Born in Perth in 1934, Ian Parkes left home at sixteen to work as a jackeroo on a merino stud in South Australia. He spent a year on a remote property near Broken Hill, before returning to Western Australia, where he worked on various sheep stations inland from Carnarvon and Meekatharra. At the age of twenty-one, after illness threatened his life, Ian reflected on where his real interests lay and, much as he loved the outback, he decided he wanted to write. He worked as a copywriter at 6IX in Perth and wrote radio talks for the ABC in his spare time. Soon he started his own advertising agency, which in time became Parkes Clemenger, the biggest in Western Australia. The bush still claims him and he returns to it regularly.