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(generated from captions) Thanks, John. Before we go, a

brief recap of our top stories

cleric, Sheikh Taj el-Din tonight - the Sydney Muslim

al-Hilali, has vowed to quit

and wear masking tape over his

mouth if an independent panel

finds him guilty of inciting

rape with his recent comments

about women. And the National

Library has acquired what it is

calling one of its greatest

treasures - the papers of

Patrick White, Australia's only

that's ABC News for this Nobel laureate for literature.

evening. We'll leave you with

the public's first view of

Taronga Zoo's new arrivals,

four Asian elephants. Stay with

us now for Stateline. enjoy

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Thank you, thank you but I am

so surprised. How can I be

grateful to you, how? CC

Hello and welcome to Stateline

I'm Philip Williams. Coming up

a new perspective on the

Canberra fires and a surprise

for the soup lady. We don't

have a Liberal Party story,

no-one is talking to us yet.

But ironically someone who is

talking has been dead for 16

years. Regarded by many as

Australia's great estuary

writer Patrick White died in

1990. It was widely believed

that he destroyed all his

personal papers but the

national library has received

an amazing gift, albeit one

contraining original man they've paid for. 33 boxes

script, letters, photos even

unpublished novels. Loverses of

history and literature are

delighted none more so than

White's biographer David Marr

and the curator of the material

Marie-Louise Ayres. When I

first received the e-mail

asking whether the library was

interested in this collection I

was just so shocked and

surprised and I know I uttered

a very large gasp in our very

quiet reading room when I

opened the e-mail. I guess a

sense of how can this be, it's

impossible, it doesn't exist.

Then, when it came here I spent

a week really very closely examining the material and that

for me was one of the most profound things that I've done

in my career. I thought

intensely moved by having such

a close connection with such a

fantastic mind and heart. It

was very moving. Genuinely emotional moment for

you? Absolutely. Especially towards the end of the time

when I was reading through all

the condolence letters, one of

my staff had to bring me a box

of tissues. I'm not the only

person who thought like this.

Marie-Louise Ayres the curator

of man scripts at the national

library rang me and told me and

I cursed and I laughed and I

cried. I was so pleased. It was


For years David Marr was

convinced Patrick White had

destroyed all his personal papers, the great man himself

had told him. It was a lie. The

truth revealed by the documents

was overwhelming. The whole

thing was very emotional

business for me because here I

was discovering stuff that I'd

never known, looking through

documents I thought never

existed. He'd sworn blind they

didn't. And also just reading

something of his I'd never read

before. It was very

emotional. I hope my books are

the Crowning achievement of my

career not award s. This is a

novel called the Binoculars and

Helen. He did a lot of work on

this, and did tens of thousands

of words and stopped in

mid-sentence when he wasn't

happy with it.

This is an unseen, unheard novel perhaps you can read some

for us from the beginning. The

early white mornings in her

room strapped her to her room.

The enamel buck it in which

stood the pump was a waiting to

happen. She turned her neck,

doves had not yet begun.

Typical evocative style of

writing yet he wasn't happy

with it. He wasn't, he didn't

go back and correct this novel

and it is interesting that he

stopped literally in

mid-sentence in one of these

portions of fools cap

paper. That was the end of that

attempt? Yes. It's not all

novels, it is, some of it is

simple correspondence? Yes

there is a lot of course

respondence some of which was

sent to White during his

lifetime and a lot of which was

condolences after he died.

Perhaps the favourite sent to

Patrick White during his

lifetime this lovely one from

who has been in the outback and

a beautiful indigenous baby who

knows that Patrick White and he

knows that Patrick will enjoy thz joke and sends him the

photograph and the letter. That's lovely.

And Salman Rushdie? He wrote

to Patrick back in 1985 and I

think that even Patrick would

have been impressed by

receiving this letter. Dr Mr

White, I write only, only to

thank you for an old book for

which perhaps you no longer

have time. Whilst I cannot

think when last a book so moved

me or moved me so much. You've

taken my breath away and I'm


In what became his last television interview Patrick

White spoke to me about life,

love and death.

