Caroline Overington

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Caroline Overington
Born1970 (age 49–50)
OccupationJournalist, author

Caroline Overington (born 1970) is an Australian journalist and author. She has twice won the Walkley Award for investigative journalism. She has also won the Sir Keith Murdoch prize for journalism (2007), the Blake Dawson Waldron Prize (2008) and the Davitt Award for Crime Writing (2015).

Overington has written 13 books. Her most recent title, "Missing William Tyrrell", concerns the real-life case of William Tyrrell, who disappeared from Kendall on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in 2014. Overington has said she wrote the book because "the truth must come out. Now is not the time to give up" looking for William. "The truth wants to be discovered. William wants to be found."[1]

Life and career[edit]

Overington was born in Melbourne, Victoria in 1970.[2] One of three children in her family,[3] she grew up in Melton, Victoria, and was educated at Melton South Primary School and Melton High School.[4] She graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism.[5]

Overington began her journalism cadetship with The Melton Mail Express, and other titles in The Age Suburban Newspaper group, covering courts, local council, and school fetes. Melbourne businessman and editor, Alan Kohler, recruited Overington to write for The Age in 1993, where she became a sports writer, covering two Olympic and Paralympic games. Several of her pieces were selected for the Best Australian Sports Writing and Photography anthologies, published by Random House in the 1990s. She was awarded the Annita Keating Trophy for Female Journalism in Sport.[citation needed] So that Overington could take up a position as foreign correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, she and her young family, including twins born in 2000,[6] moved to New York City in 2002. Her first book, Only in New York, published by Allen & Unwin in 2006, is a comedy based on her family's experiences in the United States.[7]

While based in the States, Overington's work included an investigation into an Australian literary scandal involving Norma Khouri's book Forbidden Love. Together with Malcolm Knox, Overington won a Walkley Award for investigative journalism in 2004 for her research into the mysterious life of Jordanian-American-Australian author Norma Khouri.[8] Both Overington and Knox appeared in Forbidden Lie$, the documentary by Anna Broinowski that won a Walkley Award and two Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards.[9]

Following her return to Australia in 2006, Overington took up a position as senior journalist with the News Limited newspaper The Australian.[10] She uncovered the AWB scandal, in which AWB Limited (formerly the Australian Wheat Board), owned by the Australian Government, paid $290 million in kickbacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein, in contravention of the United Nations Oil-for-Food Humanitarian Program. Overington's book Kickback: Inside the Australian Wheat Board Scandal, released by Allen & Unwin in 2007, provided an account of the scandal.[11]

During the 2007 federal election campaign, Overington made headlines for her conduct in the Wentworth electorate although no adverse findings against Overington were made.[12] Overington was said to have been involved in an altercation with the Labor candidate George Newhouse, who claimed Overington had "whacked" him, while Overington said she had pushed him away with an open hand. The Australian published an apology to Newhouse from Overington over what as described as "an encounter" in December 2007.[13][14][15]

Overington's first novel, Ghost Child was released in 2009 to both literary and popular acclaim. The book was short-listed for the Davitt Prize for Best Adult Crime Novel.[16] Her second novel, I Came To Say Goodbye, was short-listed for Book of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2010.[16] The novel Matilda is Missing, released in 2011, told the tale of a divorce custody case, through the eyes of a court-appointed psychologist.[17]

In 2012, Overington was appointed associate editor of Australian magazine, The Australian Women's Weekly,[18] where she interviewed former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, screen actress Helen Mirren, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, industrialist Gina Rinehart and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Overington also profiled the Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson, who in 2017 sued Bauer Media over a series of ten articles which alleged that she had lied about her age, real name, and relationship to Walt Disney.[19] Overington appeared as a witness during the trial. In his ruling against Bauer Media, Judge Dixon said Overington was not responsible for the publication of the article which had been published by "Bauer Media executives who exercised actual control over publication of individual articles, and more senior executives with overall management of the Bauer Media.'[19] Judge Dixon further said Overington's motive was to protect her own reputation "as a serious award-winning investigative journalist" adding: "Ms Overington honestly held that intention but I am unable to accept that her purpose was that of Bauer Media."[19] Bauer Media appealed the judgment in June 2018 and won, with damages reduced to $600,000.[20] Wilson attempted to appeal to the High Court but her application was refused.[21]

In 2014, Overington's book Last Woman Hanged was released, documenting the results of Overington's five-year investigation into the conviction and execution of Louisa Collins in New South Wales in 1889. In the book Overington claims that Collins, who was tried four times for murder, suffered a miscarriage of justice and may well have been innocent.[22] Overington linked the trial to Australian colonial history and to the early suffragette movement in Australia.

