The Teacher's Pet

Lyn and Chris Dawson appear to have the perfect marriage. He's a star footballer and popular high school teacher. She's a devoted wife and mother. They share a beautiful home above Sydney's northern beaches. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a sordid story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable murder. The Australian's Hedley Thomas digs deep into a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering startling new evidence.

Episode 16 - Arrest

Episode 16 - Arrest

Wed, 05 Dec 2018 18:20

Chris is arrested over the alleged murder of Lyn.

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I'm Katie Page CEO of Harvey Norman. For more than five years, Harvey Norman has been the principal sponsor of the Australians podcast investigations, including Shandy's story, The Night Driver, The Teachers Trail, and The Teachers Pet. For more information on Harvey Norman, go to and for more information on the Australians award winning journalism, search for the Australian in your app store. This is episode 16 of The Teachers Pet. Listeners are advised that this podcast contains course language and adult themes. This podcast series is brought to you by the Australian. Lynette Dawson was reported missing by her husband former Newtown Gets, rugby league star Chris Dawson. I said I was going to get a hitman to kill Lynne and he rang me and said Lynne's gone she's a comeback. I just want justice. And I'd love her little girls to know she didn't leave them. You're listening to Sydney Live 3 till 6 with Ben Fordham on 2GB 873, The Power Station. You are with Ben Fordham on 2GB as you know we've spent a lot of time talking about the case of Lynne Dawson and today big, big news. Lynne sister Pat Jenkins was out shopping in Sydney when detectives turned up unannounced at Chris Dawson's investment property. Former rugby league player Chris Dawson has been arrested and will be extradited to New South Wales to be charged with the murder of his ex wife Lynne. Chris has been living in a quiet street near Runaway Bay on Queensland's Gold Coast. It's a couple of hundred kilometres from the beach side on Clave of Coulomb and the principal place of residence he owns with his third wife Susan. Today New South Wales police have confirmed the following facts. Just before 8 o clock this morning a 70 year old man from Coulomb on the Sunshine Coast was arrested at bigger awarders on the Gold Coast. The 70 year old was arrested by homicide squad detectives from Queensland police. The man in custody is Chris Dawson. He's been arrested in relation to the disappearance of his ex wife Lynne in the Sydney suburb of Bayview in 1982. Lynne's brother Greg Sims was at his home near Newcastle when the arrest was made. Greg's wife Marilyn was just heading out in the car as the phone rang. My friend and crime reporter colleague at the Australian Dave Murray called me at 8.25 in the morning. He sounded slightly out of breath. Dave kept it brief. He just said mate, Chris Dawson's been arrested. My telephone began running hot. The New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has confirmed today that this man will be charged with the murder of Lynne Dawson. This is a massive development in what has become the most talked about cold case in the nation. In a Queensland court today Chris Dawson was refused bail and will be extradited to New South Wales to be formally charged with Lynne Dawson's murder. This journalist Wendy Page who came to know Greg and Pat back in 2003 when Wendy produced a documentary about the case for the ABC's Australian story. I felt completely gobsmacked actually. I was really shocked when I heard maybe half an hour ago or 45 minutes ago. I mean what a journey. What a journey for that family. What a journey for all of Lynne's friends and colleagues. Within minutes of hearing about the arrest Greg Sims spoke and he sounded ready to shed tears of relief. Hello my friends. How are you feeling? There's a weight up our shoulders with a guitar man told someone getting a bit emotional but that's expected but we are just ecstatic. Marilyn was by his side and trying to hold it together. We're bit numb. We're bit shocked. We're very relieved. Let's see where we go from here. What we've decided to say is a massive thank you to everybody involved in being in this decision forward and we're very grateful for all the help and interest we've received from so many different areas. But it's now a matter for the court. And when Pat finally got back from the supermarkets she received a pleasant surprise. Use of the arrest of her younger sisters alleged killer. I was just stunned you know because I mean just amazing news isn't it? I'm a ghost bumpy um. I did shivery. I just fell in after all this time. Got the words you know right? Alison Jennings found it hard to talk when she took a call from Dave Murray. I don't think I believe