After his birth in Melbourne in 1944, Burke’s family moved west. In his teens, Burke read ‘Beat’ writers, and they gained his interest more than the literature at school. He published his first short story at 18. He has written on a daily basis ever since—stories, plays, poems, and—to feed family—advertising material and videos. From 1990, Burke taught creative writing and allied subjects at tertiary institutions, gaining a PhD at ECU. In 2006, he and his wife Jeanette travelled to China where they taught at Shanxi Normal University, Linfen, and, on their return, they taught indigenous children in The Kimberley area of North West Australia. He now dedicates life fulltime to writing.