Joanne van Os

Joanne van Os (born 1955) is an Australian author of memoir, children's and adult fiction.

Personal life

Van Os, born in 1955,[1] grew up in Melbourne and moved to Darwin at age 20.[2][3] At age 22, she met her future husband Rod Ansell, widely regarded as the inspiration for the character Crocodile Dundee, with whom she had two sons and subsequently divorced.[4][5] Van Os later remarried and had a daughter.[6] She is currently based in Darwin.[7]

Her daughter died in a boating accident in 2009 aged 16,[8] and her parents decided to donate her organs. After this, van Os became an advocate for organ donation and increasing the amount of accessible information available to families regarding the donation process.[9]

Through her sister Leonie,[10] van Os is aunt to actors Luke, Chris and Liam Hemsworth.[11]


Van Os worked as a lab researcher, a radio operator, a teacher and an electorate officer.[2]

In 2005 she published a memoir about her time with Ansell titled Outback Heart. She has subsequently published three novels for children and a historical fiction novel for adults.[12][13]



Children’s books

  • Brumby Plains (2006, Penguin Random House)
  • Castaway (2007, Penguin Random House)
  • The Secret of the Lonely Isles (2011, Penguin Random House)[14][15]



  1. "Joanne van Os".
  2. "News – Working with Words: Joanne van Os". The Wheeler Centre. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  3. Website. "Joanne van Os". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. "The real Crocodile Dundee's dark side". 4 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. "Outback Heart by Joanne Van Os". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  6. "Joanne van Os | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories".
  7. "Joanne van Os". The Wheeler Centre. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  8. "Teenager Ali van Os killed by mooring rope in freak accident". 23 February 2009.
  9. Os, Van; M, Joanne (7 December 2009). "The hidden trauma of organ donation". The Medical Journal of Australia. 191 (11): 612–613. doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb03348.x. PMID 20028280. S2CID 77895798.
  10. Bekiaris, Angela (14 January 2016). "10 Fun Facts About Liam Hemsworth". People. Johannesburg, South Africa: Caxton Magazines. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  11. "Dream trip to a dream city | Joanne van Os". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  12. "Joanne Van Os: (author/organisation) | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  13. "Visit makes impression". 22 April 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  14. "Joanne Van Os". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  15. O'Toole, Kate; McDonald, Cherie (1 April 2011). "Guestroom with Joanne van Os". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  16. "Joanne van Os". Pan Macmillan Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

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