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(generated from captions) Hello and welcome to State Focus. Today, we've got a few things lined up to keep you on the couch. We'll find out what a former TV weatherman has to say at Canberra's National 2020 Summit, Monty Dwyer will be with us a little later. And, Canberra-based singer/songwriter, Bob Rogers tells us about his singalong with Jimmy Barnes.

But first up, the world has been witnessing some fairly chaotic scenes as the Olympic torch relay continues its journey. And it's just 3 days till the torch arrives in Canberra, the only Australian leg of the journey, and joining us now is President of the Tibetan Community in the ACT, Tsering Deki. Deki, thank you so much for being with us. Thankyou. First up, what is your reaction to these images that we've seen right across the news, how does it make you feel? Oh, I think it just draws attention to the seriousness of the situation in Tibet, how desperate and critical it is in Tibet, and so I think the situation in Tibet really needs to improve and so I think that's what all the attention is about like really, because it is a very very grave situation in Tibet. Why has the world reacted so strongly?

I think because for more than 50 years, you know Tibet has been ruled by the Chinese and they have been very brutal in their supression of the Tibetans, there has been no human rights, no freedom of speech, action or religion, and I think the Tibetans, like they have a lot of injustices that were done to the Tibetans, so this time the Tibetans and Tibet have spoken out because it was like, vent up problems. And I think the world is just surprised also at their bravery because in China I think you can't, you know like express your opinions openly, so these people that have protested in Tibet in the last few weeks I think they just risked everything just to get their voices heard, and... Now we are, sorry to interrupt you, we are expecting protests here in Canberra when the torch arrives on Wednesday/Thursday, so what action is being planned? Well we, the Tibetan communities of Australia, not just ACT but also New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and also from other states if people can come, we want to come here and sort of make our voices heard, we want to be a voice for the voices inside Tibet and we want really draw everybody's attention to the plight of the

Tibetans in Tibet, you know, so... Is there a chance though, what is the chance of an aggressive breakaway group taking a more aggressive path of protest, like we've seen overseas, it's almost like they've been wanting to out-do each other. Oh well, you know his holiness the Dalai Lama leader, he has always advocated peace and non-violence, and even recently he has sort of appealed to the Tibetans also and the Tibetan supporters not to do anything violent, because I think, even though to some people it may not look violent but it's been like, can see it as violence so he has said like: don't do anything that can be taken as violence, so we actually hope to follow his advice and to not do anything violent. What if something goes out of sync, or goes wrong or not as planned,

are you afraid that something may happen and what if it does? Oh well I am a bit concerned, I just hope you know that like that we can get ouyr voices heard without having to you know do anything really aggressive. What's your response to one point of view which has been that the goal of these protests has been to create chaos, to split the motherland, to spoil China's image, is tehre, does that hold some truth?

No, it's not true. If people are actually listening to what his holiness the Dalai Lama has said, he has said time and again that we are not seeking independence, you know that he is happy for the Tibetans to live within the People's Republic of China, but he wants genuine meaningful autonomy for Tibet, you know so that as I mentioned earlier the Tibetans can you know like look after our own affairs, preserve our culture and identity and our religion, and he has said time and

again that it is not independence, so I don't know why people are saying about splitting the motherland because people maybe they are not aware of all the facts, so yeah. Is the human rights issue bigger than the Olympic spirit? Ah, everybody says you know, like the Olympic spirit, but the spirit of the Olympics is harmony as Chinese are saying, but you know the Olympic ideals of equality, hope and freedom, those are not

there in Tibet and how can people say that just, you know like Olympics are something else, but the human rights violations that are happenning in Tibet, you can't just ignore that. I think, you know as China, when they were awarded the games, they said that they would you know improve the human rights situation, bring greater press freedom, but you know everybody knows that they have shut out Tibet, they have not allowed any journalists into Tibet,

