Judith Wright Biography

Judith Wright Biography

Judith Wright (1915-2000) – Australian poet, Ecologist & Social Activist

Born: May 31, 1915, Armidale, Australia
Died: June 25, 2000, Canberra, Australia
Education: University of Sydney
Awards: Christopher Brennan Award

Birth Details

Judith Wright was the first child of Phillip Wright and his first wife, Ethel. She was born on 31st May 1915, in the city of Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Wright spent the majority of her determining years in Sydney and Brisbane. As a child, she lacked immunity and suffered from frequent illness. She wrote poems to cheer up her mom. After the death of her mother, she was brought up under the guidance of her grandmother. In 1929, she was enrolled In New England Girl’s School. Writing poetry gave her pleasure and comfort. This was the starting of her career as a poet.


In 1934, Judith Wright studied Philosophy, History, and English in the Sydney University. During Second World War, the deficiency of manpower made Wright to go back to her father's station. This changed her living, as she developed. This served as the turning point in her life, as she developed immense attachment to the place and its people which was visible in her work.  Judith Wright met J.P. McKinney when she was 30 years old in Queensland. This was the turning point in her career. She was a nature’s poetess and her works reflected mostly on the mountains of Queensland. Apart from writing poems, Wright wrote school plays for Australian Broadcasting Commission to earn her living. She was also a lecturer and spoke on various subjects in different Australian Universities. During this period of her life, she was selected as the founder of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She got an opportunity to be a professor of the Literature Board of the Arts Council. She wrote an autobiography covering her life till 1960s. This work of her was published in 2000.


Judith Wright was a well-known Australian poet as well as a short story writer. She was a promising campaigner for Aboriginal land rights. She was appointed as one of the members of Australian council and received many honorary degrees from several universities.

As an environmentalist, she was the founder of Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland and also fought for the Great Barrier Reef.

Her literary works have been translated in many languages like Italian, Japanese and Russian. In her career she had also edited many collections of Australian verse. She was also concerned with national and social problems.


She has received many awards in her life career.

  • In 1950, she was given the Grace Leven Prize.
  • In 1964, Australia-Britannica Award,
  • The honorable poet-Robert Frost Memorial Award in 1977
  • Several others include Australian World Prize in 1984, Queen's Medal for Poetry 1992.


Judith Wright died on 26th June, 2000 in Canberra. The cause of her death was reported as heart attack. She died at a ripe age of 85. Her remains were scattered around the graveyard of Tamborine Mountain. Judith Wright’s possession of rainforest strip was undertaken by the government, to preserve it as a national park.


“Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place.”
- Judith Wright

“Only after I faced the unhappiness of my first marriage did I start on the path of personal growth.”
- Judith Wright

“Want to know if a given behavior is a soft addiction? If any of these characteristics apply, chances are it is: zoning out, avoiding feelings, compulsiveness, denial/rationalization, stinking thinking, and hiding or lying about the behavior.”
- Judith Wright

“We are hungry for more; if we do not consciously pursue the More, we create less for ourselves and make it more difficult to experience More in life.”
- Judith Wright

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