- 6 March 1872
Yandilla, Queensland, Australia
- 16 March 1935
Goodna, Queensland, Australia
Forrest was born at Yandilla, Queensland, and grew up on remote pastoral stations, taught at home by her European-educated mother. She married a selector in 1893 and they had a daughter, before separating in 1896. Forrest began writing partly for financial reasons, with short stories and poems appearing in publications like the Queenslander, the Bulletin and the Australian Town and Country Journalfrom the mid-1890s. She continued writing up until she died and was extraordinarily prolific, publishing six novels, around seventy short stories and almost eight hundred poems. She became seriously ill towards the end of her life, and a public fund inviting donations for her support was established in Queensland, where she was declared 'unofficial laureate' by the local press.