Claremont Serial Killings Episode 3

Listen to Episode 3: The Wrong Man

  1. Comprehension 

Answer these questions about Alison Fan interviewing Lance Williams about the Claremont serial killings.

  • What happened in the interview?
  • How did Alison feel about Lance after she interviewed him? What did she do about it?
  • How do you feel about this situation?

2. Research

Divide the class into 3 groups to research one topic each. Find information and photos or images on your topic. Then share your information with members from the other groups.  

  • Police profiling
  • Andrew Mallard
  • Lloyd Rainey

3. Watch

Lindy Chamberlain is another example of a person who has been wrongly accused of a crime. Watch her story here on Anh’s Brush With Fame, Series 4, Episode 2. 

4. Discuss

  • Talk about the situations of Lance Williams, Andrew Mallard, Lloyd Rainey and Lindy Chamberlain.
  • Do you know of other situations where the wrong person has been accused of a crime?
  • What is your opinion?
  • What do you think can be done to prevent people from being wrongly accused?

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Claremont Serial Killings Episode 2

Listen to Episode 2: Tears, Taskforce and a Suspect

1. Complete this information about Ciara Glennon who was the third girl to go missing in Claremont.

  • Name: Ciara Glennon, Age: ___ , Occupation: ___ , Date missing: ___ , Date body found: ___

2. Discuss

  • What happened with the Perth taxi drivers over the Easter long weekend?

3. Research

A. What is the Macro Taskforce?

  • Who is Detective Superintendent Paul Ferguson?
  • Who is Detective Inspector Dave Caporn?

B. Who is Lance Williams?

  • Why was he a suspect?
  • What happened?

C. What is a polygraph test?

  • Who did a polygraph test?
  • Why?
Name: Ciara Glennon, Age: 27 , Occupation: lawyer , Date missing: March 14, 1997 , Date body found: April 3, 1997

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Claremont Serial Killings Podcast

The Claremont Serial Killings podcast by Gary Adshead from The West Australian describes the true story of 3 girls who went missing from a quiet Perth suburb during the mid 1990’s.

Listen to Episode 1: A Killer Strikes Twice

1. Complete this information about the suspected killer and the three girls who went missing.

  • Name: Bradley Robert Edwards, Age: ___ , Occupation: ___
  • Name: Sarah Spiers, Age: ___ , Occupation:___ , Date missing:___
  • Name: Jane Rimmer, Age: ___ , Occupation: ___ , Date missing: ___ , Date body found: ___
  • Name: Ciara Glennon: Age: ___

2. Discuss in small groups:

  • Describe the suburb of Claremont, what it looks like, the people who live there and things to do in Claremont.
  • Search for images of the poster they displayed around Claremont in 1996 to ‘Help Find Sarah’
  • Search for images of the 3 girls and the suspected killer.

3. The podcast mentions other criminals that terrorised Perth before the Claremont serial killer.

Divide the class into two groups to research one each. Think about the questions – Who? What? When? Where? How? Then share the information with someone from the other group.

  • Eric Edgar Cooke
  • David and Catherine Birnie


Name: Bradley Robert Edwards, Age: 50, Occupation: telecommunications technician and little athletics volunteer
Name: Sarah Spiers, Age: 18, Occupation: secretary, Date missing: Jan 26 1996
Name: Jane Rimmer, Age: 23, Occupation: child-care worker, Date missing: June 9 1996, Date body found: Aug 3 1996
Name: Ciara Glennon: Age: 27

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The Australian

University students learn from The Australian’s Hamish podcast by Charlie Peel

A university lecturer has adapted The Australian’s chart-topping podcast series Who The Hell Is Hamish? as a learning resource to be used in the classroom.


University of Western Australia English language teacher Carolyn Martin, who has developed her own online database of lesson plans, has made questionnaires about the podcast’s first two episodes that can be used for high school and adult English learners.

Ms Martin told The Australian the podcast and its engaging content was an ideal medium for teachers to use to boost student participation and grab their attention.

“As the notion of the flipped classroom is gaining in popularity, where the student listens or reads the material in their own time to then be prepared for discussion and activities during class time, the podcast fits perfectly into this teaching style,” Ms Martin said.

“It can be a waste of half an hour for a student to listen to it in class and some of them will need to listen to it more than once to grasp the content.

“This way, they can do it in their own time.

“The podcast idea certainly fits in with that because they can ¬listen at home but do the -discussions and research in the classroom.”

The podcast series by The Australian’s journalist Greg Bearup investigated the life and crimes of NSW conman Hamish McLaren, who has pleaded guilty to defrauding 15 victims of more than $7 million. Episodes of the podcast have been played more than three million times through various feeds, rocketing the series to No 1 on the iTunes podcast charts.

