Cairns QLD, Australia
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Sat 9 March 2024 @ 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Literary Dinner with Lisa Millar & Hedley Thomas – Cairns Tropical Writers Festival 2024


Cairns Tropical Writers’ Festival invites you to join two of Australia’s most accomplished and admired storytellers over an intimate dinner at the magnificent Crystalbrook Flynn.


Lisa Millar, co-host of ABC News Breakfast, will be joined by her close friend, Hedley Thomas as they discuss their new books, and share insights from their careers in the media and offer a sneak peek into the craft of journalism beyond the headlines.


ABOUT HEDLEY THOMAS: Hedley Thomas is an Australian investigative journalist, author and podcaster with a career that spans almost four decades. He is well-known for his popular and slightly controversial podcast, The Teacher’s Pet and has won eight Walkley awards, including Gold Walkley in 2018 for his work on the podcast. ABOUT LISA MILLAR: Lisa Millar is the cohost of ABC-TV’s News Breakfast, following a decade-long posting as bureau chief in both London and Washington DC, covering some of the world’s biggest stories. Lisa began her career at the Gympie Times in 1988 and has worked in print, TV and radio. She won a Walkley Award in 2005 for investigative reporting.


ABOUT THE TEACHERS PET: If you thought you knew the story of The Teacher’s Pet, get ready to be shocked. Hedley Thomas takes you behind the scenes with a blow-by-blow account of one of the most intriguing and enduring murder mysteries of our time – the crime, the podcast investigation, the sexual exploitation of teenage students, the courtroom drama – and how justice was finally delivered.Lynette Simms disappeared from Sydney’s idyllic northern beaches in 1982 and was never seen again.

Lyn was a caring nurse, a loving mother and devoted wife. Her husband, Chris Dawson, was a rugby league star, a popular teacher, and exceptionally close to his identical twin brother, Paul. This facade of domestic bliss shattered as Chris became infatuated with the family’s babysitter, his 16-year-old student, a girl he moved into Lyn’s home and bed just two days after her disappearance.
Thirty-six years later, investigative journalist Hedley Thomas revisited the story in a record-breaking podcast series that captured the unconditional support of friends, colleagues, neighbours, family and an international audience. With fresh leads and old evidence resulting in a public groundswell for authorities to take action, Chris was arrested in late 2018 and after a dramatic trial was found guilty of murder in August 2022.


ABOUT MUSTER DOGS: From Pups to Pros, a companion book to the heartwarming TV show now streaming on ABC iview and Netflix. Muster Dogs, first shown in 2022, was the most-watched non-children’s ABC program on ABC iview in 2022 and the most-watched ABC Factual series ever.

In Muster Dogs, five lively kelpie pups were adopted into farming homes across Australia put on an intensive training program and became instant stars. Could they learn to herd and muster within a year? Could they prove that working with natural ability was an optimum way to farm? With the help of expert breeders and trainers, these dogs and their new trainers showcased not only what the puppies were capable of but also how using dogs contributed to better stock, farm management and the environment.

Among those who lost their hearts to these amazing puppies was narrator Lisa Millar. Muster Dogs quite literally changed her life. In her new book, Lisa tells us about her journey over two seasons, bringing us up to date with the characters of series 1 – human and canine – and introducing us to five new collie pups, trainers and the hurdles of season 2.

Many questions have been asked about Muster Dogs. How did it start? Why did it resonate with audiences? Lisa addresses the show’s impact, brings us stories from behind the scenes, and takes us deep into country life, all the while examining the powerful relationship between humans and dogs. This is a book that will immerse you in affection, resilience, and loyalty.


Both author’s books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.


Cairns Tropical Writers’ Festival is honoured to welcome Lisa and Hedley to Cairns, and we look forward to having you join us for this special event.


TIME: 6.30pm for 7.00pm


VENUE: Soiree at Crystalbrook Flynn


COST: $175, includes two-course dinner and welcome drink


Book your tickets through Cairns Tropical Writers Festival.


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Sat 9 March 2024
6:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Event Categories:


Cairns Tropical Writers Festival
+61 423 959 648
View Organiser Website


Crystalbrook Flynn
85 Esplanade
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
+ Google Map
+ 61 7 4253 5000
View Venue Website