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Australian Story -

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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned Live THEME MUSIC from The Gruen Transfer. Hi, I'm Todd Sampson Outside of advertising, and the environment. I'm very passionate about wildlife is about a very driven man Tonight's Australian Story

with a tale of rags-to-riches. He is Kenton Campbell with Steve Irwin's father, Bob, and he's formed an unlikely pairing in his adopted country. to help protect wildlife amazing story. This is Kenton Campbell's with the backside out of his pants Kenton came to Australia to become successful. and has worked really, really hard back to Australia. And so he now wants to put something 'He met Steve Irwin many years ago the Australian wildlife need help. and Steve mentioned how much Since Steve has now passed, for a little while, that was kind of put on hold till Kenton met Bob Irwin. Bob has, I guess, mentored Kenton

about the Australian wildlife in a way of understanding and how much help they need.

he was put to a challenge So Kenton being Kenton, and he's taken it up. Hey? There we go, Kenton. Just up there, there's a koala. just another rich prick.' 'I don't want to be Oh, my God. How good's that?

to do 'I think that the very easy thing as a company would be to buy carbon credits "Well, I've done my part."' and just write the cheque and say, Yeah, yeah, it's got a clean bottom. Looks quite healthy, hey? 'I've never been a cheque writer and I saw it as a challenge a bit bigger role. that I would take on the question, And I started asking myself was going to be. just how and what that role

his teeth into something 'He's like a bulldog when he gets

"well, I can fix this."' and he thinks, We just saw a koala. Well, that was pretty good, Kenton. that we're making of our environment 'But the absolute mess a long period of time. has come over to Kenton So what we've got to get through for the long haul. is that you've got to be in there that can't be done quickly, so... These are things working on him. But I think I'll just keep a koala in the wild at night. It's the first time I've seen It's good, isn't it? now this is what we're gonna do. Alright, Kenton, on a number of occasions 'Kenton's been to Camp Chilli when he comes here. and I always test him out that I've got on the property. I try to find the worst job Now, one thing I've got to tell you there'll be scorpions. is that under some of these That's just how it is. what he was made of. 'Just to virtually see cut the mustard.' To see whether he could and look under every piece of wood, But if you take your time on this stack. you will never get anything is under this stuff? So what else did you say I can't help but be tentative. See, you're tentative. when I first come to Australia 'You gotta understand, I was scared of yabbies, you know. and crabbing. I was petrified of going out I'd never done any of this as a kid.'

Yeah, I get that. I get that. You're taking too long, Kenton. He, ah... He did well. much encouragement Not that I gave him because I'm not that sort of bloke. much of an impression yet. You haven't made every piece of wood. You're starting to look under 'He's got a very strong personality. I'm sure, And Kenton will tell you himself, "Shut up, Kenton." that quite often Bob says, Man up, Kenton, man up. tearing through it, like, grrrr. If you hadn't told me, I'd be

because I like his enthusiasm.' 'But I got used to that There we are, Kenton. 'He's young and he's keen. with the right type of guidance, And I think, we can do good things with Kenton. to shut up if necessary.' But I will continue to tell him BIRDS CALL in Steve's chair. You're actually sitting That belonged to Steve, that chair. Wow. I felt like I'd come home. 'When I came to Australia, was a very proud day for me.' Taking up citizenship that this is really what I wanted, When I finally found out everything changed for me... businessman on the Gold Coast. 'Kenton is a very successful throughout south-east Queensland.' He's got a chain of coffee outlets

want to protect that? How could you not to where he is.' 'He's a guy who's come from nothing

I was born in California between the time I was one and two. and my mother and father separated My stepfather...he was manipulative. like a prisoner in the house. Made me feel

that I was her child. And my mum forgot, in some ways, down to my grandparents. And I went packed off a lot of his insight into life He was essentially raised and got through his grandparents. and the lessons that you learn ended up retiring My grandparents with my mother and stepfather. and from that I had to move back sending me back into a hell hole. And they didn't realise they were I was a new kid in high school. that used to get beaten up. I was a kid So with no support from home, I'd dropped out. within a six-month period to choose...him or me. And asked my mum one last time And she packed my bags. "He'll be here forever And she said, in a few years anyway." and you'll be gone aimlessly going around odd jobs, I then found myself for a few years cleaning, waiting tables, not knowing what to do. really lost, I was in a young relationship At the time, and we had a daughter, Jessica. a young family overwhelmed us The pressures of having and we ended up separating and remarrying. and she ended up moving on at the time Kenton was in Seattle and in the early 90s on the road. they had a lot of espresso carts espresso carts around Seattle. In the end he had about five Australian gentlemen said, One day these two somebody like you in Australia." "Look, we'd really love to have The hardest part was saying goodbye to my daughter. She didn't understand and I remember the thing that sticks in my mind is that she said, "It's OK, I've got two dads. I've got one staying". (BREATHES SHAKILY) In 1995 Kenton arrived in Australia. Within the first couple of days of being here,

