Dr Catherine Keenan – Woman of Story

Photo by Jennie Groom © 2016


“Telling stories is a fundamental part of being human” declared Dr Catherine Keenan as she begun a new story in her own life when she become The Australian of the Year – Local Hero for 2016 earlier this week.

Cath Keenan had a fabulous career going at the Sydney Morning Herald when teaming up with colleague Tim Dick they co-founded Sydney Story Factory in Redfern. So great was her urge to help marginalised young Australians to develop their communication skills and express themselves through writing that she left her job to become the executive director in 2012.

Sydney Story Factory is a not for profit organisation which holds classes and one on one writing sessions for free to young people. With over 6000 enrolments received to date and 1200 volunteers, Cath has had success.  The volunteers and students love being in Cath’s orbit of vision, creativity and enthusiasm…..or is it that she is the best robot dance master, bar none!

In a profound acceptance speech Cath advised parents “on top of reading to your child, also help them write a story”.   Thanks Cath, inspired by your story I’ve taken your advice already with my child!