Australia’s best-selling author, Colleen McCullough, passed away yesterday — but it’s the wording of her obituary that’s making headlines.

The internationally acclaimed author of The Thorn Birds, which sold 30 million copies worldwide, also worked as a neuroscientist in Sydney, before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for 10 years. She died in a Norfolk Island hospital, aged 77.

She was, clearly, an immensely talented and accomplished woman. She was also — according to her obituary in The Australian — “plain of feature, and certainly overweight”.

Colleen McCullough

Crikey reports that the obituary was written years ago by a male writer who has since passed away himself. The writer has not been named.

The Australian gave McCullough’s death greater prominence than any other paper, but is naturally being slammed for the obituary’s tasteless opening paragraph. The hashtag #MyOzObituary is trending. Here are a few of our favourites…

What would your Oz obituary say?