Agnes Nieuwenhuizen was born in Iran of Hungarian parents. Her family emigrated to Australia in 1949. After many years as a secondary school teacher, Agnes decided to pursue her interest in youth literature and promoting reading. She established the Youth Literature Program and later the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria. She was widely published in the field. After her retirement in 2005 Agnes focused on reviewing adult fiction, memoirs, and works on reading, as well as the occasional YA book.