Cath Dinkus Aoty High Res

Storytelling superhero

Catherine Keenan

Sydney Story Factory co-founder


Sometimes it takes other people to make you realise your dreams can become a reality.

This is exemplified in the career of Cath Keenan, a woman whose life is driven by storytelling. Cath came to UWA to pursue a degree in English (BA (Hons)) which cemented her love for reading and writing. 

‘UWA convinced me that I could make a life reading and writing. It showed me that there were other people who loved words as much as I did, which was a new thing for me then and quite wonderful.’

From there, Cath completed a doctorate at Oxford (on a Hackett scholarship) and became a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, where she worked as an arts writer and literary editor.

After a decade working with the Herald, Cath left to help others pursue their own impossibles – by co-founding and running the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for marginalised young people.

The centre’s mission is to change lives through creative writing and storytelling, boosting their confidence while making writing fun.

Cath says: “I’ve pursued what I love and what I think is important,” which is clearly demonstrated in a life full of storytelling that has contributed to the greater community. 

Australian journalist and author Peter Fitzsimons attributes the Sydney Story Factory’s success to Cath’s hard work and vision: “There are dreamers, and there are doers. Only very rarely do you find a dreamer that is a doer as well. And that is Cath Keenan. She had a fabulous career going at the Sydney Morning Herald … and she just walked away from the whole thing, embarking on a dream that she had and she made it happen before our very eyes.”

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