it may. Alison's been running the Facebook site looking for Lynette Dawson with Pat's daughter Pauline and they've worked tirelessly to try to give a public profile to their relative Lyn's case. Are you okay? I'm shocked. Um and yeah never thought this day would ever come. I really did. Dave Murray called again and he described the next steps in a courtroom in Southport. That's where the wheels of justice would turn first. Lyn's alleged murder occurred in New South Wales and that's where a trial would need to be held. But Queensland is where Chris has been living since late 1984 and the courthouse in South Port is where he would have his first appearance. So we'll just have to see what the magistrates did and get all the information court and all find out where it goes from here. I'll probably you know the most likely scenario will be he'll be extradited and taken straight down and you shut up. But we won't answer. It's a one happens. So every time we get a argue medical, medical ground you can't be far down there or something like that. So something like that. Yeah. Okay. Um so I heard from the detective who came up from New South Wales with Dan Poole. Yeah. Yeah I spoke in him as well. Okay. He telephoned me and it was all very straight courthouse and he just explained who it was out and he one thing he said was that I would be a witness proceedings because of my contact with some of the witnesses and some overlapping there. So I think it was meant as a sort of a you know just be mindful of your responsibilities in terms of you know where it goes from here. Yeah. Okay. Do they tell you that? Thank you. Yeah. They mention that. I'm primarily you because you have been doing interviews but they asked me if I had done interviews as well. I said you had been doing the interviews but I've done some conversations but primarily it was your interview. So it's like the same thing with me. Police Commissioner Mick Follower was giving blood on the morning of Christosons arrest. The top cop fronted journalist sent out later at a media conference in Sydney with the head of the homicide squad Scott Cook. In 2015 New South Wales police force unsolved homicide squad under strike force Scriven commenced a reinvestigation into the disappearance and possible homicide of Lynette Dawson. Detective Cook met with the DPP this week with very positive information for us. That information enabled New South Wales police to get an arrest warrant for a 70 year old man currently living in Queensland. From my perspective I've said from the start what is important to me was justice for Lynette Dawson and her family and today is an important step forward in that. We spoke to the family of Lynette Dawson this morning who was certainly relieved to hear this result. Mick Follower granted me a brief telephone interview. I asked him if something had happened to trigger the arrest a couple of hours earlier. This week the DPP and New South Wales reached out to the head of our homicide squad detective superintendent Scott Cook and asked to have a meeting and that meeting revealed some positive news that they supported the brief evidence that had been submitted and felt that a 70 year old man currently living in Queensland had a case to answer for the murder of Lynette Dawson detectives from the unsolved homicide squad obtained a warrant for the resident of that 70 year old man and that warrant was executed this morning. A 70 year old man has been taken into custody in the Queensland court system. We were waiting for the first mention and we'll be seeking an extradition of that man back to New South Wales to face the charge homicide of Lynette Dawson. You've become more engaged in this case as the public interest in it has grown. What does it mean to you and your detectives to get this result today? Important on a number of levels and little bit of the commissioner. You're trying to equally put for all the victims in the state but you and I met some months ago about this matter and spoke to Lynette about it and the starting point to me was about trying to make sure people understood that we did care and I had to take some personal responsibility to get that message out which is unusual. I think it's important that people maintain confidence in the police force. To put it that all aside, you and I both wanted the same thing at the end of the day which was justice for Lynette Dawson and her family and I feel like a great way to live that all of us today with this warrant been executed. In terms of the public interest and the ability of the public to help the police, has that been beneficial? Absolutely. It has had had had had had your podcast generate the enormous interest but also additional evidence as well and we welcome that evidence. And hopefully as this matter progresses into a criminal trial there will be more and more people who potentially will have the courage to come forward to