Updated: Feb 7
Style: True Crime
Average Episode Length: 50 mins
On January 26, in Australia, we celebrate Australia Day. Families and friends celebrate together with cold beers, a sizzling barbie, and a competitive game of backyard or beach cricket. Wondering what is this celebration all about? Well, this public holiday marks the day in 1788, when 11 British ships, full of convicts, landed on Australian soil and declared the beginning of the British colony. This day also marks the beginning of the devastating history and maltreatment of Australia's native Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and it is something more Australians now recognize and are sensitive to, especially on January 26. As a proud Aussie, who does find it hard to reconcile my country's cruel past, I still wanted to mark this day with an Australian podcast recommendation, and in true Kat style it is an investigative podcast, The Teacher's Pet. Similar to Australia's tarred history, this podcast is about one mans desire to have it all, and all the disastrous consequences that embed themselves into the lives of future generations.
The Teacher's Pet is one of Australia most acclaimed podcasts. Created by a tenacious journalist, Hedley Thomas and The Australian (a renowned Australian media company) this podcast caused mass media attention when it was first released in 2018. The 17-episode series is all about the mysterious and highly suspicious disappearance of doting mum Lyn Dawson. Despite Lyn's then husband, Chris' shocking actions before and soon after her disappearance, he to this day, insists that Lyn chose to up and leave her young family despite her devotion to her two young girls. The story is marred with distressing stories of sexual abuse of high school students, by their teachers who included Chris Dawson, and the grooming of one student in particular, Joanne Curtis. It is Joanne who freshly out of high school, quickly and naively takes the place of Lyn.
Each episode of The Teacher Pet is a meaty hour or more long. It's easy to get lost in Hedley's smooth Aussie drool, as he shares his theory about Lyn's disappearance, backed up by interviews with a myriad of witnesses who knew Lyn, Chris, and Joanne. The conversations with witness, including friends and family, help you to grasp who Lyn, Chris, and Joanne were back in 1982 and why very little has been done to find out what really happened to Lyn.
Hedley's storytelling through this podcast, compelled new witnesses to come forward, drew mass media interest, and renewed police efforts to discover what happened to the loving mother of two. The community's solidarity to find justice for Lyn has lead to a charge, and pending court case later this year, resulting in The Australian taking down the first 16 episodes of the Teacher's Pet for all Australian listeners to ensure the accused gets a fair trial. For listeners not located in Australia, download this podcast now and settle in to some great podcasting.