Di Morrissey (born 18 March 1943 to Kay and Len Cairns in Wingham, New South Wales) is one of the most successful novelists of Australia with 25 best-selling novels and five children's books published. In May 2017 Di was inducted into the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Hall of Fame and given the Lloyd O’Neil Award for service to the Australian book industry by her old friend and fellow author Tom Keneally.
Di Morrissey grew up in the remote surrounds of Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia. As a child, she counted famous Australian actor Chips Rafferty as a close mentor and friend who helped provide for her and her mother after the death of her stepfather when she was a child and helped raise funds to send them overseas to California to live with family.
Her mother, Kay Roberts, became Australia's first female commercial TV director working at Artransa Studios, Australian Film Commission and Film Australia.
Although wanting to be a novelist since she was a young girl, Morissey started writing as a cadet on The Australian Women's Weekly magazine at age 17. Later she worked as a journalist on Northcliffe Newspapers on London's Fleet Street for several years.
She then married US diplomat Peter Morrissey and lived in Hawaii where she had her own morning TV show for KGMB and appeared in several episodes of the CBS TV series Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord. Morissey and her diplomat husband lived in various countries in South East Asia and Guyana before Morissey returned to Australia and became one of the original presenters on Australia's first national current affairs Breakfast TV show, Good Morning Australia with Gordon Elliott, premiering on Network Ten in 1981.
In 1989 she left TV to write her first novel, Heart of the Dreaming, which was published in 1991 and became a best-selling novel, establishing a demand for Australian-based stories.
She is an environmentalist and activist. All her novels are inspired by landscape with environmental, political and cultural issues woven into mass market popular fiction. Following her support of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, she traveled to Burma (Myanmar) in 2011 and published her book The Golden Land in 2012. She has subsequently established The Golden Land Education Foundation and raises funds for the school she has established outside Mandalay.
Morissey lives in the Manning Valley New South Wales with her partner, cinematographer Boris Janijc. She has a daughter, Dr Gabrielle Hansen, and a son, Dr Nicolas Morrissey, and four grandchildren.
- Heart of the Dreaming 1991
- The Last Rose of Summer 1992
- Follow The Morning Star 1993
- The Last Mile Home 1994
- Tears of The Moon 1995
- When The Singing Stops 1996
- The Songmaster 1997
- Scatter The Stars 1998
- Blaze 1999
- The Bay 2001
- Kimberley Sun 2002
- Barra Creek 2003
- The Reef 2004
- The Valley 2006
- Monsoon 2007
- The Islands 2008
- The Silent Country 2009
- The Plantation 2010
- The Opal Desert 2011
- The Golden Land 2012
- The Winter Sea 2013
- The Road Back 2014
- Rain Music 2015
- A Distant Journey 2016
- The Red Coast 2017
- Buster and the Queen Bee (Angus and Robertson) 2000
- Sonoma Meets Miss Mouse (Harbour Publishing) 2014
- Everton and Will (Harbour Publishing) 2015
- Surfer Boy Bo (Harbour Publishing) 2016
- Ula's Magic Island (Harbour Publishing) 2017
- ABC. "Jennifer Bryne presents the Book Club". ABC.
- Booktopia, Sonoma Meets Miss Mouse by Di Morrissey
- Harbour Publishing, www.harbourpublishing.com.au/products/books/surfer-boy-bo, Surfer Boy Bo by Di Morrissey and Julie Sydenham, ISBN 978-1-922134-41-7
- The Australian Women’s Weekly, May 27, 2017, [http:// www.nowtolove.com.au/lifestyle/books/australian-book-industry-awards-2017-winners-37752 It’s official: These are the best Australian books of the year]
- ABC Talking Heads with Peter Thompson
- Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 30, 2008, 'A midwife at the birth of TV' by Tony Stephens
- Woman's Day magazine, Jan 23, 2012, 'Di Morrissey, author'
- Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 30 2012, 'Lunch with Di Morrissey' by Jason Steger.
- Pan Macmillan Publishers
- Sydney Morning Herald, Dec, 2, 2012, 'Generosity in a land far, far away' by Mark McEvoy
- The Manning Community News, May 16, 2015