WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S YOUNG ADULT AWARD AND PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD 2017 FOR WHEN MICHAEL MET MINA.
Randa Abdel-Fattah has had a love affair with books since she was a child, entering short story competitions, writing plays for her classes in primary school, and completing her first novel at the age of fifteen - the first draft of her debut book Does My Head Look Big in This?
Born in Sydney in 1979, Randa is a Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a Catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college where she obtained an International Baccalaureate. She studied Arts/Law at Melbourne University during which time she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic Council of Victoria, a role which afforded her the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions about their representation of Muslims and Islam.
During university and her role at the ICV, Randa was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1996 federal election as a member of the Unity Party - Say No To Hanson. Randa has also been deeply interested in inter-faith dialogue and has been a member of various inter-faith networks. She also volunteered with different human rights and migrant resource organisations including the Australian Arabic council, the Victorian migrant resource centre, Islamic women's welfare council, Palestine human rights campaign, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, to name a few.
Randa has used her writing as a medium for expressing her views about the occupation of Palestine, Australian Muslims, racism, Islamophobia and multiculturalism, and the misunderstood status of women in Islam. She has been published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Religion and Ethics Online, New Matilda and Al Jazeera English.
Randa is frequently sought for comment by the media on issues pertaining to Palestine, Islam or Australian Muslims. She has appeared on ABC's Q & A, ABC's Lateline, SBS's Insight, ABC's First Tuesday Book Club, Channel 7's Today Tonight, Sunrise and Channel 10's The Circle and 9am.
Randa is the author of many books - from picture books to young adult novels - and is also a regular guest at schools around Australia and overseas, addressing students about her books and the social justice issues they raise. Randa has been a guest at writers' festivals in Australia, Sweden, the UAE, Malaysia, and has also toured in Brunei, the UK and the USA.
Randa worked as a litigation lawyer for almost ten years but is now a doctoral candidate at Macquarie University exploring everyday multiculturalism, Islamophobia and racism in Australia. She lives in Sydney with her husband and their three children.