Lionel Ballard attended school in Asia and Australia. His early life was spent in British North Borneo, Singapore and Hong Kong. After the death of his father in Borneo the family returned to Australia. Ballard served a tour of duty in Vietnam with the Australian Armed Forces and on his return he attended university and obtained degrees in Arts, Education and Literature. He has taught and lectured in English, English Literature and English History, and has published a book of words and images on the Vietnam War written in English and Vietnamese with watercolours painted by his wife. Ballard cares for his son who suffers from schizophrenia, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. He is currently researching mental illness for his PhD at an Australian university and is writing a stage play which deals with the plight of carers for the mentally ill.