Longlisted for the 2023 Stella Prize

Jack of Hearts – Ngaire Jarro & Jackie Huggins

Nonfiction · Magabala Books

About the Book

Jack of Hearts: QX11594
 is a moving and unpretentious project by Dr Jackie Huggins AM and Ngaire Jarro that chronicles the life of their father, Jack Huggins.

“This historical project reminds us of the plural lives of black soldiers.”

– 2023 Stella Prize Judges

About the Authors

Jackie Huggings

Jackie Huggins is Bidjara and Birri Gubba Juru from Queensland. She has been writing since the 1980s and was a former judge of the David Uniapon Award. Her many articles have been published internationally. She is the author of Auntie Rita (1994), Sister Girl (1998) (2022) and Jack of Hearts: QX11594 (2022). She has worked in Aboriginal affairs for over four decades.

Ngaire Jarro

Ngaire Jarro is from the Bidjara/Birri Gubba Juru nations. She lives at The Gap, Brisbane with her husband Rodney. She is the proud mother of three boys and two grandchildren. As a mature-age student, Ngaire graduated with a double degree in Early Childhood Education. Ngaire has been a teacher for 26 years, teaching students from Prep to Year 6. Ngaire enjoys teaching and loves sharing her Aboriginality with students. She believes that sharing culture and stories in the early years of schooling will not only educate future generations but provide a more inclusive society for all. Jack of Hearts: QX11594 is her first co-written book.

Further Reading


Jack of Hearts draws attention to crucial yet underexamined aspects of Australian history and asks important questions.” – Linda Jaivin, The Saturday Paper

“Jack Huggins…died far too young in the service of his country, leaving his family bereft. His daughters have given him the tribute he deserves. Read this book.” – Michael McKernan, The Canberra Times

“A remarkable story and worthwhile contribution to Australia’s war history genre.” – Cheryl Akle, The Australian


Hear Jackie Huggins talk about her father Jack’s story on ABC Radio National’s Conversations

Read an interview with Jackie Huggins and Ngaire Jarro on SBS NITV News

Listen to Jackie Huggins and Ngaire Jarro on the Good Reading podcast

Judges’ Report

Explore the latest from Stella

This month Stella celebrates Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss, longlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize. We asked Anita about her career, the …

Meet the judges

The Stella Interview: Astrid Edwards Astrid Edwards is the 2025 Stella Prize Chair of Judges. She is a literary critic, educator and …

Help change the story

As a not-for-profit organisation with ambitious goals, Stella relies on the generous support of donors to help fund our work.

Every donation is important to us and allows Stella to continue its role as the leading voice for gender equality and cultural change in Australian literature.

Stella is a not-for-profit organisation with DGR status. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.