About 40 per cent of the series’ listeners have been overseas.

“It’s an interesting story, the podcast itself, because it is real life and that is always more interesting,” Ms Martin said.

“Students can relate to it more. Fraud is something that is common around the world, but the students can’t believe that someone (Hamish) could have so many stories.”

Ms Martin has been using the podcast as a talking point for her adult English language course students at UWA’s Centre for Eng¬lish Language Teaching.

“They take it home and listen to it and come back to class to talk about what they have heard,” she said.

“One of the things they discussed was lies and the question, have you ever lied before?

“From that, they admitted they’d all lied before and then talked about when it is OK to tell a white lie and when it has gone too far.

“We discussed the locations mentioned in the podcast and they all got engaged in finding the places and talking about the story.”

Ms Martin said the clear language, usually spoken in broad Australian accents, was useful to students wanting to learn the intricacies of the English language and terms such as “squirrelled away” and “hard-nosed”.

The Who the Hell is Hamish? podcast series can be accessed here.

The lesson plans are available at

Who the Hell is Hamish Episode 3

The Gatsby of the Great Lakes

Before listening to the third episode of Who the Hell is Hamish, divide the class into three groups to research a topic, then share the information with the other groups.


  1. Who is Jay Gatsby?
  2. Who is James Bond?
  3. Who is Mark Twain?

Now listen to Episode 3: The Gatsby of the Great Lakes

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain

After listening to the podcast, discuss with a partner the stories and lies Hamish told and the warnings about him from other people. How does the quote from Mark Twain relate to this? How are the characters Jay Gatsby and James Bond used in reference to Hamish?

Find these locations mentioned in Episode 3.

  • Blueys Beach
  • Hunter Valley
  • Woolloomooloo
  • SoHo, New York

Research these people mentioned in Episode 3 and remember what was said about them in the podcast.

  • Terry Randall
  • Malcolm Irving
  • Brian Price, FEX Group
  • Tom Ford
  • Russell Crowe
  • John Laws

Bec says that Hamish’s image changed while she knew him. Discuss these words with a partner and how they relate to Hamish’s image:

  • surfie
  • triathlons
  • botox
  • hair-dye
  • designer suits
  • paleo diet

Finally search for images of:

  • Hamish McLaren and Bec
  • Hamish with a sticker on his head in New York with the name Hamish McLaughlin

For more academic English lessons go to:
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Who the Hell is Hamish Episode 2

Fashion Crimes

Before listening to the second episode of Who the Hell is Hamish divide the class into three groups to research a topic and discuss vocabulary. Then share the information with the other groups.


Group 1

Research topic

Lisa Ho, fashion designer Australia


  • autism
  • psychiatric
  • fleeced
  • mind-boggling
  • pyramid scheme
  • reverse psychology
  • parasite

Group 2

Research topic

Energetic treatments


  • superannuation
  • nest egg
  • reneged
  • web of deceit
  • unencumbered
  • naïve
  • savvy

Group 3

Research topic

Musgrave House, Sydney


  • hard-nosed
  • under the radar
  • empty the coffers
  • loot
  • King Midas
  • squirreled away
  • made good coin

Now listen to Episode 2: Fashion Crimes 

After listening to the second episode discuss these questions with a partner:

  1. Use your knowledge of the Research and Vocabulary from the previous activity to explain what happened in Episode 2.
  2. What countries are mentioned?
  3. List the people mentioned and the amount of money they lost to Hamish.
  4. Use the example of Victim A, Victim B and Victim C to explain how Hamish tricked the people.
  5. How does music and sound effects create mood for the podcast?

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Who the Hell is Hamish?

The Day Max Died

This lesson is based on Episode 1 of the Who the Hell is Hamish podcast from The Australian reported by Greg Bearup. Hamish has stolen millions of dollars from innocent victims and this podcast aims to explain how he did it.

Before listening to the podcast discuss these questions:

  1. Have you ever cheated? Have you found out someone who has cheated?
  2. Do you always tell the truth? Are there any situations when you think it would be acceptable to lie?
  3. If you had money to invest how would you make decisions on what to do with it?

Do you know what these words mean?

  • bankrupt
  • sociopath
  • banter
  • vulnerable
  • algorithms
  • authentic
  • declaration
  • incriminate
  • legit
  • discombobulating
  • cohort

Now listen to Episode 1: The Day Max Died

After listening to Episode 1 use a map to locate these places and discuss what was mentioned about each place:

  1. World Trade Centre
  2. Sydney Opera House
  3. Stewart House, Curl Curl
  4. Bondi Beach
  5. MIT
  6. Harvard
  7. Wallstreet
  8. Circular Quay
  9. Byron Bay
  10. Bronte
  11. Tamarama
  • Summarise what happened in Episode 1.
  • What is your opinion?
  • What do you think will happen in the next episode?

