I was born in Adelaide, in a
generation known as the ‘baby boomers’, the son of ex-service
personnel. My father joined the Royal Australian Air Force in the Second
World War and served in 464 and 98 Squadrons, as an air-gunner in
twin-engine bombers, flying over Western Europe.
By the time of his demobilization in 1946 he had risen in rank to
enlisted in the Royal Air Force and served as a nursing sister in the
Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service.
A little of the Nursing Service’s history can be found in Mary
Mackie’s history, Sky Wards: A
History of the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service, Robert Hale, London, 2001), in which my mother gets a mention. She saw service in Aden, Egypt and Britain. It was in Wales that my parents met and married in 1944.
My mother subsequently came to Australia as a war bride and I was
the result of their reunion.
sister, Mary, arrived four years later.
My secondary schooling was at
Prince Alfred College. I
completed a social work diploma at the South Australian Institute of
Technology, now University of South
Australia, in 1972.
later upgraded to a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 1979.
I obtained employment as a social worker with the state government,
and except for a short period in England, have worked in health and
welfare agencies ever since.
Subsequent study was focused on
my interest in history, rather than acquiring further qualifications
related to my employment.
1986 I completed a Diploma in Family Historical Studies.
I then went on gain a Graduate Diploma in Local and Applied History
from the University of New England in 1995.
This led to a Master of Letters (Australian History) from the same
University in 1998, with a thesis, The
South Australian Royal Commission on Education,
1911-1913: Help or
Hindrance in Educational Reform.
By this time I had extinguished the need for further study!
During this time I started writing and have published a number of books with a family and local history focus, together with other publications with an autobiographical flavour and in the area of art history. More about these appear elsewhere on this web site.