assist this matter. Was there a particular trigger for it going this week for the DPP to be talking to Scott Cook and your top people on Monday? I took a number of months which I felt was reasonable and the tens and tens of folders of evidence that I felt that we needed to give them time to really review the new evidence to give the brief every chance and the combination of all that this week was that I believe that the similar year old man, Tony Lee and Queensland had a case to answer for the murder of Lynette Dawson and I think it's a wonderful outcome to Lynette family and really anyone who has been listening to your podcast. Do you believe that there may be more arrests of others in relation to the allegations of abuse of students on those Northern beaches high schools or any other offences? There is a strike force currently running looking into those. I'm certainly hopeful that any victim that comes forward either on historic matters gets justice. Our child abuse and sex crimes squad are looking into all of those matters and I know that people have come forward and will continue to investigate those matters with the same passion and media that we have since 2015 we're starting to force criminals into the disappearance and now homosite of Lynette Dawson. This case is 36 years old. How rare is it to be able to level a charge after three and a half decades and be confident and positive as you and Scott Cook were today at the media conference that is a solid brief and could lead to a successful prosecution? For good reasons, Mick Fuller could not go into the substance and detail of the evidence but he was in no doubt about the determination of the detective who has been running the reinvestigation since 2015, Daniel Poole. I'm a guy I had confidence in Dan, who I met with him personally and he was absolutely passionate. It's unfortunate that sometimes it's difficult for those investigating police to show that passion. I believe in him and I believe in his passion and I really feel today that that's paid off for him. The Southport courthouse is a short drive from where Christ Awesome was arrested. It was surrounded by media. My colleague Charlie Peale sped down the motorway from the Brisbane office of the Australian to be in court when Christ was led in. I spoke to Charlie soon afterwards. So we're just out in front of the watch house now. They're just working out logistics of how well, how, when he'll be taken. Can you describe what you're seeing there, Charlie? It was interesting, so he's in a really light sort of car key color t shirt and he just sort of came in pretty quietly and he's still got that powerful sort of build for a 70 year old, just sort of out of the fire end of the dock, you know, as far from the media as possible. And mostly just straight ahead, but then the magistrate took about 20 minutes to read through the case against him. And for most of that time, Dawson was just watching the magistrate, trying to almost try and engage what he was reading. Magistrate Dennis Kinsella took his time to read the police case against Christopher Michael Dawson. He did not read aloud the summary of the brief. There was some legal argument over bail, but it was quickly resolved. In murder cases, bail for and accused is extremely rare and the magistrate had already made up his mind because of the seriousness of the charge. It was just too high risk. The magistrate summarized Chris's relationship with Joanne Curtis, the allegations of domestic violence against Lynn and their ongoing conflict. Then he said that Lynn was going about her normal life prior to her disappearance. She was also preparing for a birthday party and preparing child's school around the time of her disappearance. And she didn't pick up her paycheck. The police summary also stated that Lynn was not financially viable when she vanished. That's when Dawson, if he went quite red and had his head resting on his hands, just sort of looking down at the ground. He looked pretty calm for most of it. No head shaking or anything like that that I saw, but just that head and hands and going quite red. The whole back bench of the gallery probably ate seats, taken up by New South Wales detectives and suits. Now the plan for this episode of the teacher's pet has necessarily changed since Chris Dawson's arrest. On legal advice, several interviews have been dropped from this episode. There are a number of the disclosures made for the first time, including by two former babysitters who went to Chroma High and looked after Chris and Lynn's small children in 1979 will be provided to police. Later in this episode you'll hear from Julie Andrew, Lynn's good friend and neighbour, as she absorbed the news of Chris Dawson's arrest. Now let's step back two months to a sunny day in Honoured Lynn Dawson. Even from the Northern beaches who had never known Lynn Dawson helped ease the disappointment of her family in