About the author
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.
About the author
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.
About the book
Born an only child in North Queensland, Jack Huggins had an idyllic childhood in Ayr, where his family somehow escaped the harsh Queensland government’s treatment of First Nations’ peoples. His father was in the army in World War I and Jack followed in his footsteps into World War II. He was captured by the Japanese in Singapore and spent much of the war on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway.
The narrative and personal reflections in Jack of Hearts: QX11594 give insight into love, loss and the need to understand one man’s journey, as seen through the eyes of his children seeking to learn more. It is an affectionate portrait and a moving account of courage in wartime which helps a reader understand the sacrifices made by our soldiers.
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. Public attention is building on the vexed stories and allegiances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in wars off this continent – this historical project reminds us of the plural lives of black soldiers. The reader is brought in to understanding its subject, Jack Huggins, through the footsteps of his daughters, the authors. It follows their own journey to know their father and his experiences. That journey, and the resonating impact of their father on their lives and others’, becomes as much the subject of the book as the biography they eventually construct. As a project, it lives alongside Jackie Huggins’ previous biography of her mother, Auntie Rita, as an act of shared familial memory.
“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