With a background that included Yugoslav, Scottish and English heritage, Jude Aquilina grew up in Magill, the youngest in her family and, she says, 'somewhat spoilt'. She matriculated at Norwood High School and has worked at various jobs, from Singing Telegrams to Telecom. She married Daniel Aquilina in 1987 and it was after the birth of their two children that she began writing poetry. Later she began to write short fiction. She has worked part time in a music shop, has worked in mixed media performance groups such as Stagefright and Catapult, and has read at a number of venues. Daniel, who is a pianist, often provides musical accompaniment to her poetry. She lived at Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide Hills, taught poetry and creative writing in schools and to adult groups, and served as a mentor for young poets.
Aquilina's poetry is often challenging, often funny. She says, 'I hope that my poems make people think/laugh/cry - this is an achievement, to have other people share your words and become moved in some way' (Interview with Adriana Timpano and Kirsty Lubcke, Heart of the Matter  p. 197). Her poem 'Hot Water' was Highly Commended in the Inaugural Railway Family Hotel Poetry Competition, 1996.
Aqulina was chosen as the inaugural poet to have her work appear on the labels of wines by the South Australian winery Coriole.