the days after the unsuccessful dear at Lynn's old house in Bayview. They came up with the idea of a public walk to long reef headland look out via the beach boardwalk. Once the idea took hold, Bev Mcnailly started to organise it with Alison Jennings, the daughter of Lynn's cousin Wendy. We realised that no one had ever done anything as a memorial or anything for her. As a teenager from Chroma High and a babysitter in the Dawson home, Bev had been touched by Lynn's caring ways. Lynn loved nursing, she encouraged Anne to help Bev to choose her preferred career path as a nurse. Lynn gave Bev sound advice on the best way to enter the caring profession. Lynn wouldn't believe it, but she should hear what's happening. The waves at DIY crashed nearby as Pat Jinkin's told me how she felt about the plan for a public walk in Lynn's memory. I think it's a lovely idea. I'm people nice to think of that sort of thing. Yeah, no, I think it's a lovely idea. It's almost like a little memorial to her. Lynn's good friend and former next door neighbour, Julie Andrew, the first woman to talk about Lynn in this podcast series was holidaying in Europe while the digging took place at Bayview. There's a walk on. Have you heard about this walk? Yeah, look, I've got a new caravan for these sorts of things. Yeah. I just don't... It's sort of like it makes people feel better that they're doing something in their memory positive, but it definitely does. It's a key to everything. Greg Simpson is going. Marilyn's going. Pat's going. So the family's right behind it and she now is considering coming down for it as well. And most of the students who have dealt with it are on it. They're all going to go on it. So maybe seeing those public displays of support could trigger a witness who hasn't come forward to do so. It just has. Beverly came forward when she started hearing people like you in the podcast. This is quite incredible. Now I've had a count that's probably close to 400, maybe a tad over 400. 2GB radio presenter Chris Smith came along with Ben Fordham and Chris spoke to Greg Simpson and others who took a couple of hours out of their Sunday in a poignant expression of support for Lynn, her family and friends. We weren't aware of how many people would turn up for this and just seeing this many people just to see if people walking up the wall. And one of the most interesting people I've met on this walk is our family. Actually, Chris Dawson's own cousin, Judy. Give me an idea of the inspiration to those two little girls. Okay. We knew Lynn very well growing up and I knew how much trouble she and Chris had to go to to have those two girls and I knew that she was absolutely devoted to them and would never have left them for a day. You know, finally, I think we'll get justice for you. You think you're confident of that? I'm very confident, yes. And I think we'll see that for the family, yes. Judy and her husband Ray have told me they actually suspected foul play right back at the start, but they didn't want to think about it. It was the time he introduced Joanne Curtis and it came at a gathering of the Dawson family soon after Lynn's disappearance. Over the years, Lynn became an unmentionable subject at these Dawson extended family events. Judy's mother and Chris's mother were sisters. Judy, Chris and Paul are only 11 months apart and they spent a lot of time together as they grew up. In the decades after Lynn's disappearance, Judy and her husband Ray would stay in casual contact with Chris and Paul, exchanging Christmas cards and meeting at occasional family reunions and funerals. But they've decided to draw a line in the sand to on a Lynn, a woman they knew well and liked a lot. You'll hear more from Judy and Ray later in this episode. And the community, and I just mean this local community on the Northern Peninsula, but I'm in the Australian community, is following this case with so much interest. It's extraordinary. This walks in Newcastle, Port McCoy, up on the Gold Coast. Even I know there's some friends we know in Hong Kong again to walk down the harbour and actually put a flower down there. So Anne Curtis worked with my friend Rebecca Hazel at a women's refuge on the Northern beaches years ago and the two women became close. You've heard Rebecca in earlier episodes. She's almost finished her book about the case and we're still exchanging ideas. Rebecca sounded less confident though about charges being leveled when we talked on the drive to the golf club for a breakfast with Lynn's family before the walk. Lynn's eldest daughter, Chanel, had flown in from Harvey Bay with her young daughter. They mingled with Chanel's family on her mother's side and later with Wellwisher to throng the coastline path to the lookout. Hundreds of people, some tidal strangers have marched to remember missing in Northern beaches mum or net Dawson. Lynette Dawson would have turned 70 last Tuesday. This