Born in South Africa, Peter Temple moved to Australia in 1980 as a journalist. He settled in Sydney, before moving to Melbourne to edit Australian Society magazine. He has worked extensively as a journalist and editor, for newspapers and magazines in several countries. He has also taught journalism, editing and media studies at a number of universities. Temple was the first senior lecturer in Editing and Publishing, playing an important role in establishing the prestigious Professional Writing and Editing course at Melbourne's RMIT University. In 1995, he became a self-employed editor and full-time writer.