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Michael Goodall recalls a dramatic news story

Posted by ken On August - 30 - 2009

Michael Goodall was a cameraman in the newsroom at TVW from 1971 till 2003, continuing the Goodall family tradition where, father Leith Goodall was a freelance cameraman for Movietone cinema newsreels, and brother Peter a pioneering news cameraman from day one at TVW.

Being a news cameraman, takes one to places the ordinary citizen only encounters when watching a news bulletin. Stories from dizzying heights climbing, or in helicopters, feel good encounters, travelling to exotic places or covering stories first hand that can be overly graphic, or at worst, grotesque.

Michael Goodall

One of Perth’s most dramatic news stories unfolded at 7.15pm on Tuesday, October 25, 1994, when a man named Ray Gould entered the Perth Central Police station carrying a loaded shotgun and took Senior Sergeant Denis Perich hostage. Several hours later, as Gould walked out of the police station and across Hay Street, carrying both his shotgun and a police hand gun, more than 20 rounds of ammunition were fired by police, killing him.

TVW news cameraman Michael Goodall got the call, and attended the scene… here is Mike’s first hand account…

“I got the call from a very frantic chief of staff at 8.30pm on a cold Tuesday night. It was the classic “Man with a gun”, scenario. A disturbed man with a cowboy hat had the duty sergeant of the Central Police Station in Perth held up with a gun. The area around the scene was blocked off for half a mile. A cameraman’s nightmare. The reporter and I were not actually told not to go in. Just a firm “You can’t get through here.” from the police. There was a command post a mile from the scene but we were not going to get anything worthwhile there. We searched the local street directory for a lane or track into the siege area and found a way in behind a cricket ground that was near the scene. It was a 1/2 mile walk to a clump of bamboo near the river and only fifty yards from where the man had the police held up.

Just in front of us near our bamboo hideout were three police officers crouching near a laneway. They didn’t know we were only a few yards behind them. We had to speak in whispers so we wouldn’t get sprung. The scanner was turned down so low that I had difficulty hearing it right up to my ear. We sat there shivering with cold and covered with mosquitos for nearly four hours until we saw the ambulances arrive. Always a sign the end is near. I stood up and pressed the record button on my aging Betacam. (Filter 1 with 18db gain) The NP1 camera battery had one foot in the grave and the warning light was flashing like a beacon on top of the camera. The police officers in front noticed us advancing from the rear and indicated to us to get down. At 2.33am the Tactical Response Group (SWAT) called out to the gunman who is now on the same side of the street and heading towards us. PUT THE GUN DOWN!. PUT IT DOWN!. The gunman turned away from us and walked the other way up the street. PUT THE GUN DOWN! He started to raise one of the guns he had and… CRACK CRACK CRACK…… The gunman was hit by twenty three bullets and died instantly slumped up against the wall of the cricket ground. I rushed the tape back to the station and I got home at 4.20am. I pulled the top off a can of Emu Export and sat in the darkness on the front porch of my house. My wife mumbled something from the bedroom about me being quiet when I get home so late from work.”

Mike Goodall News Room Photos 1972-1980

Shell tour 1972 Brian Bourke in sitting in the back on the bus

Mike Goodall, reporter Marilyn Georgeff and Colonel Sanders 1976

Newsroom 4.jpg
Newsroom 1978 from the back, Geoff Paddick , Brian Coulter and Hartley Joint

Alison newsroom.jpg
Alison Fan in the newsroom 1979

Steve Thompson 1979 in the PEC (Portable Electronic Camera) Van

1980 Alison Fan in Hong Kong 1980 with Mike Goodall and West Ashton on assignment

Photographers on a royal visit West Ashton is the Channel Seven cameraman in the foreground

5 Responses to “Michael Goodall recalls a dramatic news story”

  1. Martha Ansara says:

    Dear Michael Goodall,
    Hoping to find a photo that the Australian Cinematographers Society wants for a book. (Deadline within a month) Daryl Binning has a copy but it is not good enough. Also we’d love more nfo. So just hoping that you may have the original, and that this email gets to you. Your father is standing next to a car with a camera beside him – in the car is a woman (your mother?)
    Thanks for any info you can give.
    Martha Ansara for the ACS
    I’m fascinated to learn that both you and your brother are cinematographers – in Sydney now we have some families going for three generations!

  2. Ron Frank says:

    Most enjoyable as this brings back memories so many of the back room guys are never mentioned but we
    know what happened as we were there?
    Chaps like Ken Kemp never mentioned and with out him none of what you write about would have been
    The front line guys claim all the glory and the back end gets forgotten.
    As a supplier I witnessed the personal hardships that the purchasing department went through and
    it is sad to now see that the dedication that guys like Ken Kemp put in was never appreciated.
    There is always several sides to every story.
    The covering up when the front liners did something that management could not know and the suppliers who
    Loaned gear or supplied gear without payment PRA disguised payment to cover up a front line fopah.
    Over all I have enjoyed reading your history but felt the need to add theses few words.
    All the best

  3. Norm Stephen says:

    The hostage incident: Was it a case of desired “death by police?”. Was it a clear and proper process resulting in death? Was it a case of “group thought” gone very wrong and resulting in death? Was it a case of a large group of adrenalin charged people releasing uncontrolled energy resulting in death? Was it an inadvertent and or unlawful execution? Was it something else? What was it? Must read the coronial enquiry to get this bug out of the back of my head, a bug that has been hanging around since 1994 when I saw the vision on the idiot box.
    Thanks for inducing me into action. Maybe a budding young story researcher might look into the matter.

  4. Pam Brashaw says:

    Hello Mike, i hope you are doing well.l am a bit late in contacting you. Just reasociating myself,in 60’s mode, with computers,slowly.A few years ago i was very privilaged to meet your son, Aaron, again, & your lovely grandaughter, Sienna. She said to me that she wants to be an artist! Runs in the family! I now live in the bush,(gone back home after so many years, thank goodness, nice & quiet). You are a very brave man, & a bit crazy too, in the manner of risking your life for that great story & most of all; ‘That Best Shot’! Love all of your “Goodall Dynasty Websight”; didn’t know you were such a famous individual,& all your family too. Anyway, i still love you heaps & your family, the ones that i know. Take care, best wishes. From your friend, always, Pam Brashaw.(the computer implied that i have said all this before, oh well, sixty’s,what can i say except repeat myself!) love rules. X

  5. Pam Brashaw says:

    Hello, my name is Pam Yvonne Brashaw. I met Mike quite a long time ago, and he made me an easel, as i,(hoped to be then), and now i have been and will always be a portrait artist, as well as everything else. I would very much like to contact Mike to let him know that the 42year old easel is still standing, and it is the BEST easel i will always have. My mobile phone number is: 0448514970. (ie.the inscription on the easel says; Beautifuly built and designed by Micheal for Pam August 1974 (Patent Pending). Texting me is alrigt too. Will he get this message? Thank you. Pam x

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