She was born in Melbourne , went to school in Geelong and then trained as a teacher. After graduating she took up a scholarship at the University of Florence to study in Italian for a year. Later she passed the Licentiate of Trinity College in drama and taught English and drama in high schools, lectured at the Melbourne State College, acted in fringe theatre, worked as a freelance journalist, wrote two plays for children and gained a first class honours degree in Australian history.
After moving to Sydney in 1979, she joined the staff of the National Times where she worked for eight years as a feature writer and columnist. She also did historical research for the film Gallipoli and for the television series The Last Bastion. She was a co-writer on the television film Princess Kate and on the 13 part series Dog’s Head Bay for ABC television. Kristin also served as Chair of the Board of The Australian Theatre for Young people for many years.
Kristin is married to playwright David Williamson and they divide their time between Sydney and Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. They have five children and eleven grandchildren.
In 2000 Kristin and David were founding members of Noosa Longweekend, a ten day arts festival held annually in Noosa Heads, Queensland, They are still very active patrons.