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Ivan Hawthorn was born in the heart of a great wheat belt in Ungarie, New South Wales, in 1930 to farming parents. Ivan is the third of eight brothers - there were no sisters.
At the local school house, where all grades from first to sixth learned together in one room, he started his journey through the corridors of education. This journey, whilst relatively brief, was far-reaching as his parents sought greener pastures, but in vain. During the great depression of 1929-1938, the family travelled to no less than seven different towns. At fourteen, Ivan left school and returned to Wagga Wagga where he was employed on a sprawling 44,000-acre property as a farmhand. As he grew older, he ventured far and wide, becoming a horse breaker, a shooter in the Northern Territory, a truck driver and an apprentice mechanic. In 1952, he joined the Royal Australian Airforce graduating as a motor mechanic, over seventeen years rising to the rank of Acting Warrant Officer.
Ivan is the recipient of a Certificate of Outstanding Service to Support Command and, the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service. On discharge, he wintered four times, twice in Antarctica and twice as Officer in Charge of the 28th and 32nd Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions. On return to civilian life, he was involved in an industrial accident which after major spinal surgery left him permanently handicapped. Writing became pain management. He has been married to his wife Margaret for sixty-three years, with four children, sixteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.