The Australian‘s hugely popular The Teacher’s Pet true crime podcast came away last night with the top gong in Aussie journalism, the Gold Walkley, at the Walkley Awards in Brisbane last night.
The 14-episode series investigated the disappearance and suspected murder of missing Sydney woman Lyn Dawson, who was last seen in 1982 at age 33. It was downloaded by 27 million listeners from across the globe.
The Teacher’s Pet is the only Aussie podcast to have ever hit #1 in the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
The podcast series looks into evidence implicating Dawson’s husband, former footballer and school teacher, Chris Dawson, who at the time of her disappearance was in a relationship with his underage student, Joanne Curtis.
As interest in the case surged with the release of the podcast, police reopened the cold case. In September, a forensic search of the former home of the Dawsons offered up no new leads.
Two separate inquests recommended Dawson be charged for the murder of his wife, but no charges have been laid due to a lack of evidence. Dawson maintains his innocence.
The Teacher’s Pet was described by the Walkley Judging Board as “a masterclass in investigative journalism… The investigation uncovered long-lost statements and new witnesses, and prompted police to dig again for the body of Lyn Dawson”.
ABC reports that when journo Hedley Thomas accepted the award he said that he would like to continue working with the podcast form: “This is what I want to do from now on.”
Thomas and producer Slade Gibson also won the Walkley for Investigative Journalism.
The first season of ABC’s true crime podcast, Unravel: Blood on the Tracks, investigating the death of a 17-year-old Indigenous boy, Mark Haines, in Tamworth in 1988, was also recognised last night. Reporter Allan Clarke and digital producer Yale Macgillivray with the Unravel team won the Walkley for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs.
If you’re interested in unsolved crime podcasts, you might be interested in PEDESTRIAN.TV‘s All Aussie Mystery Hour podcast, where we discuss some of Australia‘s most-enduring mysteries. Subscribe on iTunes HERE, or on Spotify HERE. Or, you can just listen / download below.