Katrina Kittel attended The University of Newcastle where she completed a degree in history and a Master degree. During her 25-year career at The University of Newcastle, she was employed in administrative, research assistant and librarian roles. At Charles Stuart University, Katrina undertook postgraduate studies in Library Science. Katrina is a member of the Professional Historians Australia.
In 2011, Katrina’s son readied to wear Col ‘s war medals for Anzac Day. What could she tell him about Col?
Gunner Col Booth NX60337 never spoke to his adopted daughter Katrina about his war. Katrina knew Col had fled a prison camp and hot-footed it to Switzerland. Family legend spoke about Col’s esteemed POW mate Peter Erickson. He’d saved Col’s life, somewhere in Italy, by killing someone about to kill Col.
Seeing some of Col’s small black and white photos on website authored by former POW Bill Rudd (pictured above), Katrina contacted Bill. What followed was an eight-year research collaboration and friendship between Katrina and Bill. Interest in two POWs, Col and Peter, stretched to two thousand POWs, the Australian POW cohort in Italy.
Since the death of Bill Rudd in 2019, Katrina is a research team member for of Bill Rudd’s website.
Katrina has been writing about POWs since 2012 including articles for Sabretache (the journal of Military Historical Society of Australia), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Our Mob Serving Country website as well as websites and print publications by military unit associations. She is a Federal Councillor, Military Historical Society of Australia.
She was invited in 2016 to write preface for an Italian edition of Australian Partisan by Ian Sproule and Lynette Oates.
Katrina was selected for ACT Writers Centre’s Hardcopy 2017 program for emerging non-fiction writers.
Shooting Through: Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian Armistice is her first book. Katrina currently works on a book about a POW camp known as Campo 57 Gruppignano, 1941 to 1943.
Katrina works in public libraries. She enjoys swimming at her favourite beaches or trawling shelves of vintage and op shops.