Joan Potter was the daughter of Irene Florence Potter (1876-1967). She began training as a nurse, but stopped due to illness. She became the secretary in the Maths Department at the University of Adelaide, and when the Maths Department divided, she became the Mathematical Secretary for Pure Maths, having become an expert maths typist. She retired in 1976.
Joan is believed to have been very shy, highly strung, and with definite moral opinions. She did not marry, and she and her mother are recorded as having lived in a number of different places around Adelaide. At the time of her death from cancer she was living at the Fulham Retirement Village.
Her books, printed by The Advertiser in Adelaide, were clearly popular in their time, and With Wendy at Winterton School (1945) ran to four reprints by 1950.