Janeen was educated at Hopetoun School (Brighton) 1952-53, Brighton Primary 1954-60 and Brighton High School 1960-64, then trained as a teacher at Wattle Park Teachers' College, 1965-66. She spent over 20 years teaching a variety of ages and subject areas, including Junior Primary, Primary, Teacher-Librarian, Drama, Basic English for Adult Aborigines and demonstration teaching for student teachers, and is now a free-lance writer.
She was a member of Patch Theatre (the professional children's theatre) 1980-84, and in 1984 toured to the far north of SA to the Aboriginal settlements of Fregon, Amata, Ernabella and Indulkna, Alice Springs. As a member of "Amazing Holmes" she has taken part in dramatized readings of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, presented in restaurants and wineries. She has also worked for over 20 years on radio and television commercials. She spent 6 months writing and presenting comedy on Radio 5UV. In 1994-5 she was a storyteller for Fairy Bay, a shop dealing with fairies and folklore.
As well as the creative writing listed here she has written journal articles for a number of periodicals, and has written books for children on a variety of subjects including natural landforms, rescues and making masks. She has had over 60 stories, poems and plays published in Australia and the USA, and has written 11 TV scripts for the children's show "Here's Humphrey" and a script for the Adelaide Women's & Children's Hospital. She has had poems read on Radio 5UV.
In 1987 she won an Ian Mudie Award for her article "The Dreaming Dying", and in 1991 "Dispossession" was Commended by the Casino Beef Week Promotions and Casino Writers' Group. Also in 1991 in the Coolum & Interstate Writers' Association, her "Emergency" was Highly Commended. In the Maryborough Writers' Group Golden Wattle Festival (1991) her short story "Spanish Queen" and her poem "Ward 5" were commended. "Ward 5'' came second in the Eaglehawk & Dahlia Festival Awards 1991. Her information book PILAWUK - When I Was Young won Honour Book in the Children's Book Council book awards for 1997, and was shortlisted in the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. She won 1st prize in the Children's Story Section in 1997 for her story, "Pegasus". Her non-fiction books for children, Max Colwell and Maria Donato, were Commended in Equal Opportunity Achievement Awards 1999 in recognition of the International Year of the Older Person. Her children's story "Small frog, Balong" was Highly Commended in Midlands Literary Competition 1999, and her poem "Siren Rivers" was Highly Commended in the Gawler Poetry Competition 2000.
'Bertie Bear was going on a long journey. He didn’t realise it would be on a camel! And he never imagined he would be having adventures on his own, far away from Jessie.
'Bertie sets off with his family to head out into the Outback. He is packed into a box to travel with the cameleers as he won’t fit on the horse-drawn cart with the family (and young Jessie, his owner). But Bertie doesn’t understand where his family has gone. ‘Where’s Jessie?’ is the refrain that runs through the book, as Bertie bumps along on the camel, then falls off unnoticed. Bertie has adventures with the kind cameleers, and meeting desert animals before he is swept along in a flash flood, gets taken high in an eagle’s talons, and finally falls to the ground, left all alone. Luckily, a young Indigenous boy finds him and returns him to Jessie: a happy ending!'
'From award-winning author and illustrator team, Janeen Brian and Ann James, comes this gorgeous new rhyming picture book about our favourite little dinosaur (I'm a Dirty Dinosaur), who is now hungry for cake. Ann James has had fun painting with flour, cocoa, icing and 100s and 1000s with adorable results that will inspire lots of rumbling tummies and cake making!
'Bright simple illustrations, card pages and rounded corners make this a perfect book for the very young.
'Shake, stir, mix, bake . . . . This little dinosaur just loves cake!'