so they have actually not you know kept up any of their Olympic promises, and I think people should sort of remember that. How do we move forward, and who is responsible? Who will resolve this, who needs to resolve this? Well his holiness the Dalai Lama said that this has to be resolved between the Chinese and the Tibetans because of it is, you know, the Tibetan and the Chinese issue, so the important thing is for China to have dialogues with representatives if the Dalai Lama... Is is possible, can that actually happen? Actually in the last few years there have been a few dialogues, but nothing substantial has come out of any of these dialogues you know, so it's, I think China is just sort of idling away, like they're not really I think very committed in their dialogue. They do have a few talks but nothing, like you know, substantive has come out, and we really need you know

these dialogues to be meaningful so that the issue can be resolved in a peaceful and in a quick way. Deki look, why does China want Tibet anyway, what are the reasons behind it? Tibet is actually a very very, you know like vast country in terms of it's territory and even now, like I think in Tibet there are so many Chinese settlers, you know the Chinese government is encouraging Chinese from the mainland to go into Tibet, so right now is Lhasa,

two-thirds of the population are Chinese, and in mnay other parts of Tibet also there are lots of Chinese, and besides that in Tibet like we have a lot of rich mineral resources that were not, you know like used by the Tibetans as all. Tibetans were just you know like, living their life simply, they didn't use all these mineral resources, so China is actually

also using the mineral resources, and also because it is the roof of the world, I think in terms of military strategy I think it is very useful to have that global positioning kind of situation. And just lastly, will there be an end ever to the haunting memories, for those? I think for many, even now, like you know all the gross violations

that are happenning, I think it will be a very, it will take lots of time for, you know many Tibetans to come to terms with what's happenning and, even my parents they actually had to flee Tibet, and not only my parents but there were like, more than 120,000 Tibetans in exile, and they wouldn't have left Tibet just for nothing, you know because of the, like violations and, how the

Chinese were treating the Tibetans, their policies in Tibet, it forced lots of Tibetans to flee, so everybody has had a really, you know, very very tough experience, very sad experience, so I think, if the situation improves in Tibet you know, then I guess things will, can get better you know, but we have to sort of hope for the best. Deki I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Thank you. You're very welcome. Well coming up on the show, all the brain power under one roof at this weekend's National 2020 Summit in Canberra. That's next on State Focus.

You're watching State Focus. Well, this weekend there'll be local heroes to Hollywood stars in Canberra, embracing brain power for the National 2020 Summit with the Prime Minister. And two people bursting at the seams with ideas, selected to join the 1000-strong group are Louise Merrington from the nation's capital, and former national weather frontman, Monty Dwyer on the phone.

Good morning to you both. Good morning. Good morning to you. Now listen Louise I'm going to start with you first, what do you hope to bring to the discussion table. Well firstly I think I'm coming from a very different perspective to a lot of the people there just because I'm quite young. So I hope to bring some different ideas, I guess and my life experiences are different and - so I also hope to learn a lot from the other people who are there Monty did you hear that Louise said she's quite young! I did, I was just thinking I'd like to lead with that aswell. (LAUGHS) OK, so... If I may, do you want me to carry on from there? For sure, I've actually heard that you've been known to be quite mad, Monty, so I'm wondering what you're going to contribute? (LAUGHS) Is that what people are saying? Good lord. Look, as you know Peta I've just spent the best part of the last 12

months travelling around the country in a campervan, sourcing and broadcasting radio stories from regional Australia, I'm actually in the rural stream, and as a consequence I have a basic understanding of what's happening in this country at the moment. I certainly don't profess to have an area of expertise the like of which a lot of the people there will have. There are a lot of doctors there and a lot of people with letters after their names, but I think it really does need people like Louise and myself who are still very very young, and who still have, who can throw into the mix alternate points of view, because otherwise I think it could run the risk of being bogged down in too much intellectualism bogg Sure, we're talking about the Tibet protests this morning Louise, what are your thoughts on that issue? Well, having studies Chinese politics, I mean my PhD at the moment is in Contemporary Chinese Politics, I'm finding it very interesting to look at this issue because in many ways a lot of the nuances of the situations are being lost in the media coverage, and I think it is a lot more complicated than perhaps is being reported. I think, while no-body of course condones the Chinese response, I think we have to bear in mind that there are a lot of different groups putting a lot of different agendas forward putting a lot of differe Monty we've got only 2 days to achieve quite a lot, it seems then we've got to cover health all the way to indigenous issue. Realistically though what can be achieved in 2 days, I mean we've got to look at the real issues. With ideas, you get an opportunity to flesh your own ideas out and,

