Alumnae Story: Anna McGahan (2005)

Since graduating from Girls Grammar in 2005, Anna McGahan has dreamt of being a writer. After a range of experiences and success in stage and TV acting, Anna gradually found her voice and her passion in written storytelling, winning the 2023 Australian/Vogel’s Award for Young Writers.

Few of us can say that, in our lifetime, we have fulfilled a dream we have harboured since we were seven years old. One lucky person who can make that claim is celebrated writer and Brisbane Girls Grammar School alumna, Anna McGahan (2005).

In 2023, Anna was awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards for young writers, The Australian/Vogel Prize, which was won by her uncle, Andrew McGahan, in 1991.

In the lead up to the School’s 150th Sesquicentenary in 2025, Anna shared her Girls Grammar story through video, and the School’s Illumine podcast.

BGGS is excited to celebrate 150 years of educating girls and young women in 2025, and to commemorate this milestone, we want to hear from you—our Grammar Women—to either share your story or the story of another past Grammar girl.

Share your story with us here, and discover Anna’s story, below.

Anna has a creative background, and you may recognise her name from her acting successes, including her role as Nellie Cameron in the TV drama, Underbelly: Razor. But while the seeds of her creative interests were planted during secondary school, they took some time to develop after graduating.

In this video, Anna reflects on the teachers that inspired and nurtured skills that have served her well in the twists and turns of her creative career.

Illumine Grammar Women—Anna McGahan (2005)

When Anna graduated, she intended to pursue a career in Journalism. After exploring Psychology, and joining university Drama society, she found a passion for storytelling through the dramatic arts. It took many years—filled with acting successes, personal challenges, grief and change—for Anna to attempt that notoriously difficult task of writing a novel.

In this conversation with Principal, Ms Jacinda Euler Welsh, Anna McGahan (2005) reflects on the trials, victories, and unexpected detours that have characterised her journey and career so far.