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Have you ever been to Sydney?

Have you ever seen an amazing bridge anywhere in the world?

Skim through this article titled A Guide to Sydney Harbour Bridge to find the answer to these questions.

  1. What does Sydney Harbour Bridge connect?
  2. How long did it take to build the bridge?
  3. How many men built the bridge?
  4. How many men died while building the bridge?
  5. How much did the bridge cost?
  6. How many steel rivets were used?
  7. How many lanes are on the bridge?
  8. How many litres of paint were used to paint the bridge?
  9. How high is the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
  10. How high are the traffic lanes above the water?
Answers: 1. north and south shores/ Milsons Point and Dawes Point, 2. 8 years, 3. 1400, 4. 16, 5. $4.2 million, 6. 6 million, 7. 8 traffic lanes + 2 rail lanes, 8. 272,000 litres, 9. 135 metres, 10. 51 metres

Now read the article again and look closer at the language. Answer these questions to get a better understanding of the language.

  1. Why do they call the Sydney Harbour Bridge the “coat hanger”?
  2. What does “exercise their forefingers” mean?
  3. “The likelihood of the bridge actually being built was slim to none during this time.” What does this mean?
  4. What does it mean by “the bridge had warmed locals’ hearts”?
  5. What happened here – “a moment temporarily disrupted by a treacherous Captain”?
Answers: 1. because the shape of the bridge looks like a hanger to hang clothes on, 2. to take photos using the first finger on the hand, 3. "slim to none" means fairly unlikely, 4. the people of Sydney liked the bridge, 5. a Captain with a bad reputation cut the ribbon of the bridge before the Premier, it was just a short moment before they arrested him

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Autonomous cars

Autonomous cars are being developed and trialed at a rapid pace. It will soon be quite normal to see cars driving on the road without a human driver.

  • What do you think of this idea?
  • Would you like to travel in an autonomous car?
  • What do you think the advantages would be of an autonomous car?
  • What do you think the disadvantages would be of an autonomous car?

Read this article from The Conversation titled We asked people if they would trust driverless cars.


While you read through the article highlight any words that you don’t understand or that show an interesting use of language. Make a list of this vocabulary and use your English-English dictionary to find the definitions to add into your list.


After you have read the article do some more research on the topic of autonomous cars. Take notes on your findings.

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Learning a Second Language

When is the right time to learn a second language? As a young child learning two languages at the same time, or as a teenager where it is a compulsory subject at school, or when you are an adult when you have the time and dedication to spend on learning a new language. What do you think?

Warren Midgley has written an article in The Conversation titled Younger is not always better when it comes to learning a second language.


To understand more about an article research is required to explore some of the ideas raised and who the author is. Read through these 3 explorations to give more insight into the article.

  1. Theory of universal grammar – this theory suggests that humans learn to speak their native language by imitating what they hear and repeating it. In other words, we are all genetically programmed to learn and understand our first language naturally.
  2. Critical period hypothesis – this hypothesis suggests that there is a particular period in the first few years of a human’s life where language is learned if there is sufficient exposure to the language. If this does not happen for someone within this critical period of time then learning that language is so much more difficult, particularly grammar.
  3. Warren Midgley is the author of this article. He works as an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southern Queensland. His fields of research are Education and Linguistics and his work has been published in many academic books and journals.


Now match these words from the article to the definitions.

WORD                                                              DEFINITION

1. second language

a) a language that is learned, not someone’s native language

2. first language b) wanting very much to have something that someone else has
3. fluency c) challenge an action or theory as not being correct
4. envy d) to have a strong effect on something
5. phenomenon e) the skills of understanding thought processes in learning
6. instinctive knowledge f) someone’s native language or mother tongue
7. exposure g) the age between being a child and an adult, usually the teenage years
8. posits h) being in the same place as someone else and interacting in person
9. contested i) a situation that exists
10. influential j) able to listen, read, speak and write coherently in a language
11. immersion k) learning online with people from all around the world
12. meta-cognitive skills l) following one after another in an order
13. adolescence m) having regular contact with something
14. consecutive n) a suggestion of something being true
15. face-to-face o) the level of ability someone has in a language
16. virtual conversation classes p) to be entirely involved in something
17. language proficiency q) a natural response or behavior
Answers: 1a, 2f, 3j, 4b, 5i, 6q, 7m, 8n, 9c, 10d, 11p, 12e, 13g, 14l, 15h, 16k, 17o.

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