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November 26, 2022
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Born Free
Produced by: Natalie Kestecher
Built on the site of a colonial era estate, the John Morony Correctional Complex in Sydney’s outer suburban fringe covers 300 acres and all the bases. There are minimum and maximum-security prisons for men, and a women’s prison. There is also accommodation for a seized crocodile, smuggled parrots, endangered snakes, crippled kangaroos and wounded wombats. In the middle of an Australian summer the sprawling prison grounds are dry, bare and flat, and the whole complex is surrounded by high chain link fences topped with razor wire. Within this forbidding environment there lies an unlikely refuge, a literal sanctuary of green, with a lush garden, shady trees and plenty of water. The wildlife center is part animal hospital, part educational facility – and a congenial workplace for three correctional officers and ten minimum security male inmates. Producer Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation takes listeners inside a jail to meet up with a group of men for whom working in a cage might even be fun. This program airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: The World of Crime.

Program Credits

Born Free was produced by Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The sound engineer was Steven Tilley. It originally aired as part of the special international collaboration, Global Perspectives on Crime.


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Programs by Natalie Kestecher

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