moon. Efficient is going to win the Cup.

Tonight on the 7:30 report, efficient's roller coaster ride. 12 months ago the talk of the turf and
then a major form slump and now the winner of the nation's richbest racing prize.

This bloke is top class on his day but you have to get to get him on his day. Everything panned out
well for him and I was able to come home with the Melbourne Cup.

Horse flu felt at Melbourne Cup

Horse flu felt at Melbourne Cup

Broadcast: 06/11/2007

Reporter: Mary Gearin

It's the race that stops the nation but 2007 will be remembered as the year Equine Flu almost
stopped the racing industry. While thoroughbreds from Victoria and overseas flaunted their form at
Flemington, many top trainers were forced to merely watch and wonder what if.


KERRY O'BRIEN: While we will have to wait another day to find out what the Reserve Bank has decided
on interest rates, I imagine even the politicians will have been happy to take a campaign

No-one in their right mind competes with the Melbourne Cup.

The foreign horses again provided intense competition but with the winning post not that far away,
both England and Ireland were forced to surrender to a local grey called Efficient.

Owned by former casino operator Lloyd Williams and ridden by a young champion named Michael Rodd,
Efficient lifted the mood of what will otherwise go down in history as the worst year for
Australian racing.

The year EI shut down racing in two states. You get the feeling that if Victoria had tumbled to the
virus too, officials would have run the race with camels if they had to.

Mary Gearin ventured out to Flemington to see whether this could still be a Cup Day like any other.

MARY GEARIN: It looked like a regular Melbourne Cup, felt like one, even smelt like one.

Organisers wanted this extraordinary annual spectacle to be run as ordinarily as possible to appear
hale, hearty and immune to the effects of equine flu.

DALE MONTEITH, VICTORIAN RACING CLUB: You've seen the devastation it's caused to the livelihoods of
people in New South Wales and Queensland and we had to do everything just to keep it out. Not only
for the carnival but for racing in general in Victoria as well.

GAI WATERHOUSE, TRAINER: But they can't afford for the meeting to fall over so when people say, you
know, should your horses be here, no they shouldn't. Unfortunately this year we have just had to
miss out.

MARY GEARIN: This race day simply had to happen. The stakes were too high, both for industry
turnover and punter confidence.

Some analysts have estimated that even with the carnival going ahead, the industry will take a
decade to recover and with all stories from the track, the year of the flu has produced both
winners and losers.

This carnival the bookies have felt pain more familiar to Cup Day mug punters. Even on this, the
biggest betting day of the year, TAB turnover from New South Wales and Victoria was down $7 million
on last year at $123 million.

ROBERT NASON, TABCORP: We're down about $270 million in turnover since EI started in late August
and we expect to be probably be down more than $500 million before it is all over.

KATHRYN READ, BOOKMAKER: A lot of the supporting race meetings are quite poor so we've had a
downturn of about probably 20 per cent.

MARY GEARIN: Kathryn Read says she and her Victorian bookmaking brethren are lucky compared to
their counterparts interstate.

KATHRYN READ: Melbourne turnover is increased dramatically which is fantastic. I think it just
proves that we don't need ten race meetings a day to have that turnover.

MARY GEARIN: The companies that depend on the commercial frenzy that accompanies the carnival have
had mixed payouts.

Some hotels have reported a loss of bookings, others claim a late recovery.

Specialist milliners and race suppliers have been hurt but shop owner, Toni O'Sullivan says losses
for boutique shops like hers have been limited because they've learnt not to rely on race goers
spending big on high fashion.

TONI O'SULLIVAN, BOUTIQUE OWNER: The younger girls look as though, as far as I'm concerned and I
don't want to sound as though I am terribly old fashioned in this, as though they are going out
clubbing. Cheaper clothes and not much of them either for that matter.

MARY GEARIN: Some of the flu's most prominent victims will never look like losers. With her horses
in exile up north, Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is containing her losses by calling on clients and
working the carnivals corporate circus to her advantage.

And she's gained a rare perspective on her sport.

GAI WATERHOUSE: I just love watching it on television. I now understand why John Hawkes watches the
races from the television. You see so much more, I'm on the phone to [unclear] or Blake Shin even
Alan Jones I rang the other day about this Finland. You know, throwing my two bobs worth in.

I'm supposed I'm frustrated training you could almost say.