What are your expectations

now? To die comfortably. To

die in my own bed. Not the

bath. Lots of the condolence

letters are from ordinary

people who's lives were touched

by Patrick White. This one

spoke to me immediately. It was

people who were influenced by

his works in their 20s and then

they say he has been a very

valued member of our family

life for many years. We named

our son Patrick in honour of

his writing and his love. That

is just an amazing letter that

really shows the way in which

Patrick White touched the lives

of people who had never met

him. This is special. It is

really special. We have a

number of objects in this

collection, the beany, the

beret which many people will

have seen Patrick in or seen

photographs of him in. A pair

of spectacle s, lots of

photographs, but when I opened

the envelope and found the

beany and the beret it just

established an immediate

connection with him. Objects

have a lot of feeling

associated with them and I

think this beany and the beret

are fantastic. We have two of

these pocket diary, this one is

significant it is 1988, the by

centennial year which means we

can see throughout that year

who was coming to visit him,

whether it was David Marr or

Kate Fitz Patrick and tucked in

the back here is something I

think is quite extraordinary. A little affirmation that he

probably wrote in the new year,

"Now I be guided in the coming year through my efforts to

unite people through the

written and spoken word that

they may abandon December spire

and apathy for a forward year

in spiritual progress and

universal peace." It is a power

statement on what he thought

his words were for. Reality is

as it could and ought to be

justice moral and material for

all classes in an independent democracy.

This is the holy grail isn't

it? I think it is the holy

grail. I wish there was a

little more holy grail. He did

destroy a number of his man

scripts but I would love to see

a man script like this for Voss

or a Fringe of Leaves. But we

have probably 100 times more

evidence of how sdap white worked.

How important is love to

life? It is all important but not last.

What sort of love? Affection I

think, yes affection.

It just proves once again

that you cannot keep this old

bugger down. He's still alive,

he's still got surprises and

tricks up his sleeve and this

is, I must say one of the best


What an amazing man,

incredible discovery. Bushfires

are a factor of Australian life

and we just better get better

at dealing with it. According

to author of a new book. Paul

Collins is best known as a

relidge jous commentator and a

Catholic priest. Life as moved

on for him. He's written a new

book called Burn and he tells Catherine Garrett why he wrote

it. I have the dream of an

urban middle class, I found a

block that was 424 hectares. I

purchased it in mid-November

2002 on 31st January 2003 the

entire place was utterly

destroyed by a most extraordinary bushfire. One

that almost resembled the

ferocity of the Canberra

bushfire. So, I thought to

myself, bushfires - I'm kind of

as a historian I looker history

and I discover there was really

no other popular history of

fire in Australia. He you

spoke with a lot of people, firefighters, residents who

have been a at the front-line

of fighting our worst

bushfires. What are some of the

most personal stories that

stuck with you? This deeply

relidge jous woman, a

methodist, her name was Mary

Robinson, she wasn't the

President of Ireland, she was a simple woman with eight

children, this is in 1939,

black Friday 13th January 1939,

in Victoria, just north of the

Ottoway ranging and there had

been fires burning in the hills

at the back of their farm for a

week before. On the day of the

fire she reports that they

didn't know what was happening,

they had no radio or telephone.

The fire suddenly hit them, hit

the house, was a galvanised

iron shed really. She cried

out, run for your lives.

Tragically four of the

children, the four middle

children ran and they went to

the road in front of the house

where as what she meant was for

them to go with her and her

husband and to lie on the

ground and covered with

blanket, wet blankets outside

the house. They were stuck

there for four hours on the

ground as the fire raged around them. Of course the four

children who'd run out on to

the road had been killed they'd

been suffocated. Of course

then, she and her husband had

to recover the bodies. She says

how she almost lost all faith

in God. The interesting thing

was, that fire was not a fire

that had come out of the hills it had been a fire as the

police discovered deliberate ly

lit in one of her in nearest

neighbours in a ludicrous

attempt to burn off in probably

the worst fire day in

Australian history and he

showed no remorse whatsoever.

What has happened is that

gradually people, especially

country people have attained

some form of fire discipline

and now it is normally only

anti-social Misfits who light

fires. It's sometimes it's

people who think they oar

smarter than the National Parks

for authorities and so they

take it on themselves to go out

an light fires but generally

speaking it is only anti-social

people who light fires now. All

the 2003 fires except one in

northern Victoria were the

result of a very rare eclipse

of circumstances of which dry

lightning was the ignition. All were natural fires except one. The Canberra fires were natural

fires. I still think we live in

cloud Kao-hsiung land on the

urban bush interface. They say

they want to live in the bush

and be close to the bush and so

on. They build houses that back

on to yup lipt forest or as

here where we're sitting the

city grew out to a pine forest

that had been planted back in

the 1920s. Interestingly

planted in order to raise money

for fire fighting in the ACT.

That was the purpose of this

pine forest that no longer is.