you know, people who have some dynamism inside them will take those ideas further, whether it's necessarily, logically linked to the summit or not. So I think at the very least a lot of people will walk away with ideas fleshed out and maybe take them further, further down the track. But of course if the government can pick up a couple of good ideas

that'll help us run the country in a better way and make us more competitive and more understanding and more compassionate then that's a great thing too. Have you been practising your one idea? Less that a hundred words Louise! Well, there's just, yeah I've just got a lot running around in my head at the moment, and we've been given - I'm in the security section, so looking at international relations and that sort of thing and we've been given briefing packs and things to read that... Are you nervous though? A little bit, I mean there's a pretty high calibre of people there so it's going to be rubbing shoulders with some pretty important people, so I'm quite looking forward to it actually. But you can actually speak Chinese so I wonder how you're going to be greeting the Prime Minister? Oh well, yeah, I might be a little bit embarrassed, his Chinese is very good! bit em Monty, were you actually surprised when you were selected, were others? Other people were surprised, I told my father, I said to my father: I'm

going down to the summit. He said: what on earth do they want you there for? And I said, not to miss an opportunity, I said: well obviously the PM wants me to help him run the country, and he said: God help us! (LAUGHS) Listen, thank you both so much for your time. Monty, all the best, look forward to hearing you on Macquarie's radio work, network for Charles Wooley's Across Australia program. Louise, all the best for your PhD at the ANU. Thank you. Thank you both for being here. Have fun, don't get too star struck over the next 2 days. No problem. Thanks guys... Thank you... Your welcome, bye. And, it's going to be a very busy week in Canberra, the torch relay Thursday, and of course Anzac Day at the War Memorial on Friday. So, we thought we'd call in to take a look at the enormous effort that goes into the day we recognise and remember our soldiers. Lachlan Kennedy is at the War Memorial to see how things are coming along. Thanks Pete, well the dawn service here at the Australian War Memorial is an event that all Australians have been told you have to experience at least once in your lifetime. It attracts tens of thousands of people here to the Australian War Memorial each Anzac Day, but what actually goes into putting it together? I'm lucky enough to speak to the woman who's in charge of it, Carol Cartright, in charge of ceremonies, here at the Australian War Memorial. How many come on ANZAC Day, for the dawn service? @ How ma

Look ANZAC Day's just such an important day for Australians, and the RSL conducts ceremonies and services right across the nation, and here in Canberra it's the biggest of the dawn services, and we work really closely with the RSL to facilitate that, and it's grown from 18,000 to 20,000 to 27,000 and I think we'll get about 30,000 this year. So people continue to come,

they want to understand a bit about Australia's history. It was Billy Hughes who said: Australia was born on the shores of Gallipoli. As a nation, it's a part of who we are, and I think that's why people come. Now I actually heard, so we've got the big stands outside, holding tens of thousands of people, I actually heard that it was originally in here? That's right, it was. The dawn service was conducted right here in the commemorative

area of the War Memorial in the early days and, probably 2 or 3 thousand people used to gather together, and it started getting dangerous because it was so squashed in here and... So tight, absolutely... The chance of somebody falling in the pool... It's a beautiful area, 'cos I know thousands of people then stream in after the service to hear, to read the walls, to see the tomb of the unknown soldier. Yes, as soon as the ceremony is over at the dawn, we open these doors, and many thousands of people will file past the tomb of the unknown Australian soldier, and many of them will lay poppies either on their forebear's names on the role of honour, or at the tomb itself. But, it's a busy time, we love it, it's an important time for us. This is about Australia... It's an important time for everyone.. @ It' And this is about the veterans... all Australians I think. So if people are going to come down to the dawn service, what time should they be here? Ah now that's a good question isn't it, because the dawn service starts at 5:30, but the sight is just about full by 5 o'clock, and many

