Melina Marchetta was born on March 25, 1965 in Australia. She is a writer and teacher who earned a teaching degree from the Australian Catholic University. She then got a job teaching at St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney. Her first novel, Looking for Alibrandi was released in 1992 to much acclaim. Looking for Alibrandi swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993 including the coveted CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, Saving Francesca was released in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006. Marchetta's fourth novel, the fantasy epic Finnikin of the Rock, was released in October 2008. It has since won the 2008 Aurealis Award for best young-adult novel and the 2009 ABIA (Australian Booksellers Industry Awards) Book of the Year for Older Children, and was recently shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award.