Leokadia Kondratowicz-Kordas was born in 1927 near Nowogródek in what was then Poland, and is now Belarus. At 13, she was deported to northern Russia, during the Soviet mass deportation of Poles from eastern Poland to Russia, Siberia and Central Asia. After the Soviet 'amnesty' for Poles in Russia in 1942 Kondratowicz-Kordas went to Iran, and from there to eastern Africa. She completed high school in a Polish refugee camp in Kidugali, in what is now Tanzania. She has worked as a bookkeeper in East Africa and England. In 1965 she emigrated with her husband and two children from England to Australia, settling in Perth. Her three volumes of memoirs include accounts of her family's forced exile and experiences in a Russian Labour Camp in World War II.