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Hedley Thomas

Hedley Thomas

Hedley Thomas is an Australian investigative journalist and author.


Personal lifeEdit

Thomas was born to Diana and Hedley Robert Thomas. Thomas' father is a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot[1] and instructed retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force, Angus Houston.[citation needed]

Thomas went to a number of different primary and high schools across Australia, finishing year 12 at Keebra Park high school in Southport on the Gold Coast.[citation needed]

Thomas is married and lives in Brisbane. He has two children.[2] In 2002 Thomas and his family were victims of a death threat and a drive-by shooting.[2]


Soon after completing high school, Thomas started his career as a newspaper copy boy for the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1984.[2]

After nine months as a copy boy he started a journalism cadetship at the Gold Coast Bulletin, then in 1988 moved to The Courier-Mail in Brisbane.[2][3] After a year, he moved to London as a foreign correspondent for News Limited Australia for two years.[citation needed] As a 22-year-old journalist there he covered historic events such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the Romanian Revolution.[4]

Thomas returned to The Courier-Mail in late 1991, working there for 18 months.[2][3] Thomas then moved to become the News Editor at the Hong Kong Standard for six months, before moving to the South China Morning Post in late 1993.[2][3] There Thomas served in a variety of roles, including Senior Reporter, Deputy Features Editor, and Senior Writer.[3]

In 1999 Thomas returned to Brisbane and The Courier-Mail.[3] In 2006 Thomas moved to the Brisbane bureau of The Australian.[3]

After winning the Gold Walkley in 2007, Thomas left journalism in early 2008 to work in the resources sector, with a role in communications, investor and government relations.[5] Thomas returned to journalism and The Australian around 2010.[3]

Thomas has written "Sick to Death", a non-fiction book published by Allen & Unwin about the Jayant Patel case.[3]

Thomas recently covered the AWU affair.

Thomas is the Journalist behind News Limited newspaper, The Australian’s, true crime podcast series, The Teacher’s Pet. The series went straight to number one on the iTunes podcast chart. The first episode set News Corp Australia performance records with more than 20,000 downloads in the first few days, and the surge has continued.

Thomas won the Gold Walkley for a second time in 2018, along with producer Slade Gibson, for the podcast series, “The Teacher’s Pet”, the 14-episode investigation of the unsolved case of missing Sydney mother Lyn Dawson from 1982. Its huge popularity with downloading by 27 million listeners across the world, and being the only Australian podcast to hit the number one spot in the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, was important for Walkley judges.[6]


Thomas has won several major awards in journalism, including the 2007 Gold Walkley for highlighting the flawed police pursuit of Mohamed Haneef, an innocent doctor accused of being a terrorist.[7]

Other awards include:

  • 2012 Queensland Clarion Award for Journalist of the Year[8]
  • 2012 Queensland Clarion Award for Best Investigative 2012 for highlighting evidence overlooked by the judicial inquiry into the operation of the Wivenhoe Dam during the 2011 Queensland floods[8]
  • 2007 Walkley for Best Print New story, for the Haneef story.[9]
  • 2005 Walkley for Best Print News story, for exposing Dr Jayant Patel, Bundaberg Director of Surgery.[10]
  • 2005 Sir Keith Murdoch Award, for the Patel story.[3]
  • 2003 Walkley for Best Print Feature, on Di Fingleton, jailed Chief Magistrate of Queensland.[11]
  • 1999 Walkley for Best Investigative Writing (with Paul Whittaker) for exposing the "Net Bet affair".[2][12]
  • In 2012 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Journalism from John Henningham's Jschool School of Journalism in Brisbane.[13]

Thomas has also won many other journalism awards in Queensland and Hong Kong.


  1. ^ "Informal portrait of 0219178 Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Hedley Robert Thomas". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Paula Doneman; Amanda Watt (25 October 2002). "Stalker shoots at journo". The Courier-Mail. p. 1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Hedley Thomas". The Australian. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Sick to death". Allen and Unwin. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. ^ Knott, Matthew. "Journalists & Editors, no. 6: Hedley Thomas". Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  6. ^ Hedley Thomas, Slade Gibson win Gold Walkley for true crime podcast, ABC News Online, 2018-11-23
  7. ^ "Past Gold Walkley award winners". Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b "2012 Queensland Clarion Awards". Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  9. ^ "2007 Walkley Awards winners announced". Media Spy. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Walkley awards past winners". The Walkley Foundation. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Walkley awards past winners". The Walkley Foundation. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  12. ^ Kirkpatrick, Rod (2000). "News media chronicle, July 1999 to June 2000" (PDF). Australian Studies in Journalism. 9: 168. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  13. ^ "Fairfax in talks". The Australian. 22 October 2012.