MARY GEARIN: Sydney trainer, John O'Shea agrees the carnivals go ahead was vital but says that is
not thanks to Victorian authorities.

JOHN O'SHEA, TRAINER: Victorians at the early stage of EI were very much against vaccination. If we
had had a bi-partisan approach to the implementation of vaccine as soon as EI broke out, then we in
New South Wales particularly would have been back racing long before this and the spread of EI
wouldn't have been as concentrated or as far wide spread.

DALE MONTHEITH: The different attitude I suppose stems from the fact that New South Wales have it,
we don't have it so I suppose from that perspective you would expect different attitudes to it.

MARY GEARIN: On the other hand, owners and trainers of Victorian based horses have been quietly
celebrating a reduction in their competition. John Donegan considered himself a very lucky man as
co-owner of The Fuzz. The Geelong Cup winner had scrapped into the Cup field after coming in its
race on Derby day.

(To John Donegan) It won't take away any of the pleasure for you for you to win in an equine flu

JOHN DONEGAN, CO-OWNER, 'THE FUZZ': No, we get the same prize money whether they've got flu or no

MARY GEARIN: But what the flu couldn't beat, freakish fate could. A leg injury found this morning
meant The Fuzz was scratched along with Gallic and Maybe Better and the flu-reduced field, shrank
even further.

JOHN DONEGAN: Well its hard work getting a run or a starter and then this happens - that's racing.

ADRIAN DUNN, RACING JOURNALIST: We haven't got the good horses from the Gai Waterhouse stable or
the Guy Walters or the John O'Shea's. Guys that would always have horses for the cup carnival. The
Godolphin horses are missing for the first time this year. John Moore from Hong Kong was going to
bring some horses. They're not here but look, we've still got a pretty good field.

MARY GEARIN: Adrian Dunn's own job has been affected. After a suitable level of disinfection, he
was one of the few journalists allowed in today with the jockeys and trainers in an improvised
press room in the inner sanctum. Once he went in, he couldn't come out.

(On phone) Adrian, can you describe the press room in there.

ADRIAN DUNN: Think of a broom closet and you are pretty close to the mark.

MARY GEARIN: For most of course, the faint echoes of the flu crisis were drowned in the roar of the
biggest race of the year.

Efficient is now in the history books and perhaps it is true it won in the year of the flu.

KERRY O'BRIEN: They won't forget for a while. Mary Gearin with that report.

Melbourne Cup winner has rollercoaster ride

Melbourne Cup winner has rollercoaster ride

Broadcast: 06/11/2007

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

Twelve months ago he was the talk of the turf, then a major form slump sent him sliding, and he's
now the winner of the nation's richest racing prize. Kerry O'Brien speaks to the winning Melbourne
Cup jockey, Michael Rodd.


KERRY O'BRIEN: The horse is the first Victorian Derby winner since Phar Lap 75 years ago to go on
and win a Melbourne Cup.

The owner is one of the most successful in racing history. The trainer is also no stranger to
success. And the jockey, at 25, is the best young rider in Australia. Michael Rodd started working
life as an apprentice carpenter on Sydney's Central Coast and has been riding horses for just seven

His career has been one continuous upward path ever since in Brisbane, Sydney and Hong Kong before
he settled in Melbourne a year ago. As it happens, Michael Rodd rode Efficient to win that Derby a
year ago but this is the first time he's been back on the horse in his Melbourne Cup campaign. It
was fitting compensation for perhaps the biggest disappointment for Michael Rodd's short racing
life, being scratched at the barrier on hot favourite Maldivian at the Caulfield Cup just over two
weeks ago. I spoke with him at Flemington after the last.

Michael Rodd, I guess we all have an idea of how you must be feeling now, but how did you feel
taking Efficient out on to the track, how confident were you?

MICHAEL RODD, JOCKEY, 'EFFICIENT': Kerry, I'd spoken to Lloyd Williams, the owner, for most of the
week and he's filled me with confidence and said the old Efficient's back, the horse that won the
Derby last year. He said expect an upset. So I was feeling quite good. I looked at the horse in the
enclosure and he was nice and relaxed. I thought to myself that, you know, if it was going to be
the day today was the day for him to win a Cup.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And yet in the four runs this time in leading up to the Cup and his two runs earlier
in the year, he wasn't showing anything like the form that won him the derby and those other races
last year.