In March 2016, Overington was appointed an associate editor of The Australian.[10] Her book The One Who Got Away, a psychological thriller set in California, was released in April 2016. Reviewer Riahn Smith, writing for News Corp Australia's The Weekly Times described the book as a neatly told page turner that inspires eager anticipation.[23]

Overington has homes in Bondi, Australia and Santa Monica, California.[24]

Awards and prizes[edit]

  • 2004 — Joint winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism for the Norma Khouri Investigation[25]
  • 2006 — Awarded the second annual Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalism[26]
  • 2007 — Winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism for coverage of the AWB Kickback Scandal[25]
  • 2008 — Winner of the Blake Dawson Waldron Prize for Business Literature[27][28]
  • 2015 — Winner of the Davitt (Non-Fiction) Award for Crime Writing[29]



  • Only in New York: How I took Manhattan (With the Kids). Allen & Unwinn. 2006. ISBN 1741149614.
  • Kickback: Inside the Australian Wheat Board Scandal. Allen & Unwinn. 2007. ISBN 9781741751949.
  • Last Woman Hanged. HaperCollins. 2014. ISBN 9780732299729.



  1. ^ Overington, Caroline (24 February 2020). ""Why I Can't Rest Until I Find William Tyrrell"". Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  2. ^ Harrison, Penny (4 April 2012). "Inside story with Caroline Overington". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia.
  3. ^ Purcell, John (14 September 2010). "The Booktopia Book Guru Asks Caroline Overington, author of I Came to Say Goodbye and Ghost Child Ten Terrifying Questions". Archived from the original on 19 February 2016.
  4. ^ Overington, Caroline (5 June 2009). "Facebook proves its worth painting picture of the past". The Australian. News Limited. p. 13.
  5. ^ "Caroline Overington Profile and Books". 21 February 2016. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016.
  6. ^ Blandford, Megan (4 October 2010). "Battling Childhood Demons with Caroline Overington". Australian Women Online. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015.
  7. ^ Gambotto-Burke, Antonella (11 November 2006). "Baby love in the Big Apple". Weekend Australian. News Limited. p. 10.
  8. ^ List of 2004 Walkley winners from official Walkleys website Archived 12 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Forbidden Lie$ wins two AFI Awards". Macquarie University. 27 November 2007. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b Davidson, Darren (4 March 2016). "Caroline Overington to rejoin The Australian". The Australian. News Corp Australia.
  11. ^ Cica, Natasha (18 May 2007). "Kickback". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Wentworth independent claims journalist offered inducements for preferences". ABC Radio. Danielle Hoare. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ "Apology to George Newhouse". The Australian. News Limited. 4 December 2007. p. 2. On Saturday morning, November 24, 2007, Caroline Overington had an encounter with the Labor candidate for Wentworth, Mr George Newhouse, in circumstances that she sincerely regrets. She hopes that she and Mr Newhouse can put this incident behind them and she wishes him all the best.
  14. ^ "Journo Sorry for striking candidate". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. 4 December 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  15. ^ Simons, Margaret (4 December 2007). "First jokes now apologies". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  16. ^ a b "AustLit: Caroline Overington (69 works by)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  17. ^ Clark, Blanche (28 October 2011). "Divorce and all its pain". News Limited. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016.
  18. ^ Leys, Nick (11 September 2012). "The Australian Women's Weekly appoints Caroline Overington as associate editor". The Australian. News Corp Australia.
  19. ^ a b c "Supreme Court judgment - Rebel Wilson v Bauer Media" (PDF). Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Kingston, Beverley (5 December 2014). "Review: Story of last woman hanged in NSW a grim indictment". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  23. ^ Smith, Riahn (27 May 2016). "The One Who Got Away, Caroline Overington". The Weekly Times. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Kevin's Comeback". Q&A. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  25. ^ a b Walkley Winners Archive, The Walkley Foundation
  26. ^ "The Australian's team snares four News Awards". The Australian. News Limited. 18 November 2006.
  27. ^ Wilson, Lauren (11 April 2008). "Overington receives top honour for book on AWB scandal". The Australian. News Limited. p. 5.
  28. ^ Ashurst business literature prize: Past winner and nominees, archived from the original on 22 March 2016
  29. ^ Savage, Angela. "Davitt Awards 2015". Angela Savage. Retrieved 4 December 2015.

External links[edit]