Phil O’Brien spent his early years on a remote cattle Station 250 km’s southwest of Alice Springs, in the red heart of Australia. A severe drought, which lasted several years, drove the family from the land, and Phil spent the rest of his school years in the southern city of Adelaide.
The city and its ways never really appealed to him, he needed space and he needed freedom, and he wasn’t going to find it in the suburbs of Adelaide.
A passion for the ‘bush’ burned deeply in his heart…there was only one coarse of action for this restless teenager to take.
Phil O’Brien unshackled the chains of society, through them out the car window, and set himself free.
Many years and several hundred jobs later Phil still roams the outback living a uniquely nomadic life.
His longest job was as a Crocodile Farmer in Arnhem Land, that was roughly two and a half years, and his shortest job was as a Drink waiter in Melbourne, that was about twenty-seven seconds.
Through the dust and corrugations that life can throw at a bloke Phil O’Brien has emerged as an optimist and a gifted observer of the people and the things around him.
His lack of formal education has been no drawback as his creativity and passion to entertain and share a story has shone through with 5 published books, one with the ABC and two radio series with the ABC titled ‘Yarns from the wild Top End’ and ‘101 Adventures that got me absolutely nowhere’, also there has been several film projects, as well as being an active live musical performer.
He was awarded a Pride of Australia medal in 2007 for his contributions writing and performing in a series of TV community service announcements promoting the ‘Fair Go’ .
Always financially challenged, Phil O’Brien’s material wealth translates to an old four-wheel drive, a guitar and swag, but with the road as his home this modern day swaggie has tasted the essence of freedom, and that’s got to be worth a whole heap of something.