Joanna was born in the Australian outback, but grew up in Melbourne when she was adopted by her aunt and uncle. She was an only child, who knew who her biological father was but the identity of her biological mother was kept from her. She moved to England and married an architect. They live in Cornwall. In 2010 she was contacted by her sister. Unaware she had any siblings she was stunned to discover that she was one of eight children. She and her sister got to know each other and their reunion has brought joy to both of them.