Madeleine’s writing career began at 18 as a music journalist writing for Australia's rock weekly, Juke magazine. She has worked professionally as a journalist, specialising in France, literature and immigration detention at World News Australia, SBS TV (Australia’s international, multilingual broadcaster) and as a documentary producer at Radio National, ABC, where she produced and presented programs on topics as diverse as Moroccan Islam/literature; Michel Houellebecq; Victor Hugo and of an imaginary visit by Borges to Melbourne in 1938.

Madeleine’s essays and reviews have appeared in Australia's major magazines, including the Griffith Review, Heat,  Meanjin and the Australian Book Review. For a number of years, she wrote an Australian literary news column for the New York journal, Antipodes.  Madeleine won the inaugural national Quadrant fiction-reviewing prize for her writing on Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums, judged by poet Les Murray. She has also received an OzProspect fellowship for new writers on public affairs.

While in Australia, Madeleine developed a reputation as a journalist working on immigration detention; not only through her regular articles and essays, but also via public lectures to academics/the general public. Madeleine helped found the country’s first citizen’s inquiry into Australia’s detention policy, the results of which were published as Human Rights Overboard: Seeking Asylum in Australia (Scribe Publications, 2008: Winner of the Literature Non-Fiction Award of The Australian Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Medals and Awards). Her article, “Black and Blue Justice” (Bulletin 2005) was the first to include photographic evidence of alleged assaults of immigration detainees by staff and police.  These photographs were included in Reportage – an annual festival dedicated to the year’s best international photojournalism.

In 2015, the US-based Hip Hop Forum digital magazine recruited Madeleine to write on international and US acts. During this time she has interviewed MC Sha-Rock (the first female MC of hip-hop culture and other artists for the magazine). Madeleine worked as an editor at Hip Hop Forum digital magazine, where she instituted a writers' development program to train and support new Black American journalists. She was responsible for the management and training of the journalists, the commissioning of articles and provided input on the magazine's overall direction. 

Madeleine is a regular contributor to The WIRE magazine, London. Ambrosia for Heads publications can be found at her author's page; read her writing for Passion of the Weiss here.   

To contact Madeleine, please email: madeleinebyrne.writer@gmail.com 

Writing on music, literature and politics.