TRAC Productions honours all Traditional Owners of Country in Australia
TRAC Productions makes vivid and exclusive programmes that go around the world. Producer Robert Cockburn’s broadcast work is for the BBC, National Geographic and Journeyman Pictures. Robert is a journalist and a drama writer for stage and screen. A former correspondent in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq for The Observer and BBC, he has worked widely for the BBC, UK Guardian and The Times as well as writing for the Public Library of Science Medicine, Amnesty International, The American Prospect, the satirical Private Eye and across the Australian print and broadcast media.
The Hotel Hibiscus
by Robert Cockburn – a stage and film wartime ghost story...
Wicked drama and satire is sparked as the ghost of Samson, a young bus driver shot dead in a Pacific island war, rises to find his killer at the Hotel Hibiscus where he was working until an hour ago.
Who Dunnit? Soldiers? Rebels? The Australian peace negotiator or even Patty the proprietor? Join Samson at the hotel bar... with one foot in this world and the next.
First produced on stage by Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Arts, NIDA, with the legendary Bob Maza. Workshopped for Melbourne's Play Box Theatre with actor John Howard at Sydney Theatre Company's Wharf Theatre. The screenplay adaptation is funded by the Australian Film Commission. Thanks to the UK National Film and Television School at the outset.
By a spooky coincidence this year's 2022 Booker Prize goes to a wartime ghost story that is eerily similar to the Australian play The Hotel Hibiscus, first produced by NIDA over 20 years ago.
Breathtaking - Asthma, Ethics, Money
Some of Australia’s most eminent doctors and scientists from Sydney University have been caught conning unwitting asthma patients into dangerous tests of lung devices – without saying these were experimental. TRAC’s unique inside detective story exposes for the first time in Australia this insidious racket and its cover-up by unethical medical companies, university researchers and health officials.
Our investigations led to reforms and now a formal review by the Federal Government science watchdog, the Australian Research Integrity Committee. It will report in 2022.
Click here for a more technical version of article in the online journal "For Better Science".
Copyright Robert Cockburn, TRAC Productions 2022.
Mrs Helm Cracks the Secret of Camelot
Aussie grandma Joan Helm sees something the experts missed to crack the ‘unsolvable’ 800-year secret in the immortal romance at Camelot. Joan opens up a lost history hidden in the earliest medieval manuscript of the love story at the court of King Arthur. It leads to the real 12thC court of Windsor Castle where the literary legend began, to a mighty King and Queen, royal adultery, a divided family, war and an age of momentous discoveries.
Joan overcomes huge obstacles to finally win international recognition and a PhD.
Into the South China Sea – 1-hour film documentary
The incredible lost history of Australia’s WWII RAAF Catalina flying boat crews and their secret missions to stop Japan for America's legendary General Douglas MacArthur. And they did it in antique aeroplanes saved from the scrapyard and going slower than a family car.
Tragic, comic, subversive, the last surviving RAAF Catalina airmen tell how they succeeded against all odds on dangerous and improvised missions to stop the Japanese Navy on flights up to 24 hours all the way to China - only to be forgotten in an ocean of official files.
Version One of Into the South China Sea is a private film made for RAAF WWII Catalina flying boat airmen, their families and supporters. It is not perfect
Click for details on: Into the South China Sea
The Malaria Parasites– 1-hour film documentary
‘The fake drug racket is one of the greatest atrocities,’ says Dr Dora Akunyili who took on the violent criminal gangs who killed her sister with fake insulin, ‘Mass murder!’ But it’s not only criminals who leave patients to die, as a cover-up by UK pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline reveals.
Ferrari – Archive of Lost Dreams– 1-hour film documentary
Closed up for years, the archives of Italy’s racing car genius Enzo Ferrari are reopened - with stunning consequences. Forgotten blueprints are used again to rebuild lost classic cars. But there's a prediction: ‘The private car will die’ as the classics become art history. Go on a test drive!
A short political comedy
Now on You Tube, a spookily prophetic comedy of secret political lovers facing disaster. Before Gladys and Daryl, came Australia’s fictitious NSW Transport Minister Rosa and her political rival and lover, Dick. Caught in Sydney traffic, can the conflicted couple escape a corruption rap?
Produced by Robert Cockburn and Elizabeth Tadic
Starring Jenny Apostolou, Hugh Wade, Elizabeth Tadic with guest appearance by radio DJ Robbie Buck
Rejected outright by Tropfest!
Grow – 10 minute film
Made with Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove, the incredible story of a small, virtually unknown self-help group now attracting wealthy mental health too as they together defy Australia’s suicide crisis and save public spending – all free of charge
Were Australian Aborigines the first astronomers?
Click for for broadcast: Aboriginal Astronomy BBC Discovery
Click for for broadcast: ABC Radio's Science Show
Click for for broadcast on: BBC World Service - Science in Action