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Changemaker- Catherine Keenan


Monday, 1st July 2013 at 10:27 am
Staff Reporter
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.

Monday, 1st July 2013
at 10:27 am
Staff Reporter


2 Comments


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Changemaker- Catherine Keenan
Monday, 1st 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.



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2 Comments

  • Sam Lloyd says:

    Hello Katherine, 

    My name is Sam, and I’m in year 6 in Radford College, Canberra. 

    I am doing a major school “exhibition” assignment, and I have chosen the topic of mindset, because I think mindset is the foundation of anything you do. 

    Radford’s exhibition will be displayed in the main hall from 12 September for one week. A few Canberra schools participate in exhibition, and we all visit other school’s exhibitions to see what they can do. 

    When I was researching mindset, I read about how you were local Australian of the year. 

    I would really like to ask you about mindset, and what it takes to keep pushing for what you think is right for society.

    I would be very grateful if you would be able to answer a few questions that I have prepared. 

    My questions are:

    1) What is the relationship between mindset, and our ability to cope with challenge?

    2) How does positive thinking help you overcome challenges?

    3) What do you think is a “good” mindset?

    or – would you be open to a very quick five minute Skype interview?

    My draft for this assignment is due on Tuesday 6 September. it would be great if I could get your response to my questions back to me by then. 

    Thanks very much for your time. 

    kind regards, 

    Sam.

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