Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson
All Media: Investigative journalism
Hedley Thomas wrote and recorded an average of more than 15,000 words each week as new informants came forward in what became a live, unfolding investigation into the disappearance of Sydney mother Lyn Dawson. A massive amount of work went into this podcast investigation—and massive audiences followed. With more than 27 million downloads at latest count, it is the only Australian podcast to go to number 1 in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Thomas found files he was told had been destroyed, and persuaded new witnesses to talk. The Teacher’s Pet triggered a broader public campaign for justice for Lyn.
Thomas began his career in newspapers at 17 as a copy boy at The Gold Coast Bulletin. He was a foreign correspondent in London and spent six years at Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post before returning to Queensland in 1999. His mantelpiece now boasts seven Walkley Awards, including the 2007 Gold Walkley.
Slade Gibson started his professional career as a touring and recording musician before opening a studio focused on music and sound design for film and television. Gibson added original music and audio production to The Teacher’s Pet.
The Teacher’s Pet was a masterclass in investigative journalism. Hedley Thomas’s six months of shoe-leather reporting was told in depth in a 14-part, 220,000-word podcast downloaded more than 19 million times. The investigation uncovered long-lost statements and new witnesses, and prompted police to dig again for the body of Lyn Dawson, who disappeared from her home in 1982.
Feature / Photographic Essay
SBS Online Documentaries
“My Name is Yunus”
“My name is Yunus. I was born in 1990, I do not know my exact date of birth. I am Rohingya and a Sunni Muslim. I want to make a story for the world. I want to do this for my family and also for the Rohingya people, those people suffering in the Bangladesh refugee camps.”
Mohamad Yunus came to Australia in 2012 via Christmas Island and Darwin. He fled the persecution that has now seen his family and approximately 700,000 other Rohingyas cross the border into Bangladesh to escape human rights abuses by the Myanmar military.
Now in the relative safety of suburban Melbourne with a temporary visa, Yunus faces new challenges—isolation, poverty, unemployment, housing affordability, and constant fear for the safety of his family in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Chris Hopkins captured moments from Yunus’ life for SBS’s innovative Instagram documentary She Called me Red. Hopkins writes in his entry statement, “what the future holds for Yunus is unseen, but his commitment to family, his persistence to stay strong and his dreams to become a leader within the broader Australian community, are a testament to those that are given a second chance.”
The judges said: “Chris has captured an amazing intimacy with this series. His use of available light shows a level of patience with his subject and a great technical ability with his camera.”