Alumni in profile

Image of Cristy Burne
Photo by Doug Hall Photography

Cristy Burne
Master of Arts (Professional Communication) 2007 and
Graduate Certificate of Professional Writing 2004

Multi-award winning writer Cristy Burne has travelled the world combining her passion for writing with her work as an Outreach Coordinator.

'My role with Outreach is to raise the profile of e-infrastructures such as Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) or the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG)) that support international e-science projects, such as the bid to find a cure for malaria, or tackle global warming, or find the mysterious Higgs particle. I write policy briefings and case studies, manage a blog and several websites and attend conferences across Europe to work with other e-science projects globally,' says Cristy.

'With Outreach, I've worked across Australia as part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus and in disadvantaged schools across South Africa as part of Science on the Move. I've also worked as an editor in Japan, Australia and Switzerland. This flexibility comes from having studied communication at Deakin - such skills and qualifications are valued all over the world,' she says.

An emerging children's writer, Cristy has won numerous writing awards in her career over the past few years.

'I recently won the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Book Award,(awarded to a children's book manuscript that celebrates cultural diversity) with Takeshita Demons - which was hugely exciting. I've also won a Young and Emerging Writer award from Varuna House for my first manuscript,One Weekend with Killiecrankie, which also won the Voices on the Coast children's writing competition. These awards feel amazing and give me the courage to keep writing - something all writers need.'

Cristy explains that her passion for writing is fuelled by the vast freedom that it brings.

'I love the freedom of being a writer, whether I'm writing fiction or non-fiction. I get a tremendous buzz from pursuing an idea, or losing myself in a story. I love creating something where before where was nothing.'

A Master of Arts graduate from Deakin in 2007, Cristy says that her course helped her to obtain a great job overseas almost immediately.

'Having the Masters immediately opened new doors for me. Within weeks of finishing I'd landed a position in Geneva, Switzerland, as editor-in-chief of an international e-science newsletter and just months after that I won my first children's fiction writing award.'

Cristy says the flexibility of Deakin's courses was one of the main reasons she chose to study at the University.

'Deakin offered me the flexibility I needed to study part time off campus and a huge range of courses to choose from, that fired my imagination in many forms of writing including; fiction, non-fiction, travel writing and of course the nitty-gritty of editing.'

'The flexibility, friendliness of staff, plus the technology used for off-campus teaching at Deakin was perfect for creating a feeling of community among fellow off- campus students. I highly recommend the course because of this positive experience.'

As for the immediate future, Cristy is about to add another exciting aspect to her already busy life - that of being a mum.

'I'm taking a year off to have my first child and focus on fiction writing - which is an incredible luxury and a great thrill. I'm also keen to publish more books and increase the work I do with and for children, both in science and literature,' she says.

Cristy's first children's novel Takeshita Demons is due out in 2010. For more information visit Cristy's website.

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26th November 2009