was a bit of a birthday present. Flowers and tributes in pink her favourite colour to remember a woman the world had once forgotten. Walker's talked about why they came. There is no answer for her for a family for anybody. So yeah, which is come here pay our respects. Lynn's brother Greg spoke to everyone before they set off. Today not only have we family friends, we've been supporting us forever, but many new friends. I can't all your people here today is that. And if on the walk, if you want to have a talk please. I think we've been 70 last week, so this is a fitting tribute to her for her 73rd day. I know she would have if she was here she'd be here, but we all know the truth otherwise it wouldn't be here. Greg's daughter Renee Sim spoke to seven news reporter, Robert Ovalier. Obviously as a family we've never forgotten her, but the justice system has just let us look through the cracks. It is somewhat calling to say a person's entire life slipped through the cracks, but sadly that is exactly what happened to Lynn Dawson all those years ago. Police acknowledge a shoddy investigation played its part and they are doing everything they can today to make up for it. They're pulling historic school records from the former Chroma High where Christosson taught to investigate allegations teachers habitually prayed on students there. Christosson maintains his innocence. A parade of pink, a fair fair that the humble Rind Dawson would have probably shined away from. So today hundreds of people have taken steps to honour her memory travelling from all over the country armed with a flower in her favourite colour on what would have been the weekend of her 70th birthday. By going on the walk, Judy Brown and her husband Ray knew they were effectively severing ties with Judy's cousins, Chris and Paul as well as with the twins backers in the Dawson family. And this can't have been easy. Blood ties mean a lot to many in this clan. Weeks later, Judy talked to me about these family ties. She disclosed some of the things that she and Ray saw and heard in family gatherings around the time Lynn disappeared and in the decades afterwards. Could you tell me why you went on that walk? We felt fill in family really. You know that through all these years they haven't had an answer. When Chris and Paul were playing rugby for Eastern suburbs, Judy and Ray would be there with other family to cheer for the high performing twins. My mother was one of seven so there were a lot in the extended family and I didn't see a lot of most of the cousins but I probably saw more of the twins than anyone else. And then I actually went to teachers college for two years with Paul and his wife Marilyn because he met Marilyn at teachers college. So for two years I'd more or less see them every day. And Chris, he used to come across quite often to visit Paul. And then we also used to go to their home to in fact that's why we chose certain tiles for our bathroom at the back of Chris and Lynn had a similar tile. And then when they played for Newtown we used to go and watch them play as well. You know and sit with the family, sit with the family there and all on the hill. Yeah. Sounds like you were very close. We were more close to them than any of the other members of the extended family put it that way. You know I always thought they were very clean living boys. You know they were and to me they always seemed loyal to their partners. Judy has fond memories too of her auntie Joan and Uncle Sid, Chris's parents. She was a lovely person. Yeah, she was really a lovely person. And then her husband Sid was hilarious. He was rather a rogue, was a loveable rogue. He used to put bets on for Hollywood George at the at the races, you know, because Hollywood George was banned from the track. Yeah, he used to, he used to talk at a hundred miles. And now you know you'd have to really concentrate to work out what he was saying. And Judy and Ray have been close to Peter Dawson, the twins older brother. How do you share their listening to all of you? Well, it's very, it's very difficult. In fact, Ray would say, I'll look over. I can't, I can't listen. It's just two, two depressing, you know, he'd get really upset afterwards. All we knew was that he had the affair with Joan and he did eventually marry her. That was more or less all we knew. I do remember Marilyn and Peter's then wife, Lennel, talking together and I was there. And I remember Marilyn saying to Lennel, well, Chris has had Joanne at home sitting on his lap while Lennon's there, you know. So... And was she making a comment on Lennon's apparent acceptance of the situation as well? No, no, no, not at all. No, no. Lennel was mentioned about that, just the fact that she was shocked that Chris would do that. She just thought it wasn't right that Chris had taken Joanne home for a start, I think yes. And then also did that in front of Lennon, you know, had a sitting