Determined to be a writer since early childhood, Kali enrolled in a creative writing degree at Curtin University at age 16, but dropped out for a lack of ‘life experience’. For 22 years, life experience got in the way of writing her own stories. Instead, in Bangladesh, she documented the impact of development interventions on women’s lives, and, on Yamatji country in Western Australia, she listened to Native Title claimants’ stories to draft connection reports.
Moving to Queensland, Kali worked as a family history researcher for the Community and Personal Histories Unit of the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs. Here, she became a storyteller, piecing together multigenerational family sagas full of secrets, trauma, and loss, from fragments in the archives. In 2013, she returned to creative writing. Her first manuscript was selected in the QWC/ Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program in 2015.
In 2016, two of her manuscripts were longlisted in the Bath Novel Award in 2016. The second manuscript was contracted by Hachette Australia, and released as The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge in January 2018. She is currently an MPhil candidate in Creative Writing at The University of Queensland, exploring the poetics of dress in historical fiction.