Judith was born in 1935 of Māori (Ngati Manu) and French, Norwegian and Irish ancestry (all very early Pakeha settlers, from 1830). She has spent most of adult life in Wellington but recently moved to Levin.She trained as a teacher, and taught off and on while raising her four children.
Judith has worked as a producer and scriptwriter for Radio New Zealand and TVNZ (including for Close to Home). She has also written stories on commission for Ears, Storytime, the School Journal and the BBC’s Listen with Mother.
She has run correspondence courses in writing for children and taken workshops around New Zealand. She also reviewed for the New Zealand Book Council under the banner ‘B.R.A.T’.
Judith has also been involved in a variety of trusts, charities and organisations including founding the Wellington Children’s Book Association, the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Memorial Short Story Awards, the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society, and the Greater Otaki Literary Trust.