Michael Lawriwsky was born in Barmera, South Australia in 1952 of Ukrainian refugees who had fled through the Iron Curtain in 1946-48 and arrived in Australia in 1949. He grew up in Adelaide, attended Woodville High School, Rostrevor College and the University of Adelaide, where he was awarded a PhD in economics.
He moved to Melbourne in 1978 and was appointed Professor of Commerce at La Trobe University in 1988. He resigned in the early 1990s to become a director-corporate finance at ANZ Securities and ANZ Investment Bank, and subsequently a director of the Allen Consulting Group. Currently he is an Executive Director and partner in Incenta Economic Consulting. A past part-time Commissioner of the International Air Services Commission, and currently a Trustee of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, he is also an adjunct professor in the School of Business at La Trobe University.
Having previously published books on economics and finance, 'Hard Jacka' was his first novel, and he followed it up with the sequel, ‘Return of the Gallipoli Legend’ . His interest in Albert Jacka began when he read about him on page 281 of Les Carlyon’s ‘Gallipoli’ during a flight to Papua New Guinea in 2001.
Gallipoli 2015: Albert Jacka VC, the 'Australian Achilles'
Albert Jacka single-handedly prevented an Anzac rout at Courtney's Post, winning Australia's first Victoria Cross of the war and becoming the face of recruitment posters.