5 Feb 2015

Funeral for Thorn Birds author on Norfolk

3:44 pm on 5 February 2015

A funeral for the author Colleen McCullough will be held today on the island.

Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough Photo: AFP / Ieemage

Ms McCullough, who is most well known for her novel The Thorn Birds, died last month at the age of 77, after a long illness.

She moved to Norfolk Island in the 1980s and was well-known supporter of Norfolk Islanders' rights.

Born in New South Wales, her mother Laurie was a New Zealander of Maori ancestry and her father Jim was an Irish immigrant.

Ms McCullough originally studied neuroscience, and established the neurophysiology department at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital.

Her family drama The Thorn Birds sold 30 million copies worldwide, and she wrote another 24 novels.

Her final book, Bittersweet, was published in 2013.