he was involved in a pretty serious car accident. Once he'd been to the hospital, they recommended that he go see a massage therapist to help him with his whiplash injury, which is where he met me. I'd ask her later on what she thought of me that first night

and she said, "Yeah, pretty good when you shut up. Thought you were kind of cute when you shut up." During that period I went down to Melbourne to open up a store for the company that brought me over and while I was down there the general manager said, "We've screwed up. We've got you over here on a Visitor's Visa and you can't work for us and we can't pay you anything." He depended on me a lot monetarily, It was very stressful and I doubted myself many, many a time just thinking, "Have I done the right thing? What's this guy doing? What's he up to?" I remember typing him up a resume just to help him out and he started working. I thought, "Yep, this is right, he's not going to sit on the couch and do nothing. I've got a good one here." The first day I went into work it was at a coffee shop. I went and smelled the beans

and it was like, "Oh my God, this is awful." It wasn't what I was used to in Seattle.

I think what he realised is when he was working in a coffee shop that - firstly, the takeaway cups. In America they're huge, everyone has the paper cups. Nobody was carrying around takeaway coffee. And I looked and I looked and I looked and...nothing. And I was like, "It hasn't happened here yet." I hadn't realised until that point that the specialty coffee market was yet to hit Australia. This was 1996 and I started the business by talking Rachel into a $9,000 personal loan. That's what I had to do and Rachel didn't like it. In 1997 I opened my first coffee retail shop.

It was one of the proudest moments of my life. I wanted another one right away, and she said, "No, you said one shop."

And we opened up our second shop in '99 and then from there, it was just the next step and the next step. The solution to not stressing out my entire family and myself was to franchise.

And it just grew and it grew and it grew 'til it's 40 stores that we have, as of December. Coming from a tough childhood and coming from America, I thought, "I'm going to make money," because money would fix the problems I had, right? Well, wrong. Because when I got there it didn't fix everything and in fact it was quite empty. I think he made the decision that, "I've got some time on my hands now, I have great people working, the business is running fine, what can I do to give back?" Then I had the chance and opportunity to meet Steve Irwin. I see you, big fella. I see you. There he is!

I could see why people were attracted to him, because he had definitely an aura about him and he knew what he wanted and I liked being around that. Come on, big boy. Come on. I was thinking potentially getting him on a promotion. I mean, that's what any good businessman would think. And instead he said that he wanted me to help the koala hospital.

He said, "look, I need you to understand something. If this zoo's to survive past me, it can't survive off of my name, because one day I won't be here." I think it'd be easy to understand why it stuck with me so hard when later that year he died.

And I called the koala hospital and I said, "I really want to help." Two weeks later, I got a phone call and it was from somebody I didn't expect, it was from Steve's father, Bob Irwin.

And I'd never met the guy before. I'd seen him obviously on the TV and he said, "Please come up, I'd like to have a face-to-face meeting with ya." Australia has the worst record of any developed nation in the world for extinct and endangered species. I'm prepared to do the best I can but I would like more people to get involved. How're you going, mate? G'day, Kenton. How you doing? Good, mate. I remember during this meeting I thought, "you've got to chill out, you're meeting a really nice, pretty cool dude here. and he's just lost something very special to him, so, you know, don't be your usual self, chill out." You would not know this place, you've put so much work into it. There are people around that are trying to get involved with environmental issues, wildlife issues, that are not doing it for the right reasons. Skippy thinks she owns the place. 'They may be doing it for the money or they may be doing it to boost their own ego or whatever.' About halfway into the conversation, I noticed he kind of lent back and said, without saying it, I got this feeling of, "Yeah, we'll see." He agreed to sponsor the koala research at Ironbark Station, which proved to be very successful. Ran over a three-year period and we learnt a lot from that. And that was basically thanks to Kenton's input. I'd started to re-ignite something I'd first had in the coffee industry. I felt like I was starting to get my passion back and really, I felt like I had a purpose. I introduced Kenton to Dr Jon Hanger. John is probably the foremost authority on koala research. I believe that we should be alarmed at what's happening to koalas. The situation is diabolical. We're talking about the tipping points for extinction. We have strong evidence that the population's in dramatic decline. And yet the amount of money that is being spent on investigating ways that we can address the decline or, in fact, what the cause of decline is, are an absolute pittance. How far do we have to head off? I don't think he's gonna be too far. Radio tracking is, I guess, one of the most valuable tools for studying koalas in the wild. If we can do that thoroughly and with enough koalas, we can get some very good data on what are the causes of mortality. The koala that gets hit by a car on the road is easily visible. Conversely, we could be seeing a lot of koala deaths occurring in relatively pristine bushland areas that we're not getting any data on. What will the difference be with the new technology you're talking about? I've been discussing with Kenton how to develop a radio collar

