Joanne van Os grew up in Melbourne, but has lived in the Northern Territory for 30 years after taking on the job of radio operator at a remote Aboriginal community in 1976. She has had many incarnations in the NT – bull catcher, pet food shooter, mechanic, cook, teacher and more recently, illustrator and cartoonist. Her first book, Outback Heart (Random House, 2005) is a memoir of her life with the ‘real Crocodile Dundee’ Rod Ansell, and gives the background to his tragic end, as well as being a fascinating account of a very unusual lifestyle.
Brumby Plains, a children’s novel, is Joanne’s second book, and was published by Random House in 2006. It is aimed at 10 to 14-year-olds, and is a mystery/adventure story set on a buffalo station in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Joanne has been contracted by Random House for two more books in the same series. Her next ‘Brumby Plains’ book is due out in September 2007.