I Was Actually There on ABC
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Tonight | I Was Actually There on ABC and ABC iview S1E1

I Was Actually There on ABC – On a crisp autumn morning at Port Arthur’s historic convict settlement, a gunman walked into the Broad Arrow Cafe wielding an assault rifle and opened fire, killing 20 people in the first 90 seconds and 35 by the end of the ordeal.

But these details are not what we learn from this show. Instead, we go deep inside the experience and hear from the tourists who ran for their lives, the local GP first on the scene, the journalist that spoke to the gunman on the phone, the sniper that had him in his sights, to understand what it was like to live it.

Brigid Cook was working as a chef at Broad Arrow that day and was shot by the gunman.

“It felt like someone had driven a star picket into my leg. It was really immediate and really wrong,”

– she says.

Somehow, she managed to escape and warn others of what was happening, saving countless lives in the process.

“I was so full of adrenaline I could still run.”

Victorian police sniper Craig Harwood was watching the situation unfold on TV. He was flown to the scene and sworn into the Tasmanian force, tasked with taking out the perpetrator. He spent hours lying alone in the darkness, waiting for an opportunity to bring the siege to an end. But the moment never came.

“My own mum asked me why I didn’t pull the trigger on him. Once you arbitrarily decide to throw the rule book out, you’re as bad as them,”

– he reflects.

28 years on, we learn about the ongoing impact of the day on first responders and survivors. For Pam Fenerty, a local GP who was among the first on the scene to treat victims, dealing with patients in the aftermath became the hardest to cope with.

“There’s a thing called compassion fatigue from listening to the same story repeatedly, which is what happened. You can only take so much.”

Production credit:

A Docker Media Production for ABC. Created by Kirk Docker, Jon Casimir, Aaron Smith. Director, Kirk Docker. Co-Series Producers, Loni Smith and Josh Schmidt. Line Producer, Megan Nass. ABC Commissioning Editor, Julie Hanna. ABC Head of Factual, Susie Jones.

I Was Actually There on ABC and ABC iview – Tuesday 9 July at 8:00pm

TV Central ABC content HERE

Listen to TV Central podcast with creator Kirk Docker HERE

I Was Actually There on ABC

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