Critic, publisher and champion of Australian drama, Katharine Brisbane grew up in Peppermint Grove in Perth, WA. The youngest of four children, she had a solitary childhood but one filled with imagination and reading and a love of theatre. Katharine Brisbane was educated at Perth's Presbyterian Ladies College and at the University of Western Australia. From 1967 to 1974 she was the national theatre critic for The Australian. In 1971 she and her husband Philip Parsons set up Currency Press in Sydney. Originally a play subscription service, the Press publishes the works of Australian playwrights, performers and composers. Katharine Brisbane was also a founding member of the Australian National Playwrights' Conference. In 2002, Katharine Brisbane retired from Currency Press to concentrate on the work of Currency House, a nonprofit, membership-based organisation established in 2001 as a meeting place for arts practitioners and to raise funds to publish non-commercial scholarly and creative work.
Not Wrong Just Different : Observations on the Rise of Contemporary Australian Theatre2005single work criticism This book provides an 'insight into the growth of theatre in Australia from 1967 when Katharine Brisbane joined the fledgling Australian as its national theatre critic. It tells the story largely through her writings for the paper and for later publications through to the mid 1980s. The book concludes with her contributions to the public debate in the years since, which articulate the power of the arts in our everyday lives ... The book steers us through battles over censorship and subsidy, the demolition of nineteenth century theatres and the construction of great cultural centres' (Back cover blurb).