MICHAEL RODD: He wasn't, Kerry. I think there was a couple of the runs that he got covered up. He's
a horse that won't go unless he gets to the outside, which he did today, and we were able to see
his best. But his previous runs he was caught up on the inside of other horses and he just doesn't
really get on with it. So he appreciates plenty of galloping room.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Have you rid a better horse?

MICHAEL RODD: No, I haven't. Honestly, this bloke's top class on his day but you have to get him on
his day. So everything today panned out well for him and I was able to come away with a Melbourne

KERRY O'BRIEN: Whose brain storm was it to put him over the hurdles to sharpen him up just before
the big day?

MICHAEL RODD: I would say it would have been Lloyd. He's been in racing a long time and he knows
horses very well and this wouldn't have been the first time he's put a horse over the jumps to
sharpen them up and I'm sure it would have been his idea.

KERRY O'BRIEN: It's only three Saturdays ago that you were sitting in the stalls on Maldivian at
Caulfield waiting to jump out and win the Cup. Maldivian, hot favourite, and then it all went pear
shaped when he reared and hurt himself after Eskimo Queen went down. You didn't really show it, but
you must have been shattered that day. I guess this does make up for it.

MICHAEL RODD: It does, Kerry. I mean to have the horse scratched at the barriers and to have it
that close, I was in the barriers, I was ready to go, and yeah, to have it taken away from me like
that it did hurt. This definitely does take the edge off it but, you know, that's racing and that's
probably why we all enjoy it so much. It's the unknown and it's like today, you know, we weren't
sure how Efficient went, it's the unknown.

MICHAEL RODD: So if we can just reflect on the actual ride today, what was your race plan before
the jump and to what extent were you able to stick to that plan?

MICHAEL RODD: I wasn't really setting myself too many - I wasn't set out to do too many plans
before the race. I just thought as long as the horse is switched off and relaxed, because it's his
first time to run the 3,200 metres so as long as he's switched off, and which did pan out, and give
him plenty of room and it all came to hand today.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And what was going through your head as you rounded the turn?

MICHAEL RODD: I was feeling very confident, Kerry. He'd had a very soft run leading up to it and I
was able to sort of get outside the favourite, Master O'Reilly. And when I travelled up to him as
easy as I did, I thought I'm going to enjoy this.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So when did you know you had it won?

MICHAEL RODD: Probably not until about the 50 metres out. I still had to pick off Purple Moon and
Damien Oliver and I thought it wasn't going to be easy. I knew they'd keep whacking away at the one
pace because it's what those European stayers do and you probably see about 100 metres out my bloke
changes gears again and that's when he ran past him.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And how tough is it on you physically over that distance controlling a horse over
that long, taking it through its paces, when you're coming into the straight going up the straight,
what's it doing to you?

MICHAEL RODD: I can honestly tell you that I regard myself as being quite fit, you know, I ride
probably four days a week and a lot of races but that race took so much out of me. When I got to
the 1,000 metre mark on the first time around I actually felt physically sick. It does take a lot
out of you because the horse was pulling so hard and it's even now I'm still feeling it. So it does
take a lot out of you.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Watching him make his run up the straight was quite reminiscent, I thought, of the
derby win last year although he won it easier that day, but very similar run.

MICHAEL RODD: That's exactly right and that's all that Lloyd Williams, speaking to him this
morning, he said I'm not going to give you any instructions, just give him a Derby ride and that
was it and it came to hand.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Can you relive your feelings as you pass the post and in that 30 or 40 seconds
immediately afterwards, it must have been absolutely exhilarating?

MICHAEL RODD: It's just so hard to explain. You're just numb. There's so many different emotions
that run through your body and I mean obviously it's excitement, it's just thinking of, you know,
not only personally for me but for the people that were involved with the horse, you know, there's
so much that goes on, this has been a 12 month plan for the horse to come to the Melbourne Cup but
it's very hard to explain the feeling.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Having come to Melbourne from Sydney and before that Hong Kong, you must have
thanked your lucky stars when EI hit up north and you were well established in Melbourne?

