Wal (Walter) Eastman was born in Sydney in 1928. He was an apprentice signal-electrician on the New South Wales Railway for a month in 1943, until the Education Department invited him to continue his schooling with a view to becoming a manual arts teacher. After matriculating and waiting to commence Teachers' College, he took a Christmas holiday job with the ABC in 1945 and stayed for 38 years. His ABC career took him to most Australian states, and to Papua-New Guinea for 2 years. He was a record librarian, announcer, radio and television producer, talks officer (he was the first Canberra reporter for the programme, 'P.M.') before moving to regional, then senior ABC management. He was Assistant State Manager for Tasmania when he retired in 1983. For many years he was the theatre critic for the Mercury newspaper and also presented theatre reviews in interviews with Ric Patterson on ABC Radio. He was involved with the Arts Foundation of Tasmania as Executive Director of the Council. A poet and a writer, he was Patron of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania from 2003 and was made a life member in 2007. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to the performing arts and the community in 2010.