people will be here from about 3:30 or 4 o'clock. The parking is the biggest challenge... I imagine... so if they can come without a car that's a good thing. Carol thank you once again for taking some time out of your busy schedule. I really do appreciate it, and I think it's going to be fantastic, I can't wait to see you down here on Friday next week... Look forward to it Lachlan... It should be great. Pete I also look forward to seeing you down here on Friday next week. It's going to be a very solemn occasion, a time or remembrance,

but also a time to celebrate what makes our country great. So Pete, it's back to you. @ Thanks Lachlan, and I will see you there and can highly recommend being at the dawn service on Friday. Well, time for a break here on State Focus. But coming up next, how a Canberra man's "Postcard from Iraq" landed in the hands of Aussie rocker, Jimmy Barnes.

Welcome back to State Focus. Well, Bob Rodgers has faced first-hand the Iraq war, posted to the Australian Headquarters at Baghdad. But apart from dedicating 25 years to the Australian Airforce, the Group Captain is also known for his singing and guitar lessons on site

with the soldiers, and joins us right now. Good morning to you Bob. Good morning Peta, how are you going? @ Good morning Peta, how a I'm very well. Let's get straight into it. Tell me about Postcard from Iraq, there's a bit of a story behind it. There is yeah, Postcard - I took a guitar with me over to Iraq, I take a guitar everywhere I go and everyday I'd exercise walking around the camp that we were on, and this particular day an attack was generated against one of the security control posts and I could

hear the firing going on, and a helicopter came in, lazy circles, open fire and there's silence, absolute silence, and I went back to the headquarters building and was told that some insurgents had been killed in the attack. So the next day I'm out doing the same walk around and I walk pasta check point near this location, and an American Marine, I think it was a Marine, basically said to me, you know we were having a chat, and he

said it was amazing how only the day before he could hear kids on the other side of this concrete barricade, and that really stuck with me. It became the first line of a song: "Behind the walls the children play", and it just kept going round and around, and so the rest of the song started to pick up on the experiences I had while I was in Iraq, and what my colleagues had aswell. Now before we get to some of those experiences, we will be hearing the song in just a moment, but tell us, because the original of the song,

and the guitar that you wrote it on, were signed by a few people, which now is actually in the National Collection in the War Memorial? That's right, yeah, I recorded the song originally on a laptop, as you do, and so I gave a copy of that to the war memorial, and the guitar that I'd written it on and also given the guitar lessons on in Iraq. I had most of the headquarters sign it and it was a - it looked fantastic, really was. It does, we've got a picture of it now, that's amazing. And you made the news, you're on the front cover of the Air Force newspaper, you celeb you! News, I did yeah, (LAUGHS), bit strange, of course, I s'pose a lot of people in the air force probably wouldn't even be aware that I actually played music at all, so, probably shocked them a bit. So, are you booked now for weddings and everything? Weddings and Bah Mitzvah's, very good for that, yeah... (LAUGHS). But listen the other exciting thing, before we talk about the experiences that you've had, you played with Jimmy Barnes and Diesel with this song? Well it wasn't actually with Jimmy, but it was with Jimmy's studio, we used ah - when we came back form Iraq, my on's a professional musician and he's playing for Mahalia Barnes and she heard the song through Benjamin and she said: Oh, you should get that recorded, and I went: Oh, you know, I'm a RAAF guy, I don't have the money, etcetera etcetera, and so she comes back and she said: look I spoke to dad and he said you can use the studio at the house! Isn't that great, 'I just had a chat to Dad!' (LAUGHS) And I really appreciated it, and Jimmy and the whole family are so open and supportive and, I went in and I did it, I had a could of days and I put the bed tracks down for the CD... How was it, jamming with these people? Oh, it was - well in fact it was interesting 'cos I didn't, I just sort of showed up, and I did my bits and my son did some and I had both my sons play with me on it, and I sort of left, with my bits down, and over the next week I get this phone call: "Oh Dad, G'day,