on his lap. Judy's husband Ray, who went to the same event, confirmed that the conversation occurred after Lenn had vanished. All I can remember is that conversation which has never left me. And then Marilyn, Paul's wife, right, and Lennel, who was then Peter's wife, there's Solicitor, there's older brother, right, his first wife. They were talking together and I was there. I just remember that Marilyn said Chris had brought and home and he had her sitting, you know, as a babysitter, supposedly. And he had her sitting on his lap while Lenn was there, you know, in the home. And I thought, my God. That is bizarre because I always knew that Chris and Lennon were very close, like they were childhood sweethearts, they'd met at school. And then to us they always appeared very close and loving. I didn't ever know the period where they weren't. Judy and Ray recall going to a family picnic. Lenn was gone, she'd only recently disappeared and a young girl was on the scene. Chris was clearly involved with her. That's right, just remembers Chris coming up to us, saying, oh, this is Joanne. Would you, you know, Chris's cousin having known him for so long? Would you not have said, well, where's Lennel? Where's Lennel? Yeah, yeah, we did. And apparently that's what Ray remembers anyway and he said, oh, Lennel's gone. And this is Joanne. You know, and we're like, oh, okay. And did you drift apart then? Yeah, yeah, well, I mean they saw, we were still saw them. Would you have ever said to Paul Marlin, look, we're concerned about Lennon, do you think? No, no, it was like, don't mention the war. It was like that, you know, no one ever, you know, everyone tried, you know, tried wearily around it. Nothing was ever said in their company. And you were very fond of Lennel, so right? Oh, yes, yes, she was a lovely, she was a lovely person. Yeah, yeah. And it was lovely to see, I'm so pleased that you recovered the Checkerboard program, you know, to actually see her, you know, I could still hear her voice, I can still see her. And why was the war important for you? Well, it was a way of honoring Lennel and her family, but... Because you and your wife were probably the only representatives of Christus side of the family. Yes, yes, well, we're a bit different. We're caring people, we're pretty fat, right? I asked Ray if there had been feedback from the family since. He said it was a blackout subject, taboo. It's been that way for a long time. Well, Navi talks about it. Navi talks about what happened. Yes, Navi talks about the disappearance. Nothing, nothing, is ever mentioned when they're there. And how do you believe you will be perceived by Christus Paul? Well, I guess I won't get any more Christmas cards. I don't know. Judy remembered the twin 70th birthday earlier this year. But I didn't send them a card, I was live to send them a card, I would have done normally that when all this had come out, I thought, no, can't do that. It's going to be really hard to have any contact with them now, you know? I don't feel good about it, no, not at all. But I just think it's all very sad. It's just all very sad because they were all really nice people, you know? And it's just really hard to believe that it has happened and all the other bits too about the girls at school and whatever. It's just really hard to believe. I just had no idea they had another life like that. Mr Speaker, silenced voices, muffled cries in the darkness, unacknowledged tears, the tyranny of invisible suffering. The never heard pleas of tortured souls bewildered by an indifference to the unthinkable theft of their innocence. Australia's political leader, Scott Morrison, rose to deliver a national apology to all women and men, girls and boys, including those from Northern Beach's schools like Kramer High, Forest High and Beacon Hill High. Today Australia confronts a trauma and abomination hiding in plain sight for far too long. Today we confront a question too horrible to ask, let alone answer. Why weren't the children of our nation loved, nurtured and protected? Survivors of sexual abuse watched on from the great hall of federal parliament in Kramer. They watched from the privacy of their homes and workplaces around the country as the broadcast was beamed live from the nation's capital. The apology came at the end of Australia's newly completed Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. It went for years and uncovered thousands of shocking cases and it exposed the conduct of predators in schools, religious groups, governments and homes who inflicted terrible suffering. While adults who suspected or knew what was going on failed to step up to protect the young and vulnerable. Why was there trespass trade? Why did those who know cover it up? Why were the cries of children and parents ignored? Why was our system of justice blind to injustice? Why has it taken so long to act? Why were other things more important