MICHAEL RODD: Yeah, that's right. You know, we've all been sort of living on the edge even now, you
just don't know when it's going to hit and yeah, they've done a great job to keep the EI out of the
state and there's a lot of strong protocols we have to follow race day and to keep it away but
you've got to feel for everyone that's up north that obviously can't enjoy the racing like we have
and they're all out, they're all out of pocket.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So I guess you must be feeling reasonably pleased that you switched from being an
apprentice carpenter?

MICHAEL RODD: You could say that, Kerry, yeah.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You've raced in Brisbane, Sydney, Hong Kong and Melbourne, is Melbourne the future

MICHAEL RODD: Definitely the future, yeah. I've sort of made a 12 month plan when I first came down
here and obviously I'm very happy but I really, I've done a lot of moving around since I was an
apprentice. I've been all over the place and I just want really want to settle down and call
somewhere home and I think Melbourne's going to be it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Michael Rodd, congratulations again and thanks very much for talking with us.

MICHAEL RODD: OK, Kerry, thank you.

congratulations again and thanks very much for talking

NT intervention makes impact on voters

NT intervention makes impact on voters

Broadcast: 06/11/2007

Reporter: Murray McLaughlin

In the Northern Territory, where only two House of Reps seats are at stake, the great unknown
ingredient of the campaign is the Federal Government's emergency intervention into Aboriginal


KERRY O'BRIEN: Back to politics and the campaign. This time to the Top End where only two house of
reps seats are at stake. And the great unknown ingredient of the campaign there, the Federal
Governments emergency intervention into Aboriginal communities.

In the Labor seat of Lingiari taking up most of the territory outside Darwin where the intervention
is impacting more, nearly 40 per cent of the voters are Indigenous. The sitting members seems to be
hinting that Labor will wind back key elements of the intervention although Kevin Rudd is adamant
that a Labor government will hold the line. The country Liberal Party candidate in Lingiari says
the election will be a referendum on the intervention.

The other Territory seat is Solomon based around Darwin and held by the CLP. As Murray McLaughlin
reports the intervention is having little effect in Solomon beyond the introduction of new liquor

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Behind this fence is the Bagot community. An Aboriginal enclave only 10 minutes
drive from Darwin's CBD. About 400 people live here. There are many other enclosed housing estates
across Darwin, but this fence so offends Federal indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough that he
wants to l pull it down.

MAL BROUGH, INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS MINISTER: It's appalling circumstances when a government of any
persuasion puts a fence up between one part of its community and the other and lets what goes on
behind it, hide behind it.


MAL BROUGH: How are you?

ABORIGINAL WOMAN: I'm very well thank you.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Bagot is on the list of more than 70 Aboriginal communities in the Territory
which the Federal Government is taking over.

ABORIGINAL WOMAN: How are the people going to get on if they want to have a party or something?

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Mr Brough came to Darwin the weekend before last, the intervention had little
direct impact in the northern capital.

MAL BROUGH: This is hard, this is challenging but it is also rewarding and mealy-mouthed words from
Mr Rudd are not going to cut the mustard.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Back in August, Labor voted outright for the emergency legislation which
underpins the federal intervention.

In Darwin at the weekend, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd was still embracing all its aspects.

REPORTER: On the question of the intervention, just how far would a Labor Government roll it back?

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: Well we don't intend to roll it back at all.

WARREN SNOWDEN, LABOR MP, LINGIARI: They've done all sorts of stupid things because they've done it
in a hurry without talking to people.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: But the prospect that a Labor Government would roll back crucial aspects of the
intervention is just what the sitting Labor member for Lingiari is offering. Warren Snowdon is also
critical of the way the intervention has been managed.

WARREN SNOWDEN: This law was passed without any discussion or consultation or negotiation with Yapa
anywhere in the Northern Territory.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Warren Snowdon's electorate covers the whole Northern Territory beyond greater
Darwin and incorporates all but a few of the Aboriginal communities under intervention. Here at
Yuendumu in the Tanami desert 300 kilometres from Alice Springs, Warren Snowdon is on friendly
ground. Addressing a meeting of elders and traditional owners from the Walrlpiri tribe.

Mindful that Labor support for the emergency legislation offended many of his Aboriginal
constituents, Yapa people, Mr Snowdon is selling the line that Labor now has a different tack.

REPORTER: What are the main point of difference between Labor and the Government on this
intervention question?

