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Clement Semmler was born of German parents in Eastern Well, near Mercunda, South Australia. He received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Adelaide and a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt ) degree from the University of New England. He was the Deputy Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) for many years, was a member of the Australian Society of Authors and was made a Fellow of the New South Wales Institute of Arts. He published autobiography, essays, biography, criticism, short stories and worked also as an editor.
He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to Australian Literature.