Jill and grandchildren

Jill with her grandchildren


Jill has been writing children’s books for
over 20 years.

All about Jill

Jill B Bruce has been writing children’s books for over 25 years. She was born in Manly, New South Wales a “few” years ago, the eldest girl in a family of seven children. Jill left school at 14 ½ years of age (not recommended!) because she was the eldest of five children living with her single parent mother and they needed the money. Jill worked as a secretary and bookkeeper in a soap factory, a fish market and a tile company. She married at 19 (again not recommended!) and had three sons, Robert in 1966, Daniel in 1968 and Jason in 1971. When Jason began school Jill attended Seaforth TAFE College and completed her Higher School Certificate (recommended!).

When she came in the top 5% of the state she was accepted into Macquarie University as a full time student. In 1982 Jill graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and English Language, and a Diploma of Education in school librarianship.

Launch of Beacon Hill History book.

In 1983 Jill was appointed teacher librarian at Beacon Hill Public School In 1987 the school wanted to publish a book about the history of the school and the area. Guess who got the job? The book, A history of Beacon Hill and its Schools was released at a Bicentennial Colonial Day celebration at the school. It was launched by the then Minister for Education in NSW, Terry Metherell in February 1988 (see picture).

A friend then asked Jill to write eight Golden books about Australia’s capital cities. After these were published she was asked to write two books for a reading scheme. Then she began writing her own ideas. The first, in 1991, was Flags and Emblems of Australia which is still in print.

Jill retired from teaching in 2009. She was appointed as an Australia Day Ambassador in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. She was voted by the members of the Children’s Book Council of NSW as the 2012 and 2013 Children’s Book Awards judge. What an honour. In 2012 Jill read 365 books and wrote a report on each and in 2013 there were 380 books to be read. Jill then attended 5 day conferences in Adelaide and Canberra with the other 8 judges to decide the Short List for the CBCA awards. Wow, what a lot of reading!

Jill has four grandchildren Caitlin, Thomas, Madeline and Rory who all love books!