- 31 May 1915
Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
- 26 June 2000
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
- Poet and Writer
Judith Wright expressed her love of Australia and its people in her poetry. She was also a respected writer on poetry. Later in her life Wright was well known as a conservationist and campaigner for Aboriginal rights. Wright, a descendant of a pioneering pastoralist family, began writing poetry at the age of six for her ailing mother. At the age of 14 she became a boarder at the New England Girls School, and it was during her time there that she decided to become a poet.
After completing an Arts course at the University of Sydney, Wright worked in a variety of positions including that of research officer at Queensland University, where she helped Clem Christesen to edit Meanjin.
In 1975, Wright was the first woman appointed to the Council of Australian National University as the Governor-General's nominee. She was founder and later president of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, and member of the National Parks Association of New South Wales and the South Coast Conservation Council. Wright was a patron of many organisations including: Campaign Against Nuclear Power (Queensland); Townsville Women's Shelter; Amnesty International (Victoria.); Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland and the National Forests Action Council (Victoria.).
In 1991, Wright became the second Australian - after Michael Thwaites in 1940 - to receive the Queen's gold medal for poetry.
Joan Williams concludes her obituary on Judith Wright in The Guardian on July 5, 2000 with:
"Judith Wright is not a romantic, but makes her judgement on changes in the economy and lifestyle, the growth of industry and the swing from country to city. In her own way she has taken a step further for us in the expression of Australian national, spiritual and environment values in her poetry."