The daughter of Donald John Deller and his wife Lorraine Mary (Morgan), Kate Deller-Evans was born in England in January 1961 while her father completed his D Phil at Oxford University. In mid-1961 the family returned to Australia, and her father took up an appointment at the University of Adelaide where he became Professor of Medicine. Kate grew up with her four brothers in a large bluestone terrace house in Gover Street, North Adelaide. North Adelaide Primary School was a short walk away. Later she attended Moonta Area School and Prospect Demonstration School. She began her secondary education at Adelaide Girls' High School but the following year transferred to Unley High School, becoming dux of the school in her Matriculation year, and topping the state in Art in the PEB exams.
She began tertiary studies as a medical student in the newly opened Flinders Medical Centre, but after a couple of years changed to an Arts Degree to pursue a love of poetry. She majored in English and Visual Arts, then did an Honours degree in English, followed by an intermission to a Masters degree to complete a Graduate Diploma in Teaching at the University of Adelaide in 1994. After a decade of part-time university tutoring, she says, the chance to work interstate was a welcome but big change. With her third husband, Steve Evans, and their daughter Marina she lived in Canberra for 18 months, teaching Professional and Creative Writing at the University of Canberra and at the Belconnen, Fraser and Weston Community Centres. Her two children by earlier marriages, Warwick and Rosalind, remained in Adelaide. She returned to Adelaide in mid-1999 when Steve was appointed to a lectureship at Flinders University, arriving shortly before the birth of their daughter Imogen.
Kate is still enrolled at the University of Canberra, doing a PhD in Communication. From this will come a book of poems based on voices of characters in Shakespeare. Kate serves on the committee of the Australian Association of Writing Programs, ACT and SA Writers' Centres, the ANZ Shakespeare Association, Friendly Street Poets, A Passion of Poets and Majura Women's Creative Writing Group. In 1998 she was given an ARTS SA Project Grant for poetry, and in 1999 an Australia Council Community Grant for Park Voices. Kate says that although she loves Canberra she returns to SA happy to be near the sea, to eat fresh gar from a fish and chip shop, and to be close to family [personal communication].