WARREN SNOWDEN: There are significant points of difference. The question of CDEP, the question of
permits, the issue of how people deal with their land, they are very important differences.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: CDEP is the community development and employment program which the Federal
Government has abolished in the Territory because it needed CDEP workers to move on to welfare so
that their income could be quarantined as part of the intervention.

ADAM GILES, CLP CANDIDATE, LINGIARI: I think there's a lot of people who are employable, a lot of
people who haven't been in the work force because of things like CDEP.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Warren Snowdon's opponent in Lingiari is the country Liberal Party's Adam Giles.
A public servant in charge of the central Australian office of the Department of Employment and
workplace relations, the very agency which used to administer CDEP. Snowdon has a margin of 7.7%,
and Giles concedes the campaign will be difficult.

ADAM GILES: It's going to be quite difficult because Labor's been campaigned against the
intervention and what this election will be in Lingiari is a referendum between the Country Liberal
Party and Labor, with the Country Liberal Party supporting the intervention, putting in $1.3
billion and trying to make a real difference in the Northern Territory.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Warren Snowdon is campaigning to restore CDEP and the permit system which
restricts access to Aboriginal communities quickly brought Mal Brough to central Australia.

MAL BROUGH: The Coalition is committed to the long term of delivering the full suite of services
here. That does include CDEP, that does include the permit system.

ABORIGINAL WOMAN: And with this intervention, yes, I support it.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The women of Hermannsburg west of Alice Springs gave unqualified support for Mal
Brough for the aims of his intervention.

ABORIGINAL WOMAN: We want the grog tap turned down and drug dealing wiped out. We want all the kids
to attend school and learn how to behave themselves properly.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: But only the day before this visit, 50 men who had been on CDEP at Hermannsburg
had lost their jobs and been moved on the welfare.

ABORIGINAL MAN: I'd just like to know why the intervention was done without any feeling, you know.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: But to Mal Brough the principle of quarantining and managing income trumps any
benefits that communities may have derived from CDEP.

MAL BROUGH: If there's less money for grog, less money for drugs, less money for gambling and
there's more food on the table then you've got a really good starting point for people to start to
see differences.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: In Alice Springs 10 days before the election was called, Labor had promised to
reinstate CDEP.

Territory remote communities will actually make communities, parents and children, more vulnerable.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: But back in Alice Springs yesterday, Jenny Macklin seemed to be hedging her

REPORTER: Kevin Rudd has indicated that he isn't going to roll back any parts of intervention and
that would seem to be at odds with your comments last time you were here.

JENNY RUDD: Kevin Rudd has made very clear that we intend to implement the intervention.

KEVIN RUDD: We support the intervention. It's a difficult decision, it's a controversial decision,
I don't back away from it. It's the right thing to do.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: In the urban electorate of Solomon, a few small indigenous communities like
Bagot are about to be put through the intervention hoops. And the intervention is affecting the
whole voting population.

Alcohol purchases above $100 now require identification and a declaration about where the alcohol
will be drunk and the cause of tracking grog runners.

In Solomon held by the Country Liberal Party with a 2.7 per cent margin, the Labor candidate is
detecting resistance.

DAMIEN HALE, LABOR CANDIDATE, SOLOMON: People having to show ID for the $100 laws, you know, it
does and having to fill in the paperwork and regarding the privacy of where they're going to
consume the alcohol, their addresses.

REPORTER: Can I just ask David the alcohol laws the $100 limit has actually hurt your campaign?

DAVE TOLLNER: I don't believe it has.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Dave Tollner is probably right. The new laws, it seem, are being observed in the
breach. As Darwin based journalist Lindsay Murdoch found out when he arrived at his bottle shop
counter with a trolley load of wine and no ID.

LINDSAY MURDOCH, "THE AGE" & 'SYDNEY MORNING HERALD": I said I'm sorry, I'll have to put some of
the bottles back to get under the $100 limit. The guy at the cash register said look, don't worry,
I will split it into two transactions, both of them under $100 and I walked out with $170 worth of

KERRY O'BRIEN: There are laws and laws and the penalty for a licensee who fails to record those
details is a fine of $44,000. Murray McLaughlin with that report.

