Four Corners - Anna's Story (Cornelia Rau)
She was roaming Cape York in the wet season, ill and alone. To those who gave the strange young woman food and drink or a bed, she gave her name as Anna, from Germany. Now all of Australia knows who she is. Cornelia Rau hit a nation's nerve.
Cornelia Rau’s case has raised uncomfortable questions about how Australia treats people at the social margins such as the mentally ill, prisoners and asylum-seekers. Four Corners follows Rau's tracks from the wide open spaces of the Top End to the cramped confines of "solitary" in Brisbane Women's Prison and Baxter detention centre in South Australia.
People who crossed her path - through chance encounters on the road or through longer acquaintances forged in custody – describe her deteriorating health and her erratic dealings with authorities and fellow inmates.
Witnesses' testimonies, along with other new evidence obtained by Four Corners, reveal the system did more to Cornelia Rau than neglect her and incarcerate her. Warnings went unheeded. She was treated harshly, placed in potential danger, and her dignity was abused.
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