Ian D. Clark was born and raised in Ararat. His family's connection with the Ararat district commenced in 1854, when his great great grandparents, Leonard Clark and Sarah Bowtell, and their family settled at Cathcart. Through both parents' descent lines, he has links with numerous western Victorian localities, including Boyeo, Carapooee, Craigie, Ledcourt, and Mortlake. He left Ararat in 1975 to commence a degree in Theology through the Melbourne College of Divinity, and completed the degree in 1979. In 1979 he went to Monash University where he gained a BA (Hons) in 1982, a Dip Ed in 1983, and in 1992 he received his Doctorate in Aboriginal historical geography. His research has centred on western Victorian Aboriginal history. He has taught geography and tourism at Monash University; was a senior researcher in the Koorie Tourism Unit in the former Victorian Tourism Commission; the manager of the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre in Halls Gap; and the history research fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. His publications include Aboriginal Languages and Clans: an historical atlas of Western and Central Victoria, 1800-1900 (1990) and Scars in the Landscape (1995). More recently he edited the six-volume Journal of George Augustus Robinson, and he continues his programme to publish Robinson's Port Phillip Papers with this present book. His personal interests include jazz and celtic music. He is an avid collector of the music and memorabilia of the late Ella Jane Fitzgerald.