Derek Emerson-Elliott was born in colonial Singapore in 1939, the son of an English adventurer and a young Russian émigré. He has infant memories of escaping the Japanese invasion of the island in 1942, after which he enjoyed an enchanted childhood full of travel and adventure, living in Australia, Malaya during the Communist uprising, England, South Africa and Portugal. Derek was for a period an Aid-de-Camp to the Governor-General, Lord Casey. Derek has worked as a lawyer in the public service, a litigation solicitor in private practice in Canberra, and as a barrister in Canberra and in New South Wales. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, has published articles on various controversial legal subjects, and is currently a street lawyer fighting for the clients of a community legal centre in Canberra.