Born in 1947, Helen Townsend was educated in Melbourne and Sydney and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Economics from Sydney University in 1968.
She worked as a researcher in the Health Department of ABC radio and television for ten years, before becoming a full-time writer. Her many projects since have included the position of researcher for the 1990 ABC/Film Australia documentary of her book Baby Boomers, writer/researcher of a one-hour documentary on Antarctica for Channel 7, researcher for the First State 88 Bicentennial Transport Exhibition and story researcher for the film Phar Lap, among others. The National Times, The Sun Herald, Woman's Day and Cleo have all counted Helen as a freelance contributor. She was also the writer of Australia's first internet soap, 'Friday's Beach', shown on the Microsoft network.