In her pre-Australian life, Croatian-born Val Colic-Peisker was a teacher, translator and journalist at Croatian Press Agency (HINA), a freelance author, and radio producer and presenter at Croatian Radio in Zagreb during the 1980s and 1990s. She migrated to Australia in 1995 and worked as an academic. Val has published widely in Croatian and English, in academic and mainstream media. She holds degrees from the University of Zagreb as well as from Australian universities. In 2000 she completed a PhD thesis on the sociology of migration.