What we've got is shocking urban planning that we allowed

the city to grow to the pine


Do you think some of the

criticism leveled at the ESB is

unfair post the fires? It is

easy to be smart after the

event. I think you can

certainly say that firefighters

could have been inserted to

deal with certainly some of the

fires to a lesser extent than

New South Wales fire and in the

National Park but certainly in

the ACT fires perhaps the ESB

was slow in its response.

However, it was a considered

response and there were reasons

why they did that they didn't

want to risk the lives of firefighters. All public authorities because of the fear

of litigation have become much

more cautious now. The way in

which I think some of the

senior people in the ESB were

then blamed as though they were

responsible for Canberra and

the way in which many people

took it upon themselves to say

that if there'd been

preventative burning and so on

and so forth that the fires

wouldn't have gained the

intensity. I think that's quite

wrong for the simple reason

that fires gain their

intensity, well they game

gained it in the eucalyptus

forests but above all they

gained it in these pine forests

which were all artificially


Do you think there will be any

new resolution or information

from the coronial inquiry? A

coroner's inquest is not the

way to find out how a fire

occured. I am not optimistic we

will learn a great deal from

the present one.

Do you think Canberra, the

ACT, those working in the ESB

now, residents, are better

prepared and have learnt from

2003? Well, the history of

this is not optimistic. People

have a great way of forgetting

fires very very quickly, you

know, it's quite astonishing

how so many other things

intervene. However, it has been

kept for us, it's been kept on

the agenda because of the

drought, it's been kept on the

agenda because of the water

shortage and the very early

advent of fire in south eastern

Australia. People have simply

got to, in many ways assume

much more responsibility for

their own protection. That

doesn't mean that the state

doesn't have a responsibility,

of course it does. If you want

to live on the urban bush

interface and you want to build

a house abutting the bush you

have to assume responsibility

for that and realise that you

are running the danger of one

day being burnt down.

Stasia Dabrowski is known as

the soup lady. Since 1979 she's

been providing soup, blankets

and love to Canberra's homeless

and hungry. For nine years she raised most of the funds

herself. In recent times she's

received ACT Government funding

and a few businesses provide

surplus food. It was pliezed to

be at a surprise function this

week when she received a gift.

10 years ago I did an

Australian story with her. Here's a reminder.

1, 2, 3 and now for the pies.

Some vegetarian, some beef.

People who tell me many times

this is the first meal that

they have in a day. They didn't

have nothing to eat all day

because they have no money in

the pocket to even buy and they

make my life very very happy

when I was able to do something

at very little cost of mine,

only my time, energy and commitment. I call it

commitment. That's all.

Maybe I should just be patient. Exactly. I can bring

you here a cup of juice. No

it's all right. Milo? I don't

like Milo.

They are the people who live

on the streets, nobody wants

them at home. I find out they are another group of people who

are the students who spend

money for books, I find out

sometimes they have no money at

all. Hello my wonderful, how

are you? I am so happy when you

have what you like.

Stasia it is miserable, cold

and wet you always seem

incredibly happy. I am really

happy, I tell you. It's a

pleasure, because you see I

know somebody is depending on

me. People are sitting at home

but people are hungry on the

street. I can do it it's not

impossible. How are you my


A lot of people going through

- look at that sitting there.

My heart is aching. I tell you

like somebody put a knife to my

heart. Because I feel like

these are kids. We are here for

such a short time 60, 70, 80 -

what is the time - short while.

Why make miserable life for one

another. Why not make a little

bit of happiness. I stay around

I thought you'd be here. I wish

I can do but I don't think I

even do one drop in the ocean,

what I do is only one drop in

the ocean. It makes a big

splash. Thank you. That was

wonderful. What you tell makes

me in heart very happy.

This is the present day we

have a surprise for tas tas and

I think she'll like it. Follow


Excuse me Stasia the real

reason for this morning tea is

to present you with a cheque

with on nour from the tradies

and to welcome the raiders as

well. Stasia on behalf...

APPLAUSE Thank you. She's obvious willy been wonderful

for the local community for a

long time and it's fantastic

for the tradies to come up with

this but you thoroughly deserve

for all the work you've been

doing. So, well done. Stasia

can I say how old you are now?

In the middle it is 16 because

it is the dark but in the day I

am past 80. You still look as

energetic as you did when you

first started. That is the

problem, we don't look on our

little we can do not much on a

little when you do more and

more you just get a lot of

things and you're happy.

Is there a point where you

think it is time for me now, I

will retire. It's too hard

now? No, never. My Grandma is

95 and she was doing a lot of

things, I lived through the war

time when there was such a

difficulty. You know my Mama

gave me half the potatos for me

and half for my sister. A glaz

of milk for three kids. You see

I live with sacrifice. It's not difficult.

