Jackie French was born in Sydney and grew up in Brisbane, completing her education at the University of Queensland. In her early twenties she moved to a property near Braidwood, New South Wales, and has since developed a career as a writer. French has published many gardening books and has been a columnist for Women's Weekly, Earth Garden, Sydney Morning Herald and the Sunday Canberra Times. She has appeared regularly on the television show Burke's Backyard.
Jackie and her husband live in the Aruluen Valley on the edge of the Deua wilderness in a stone house they built themselves, with a waterwheel as well as solar panels to power their house.
French has been Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Children's ambassador and Patron of Cool Club, an ACT library program to encourage children to read, At Home with Books, a program to encourage reading with foster children and Wildcare which looks after injured wildlife. She also has been a director of The Wombat Foundation.
French's books for children and young adults have been well-received, winning many awards, including several from the Children's Book Council. Her works regularly appear on the Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA) and Young Australian Best Book Awards (YABBA) shortlists which are nominated by readers. She has spoken numerous times to groups of children and adults and has frequently run writing workshops. Her writing and workshops often combine her concern for social issues with her love of nature.
French was the ACT Children's Ambassador and patron of organisations including Club COOL, an ACT Library Sevice program, At Home with Books, a program encouraging reading with foster children, and Wildcare. French was the 2011 National Literacy Ambassador for National Literacy and Numeracy Week, 29 August - 4 September 2011.
- 2012: 2
- 2009: 1