than this, the care of innocent children? Why didn't we believe? Today we dare to ask these questions and finally acknowledge and confront the lost screams of our children. A fortnight after the Prime Minister's National apology in late October, Dr. Jimmie Kibben published her own insightful analysis about how we perceive, discuss and label sexual abuse and exploitation of children, particularly in this podcast series. I've been listening to that relationship, we think of them as equal and as mutually satisfying and as consensual. But the issue of consent becomes very blurry when there's sexual exploitation. Jimmie has spent much of her career understanding the impact on children and teenagers. It's incredibly confusing and it takes years and years often for victims of sexual exploitation to see themselves as victims and to realise that what happened to them was wrong and was not okay. One of her points is that it's neither right nor fair to view as a so called relationship, the pairing of teachers or any adult with teenagers half their age. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word relationship as the way in which two or more people are connected. Jimmie believes that the word on its own is deeply misleading and potentially harmful and less preceded by adjectives like abusive or exploitative. Phil Webster is a former Chroma high student and you've heard from him in previous episodes. He idolised Christosan and a number of other male teachers who were having sex with Phil's friends at the school. Phil's a senior teacher in Sydney and he told me that Jimmie's measured analysis was a wake up call to everyone to be mindful of the labeling. It's just putting it in the context they are now looking back on it. We have to talk about it from now on when we're able to write it back there. We have to write it how it was back then. Phil talks of the conscious and subconscious conditioning that he and other male students got from their teacher male role models at Chroma high. It affected Phil for years. It sent me a message, a really powerful message. It was okay. It was okay. It was okay that all this going to be a teacher as well and that something might come more way as well. You never know about it. And if it did, it'd be a lot of work. If you're still able to go in 12, so I'll leave you a way to sort of tell you in the year 12, you know, it is where you might meet a lot of chicks. It's the message I was giving from those guys in the early years after I left high school too. They're both directly and indirectly because I have a bit embarrassed myself but I actually thought it was okay too. They're the teacher. A young teacher, you know, 20, 20, 24, as long as I was single they weren't cheating on their wives. You know, it was kosher to pick out a girl and hear 11 and 12 and see what happened. They've got no sense of judgment, no sense of, we're just totally immol. So it's one thing to think of. It's another thing to act on and make phone calls and drive them home and ask them to come and base it for them. With the view to think, maybe I'm going to get into their path. Which is what they did. They planned it. Nothing we can do now will write the wrongs and flick the odd our nation's children. And after a comprehensive Royal Commission which finally enabled the voices to be heard and the silence to be broken, we will all continue to struggle. The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, scout troops, orphanages, foster homes, sporting clubs, group homes, charities and in family homes as well. It happened anywhere a predator thought they could get away with it and the systems within these organisations allowed it to happen and turned blind eye. It happened day after day, week after week, month after month, decade after decade, unrelenting torment. The pain didn't stop with adulthood. Relationships with partners and children became strained as survivors struggled with the conflicting currents within them. Hetty Johnston has helped many hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse in their quests for justice and recovery. She's the founder and leader of Brave Hearts and we've worked together to highlight predators and expose wrongs in the criminal justice systems handling of some cases. I asked Hetty if she had come across many victims who were able to retrain and live normal lives. No, it's very difficult for them. It's very difficult. I don't know how you want to think that. It's a whole different reality and a whole different mindset because it's a belief system in their, like, you know, incomplodic paper, they just, they just, you see, go through the victims's mind, their body and soul and just take over. And even if they're not there, there's that, their legacy is there. They're still there in their mind. They're still there in their memories. They're always there. And children lose their power. And that's what makes