60 Minutes: July 16

60 Minutes marks 20 years since a landslide at Thredbo and the rescue of Stuart Diver.

The Survivor
Twenty years ago this month the world was transfixed by the frantic search for life at the alpine ski resort of Thredbo. A landslide had obliterated two ski lodges, burying 19 people beneath an enormous deluge of mud, concrete and rock. As hours turned into days, and with temperatures plunging well below freezing, the prospect of finding survivors began to fade. That was until the muffled cries of Stuart Diver were heard from beneath the rubble. With incredible courage, Stuart clung to life as an extraordinary rescue effort got underway. And 65 nerve-wracking hours after the landslide, Thredbo’s sole survivor emerged to the cheers of the world. For Stuart Diver the elation was short-lived. Numbed by the loss of his beloved wife Sally and so many close friends and neighbours, he struggled to rebuild his life. Eventually he found new love and looked to start a family. But once again tragedy struck when his second wife, Rosanna, was diagnosed with cancer. She lost her fight for life, but not before giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. In a breathtaking 60 Minutes interview, Stuart Diver speaks candidly to Tara Brown about Thredbo and his life of love and loss. We meet those who were pivotal to his survival and the daughter who has become his world. Two decades after the disaster, Stuart’s incredible zest for life is an inspiration to us all.
Reporter: Tara Brown
Producer: Stefanie Sgroi

Boom to Bust
It’s no secret that the big banks can be ruthless when they want their money back. But this story reveals a new low in their breathtaking arrogance. For more than 30 years Roy Lavis helped to build Cairns and turn it into the bustling tourist mecca it is today. His construction company also directly and indirectly employed several thousand locals. Roy’s business was so prosperous the Commonwealth Bank threw money at him and encouraged him to expand. In return he always paid them back on time, principal and interest. Everyone was a winner. Until suddenly the bank changed its mind.
Reporter: Ross Coulthart
Producer: Grace Tobin

Search for a Son
A thirst for adventure took Australian Owen Rooney on a dream trip halfway around the world. But he never made it back home. After walking out of a Canadian hospital in 2010, Owen, then 24, simply vanished into the night. It soon became clear the circumstances of Owen’s disappearance were as disturbing as they were baffling. In the months after he went missing 60 Minutes joined Owen’s family in British Columbia as they searched in vain for their son. There were no answers then, and in the years since, his fate has remained a mystery. That is, until now.
Reporter: Peter Stefanovic
Producer: Ali Smith

8:45pm Sunday on Nine.


  1. I am amazed by the strength of Stuart Diver, loosing two wives, working to bring up his daughter and surviving the horrific Threadbo ordeal. I do wish he finds love again, he is an inspiration to me. I spend too much time thinking of my own issues when a remarkable man such as Stuart can remain positive under such extreme challenges. Good on you, i will try to remember what you have survived (considering all you have overcome) the next time im unhappy with my life.

  2. Wow what tragedies Stuart has gone through. Losing your first wife in such horrific circumstances but to recover from that and also his own trauma and finding happiness again only to lose her to a horrible disease. It’s remarkable to wonder how he goes on, but I guess having his daughter gives him purpose. Well done to him.

    I will actually tune in to watch this.

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