Because of his mother’s circumstances, Ian Gill was conceived in a Japanese prison camp in Hong Kong in 1945 and born in New Zealand after liberation. With his mother, he spent his early life in England, China and Bangkok. After boarding school, university and joining newspapers in England, he worked as a journalist in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Hawaii (where he took a master’s degree as a grantee with the East-West Center), Hong Kong and Singapore for 14 years. In 1985, he joined the Asian Development Bank, a multilateral financing institution with headquarters in Manila. Over two decades, he travelled widely around the Asia-Pacific region, writing and producing video documentaries.
Since 2006, Gill has returned to journalism and writing books. During his exposure to a wide range of countries, he has paid particular attention to cultural differences in attitudes towards race, class and gender and how they have evolved over the past two centuries.