I hope you're still out there

providing all that love and

nourishment for many more years

to come congratulations. Thank

you, I'm so surprised . How I

can be grateful to you? How? I

don't know what to tell. Thank


How can Canberra ever thank you.

Abi Barry is a floor manager

with the ABC and sometimes

works on this program. But

we've always suspended that her

true passions lay some where

else. Aboriginal is the - Abi

is the op shop Queen. She has

been collecting vintage clothes

which appear on shows but the time has come to sell the lot.

I never imagined that it

would get quite so big the

amount of stuff that I have. As

I move from house to house, I

seem to move into bigger houses

with bigger storage, whatever

storage you have you seem to

fill up. I've managed to fill

up my house and everyone els. I

just held on to things that I

knew were rare and valuable and

I didn't want to sell them on

straight away because I knew I

wouldn't be able to get what

they're worth. I didn't think

it would get quite this crazy .

I had the collection for

about, some where between 10 or

15 years. I have no idea how

many hours I have spent looking

for this stuff. Weekends I

spend all weekend looking for

it. I go out looking pretty

much every day that has been

for 10 years or more. I have no

idea how long I've spent

looking for all this stuff. The

vintage clothing thing started

I guess when I was in year 11

and 12. We were allowed to go

down the street once a week.

Because we didn't have a lot of

money some friends of mine and

I would go into Vinnies and get

things there. It was still a

bit weird to wear secondhand clothes. That dress is just

great. I grew up in the Snowy

Mountains and I had three older

sisters, I was watching them

dressing up to go out. I had a

mum who grew up in Sydney and

moved down to the farm, she had

a fantastic old wardrobe. I

think it probably started

through her. The first outfit I

remember, it was my first

memory of this outfit - an

orange crocheted dress, I'm

standing in the snow and the

crutch of my stocking hanging

down below the dress. That is

my first memory. I was

attracted to vintage stuff

because it is unique and you

don't see anyone else wearing

the same thing. The quality is

a lot better than what you buy

today. The stuff you buy today

falls apart in a couple of

weeks and a couple of washes.

People look at photos of their

mums and they see this as an

era that they never got to

experience. It is a way of

being able to live an era that

you might have seen in movies

or film clips. I's almost like a bit of fantasy I guess.

Had pieces in vogue, Mari

Clare, B magazine when it was

still running, and Elle

magazine and the weekend

magazines and papers. Being in

Canberra wasn't a disadvantage.

People in Canberra think Sydney

things aren't accessible or possible but whatever you do

you have to make it easy for

people. If I send up photos of

what I had. Send them off to

the fashion editors they could

look through them at their desk

and say they want this, this,

and this. Send it off to them.

They don't have to go anywhere.

People throw out the weirdest

things. It is terrible that

someone collected all this

beautiful stuff and had the

beautiful clothes made and then

they die and their children

come along who aren't into this

thing and the sons who don't

know that these clothes are

beautiful. In a way I'm glad I

get them so they are aren't

thrown out. At least if they're

rescued at some point it is


I'm looking forward to selling

everything off and having it

all displayed. I've never seen

it all assembled in the one

place because it's all been

stored in warehouses so I'll be

glad once it's all out and

hopefully a lot less will have to be taken back home.

Those boots were meant for

walk. Kelly Charls is a

producer and you can see or buy

the complete collection at the

embassy motel on Sunday. That's

it for us. The promised story

on the much better home and

garden at Blackburn at Yass

will have to wait. Until next

week. Goodbye for now.Closed

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International Pty Ltd.

Hi. I'm Andy Muirhead. Wherever you're watching right around Australia, welcome to another huge episode here on Collectors. Hello, guys. ALL: Hello, Andy. What's news? Oh, funny you should say that because we found someone who's obsessed with news, particularly the printed kind. All my newspapers are catalogued by year of publication. The end of World War I. The end of World War II. The shooting of Robert Kennedy. The Granville rail disaster. The shuttle disaster. And to the present day. I'll tell you what's news. Every year Sydney hosts one of the best '50s fairs in the country. And Niccole and I were there. We're on holiday. We've got back to the 1950s. Haven't we, Niccole? We have. Look at this, Adrian. Wow! It's like a giant '50s garage sale. From heaven.

Mmm, nice. Any presents for me, Niccole? Oh, sorry, it wasn't really your era. Oh, I've got something for you. Some Norwegian wood. There's a long history of superb craftsmanship in the Scandinavian countries. There were three distinct processes. A cabinetmaker would make it, then the local blacksmith would add the locks