Born and raised in Sydney, she started a degree in education but left to pursue a career in youth work. After working for several years presenting workshops in schools across Australia, she moved to the Central Coast where she married her long time partner, Michael. She continued her youth work holding a position in a juvenile detention centre, and as a singer performed at many functions around the area.
In December 2008 Julie applied for the first series of MasterChef Australia. Little did she realise how much her life would change.
Taking Australia by storm, the TV series put twenty amateur cooks through their paces, with just one to be crowned ‘MasterChef’. So it was on 19th July 2009 that Julie, watched by over 4 million Australians, took out the title as the first ever ‘MasterChef’.
In a whirlwind of activity since her win, Julie has written her first book with Random House, the much-anticipated Our Family Table. Julie is also a regular columnist for The Australian Women's Weekly, a resident cook on Channel 9's TODAY Show and hosts her own cooking show Home Cooked!
Along with the many charities Julie supports such her local Community Chest, St Vincent de Paul, Red Nose Day, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea and McGrath Foundation. Julie has recently taken on the privilege of becoming an official ambassador for the McGrath Foundation.