Paula Doneman

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Paula Doneman is an award winning Australian Journalist ​ and a leading figure in investigative journalism and  covering and exposing crime stories in the Queensland ​ region. [2] Currently, she is employed as the Senior Investigative Producer and Crime Journalist at Seven News. [7] She is also the author of the true crime book " Things a Killer Would Know: The True Story of Leonard Fraser" [5]

Early Life and Education

As the daughter of a police officer and a psychologist [1] from its very start her career was influenced by her parents. This lead to often discussions around the dinner table about politics and current affairs ever since she was young. [1]

After graduating from the University of Queensland, Doneman began her career as a journalist at The Weekend Independent in 1992. [2] There she continued her work on drug trade in prison which she had began at University as a result of a discussion with two prison officers. [1] While the story was not initially well received, her work consequently inspired Queensland’s first commission of inquiry into the illicit drug trade. [2]


After working for The Weekend Independent for four years, Paula moved to The Courier-Mail - a Brisbane based newspaper. There she co-founded The Courier-Mail Investigative Unit and continued to work for the paper for over a decade, firstly as Chief Police Reporter and then as Crime Editor. [2] She then, in 2007, worked briefly for the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) as Crime Editor.

Following the Sunday Mail, she began to work for Seven News as the Senior Investigative Producer & Crime Journalist, where she continues to work as of present.  She also occasionally contributes as a consultant on Australian and US documentaries. [2]

Paula Doneman is also a mentor for Women in Media (WiM), an MEAA initiative, meant to support and encourage women working in all areas of the media. [7]

Notable Work

In 2006, she published a biography on Leonard Fraser or the "Rockhampton rapist", an Australian serial killer. When she worked as Chief Police Reporter for The Courier-Mail, Paula Doneman covered the story from its very beginning and worked closely with the detectives that tracked Leonard Fraser down. [5] She hence published the true crime book " Things a Killer Should Know: The True Story of Leonard Fraser" - chronicling the crimes of Leonard Fraser and evaluating other crimes for which he remains a suspect.

Other than the story of Leonard Fraser, Paula Doneman also covered many other stories of high interest. In 2003 she won a Queensland Clarion Award , alongside a team of journalists, for best news coverage of the Natasha Ryan story - an Australian woman who went missing in 1998 and was discovered alive in 2003. [10]

In 2014, Doneman and Carly Waters, a fellow journalist, were awarded Best TV report for their investigation into the murder of the Gold Coast Detective Damian Leeding and his killer. [2]

However, the most notable story of Doneman's opus was in 2013 and her exposé of an illegal sex ring within the Australian Defence Force. [2] She was awarded two rewards for this coverage - a Walkey for the best TV/AV story & the 2014 NSW Media Les Kennedy Award for outstanding investigative reporting. [2]

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