Roberts grew up in Adelaide , where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was awarded a Master of Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, and a PhD. at Griffith University in 2002. He moved to Canada, where he has been Professor Emeritus at Malaspina University College on Vancouver Island. Two of his plays have been professionally produced there. He has also been the editor of a literary journal featuring Australian and Canadian prose and poetry, True North/Down Under.