AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 3260229751617439856.png
Photo courtesy of the author.
Sue McPherson Sue McPherson i(A143224 works by)
Born: Established: 1967 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Wiradjuri ; Torres Strait Islander
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Visual artist and author Sue McPherson was born in Sydney to an Aboriginal mother from Wiradjuri country and a Torres Strait Islander father. She was a Ward of the State for a number of years before been adopted into the McPherson family, land owners from the Batlow area in southern New South Wales. After leaving school McPherson worked in various jobs before moving to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales where she worked with the Regional Aboriginal Land Council. Later she gained her Bachelor of Teaching from Charles Sturt University, and worked as a teacher at the Riverina Institute of TAFE.

McPherson’s inspiration to write came from her sons; this prompted her to take up a writing workshop advertised in the local paper in Coolum, Queensland. Subsequently, she began writing her first novel Grace Beside Me (2012), which she entered the first manuscript in the Black& Write! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writing Fellowship and was a joint winner in 2011. And, in 2013 it was shortlisted in the Young Adult category of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards; McPherson was the only first time novelist on the shortlist. Her novel also gained recognition by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and was listed on the White Raven’s list for 2013. (A list of books that are deemed to deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or, their exceptional and innovative artistic and literary style and design). McPherson continues to live on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. (Brisbane Writers Festival; Magabala Books website; Queensland Government website; State Library of Queensland website; The Gallery Eumundi website)


Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Brontide Broome : Magabala Books , 2018 12958230 2018 single work novel young adult

'Rob; (and his brother Pen) white Aussies. Rob is completing Year 12, going to schoolies, working as an apprentice in his dad's company and loves his dog, Nig. Rob believes real men take risks.

'Pen; fifteen-years-old, storyteller, graffiti artiste extraordinaire with a penchant for male anatomy. Pen is liked by everyone. Pen and Benny Boy are mates.

'Benny Boy; fifteen-years-old, Aboriginal, loves drawing, fishing and living with his awesome (white) foster Nan. Benny Boy doesn't trust Rob.

'Jack; white, male, finishing Year 12, new to the area, from the bush and adopted into an Aboriginal family. Jack has met Pen and reckons he's a funny bugger. He has also just signed up as an apprentice working alongside Rob-the-knob.

'Brontide is a coming of age story about four boys and their lot in life. Recounted through storytelling sessions at their school over a period of five days, these boys chronicle their lives. They are at times demanding, occasionally rude, always funny and unexpectedly profound. The boys like to challenge themselves and the rules, and soon realise that not everything goes to plan... ' (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted Most Underrated Book Award
form y separately published work icon Grace Beside Me ( dir. Beck Cole et. al. )agent Australia : National Indigenous Television , 2018 10634717 2018 series - publisher film/TV children's

'A rich and humorous coming of age story, GRACE BESIDE ME transports young audiences into the world of 13-year-old Fuzzy Mac and her best mate Tui Mui as they navigate life, and with help from Fuzzy's Nan and Pop, learn how to find strength and grace.'

Source: Screen Australia.

2019 nominated Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program
2018 inaugural winner First Nations Media Awards ‌‌ Best Drama or Comedy Award
2018 nominated Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Best Children's Television Series
2018 nominated Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program
y separately published work icon Grace Beside Me Broome : Magabala Books , 2012 Z1855255 2012 single work novel young adult

'A warmly rendered story of life in a small town that interweaves the mundane with the profound and the spiritual. Told through the eyes of teenager, Fuzzy Mac, awkward episodes of teen rivalry and romance sit alongside the mystery of Nan’s visions and a ghostly encounter. Against a backdrop of quirky characters, including the holocaust survivor who went to school with Einstein and the little priest always rushing off to bury someone before the heat gets to them, Grace Beside Me is full of humour and timely wisdom.' (Source: Magabala Books)

2013 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Young Adults' Fiction
2012 finalist Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards Outstanding Achievement in Literature
2011 joint winner black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships
Last amended 2 May 2018 16:03:38
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: