Ruth Hegarty grew up on Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement in Queensland. She was separated from her mother in the girls dormitory at a young age. She only completed Grade 4 at school. She took up writing in her late 60s after the death of her husband Joe. Her first published work "Is that you Ruthie' won the David Unaipon Award and she has since published both non-fiction and fictions. She has published five children's books.