Jacqueline's father Elroy Fernansez is a Sri Lankan and mother Kim is a Malaysian. She has two brothers and an older sister. Her parents moved to Bahrain when she was very young.
After her schooling in Bahrain, she was awarded a Scholarship to study at the University of Sydney, where she pursued a degree in Media and Communications in Sydney, Australia. Having a passion for cultures and languages she also joined the Berlitz school of languages, where she learned to speak Spanish and improve her French and Arabic.
In 2006, she was crowned the Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Universe 2006 in March, 2006 and also competed in Miss Universe 2006. After winning Miss Sri Lanka title in 2006, she entered the world of television and anchored a show on Sri Lanka's business called Lanka Business Report.