Adelaide born Janet Vernon studied at The Australian Ballet School and has danced with The Australian Ballet, Ballets Félix Blaska (France) and Sydney Dance Company. In 1976 she was appointed, along with Graeme Murphy, to the artistic helm of Sydney Dance Company, where they remained for 31 years.
Graeme created roles for Janet including Shéhérazade, Daphnis and Chloé (Lykanion), Some Rooms (The Bathroom), After Venice, Nearly Beloved, King Roger (Queen Roxanna), Berlin, The Protecting Veil, Salome (Herodias) and The Trojans (Andromeque) - a collaboration with Opera Australia.
Janet has worked as Graeme's Creative Associate for numerous works including Swan Lake, Nutcracker-The story of Clara, Firebird and The Silver Rose for the Australian Ballet, Tivoli for a Sydney Dance Company and The Australian Ballet co-production, Hua Mulan for a Sydney Dance Company and Shanghai Song & Dance Ensemble co-production, Die Silberne Rose for Bayerisches Staatsballet in Munich, Water for the Shanghai Ballet, Ainadamar for the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Aida for Opera Australia and the movie Mao's Last Dancer.
She received several awards throughout her career including an AM for Services to Dance in 1989, Sydney Opera House Honours in 1993, Dance Australia named her 'One of Australia's Five Best Female Dancers Ever', Green Room Award for Concept and Realisation for Swan Lake in 2003, Centenary Medal for services to society and dance, Lifetime Achievement at the Australian Dance Awards in 2006 and Green Room Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance in 2006.