Caroline Overington

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Caroline Overington is an Australian journalist and author, whose achievements include the Sir Keith Murdoch Prize for Journalism,[1] the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism (twice) [2] and the Blake Dawson Prize.[3] She has written nine books, including six works of fiction.[4] Her most recent title, Last Woman Hanged [5] (HarperCollins, 2014) tells the true story of Louisa Collins, the first and last woman hanged at Sydney's Darlinghurst gaol. The book, based on a five year search of the historical archive, claims that Louisa's trial was mismanaged, and that an innocent woman was executed.[5]

Early career[edit]

Overington grew up in Melton, Victoria where she attended Melton South Primary School[6] and Melton High School.[6] Post secondary school she began her journalism cadetship with The Melton Mail Express, and other titles in The Age Suburban Newspaper group, covering courts, local council, and school fetes.

Overington was recruited to The Age by Melbourne businessman and editor, Alan Kohler, in 1993, where she became a sports writer. She covered two Olympic and Paralympic games. Several of her pieces were selected for the Best Australian Sports Writing and Photography anthologies, published in the 1990s. (Random House). She was awarded the Annita Keating Trophy for Female Journalism in Sport.[citation needed]

Following her return to Australia, Overington took up a position as senior journalist with News Ltd's The Australian where she uncovered the AWB scandal, the largest ever international trade scandal, under which money from sales of Australian wheat was taken from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program and secretly sent to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Awards and Prizes[edit]

Overington and her young family, including twins, moved to New York in 2002, so Overington could take up a position as foreign correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Her first book, Only in New York, (ISBN 978-1-74114-961-6), published by Allen & Unwin in 2006.[7] was a comedy, based on her family experience in the USA.

Overington's work in the US included an investigation into an Australian literary scandal, known as Forbidden Lies. Together with Malcolm Knox, Overington won a Walkley Award for investigative journalism in 2004 for her investigation into the mysterious life of Jordanian-American-Australian author Norma Khouri.[8]

Both Overington and Knox appeared in Forbidden Lie$, the documentary by Anna Brionowski that won a Walkley Award and two Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards.[9][10]

In November 2006 Overington won the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalism and the 2007 Walkley Award for investigative journalism for her coverage of the AWB scandal. Her book about the scandal, 'Kickback' also won the Blake Dawson Waldron Prize for Business Literature in 2008. Rights to the book have been optioned.[citation needed].

Works of Fiction[edit]

Overington's first novel, Ghost Child was released in 2009 to both literary and popular acclaim. The book was short-listed for the Davitt Prize for Best Adult Crime Novel.[11]

Overington's second novel, I Came To Say Goodbye, was short-listed for Book of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2010.[11]

Overington's other novels include Matilda is Missing (2011); Sisters of Mercy (2012); No Place Like Home (2013) and Can You Keep A Secret (2014.)


In 2013, Overington was appointed associate editor of Australia's oldest, and biggest-selling magazine, the iconic Australian Women's Weekly,[12] where she has interviewed former Prime Minister Julia Gillard; screen actress Helen Mirren; comedienne Ellen de Generes; industrialist Gina Rinehart; and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Louisa Collins[edit]

In 2014, Overington published the results of a five-year investigation into the conviction and execution of Louisa Collins in New South Wales in 1889. The book claims that Louisa, who was tried four times for murder, suffered a miscarriage of justice, and may well have been innocent.[13]


Overington has homes in Bondi, Australia and Santa Monica, California.[14]


External links[edit]