Meaghan Wilson Anastasios spent her early years in Melbourne and hanging around her parents’ farm in South Gippsland, riding horses and escorting stud cattle to agricultural shows around Australia. After scraping the animal dung from the cleats of her work-boots, she headed off to the University of Melbourne where she had a go at studying law. She hated it. To the dismay of her family, she followed the siren’s call of history and pursued an honours degree in archaeology, classical studies and art history.
After a period working as an archaeologist in the Mediterranean and Middle East, Meaghan decided she wanted some more letters after her name. She returned to the halls of academia and got herself a Master of Art Curatorship and a PhD in art history and cultural economics. Kitted out with all the requisite degrees, she joined the Department of Culture and Communications at the University of Melbourne and began shaping impressionable young minds as a lecturer and subject coordinator. Thinking her PhD thesis would most likely end up as little more than a dust receptacle, nobody was more surprised than she was when it inspired a Four Corners program for ABC TV that looked at questionable practices in the Australian art auction market and the Aboriginal art trade.
Being a perpetual student didn’t help to pay the bills, so Meaghan has also been gainfully employed at major public institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria and Artbank, and held management-level positions at commercial art businesses, including Leonard Joel Australia, where she also had a stab at auctioneering. Researching works of art and compiling detailed catalogues required her to develop expertise in everything from early European exploration to bird species, and global politics to human anatomy.
Nowadays she applies her peculiar skill set and knowledge base to her work in the entertainment industry and as an author and journalist. Meaghan is a scriptwriter and researcher for film and TV and an accredited member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Loot – a documentary series she created and wrote – that draws on her experience as an archaeologist and art world insider is currently in production and set to air on SBS, and globally, in 2022. If that wasn’t enough, she also has a feature documentary in development with Film Victoria funding.
Meaghan has written and researched several series for Australian television, including the Logie-nominated series, The Pacific in the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey and Gourmet Farmer Afloat, and also works as a researcher on other major film and television productions including the AACTA-winning Sydney Mardi Gras Parade broadcast for SBS, Adam Liaw’s Destination Flavour: China, The Water Diviner, Australia: The Story of Us, and Doctor Doctor. She also writes regularly for The Guardian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and The Saturday Paper on art and culture, and is the Australia/NZ correspondent for the UK-based publication, Research Professional News.
Meaghan’s first novel was an adaptation of the script for Russell Crowe’s feature, The Water Diviner, which was published by Pan Macmillan and sold over 45,000 copies in Australia and internationally. She is represented by Curtis Brown Australia, and in 2018, her novel The Honourable Thief, was published by Pan Macmillan, with the sequel, The Emerald Tablet, published in 2019. In 2018, Harper Collins also published Meaghan’s book, The Pacific: In the Footsteps of Captain Cook with Sam Neill.
Meaghan lives in inner-city Melbourne with her screenwriter husband, their two children, a dog, two cats, and an indoor plant collection large enough to qualify as pathological.