Born: Established: 25 May 1957 Millicent Beachport - Millicent area South East South Australia South Australia ;
Neil Cole spent his childhood in Malaysia (where his father was a military policeman) and in Melbourne. After completing his secondary education at Flemington High School, Cole studied law at Melbourne University and established the Flemington Community Legal Service. In 1988 he was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Labor member for the seat of Melbourne.
Cole was diagnosed in 1993 as manic depressive. He lost pre-selection for his seat in the lead-up to the 1999 election. After leaving parliament, Cole began working with the Mental Health Research Insititute at Monash University and, in 2006, was made associate professor.
During his parliamentary career, Cole had written plays and begun to have them produced. He continues to write plays and novels, and to explore the possibilities offered by creativity as a form of therapy for mental illness.
Source: Ian Munro, 'Change in Mind', Age, 'Insight' section (17 October 2009): 12.