that gives us a lot more information than the ones that we're currently using. What's that there? Yeah, that's him. Before, you might be able to find information when it was too late. We're wanting to find information basically as it happens, as real time as possible.

That's the stuff that we have to know if we're gonna measure populations... We do have an IT company that we built to help out with the retail coffee business that we have. I've been talking with our programmers and trying to get them to do the software side of the collar program. This is where you need to go. Drive to the closest point and get out of your car. And within three or four minutes... Kenton reminds me a bit of Steve Irwin because Steve had an incredible passion and a real desire, when he saw a problem, to fix it. And I see reflections of that in Kenton. He can be exhausting at times. There's no off-switch with Kenton and Steve Irwin didn't have an off-switch either. To see just how bad the virus is... People say to me, "Is there going to be another Steve Irwin?" And I don't think there will be. But I think what Steve would have liked about Kenton is his passion, because unless you've got that, you are never going to be successful to solve the wildlife issues that we've got in this country. Boys, pick a few mangoes? Yeah! The problem that Kenton's got is that he's got to divide his time between running a successful business, helping sort some of our wildlife issues, and looking after his young family. He's got three lovely little boys. Now, that's not going to be easy to manage. Rachel and I have three beautiful young boys, Vaughn, Zachary and Aareton, and they're all three just really beautiful and a big part of my life. But there's always going to be a special place in my heart for Vaughn. TV ANNOUNCER: What happens when a mother gets sick and the only person around to help is her three-year-old child? Vaughn Campbell may have saved his mum's life when she had a seizure... It was in 2003. I had a grand mal seizure. I don't have any recollection of the day, but I had had a seizure and had dropped Zachary from breastfeeding him and fell down. TV ANNOUNCER: So this little man of the house

set about saving mum's life. I was scared. I didn't know what to do. I was just so frightened. I just knew I needed help. I went to my room and grabbed a wooden chair that my mum made for me and took it down to the garage and opened the door. Went to next door neighbour's, knocked on their door. They came and called the ambulance.

TV ANNOUNCER: Father Kenton was at a meeting. The ambulance went off with her to the Gold Coast Hospital.

They came up and said, "Kenton, we feel she's hemorrhaged... ..and 95% sure she's gone". All of a sudden, I had everything and nothing. Now, the good news is they came back and said, "Whoops, sorry, she's not dead, but she does have a very serious infection to the brain." The neurologist diagnosed me with epilepsy. That is because I had several more seizures.

We've got to the point now, which is seven years on, where the medication that I am on is working. There's a certain part of me that blamed myself, and still does, for her turn because of the stress of business... ..and I did that. Now I'm fine and the boys are fine and everything's great. It's like a relief that now he feels confident to move on to the next phase. GENTLE MUSIC I've come to Canberra to see Tony Abbott and a few other politicians to let them know how I feel, I suppose, about the environmental situation here in Australia. Kenton, welcome to Parliament House. Thanks for inviting me. It's good to be here. Let's do some work. This isn't about party politics. I will talk to anybody that wants to listen. Elders have said to me they don't want the slaughter of the dugong.

Kenton's not a born wildlife lover...

We need some support and help around it. ..but you need a person like Kenton to bring other parties together and make things happen and that's what Kenton's strength is. Kenton Campbell. How are you, Kenton? Good to see you. Tony Abbott. Thanks for coming to see me, I appreciate it. People like Tony Abbott want to know what I have to say. So I'm here to let him know what a lot of people are thinking right now in our community. I've become such a shocking coffee snob. Unless it comes out of the cappuccino machine these days, I just won't have it. He's able to talk to politicians, to open doors for us. I also believe there's a lot of people that think the same way I do from my community. Unless you can talk to the politicians and the leaders of this country then we aren't going to be able to change their policies. I'm tackling it from the backyard and I'm here today to, I suppose, find out, one, how I can help from my point of view, and then how I can get some support and help also.