It's Ben, listen, just wanted to let you know, we just had Diesel come in, he's just done some cello for you on your song". I'm going: Oh, OK, fantastic! And it just got better and better, and Mahalia and Jade McRae, who's another well known singer, and Ellie May and EJ, the daughters of Jimmy, all sang on the recording . What they did on Postcard from Iraq was just stunning and I must admit the first time I heard it I teared up, yep, it was just fantastic.

We're gonna get all teary I know, well just yourself, very fortunate, today. But listen, let's just go back to Iraq for a moment and you have said to me that you saw, quote unquote, those that were unshakable in their belief and those that started to doubt their belief in the war, and in the cause, and you also saw Iraqi families getting on with life, ignoring the violence around them, so my question is, how, did this

make it all real for you, or surreal? Oh, it's a funny experience because there's moments of it that are really surreal, you know onto walk into the camps and Subways's and all the various food outlets that you would imagine from America, they show up there, but then there's a reality comes home, you know, travelling from town to town in a buttoned up armoured vehicle,

being very aware of the drills and the concerns with mines and weapon fire etcetera, you do. And the US forces over there, they were the people I was talking about when you see the unshakable and the shakeable, many had this really incredible strong belief that what they were doing was right and wanting to be there. But towards the end of the time there a lot of the Americans had

their tour extended, and it was the first time when you'd sit and talk with someone and you'd hear that , you know, I've been here a long time, it's time to go home and family becomes much more dominant in the thinking, and that's for everybody. Well you actually say you wrote this song particularly about wanting to come home. We have had our troops in Iraq now for about five years, should we be bringing them home? Um, well my understanding is that a decision has been made in terms of when that will happen and, look, Australian servicemen go where

their country tells them to go and we do the best job we can whenever we, we're sent there, and there would be not a serviceman who wouldn't say that they always want to come home, 'cos, you know the adjustment of going away, whether it's Iraq, Timor, Afghanistan, it's tough. It's not just dangerous, it's tough to adjust, to miss your family, it's tough to adjust to the weather, you know, 55 degrees in armour and

helmets I remember very well and I don't want to do that again in a hurry. So yeah, thinking about home is a very natural thing for the guys there. Well we are very lucky to have you here with us today, and we're dying to hear the song Postcard from Iraq in just a moment. Bob Rodgers, thank you for being with us. Thank you Peta. You're very welcome. And, just before we go, some fast cars are coming to the Capital next month for the Rally of Canberra. The rally cars will be out to bust some dust in the forests around Canberra over the weekend of May 10 and 11. The event is part of both the Asia Pacific Championship and the Australian Rally Championship, so there's a fantastic field of rally racers. And if you've ever wanted to find out how fast those guys take a dirt corner and avoid all those trees, well State Focus is giving you a chance to win a rally ride with one of the competitors.

All you have to do, is write to us and tell us why you should be in the navigator's seat, you'll have a whole new respect for the sport. So in 25 words or less tell us your reasons why you'd like to win a rally ride, and either email us at statefocus@s or write to us at Private Bag 10, Dickson ACT 2602. We'll announce the lucky winner on Sunday May 4, so get on board and good luck! Well, time to go. Have a great week. And as promised, here's Bob Rodgers to play us out with "Postcard from Iraq". Bye for now. (SINGS) All the king's horses, and all the king's men, can't put this country back together again, young men keep dying each day it's true, 'cos old men from both sides tell them what to do, people here they get on with their lives, some lose a sister, a brother, a father or

wife, I watch out for a box from home, it's the only thing stops me feeling so alone, this is my postcard from Iraq, mmm mmm mmm,

this is my postcard from Iraq.