Wil was born in Adelaide at a hospital that is now a hotel and grew up in a house that is now part of another hospital; the realisation that the world is a confusing and bewildering place is a great inspiration in his writing. Early in his childhood, Wil was convinced by a number plate that Victoria was “The Place to Be” and after several years living on a property out of Lara, near Geelong, now lives in Melbourne.
Having completed a Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Adelaide, Wil spent the summer of 2009/10 on scholarship at the Australian National University. From there Wil went on to undertake an Honours year at Deakin University, writing a thesis on the development and cultural change within the Australian Communist Party during the early part of the Second World War. This thesis was nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Prize and facilitated the transition into post-graduate studies at the University of Melbourne, where he is currently a candidate for the Master of Arts.
In late-2011 and into 2012 Wil was an active member of Occupy Melbourne in the Media Working Group (MWG) and, later, as an initial organiser of “Occupy Fridays”; a format that was adopted by Occupations around the world. As part of his work in the MWG, Wil created the OM Digest, a regular online newspaper that sought to inform and empower Occupiers and provide an insight into the politics and experiences of those who were generally met with hostility from major media organisations. He also helped run a series of workshops on cyber-safety for activists that has now been run in Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra.
Following Occupy, Wil became involved in Melbourne First Aid and Care (FACT; now known as Melbourne Street Medic Collective (SMC)), an affinity group that offers physical and mental health first aid to groups engaged in political and community campaigns. This group operates with national and international links and seeks to foster greater values of care, safety and respect wherever possible and challenge dehumanised and increasingly markestised health practices.