Barry Flanagan was born in the coalmining town of Cessnock, located in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. Having completed his schooling he worked in the industrial city of Newcastle before forging a career in the Defence Forces with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After six years maintaining and servicing the French built, Mirage III supersonic aircraft - including two of those years in Singapore and Malaya - he opted for a new career in the underground coal mining industry. He worked at a number of mines each one forced to close because of depleted resources. From there he worked as a training consultant for the mining industry in electrical and Occupational Health & Safety followed by a period with a successful engineering company before retiring. With his partner, Barbara, he now lives in the Macarthur region of New South Wales, an hour’s drive south-west of Sydney.