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