At the Wombat party logoWelcome to my biography page.

Thanks for sharing this story with me - I'd love to share yours one day.


You can download this document (in a variety of formats).

I was born Jill Farrar in Sandgate, Queensland in 1936. I had one older sister. My twin brother 'Jack' died soon after birth.

'The Lady Down the Road' is based on my childhood, visiting my grandmother across the road as a toddler and visiting a lady down the road during my primary school years.

When I was nine years old, my father died as a result of World War II. This tragic event led me to writing my first poem, beside a waterfall in the rainforest at Binna Burra in the Lamington National Park.

The poem was about a waterfall and it wasn't a very good one (that's why you won't find it on my website )-;). But I 'published' it in the Binna Burra Visitors Book. Since then I haven't stopped writing!

Now my dream has come true and I have my own six acre rainforest near Maleny, 100 kilometres north of Brisbane in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. I use my rainforest on the Obi Obi creek to inspire writers of all ages, linking creativity and the natural environment. Many authors, illustrators and musicians come and work at the Book Farm, keeping the acres of rolling green hills and rainforest 'alive' with poetry, art, drama and music.

The Book Farm is also the home of Greater Glider Productions, a dynamic children's publishing and production house which I helped to found in Melbourne in 1983.

I was educated at Sandgate State School, Shorncliffe State School, the Brisbane Girls' Grammar School and the University of Queensland. After a Bachelor of Arts degree and Diploma of Education, I taught at Bundaberg State High School for a short time, before joining the Australian Broadcasting Commission as a producer of educational radio programs. This led in 1957 to TV and film production.

After writing and editing and producing hundreds of radio and TV scripts, I moved to playwriting for theatre and manuscripts for books. My first major book, 'Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat', was published in 1970, followed immediately by five further titles about Australian animals.

In 1989 I moved with my three children (Katy, Belinda and John) to Melbourne, the base of a number of my publishers. Lecturing at Swinburne Institute (Graphic Design Department) put me in contact with artist Geoff Hocking and we collaborated on 'The Boy Who Painted the Sun' and 'Saturday Street', also 'Adventures at Bangotcher Junction' (all published by Penguin).

With a partner, I formed Greater Glider Productions in 1983 on the sale of a 65-episode fully produced radio serial to the BBC.

The following years I wrote 60 educational texts, including 'Numbat Run!' with Melbourne artist Lynne Tracey, and we have been collaborating ever since on the magnificent Environment Artbooks: 'Australian Bats', 'Australian Owls, Frogmouths & Nightjars', 'Australian Frogs - Amazing Amphibians' and 'Australian Kangaroos - Magnificent Macropods'.

I introduced Brisbane artist Sharon Dye to publishing with three illustrated non-fiction books: 'The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars' (1997), 'Fraser Dingo' (1998), and 'Mahogany the Mystery Glider' (1999).

Greater Glider Productions has created 18 books for Curriculum Corporation and dozens of books under its own imprint. We release about ten books each year: some of my own titles and a number by other authors and illustrators. Greater Glider books have a reputation for being accurate, informative and stunningly beautiful. They have a very strong leaning towards the preservation of the natural environment.

My prize-winning books include 'Australian Bats', 'Australian Owls, Frogmouths & Nightjars', 'Green Air', 'The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars', 'Mahogany the Mystery Glider', and 'Kookaburra School'. My latest chapter book is a junior novel - 'Frog Thunder', about the platypus frog who is the star of 'Green Air'.

After many years as a professional author, I believe writing and publishing are great ways to turn childhood creativity into a rewarding career.

I am now enjoying myself creating short films on environmental topics: Some of My Best Friends are Trees (autobiographical) 2010, Weeds Wonderful Weeds! 2011 & Backyard Bushfoods 2012. All are available on DVD for $25 each plus post PH 07 5494 3000 or email

I have been accredited as a Distinguished Editor by the Institute of Professional Editors and am available for publishing/editorial consultancy @ $55 per hour incl GST (or negotiated contract rate)

Book Farm
8 Rees Lane
Maleny QLD 4552
Ph (07) 5494 3000
Fax (07) 5494 3284

This document is available for download in the following formats: just click on a link to download the document.

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