them weak and vulnerable and scared and frail and shameful and all of those things. And it's not until they take their power back, until they understand that they actually have the power to put this person in jail or to get this person in trouble, to call them out on it. And they understand that. They've got their power back. They understand it wasn't there for nothing that happened to them. Is there anything about who they are? Is there everything about who, who they are, who they are? When we get people, young people and even adults to that point and you can almost see their power coming back. You can see it in their eyes and in their back straightens up. It's just, excuse me, I've got to just not say I'm just talking about it. It's just quite extraordinary. It's really about sending a message out there to say you won't get away with it. And again today we say sorry to the children we failed, sorry. We can never promise a world where there are no abusers. But we can promise a country where we commit to hear and believe our children. To work together to keep children safe. To trust them. And most of all, respect their innocence. For many years, Julie Andrew has dealt with her own feelings of remorse and guilt. She's long regretted not having raised the alarm about lens disappearance when it happened in January 1982. In the Northern Beaches Detective Damien Loan used the local Manly Daily newspaper in 1998 to appeal for witnesses over Lynn Dawson's disappearance. Julie went forward immediately. But it was 16 years later and the investigation was that much more challenging. I spoke to Julie about an hour after Chris Dawson's arrest. Hi, how you doing? Oh my gosh, can you believe this? Yeah, I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Oh wow. I am stunned. Yeah, this is just the first part. This is good. This is great. It's a long way to go. But for Lynn's family, oh my gosh. You know, we're all way to go. But I can't actually contain my emotion. I feel like running through the streets and screaming at the top of my voice. It's something that I didn't think we'd ever get to. Before I met you, I thought her face, her history, her legacy was just forgotten forever about now. She's always going to be remembered and she's going to be vindicated. She didn't leave her kids and her kids will know that. For everything that everyone's gone through for so many years living day to day, year to year, dex think to dex and feeling no one was ever going to do the right thing and believe in Lynn. And hopefully that good will continue. And they keep their eye on the ball. So this is just the beginning. This is like kicking the big goals, but not winning the game. It's taken my breath away. I might say I'm never lost the word, but I think I might be. Which will be your first. It's a wonderful day. My dear friend is. The teacher's pet is a podcast series investigated and written by me, Headley Thomas, with original music and audio production by Slade Gibson Audio and additional audio editing by Eric George. The series will now pause pending further developments in this case. We are grateful for ongoing backup from Lynn's family, friends, the former students of Chroma High and other schools and John Lehman, David Murray, Katrina Mathuson, Nicholas Gray, Paul Whitaker, Rebecca Hazel, Rob Lohanthor, Christopher Doar, Kelle Southern, Nick Adams, Jasbah, Ruth Mathuson, Ben Fordham and Katie Page. Anyone with information about Lynn Dawson's disappearance can send it in confidentially or contact me through the website, This podcast series is brought to you by the Australian and proudly hosted by Wushka. Visit for additional documentary material as well as credits for the full team behind this multi part production. The website includes further information about all of the key people, witnesses and interviewees in this series. Hi, I'm Headley Thomas and I want to introduce you to the Australian's latest investigative podcast, The Lighthouse, from my good friend and colleague David Murray. David's done a fantastic job. He's been working closely with people in the iconic community of Byron Bay to try to find out what happened to a young Belgian backpacker, Theo Hayers. Theo is travelling around Australia and making new friends at places like Uluru in this vast countries red centre. But then in May 2019 he disappeared from beautiful Byron Bay. David's podcast The Lighthouse has already generated a lot of interest in Theo's intriguing story and how he vanished and I know there's a lot more information to come as the series unfolds. Byron Bay is home to the Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth. He's a haven for writers, poets, musicians and actors and the good people of this laidback surfing community of pulling out all stops to help find Theo. Please listen to David Murray's podcast. It's called The Lighthouse. Search for The Lighthouse and your podcast app.