A Ripple Passing By is the story of an unusual and dynamic life.
Adrian Lipscomb was born in 1949 in Sydney, Australia. As a “baby-boomer” he enjoyed a happy middle-class childhood replete with the trivia of the 1950s. Then he was sent to a private boys school that was known for its regimentation and competitiveness and he acquired an abiding stammer that was to become “the worst thing” in his life. It dominated his existence and instilled in him a desire for solitude – to become a hermit. His way of coping involved (among other things) living vicariously through books and movies.
In his late teenage years, he developed a strategy to deal with his speech impediment. He worked hard to overcome his fears, and in time, he became a fluent and eloquent speaker. This then led to a life in which he repeatedly sought to challenge himself in various other ways – to put himself frequently outside his “comfort zone”. His success in doing so was measured in “experiences” rather than dollars.
He travelled widely throughout the world, and became a keen observer of the foibles, the cultures and the customs of the people he encountered.
He was particularly enamored of the life and times of his great grand-father, William Simpson, a well-known artist and journalist who had travelled and sketched in remote corners of the world over a century earlier. Adrian's journeys frequently retraced Simpson's footsteps.
Adrian’s life has spanned various careers and accomplishments – as a reluctant soldier, an intelligence officer, a hippie vagabond, a frustrated university lecturer, an eco-tourism advisor, a businessman, a travel writer, and a lawyer, among other things.
It has not been a perfect life – but it has been an adventure.
And he has always been just a heartbeat away from that shy young boy with the stammer.
Adrian served with the Australian Army in the early 1970s. He then travelled widely in Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. In 1982 he joined the Australian Department of Defence and was Liaison Officer to New Zealand at a time when Australia was trying to steer an even-handed course in its relations with US and NZ despite diplomatic friction between the two over access to New Zealand ports by nuclear-armed or powered warships. In 1994 he worked as Tourism Advisor in the Solomon Islands. He was based in Gizo, the capital of Western Province, and actively assisted many local villages to embark upon eco-tourism enterprises. In 1996 he worked as Associate Lecturer with Southern Cross University. He taught two units: International Tourism Perspectives and Tourism Research Methods. In 1997 he accepted a contract to update and rewrite the Lonely Planet Guide to Papua New Guinea. In 2002 he was admitted as a Legal Practitioner. He retired in 2014.