The first money William John Stapleton ever made out of writing was in 1972 when he was co-winner of Australia's leading cultural celebration the Adelaide Arts Festival's Short Story Competition. The amount of $75 seemed like a windfall at the time and opened his eyes to the fact he could make money out of what he liked to do the most - that is to write. He graduated in 1975 with a double major in philosophy and anthropology from Macquarie University and did post-graduate work in the Sociology Department at Flinders University. His articles and fiction have appeared in a wide range of magazines, newspapers and anthologies Men Love Sex, a collection of short stories which briefly topped Australia's bestseller lists, as well as Australian Politics, a collection of profiles and analyses by journalists from The Australian newspaper. After a long period as either a contributor or doing casual shifts as a reporter, Stapleton joined the staff of The Sydney Morning Herald in the mid-1980s. He later joined the staff of The Australian. As a general news reporter in Sydney John Stapleton, or "Stapo" as he was universally known, covered literally thousands of stories, from the funerals of bikies, children and dignitaries to fires, floods, droughts, from the demonstrations of inner-city worthies concerned over the plight of refugees to the sad and pointless deaths of youth in the city's impoverished housing estates. In 2000 he joined a small group of separated dads at the community radio station 2GLF in western Sydney as a volunteer, thereby helping to found Dads On The Air, now the world's longest running radio program dedicated to fatherhood issues. After a break during which he wrote two books and a movie script following his departure from full time work Stapleton has established a small publishing enterprise, A Sense of Place Publishing.