Austin got her start in music opening for Johnny Cash in Australia at the age of 14. She later moved to the United States where she took up acting. She is most known in America for playing the role of Pippa McKenna on The Facts of Life in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, she started a singing career. In 1992 she teamed up with Phil Radford as a duo called Colorhaus and released one album, Water to the Soul. The album was unsuccessful and Austin made the decision to go to Nashville to follow her passion for country music.