Tas doctors give sight to E Timorese

Tas doctors give sight to E Timorese

Broadcast: 06/11/2007

Reporter: Jocelyn Nettlefold

East Timor's first ophthalmologist is about to finish his training, under the watchful eye of
Hobart specialist Nitin Verma. Australian medical volunteers have been helping restore and improve
eyesight to the local population in East Timor. They've managed to curb chronically high levels of
preventable blindness and improved the eyesight of more than 25,0000 East Timorese. Now locals are
set to take over the highly-specialised task.


KERRY O'BRIEN: East Timor became the world's newest independent state five years ago and now the
small nation is about to celebrate another key milestone on the path to self reliance.

Australian medical volunteers have been helping restore and improve eyesight among the local
population. They've managed to curb chronically high levels of preventable blindness and improve
the eyesight of more than 25,000 Timorese. Locals are now set to take over the highly specialised

East Timor's first ophthalmologist is about to finish his training under the watchful eye of the
program's founder, Hobart specialist Nitin Verma and Jocelyn Nettlefold reports.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Woodworking may well be his relaxing hobby, yet Hobart eye specialist Nitin
Verma admits he approaches it with the same clinical precision as his day job.

DR NITIN VERMA, OPTHAMALOGIST: It's all about accuracy and patience. (to patient) Look straight

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Time at his beloved lathe has been a rare indulgence for Dr Verma in the past
seven years as he's juggled his Tasmanian patients with the demands of nearly a million in East
Timor. Dr Verma is the leader of a volunteer movement responsible for eye care in the fledgling

NITIN VERMA: We've seen over 25,000 patients and we have operated on about 2,600 of them and these
are all sort of operations for cataract, for tumour, glaucoma, injuries and things like that.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Nitin Verma spent the early part of his career successfully rolling out eye
care for Indigenous communities in Australia's Top End.

So after the mayhem of violence that followed the vote for East Timor's independent in 1999, the UN
invited him to Dili to give expert advice. It was a matter, he says, of starting from scratch.

NITIN VERMA: The eye clinic itself existed. At that time but all the equipment within the eye
clinic, whether it were chairs or equipment as you see in this room, were all destroyed.

(to patient) You must not rub the eye, they must keep the eye clean.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: On his return to Australia, Dr Verma appealed to his colleagues nationwide to
take unpaid leave to help.

NITIN VERMA: These programs you can't do alone and a large number of ophthalmologists, optometrist,
nurses got together and that's how the program started.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Volunteers initially dealt with trauma victims and urgent optometry. Then began
tackling cataracts and addressing the widespread issue of preventable blindness due to vitamin A

NITIN VERMA: Children had white eyes with white corneas, children who were blind and we worked out
with UNICEF that they should incorporate vitamin A supplementation in their program for under

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Each year surgical and optometry teams make several visits to Dili and outlying
districts. Equipment and transport is usually donated by companies and charities.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: One of the program s supporters is Jose Ramos-Horta now President of East

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA, PRESIDENT OF EAST TIME: It is amazing. It's fantastic. I'm very touched by the
dedication, the generosity of the doctors, the nurses and all those who have made this program

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: But this year marks the official end of Australia's contribution.

NITIN VERMA: The need in East Timor is not material, the need in East Timor is training and the
need in East Timor is the empowerment of the people so they can earn a living, that they continue
maintaining their dignity and that they become truly independent.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Timorese doctor, Marcelino Correia is the key to handover. He will take charge
of the Dili eye clinic in the new year and is looking forward to the satisfaction of restoring his
countrymen 's sight and livelihoods.

DR MARCELINO CORREIA, NATIONAL HOSPITAL, DILI: We do the operation and then one day after that they
can see and this is amazing for them.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Dr Correia who has been trained in ophthalmology by Australian specialists is
completing his studies in Hobart. He says more equipment and training is still needed in health
services at home, particularly in the districts. Do you feel proud to be East Timor's first

DR MARCELINO CORREIA: I think the Timorese people would be proud for me.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Dr Verma and his colleagues plan a staged withdrawal from the East Timor eye
program over the next few years.

NITIN VERMA: The very fact that I look forward to going there each time and I haven't given up as
yet and the only thing you sort of bring back are memories of smiles and I suppose, achievements in
terms of being able to restore sight under difficult circumstances.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Jocelyn Nettlefold with that report.

If you'd like to look back at any of tonight's stories including the Cup, subscribe to a vodcast of
the program or leave us a comment go to our website. That's the program for tonight we'll be back
at the same time tomorrow, but for now, goodnight.