Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch is the son of Sir Hal Pateshall Colebatch (q.v., 1872-1953), who successfully owned and managed a newspaper and was briefly Premier of Western Australia. Sources on Colebatch's date of birth vary widely. Most suggest 1948, but others record 1943 and 1945. The author and
official sources have confirmed that 1945 is correct.
He has pursued several careers, having worked as a journalist, lawyer, scriptwriter, factory worker, university lecturer and managing editor of a publishing company. He was a member of the Western Australian Literature Fund and Arts Council from 1980 to 1986.
Colebatch writes poetry, fiction, radio drama and cultural criticism. A maritime historian and keen yachtsman, his deep interest in the sea is reflected in the thematic concerns of his poetry. His poems also express a preference for the traditional. He adopts a traditional approach to technical elements of poetic form and structure, while his subject matter demonstrates a parallel concern with conservative social values.