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Adrian Lipscomb, Author

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ADRIAN LIPSCOMB is an Australian author, academic, and lawyer. He is perhaps best known for his autobiography, “A Ripple Passing By” (first published in 2014)¹, as well as various short stories and travel articles, notably on Papua New Guinea² and the South Pacific.

Adrian Lipscomb, Author
Adrian Lipscomb OAM.png Adrian Lipscomb OAM.png
Adrian Lipscomb OAM
Castlecrag, Sydney
🏳️ NationalityAustralian
💼 Occupation
Author, Academic, Lawyer
👴 👵 Parent(s)Alfred W.G. Lipscomb,Elizabeth Ann Hewitt
HonorsMedal of the Order of Australia

Early Life[edit]

Adrian was born on 3rd October 1949 at Castlecrag in Sydney. His parents were:

  • ALFRED W.G. LIPSCOMB (1900-1973) who was the head of the Aborigines’ Welfare Board for NSW ³ between 1939 and 1953 and the author of a popular Agricultural Science textbook entitled “Breeding & Management of Livestock” ⁴; he later taught Biology at Knox Grammar School in Sydney; and
  • ELIZABETH ANN LIPSCOMB (née Hewitt) (1913-1985) who was born in New Zealand, and was the grand-daughter of the noted Scottish war artist, journalist and traveller WILLIAM SIMPSON (1823-1899) ⁵.

Adrian was educated at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Macquarie University in Sydney (where he majored in Southeast Asian Studies), and Southern Cross University in Lismore (where he studied Law).


Adrian served as a conscripted soldier in the Australian Army during the early 1970s, and as a civilian intelligence analyst with the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) ⁶ of the Australian Department of Defence in the 1980s. In later years he worked as a university lecturer, an eco-tourism consultant, a businessman, a travel writer, a criminal lawyer, and an emergency services volunteer (primarily with Australian Red Cross), among other things. In 1994-6 He was posted to the Solomon Islands by Australian Volunteers Abroad (AVA) where he served as Tourism Advisor to the Western Province, based in the town of Gizo.

Personal Life[edit]

Adrian travelled widely throughout the world, and keenly observed the foibles, the cultures and the customs of the people he encountered. As a young man he explored southern and eastern Africa (where he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro) and Israel (where he worked on a kibbutz), and he roamed the “Hippie Trail” through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Later, in middle age, his interest shifted to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, where he worked with Australian Volunteers Abroad (AVA) and as a freelance travel writer with Lonely Planet and other publishers.

In 1987 Adrian and his partner moved to the picturesque shire of Bellingen in eastern Australia, which had long been a melting pot for artists and “alternative lifestylers” wishing to escape from the pressures of big city life.  He continued to make frequent overseas forays for many years, and eventually settled down to practise law in the town of Urunga.

Adrian retired in 2015; in that same year he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

His hobbies and interests include classical guitar, genealogy, bush-walking, painting, and creative writing.


¹ Lipscomb, Adrian, A Ripple Passing By, Blurb Publications, Ca., first published in 2014, republished in 2019

² Lipscomb, Adrian, et al, The Lonely Planet Guide to Papua New Guinea, Lonely Planet Publications, Australia, Feb 1998

³ Refer Aboriginal Protection Board: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aboriginal_Protection_Board

⁴ Lipscomb, A.W.G., Breeding and Management of Livestock, Whitcombe and Tombs, 1933 (ninth edition published in 1973)

⁵ See William Simpson, Artist (1823-1899) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Simpson_(artist)

⁶ The JIO has since been renamed The Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) - see http://www.defence.gov.au/dio/index.shtml