Client Focus: Hedley Thomas

Hedley Thomas has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement In Journalism at the 2018 GQ Men of the Year Awards.

“I’d always held this long… sense of injustice about the case,” says Hedley Thomas, the investigative reporter behind The Australian’s astronomically successful Teacher’s Pet podcast. “It’s always grated on me that it wasn’t dealt with properly in the beginning.”

The case Thomas is talking about is that of Sydney mother Lynette ‘Lyn’ Dawson, who disappeared from her home in 1982. Despite two separate coroner’s inquests concluding that she was murdered by the hands of her husband Chris, he was never charged with her murder and her body has never been found. It was this lack of closure and Thomas’ knack for pursuing stories other journalists would deem too challenging that saw him launch a podcast that would become a platform from which he could further investigate the case.

Little did Thomas know that his podcast, which was one of the trailblazers of the serial crime category, would be downloaded 18 million times, secure audiences all over the world and – most profoundly – resurface and spearhead the news surrounding the case in Australia’s major metropolitan papers.

The Teachers Pet has led to an unsuccessful police dig for Lyn’s remains at her former Bayview home and has also seen the set-up of Strike Force Southwood – to investigate historical claims of sexual abuse by teachers from various high schools around the northern beaches. In one series of the podcast, Thomas has achieved what other high-profile reporters spend their entire careers working towards: he effected change.

Credit: GQ Man of the Year Awards staff report. For the full article, go to GQ.com.au

The Teacher’s Pet podcast can be accessed through iTunes or from here.