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Catherine Deveny

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Journalist, Personal Development, Social Commentator, Speaking Out

Catherine Deveny is a comedy writer, comedian, author, social commentator and broadcaster well known for her work as a columnist with The Age and as an ABC regular. Deveny has been named in the Top 100 Most Influential Melbournians. She is an atheist and (along with two of her sons) dyslexic. Her extensive charity and community work includes the Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre, Homelessness and Broken Rites. She is a proud ambassador for Dying With Dignity Victoria, International Day of People with Disability, and the Patron (alongside Father Bob) of Griefline. Catherine was also one of the founding members of Friends of Public Housing.

Where were you born?

Melbourne. My hometown.

What other jobs have you had?

I have been working since I was ten years old. Delivering pamphlets and newspapers, selling macramé owls door to door, chemist courier, waiter, English teacher in Japan, social media and cultural trend consultant…

What themes are recurring in your work?

Identifying the elephant in the room and taking the micky out of it. Happiness, irreverence, saying it how I see it, singing from the heart, equality, diversity, pushing the boundaries, questioning taboos.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Being a columnist for The Age. Appearing on Q&A, doing Go Back To Where You Came From and being named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Melbournians. Surviving cancer, depression and relationship breakdown and falling in love at 41. Having seven books published, but particularly The Happiness Show.

Where have your works been published?

The Age, The Australian, Paper Sea Quarterly, Sheilas, Madison Magazine – and more!

What are you passionate about?

Writing, dangerous ideas. Cycling, boys feminism. Singing from your heart and living a full, authentic life. Discrimination being dissolved, diluted and dismantled through the application of diversity, happiness and living a bold, vivid, messy life.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Yep, I’ve had numerous and varied TV appearances including Go Back To Where You Came From, Q&A, Good News Week and The 7pm Project.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I was raised in Reservoir and am currently living in The People’s Republic of Moreland. I’m the mother to three little boys aged 9, 11 and 14. I live in an atheist kibbutz with my partner, my gay husband and three sons. Living in an all male household makes me want a t-shirt that says “Where Have You Looked?”

Testimonials

The 10th anniversary Williamstown Literary Festival is over and will be remembered as a success by those who attended. A good share of the credit for its success goes to Catherine Deveny and her fellow presenters. Could you please pass on to Catherine the Festival committee’s thanks for participating and sharing her expertise with our patrons. Responses from patrons and other presenters were enthusiastic about the content and the overall quality of the festival and we had great feedback on Catherine’s presentation. Our patrons said she is a very effective speaker, her delivery was engaging, thought provoking and there was much to discuss, dissect and digest from her session. Please thank her for joining us in this adventure and hopefully she can join us next year.
I wish Catherine and yourself all the best in your future endeavours.

—M. Smith, Executive Officer, Willliamstown Literary Festival, June 2013

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