Changemaker- Catherine Keenan
1 July 2013 at 10:27 am
Catherine Keenan is the co-founder of the Sydney Story Factory. She made the career change in February 2012 to work as executive director of the creating writing centre for young people.
This week we profile Catherine in Changemakers- a weekly column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Catherine was formerly a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, working as an arts writer and literary editor. She has a doctorate in English literature from Oxford University. She left The Sydney Morning Herald in February 2012 to work as executive director of the Sydney Story Factory.
The Sydney Story Factory is a Not for Profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney that works with marginalised young people to help them write stories and find their own voice.
How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
Nearly two years.
What was your first job in the Not for Profit sector?
This is my first job in the Not for Profit sector. I left a job at the Sydney Morning Herald as an arts writer to start the Sydney Story Factory.
What is the best thing about working in the Not for Profit sector?
I love the dedication people have and their openness to collaboration.
What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?
I’m watching Mad Men; I’m reading Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels, which are sharper than tacks; and I’m listening to the new digital album of our recent Song Reader concert, where Sydney’s best musicians created their versions of Beck’s latest sheet music.
School taught me …
I had a great English teacher in year 8 and her faith in my ability to write changed the course of my life.
What does a typical day for you involve?
My days are very varied. We’re a small organisation so we all do lots of different things, and I have responsibility for general management of the Sydney Story Factory and fundraising, among other things. Luckily, nearly every day involves kids racing in the door with big smiles and enthusiastic greetings for their writing tutors.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
Our students inspire me. The great thing about them is that they always present us with new ways of looking at the world. As my colleague Richard says, our greatest challenge is trying to be as creative as they are.