GUITAR STRUMS I introduced Kenton to Craig and Gabrielle Latta because I was involved with the projects that they're doing, breeding endangered turtles.

There's two threatened species on this bank. We originally started working with the Mary River turtle because they are the second most endangered freshwater turtle in Australia.

Oh, look, turtle shells. There we go. There we go. How about that? This year we had our most successful year breeding Mary River turtles and we've actually hatched over 200 so far, which is phenomenal. All of these tubs are our Mary River turtle hatchlings, or juveniles, from this season. These are the ones we're hoping to release back into the river. The problem is, is that we know that unless we can get some financial support, it's going to be impossible for us to release all of those individuals. I've decided to purchase a few of the clutches meaning the small turtles when they hatch. Each of the clutches is going to be around $3,000 approximately. A few of the turtles in here are actually adult breeding Mary River turtles. And I'm hoping to get a few of the other corporate citizens out there to do the right thing. You know come out and say, "I can make a difference too, and I'll follow your lead." One of the biggest things I've had to come to terms with in my life is being a dad and being a good role model. ALL: Hi, Mum! Based on the upbringing I've had, it scared me. I think he sometimes overcompensates for that. It's a constant need to be loved and to be hugged and to be shown affection. This is the fastest! he's always been like that and I think that fills the void of his family not being with him and coming for the journey as well.

The last few years I've made the long distance trek to see my grandfather. He told me he was proud of me. That's all I ever wanted, you know. I'd give a million bucks for each one of my other family to say the same and really mean it. (SQUEALS) Nice. That's the way. He's not close to his family He doesn't have a relationship with his mother at all, which is sad. I don't wish her ill will, but I needed to become indifferent. Alright, who's up for a little jog up the end to dry off? Sometimes you've just got to get on with your life, and that's what I've done. Christmas of '03 ended up being really good for me. I got in contact with my daughter again. Well, Jessica is Kenton's daughter from the States. She's just turned 19. I encouraged it as much as possible for him to get back in contact and spend some time with her. Oh, I was excited. I was like - I remember going getting my hair tinted and trying to get the young daddy look going on, and I remember her getting off the plane and just running over and hugging her and she's like... And she stayed for a couple of weeks and got to know her brothers and went back just that little bit closer to me. The best thing that happened to me was this last year visiting for Christmas she said, "For the first time, I feel like you are my father". That's all I needed. I didn't need anything else, you know. And I told her I realised, and I apologised for those years I wasn't there. I'm looking forward to when she comes over and spends a lot more time with us, probably a good year or so. It is a dream of mine to go out and to make a huge difference when it comes to the marine environment. The ocean and the animals that are in it, it's like another world, it's like I can escape. I don't hear anything, people can't hear me, I'm in a world where, you know, it's amazing. When I'm no longer here, I want to see other people around who are able to take up the baton and actually run with it. And so people like Kenton they are just so important because there isn't enough of those people around to help all our animals out there that are desperate. And I would like to feel like if the next 30 years of my life or more can be this conservation, environmental change, that we need here in Australia, then it's a wonderful life. THEME MUSIC Closed Captions by CSI

This Program Is Captioned

Live. Good Good evening, Virginia Haussegger with an ABC news update. The trial of update. The trial of Australian Rio Tinto Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu has begun in Shanghai. There are reports are reports he will plead guilty to some of the charges against him. Hu and three colleagues were detained months ago, accused of months ago, accused of taking bribes and stealing China's commercial secrets. commercial secrets. The President calls victory for the people. His critics say it's communism. Barack Obama's has finally been approved by Representatives. And the and NSW Governments rejected calls to ban rejected calls to ban police pursuits in light of pursuits in light of had weekend's tragic accident. A family of three family of three was killed when their car was struck by another vehicle that had run a light. The driver of that car also died. Hundreds of people have lined the streets of Queanbeyan to welcome Queanbeyan to welcome home Formula One Formula One star Mark Webber. It was It was his first visit home since winning in Germany and Brazil Brazil last year. He was back for a quick visit ahead for a quick visit ahead of Sunday's And to Canberra's weather, sunny tomorrow, a top of 26 degrees after an overnight degrees after an overnight low of 9. Sydney 26, of 9. Sydney 26, Melbourne 23, Adelaide 25. More news in one