Cathy McLennan

Cathy McLennan is the author of best-selling crime memoir, Saltwater: an epic fight for justice in the tropics, winner of the People’s Choice Book of the Year Award and the prestigious Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award at the recent Queensland Literary Awards.

Saltwater was also shortlisted for multiple National literary awards including the Australian Book Industry Award, the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Colin Roderick Award, the Margarey Award for best biography by an Australian female and the Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance.


Cathy became the youngest barrister in Queensland at 22, commencing practice with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal service in Townsville and Palm Island. The cases she worked on during that time had such an enduring effect on her that she wrote a book about her experiences.


She was awarded the United Nations Queensland Award in 2015. In the same year she was also named as the Chancellors Alumni of the Year, James

Cook University.  She is now a North Queensland Magistrate and lives on a farm with her husband, children and border collie.