Ideas for a brighter future for all

For Griffith University's A Better Future for All series, in partnership with HOTA, Home of the Arts, Kerry O'Brien welcomes Hedley Thomas. 

With more than 70 million downloads, Hedley Thomas’s The Teacher’s Pet is the global podcast phenomenon that helped take down a killer.

In the latest instalment of Griffith University’s A Better Future for All series, Kerry O’Brien talks to the award-winning investigative journalist and podcaster about the power of audio storytelling, and how his work helped take the case of Lynette Dawson’s disappearance 40 years ago to a murder trial and a conviction.

They also talk about Hedley’s new podcast Shandee’s Story, an investigation into the murder of a young woman. The podcast triggered the current royal commission-style inquiry into Queensland’s DNA lab with remarkable revelations of murders and rapes going unsolved due to alleged lab negligence.

Kerry and Hedley delve into what makes a true crime podcast, as well as the tricky legal minefield of reporting on an unsolved case. Where does the balance lie between uncovering the truth and introducing prejudice?

Join Kerry and Hedley as they discuss the case that captivated the world, the new avenues podcasting has opened for investigative journalism, and how his work has prompted debate about the relationship between online information and the criminal justice system.

Hedley Thomas bio 

Hedley has been a journalist for more than 35 years and now focuses on long-form podcast investigations into the unsolved murders of women.

His work on The Teacher’s Pet won him his second Gold Walkley Award; he is the only journalist to have received two.

In 2020, Hedley’s second podcast series into an unsolved murder, The Night Driver, uncovered new evidence in the unsolved 2001 disappearance of Bathurst retail manager, Janine Vaughan.

Most recently Hedley’s third major podcast series, Shandee’s Story, investigated the savage stabbing murder of a young woman in Queensland in 2013. The podcast uncovered failures and inconsistencies in testing and reporting on crime scenes by the State’s DNA laboratory, triggering the reinvestigation of serious unsolved crimes.

The details


Thursday 3 November 2022

7.15 pm AEST 

The event may contain adult themes and is not recommended for people under 15 years of age.

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