Gleeson was educated at Glen Innes and Dubbo Primary Schools, Dubbo High School, and Sydney University. She graduated with an Arts (Honours) degree and Diploma of Education. After teaching high school English and History, she travelled overseas, where she taught English and English as a Second Language (ESL) in Italy and London, between 1976 and 1980. During this time she wrote her first children's book Eleanor Elizabeth, which included reflections of Australia and of ideas and feelings from her childhood.
On returning to Australia, she continued to teach ESL as well as consulting in teacher-training for the University of New South Wales from 1981 to 1985. Full-time writing in 1986 and 1987 was possible because of consecutive Fellowships from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and again in 1991.
Gleeson is actively involved in writers' organisations. She espouses the importance of literary groups because of their positive effect on her own writing. Gleeson writes fiction for older readers, younger readers and picture books as well as articles. Her works are frequently reviewed in newspapers, and periodicals.
In 1997 Gleeson received the Lady Cutler Award for Distinguished Service to Children's Literature. Her writing has been short-listed for, as well as receiving, a variety of awards, reflecting the wide appeal of her literature.
'In this delightful companion to The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present, Cleo comes up with ingenious ways to make a new friend and find a pet.
'Cleo's best friend is away, her parents are busy, and there's nothing to do but count raindrops - or tidy her room. Just when she thinks she'll never cheer up, Cleo has an idea. In the next story, Cleo longs for a pet but her mum and dad say no. Perhaps the answer is hidden somewhere unexpected.
'Two more endearing stories about Cleo, the little girl with a big imagination who always finds a way to have fun, from the creators of The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present.' (Publication summary)
'Cleo desperately wants a necklace. Her parents say special presents are only for birthdays...but Cleo doesn't want to wait. In the second story, it's her mum's birthday and Cleo doesn't know what to give her - until she has the best idea of all.
'Delightful, warm and irresistible, these stories show how a little girl with a big imagination can always find a way to have fun.' (Publication summary)