Episode 21 of Childers Podcast – Family

The fire at the Palace Backpackers Hostel in Childers on June 23, 2000 changed lives forever. It took young men and women way too soon and caused immeasurable trauma to those who escaped the building that night. They would return home a very different version of the carefree backpacker who set off on the travel adventure of a lifetime, leaving […]

Episode 20 of Childers Podcast – Neil’s Story

When Neil Griffith and his University friend Nigel decided to pack up their life in late 1999 and head to Australia on the adventure of a lifetime, they were young, carefree fun-seekers with the world at their feet. But it would be a trip engulfed by multiple episodes of tragedy and trauma and a key role in the investigation into […]

Episode 19 of Childers Podcast – The Legacy of the Fire

The Childers fire is considered the worst arson attack in Queensland history. The after effects were far-reaching with local businesses and the tourism industry taking both a financial and reputational hit. Solutions needed to be found and that started with fixing Queensland’s inadequate fire safety laws. In Episode 19 of Childers – The Full Story podcast, former Queensland Premier Peter […]

Childers Podcast Episode 18 – Creating a Memorial to the Palace 15

It took just two years and four months for the Palace to be re-opened following a full re-build on the site of the exisiting hostel. There was considerable consultation with the community and the victims’ families before agreeing on what would be a stunning memorial to the Palace 15. But getting to that highly emotional unveiling was far more complex […]

Episode 17 of Childers Podcast – Acquiring the Building

There’s a stained glass window which sits over the entrance to the Palace Hostel in Childers. It was fitted during the rebuild after the 1902 fire and for almost a century it stood as a beacon to the most prominent facade on the main street. Somehow it survived the June 2000 Backpackers Hostel fire. Today it sits as a champion […]

Episode 16 of Childers Podcast – Guilty

Immediately after they escaped the burning Palace, a number of backpackers reported their suspicions about the fire and nominated Robert Long to police as the primary suspect. Authorities then set about piecing together a case to prove it was deliberately lit. By establishing arson, they could pursue murder charges. Episode 16 of Childers – The Full Story podcast examines exactly […]

Childers the Podcast: Episode 14 – Man Hunt

A day after the Palace Backpackers Hostel had been burnt down, police identified a man suspected of lighting it. A full scale man hunt was underway and had the Childers community and surrounding towns on edge. They feared for their safety as the man dubbed Australia’s most wanted was on the loose for five days after the fire. During a […]

Childers Podcast Episode 13 – A Princess Comes to Town

The burden of a week of intense grief and trauma was weighing heavily on the survivors and the Childers community. The town needed a lift. It came in the form of the first Royal visit to the region in 25 years. Episode 13 of Childers – The Full Story podcast looks back at the hastily arranged visit by Princess Anne […]

Childers Podcast Episode 12 – Going Dutch

The strong Dutch contingent staying at the Palace brought a unique energy to the backpacker group. And in June 2000 they found a common bond through the love of their national football team. But the fire would tear the group apart and change young lives forever. Episode 12 of CHILDERS – The Podcast chats to Dutch survivors Rob Jansen and […]