We are fascinated by stories of crime and how they unfold. There are no finer narrators of such stories than legendary author Helen Garner and The Teacher’s Pet podcaster Hedley Thomas, whose work explores the link between confronting terrible things that happen and the people who are involved. They sit down with Sarah Krasnostein to explore the compelling nature of crime and the pressing question of what happens when justice takes a lifetime – or if it never comes at all?
Helen Garner appears thanks to the support of Kathy and Greg Shand.

A Sydney Writers’ Festival Live & Local Livestream event.


Helen Garner writes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The Children’s Bach, Cosmo Cosmolino, The Spare Room, The First Stone, This House of Grief, Everywhere I Look and Yellow Notebook. Her most recent book is How to End a Story.


Hedley Thomas has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He focuses on long-form podcast investigations into the unsolved murders of women. In 2017 and 2018, Hedley investigated the suspected murder in 1982 of Sydney mother of two Lyn Dawson by her husband, Chris Dawson. The investigation unfolded in his podcast series, The Teacher’s Pet, which has achieved more than 70 million downloads and won a Gold Walkley – journalism’s highest prize. In 2021–22, Hedley’s third major podcast series, Shandee’s Story, investigated the savage stabbing murder of a young woman in Queensland in 2013. The podcast uncovered gross negligence in testing and reporting on crime scene by the State’s DNA laboratory, triggering a royal commission inquiry and the current reinvestigation and solving of murders and rapes and other serious crimes. Hedley is the author of Sick to Death in 2007, a book about a dangerous surgeon, Dr Jayant Patel who got a job as director of surgery at a Queensland public hospital despite having been struck off for gross negligence in surgery in the United States. Hedley has won eight Walkley Awards including two Gold Walkleys.


Sarah Krasnostein is the multi-award-winning author of The Trauma Cleaner, The Believer and the Quarterly Essay, Not Waving, Drowning. She holds a PhD in criminal law and is admitted to legal practice in New York and Victoria. A regular contributor to The Monthly and The Saturday Paper, she was awarded the 2022 Walkley Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism. Her latest work, On Peter Carey, will be out with Black Inc Books in June 2023.

Event and Ticket Details

Wheelchair Access
City Hall BMEC 105 William Street Get Directions

This event is free but bookings are encouraged as capacity is limited

Bathurst Writers' & Readers' Festival
Bathurst Library
Arts OutWest
Books Plus Bathurst
Borrow Box
Good Reading
BMEC Local Stages

Search Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre