The ABC’s Australian Story has been steering a dangerous course, somewhere between the Shoals of New Idea and the Reef of Lowest Common Denominator Sentimentality. Who can recall that awful Oz story hagiography on Pan Pharmaceuticals founder Jim Selim without lunging for their nearest vial of Kangaroo Poo and native beeswax anti-emetic? (Sorry, no clinical trial evidence available at this time). Were it not for my respect for eternal presenter Caroline Jones – “hello, I’m Caroline Jones and I’m 923 years old” – I’d never watch.

However, I’m very glad I caught the show on Hazel Hawke on Monday night. We all now know that Hazel has Alzheimer’s and is at the beginning of a long and pretty much inevitable decline into the awful isolation that is the concomitant of that disease. I thought it was bloody brave – typically so – of Hazel and her family to tackle it in a lowkey almost matter-of-fact way, designed to demystify and, OK, educate – but in a very engaging way.

It wasn’t in the least mawkish and in fact, said something profound to me about the indomitability of human spirit – Hazel’s in particular.

She’s magic.

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James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2024 years ago

Geoff I regret I missed it though I understand it is repeated on Saturday. I heard from my morning announcer on the local ABC station that it was a wonderful show and he said pretty much as you said. It reminded me very much of the dignity and bravery of Ronald Reagan when he announced that he was suffering from the disease.

2024 years ago

If you can catch the repeat it’s worth it; everything Geoff says is on the money.
Hazel is one of the truly great Australians. I know it’s a cheap shot, but why did she marry a dill like Bob?