Dr Katherine Barnes

Visiting Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 0420542062

Areas of expertise

  • Literary Studies 2005
  • Performing Arts And Creative Writing 1904

Research interests

Special Operations Executive activities wth Greek resistance organisations in Nazi-occupied Greece 1942-44

Poetry of Christopher Brennan, 1870-1932


Katherine Barnes’ book The Sabotage Diaries (2015) tells the story of her father-in-law Tom Barnes, a New Zealand engineer who parachuted behind enemy lines in Greece in 1942 in a Special Operations Executive mission to demolish a bridge on the railway line carrying German supplies to Rommel’s troops in North Africa.

Katherine has a PhD from the Australian National University in Australian Literature. Her book about the Australian poet Christopher Brennan, The Higher Self (2006), won the Walter McRae Russell award for literary scholarship on an Australian subject in 2007, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s prize for literary scholarship in 2008.

Katherine taught secondary English in Canberra and for a year at Bristol Grammar School, UK. She lectured in creative writing, English literature and speechmaking at the University of NSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW@ADFA) from 2004 to 2007. In 2007 she received the UNSW@ADFA teaching award for excellence and innovation in undergraduate teaching.

Since 2009 Katherine has been a Commonwealth public servant working in the area of public policy. This included five years with the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (previously Skills Australia) where she developed expertise in skills and training policy, and in the development of scenarios for Australia’s future workforce and skills needs. She currently works in policy and programme evaluation.

She lives in Canberra.


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