Arriving in Australia in 1944 as a 10-year-old refugee from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Reg was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, until 1950 and then attended Mill Hill School, London, for two years. On his return to Australia he became a newspaper reporter, then a photographer, and worked for The West Australian and The Independent in Perth before moving to Sydney and joining the Paul Hamlyn / Lansdowne Press book-publishing group. He won the prestigious Nikon International Photo Contest (monochrome) in 1977, and finally became a freelance writer-photographer in 1983. He has specialised in environmental and evolutionary subjects since that time.
During the past forty years he has produced an extensive body of work, having written and illustrated five books and provided photographs and text for countless others.
Reg was sole author of the following books:
- The Diary of You: Four billion years of human evolution – An evolutionary science resource for Australian High Schools (Biology, Stage 6).
- Australia’s Four Billion Year Diary – Sainty and Associates, Sydney 2005
- The Spirit in the Gene: Humanity’s Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature – Cornell University Press, New York 1999. This was revised and republished in 2003 by New Holland Publishers, Sydney, as Plague Species: Is it in Our Genes?
- The Voyage of the Great Southern Ark– Lansdown Press, Sydney, 1988.
This work led to Reg being awarded a research fellowship with the Australian Museum. It was later revised and republished in 2002 by New Holland Publishers, Sydney, as Australia: Land Beyond Time. Both versions were also published in the USA: the first in 1992 by Facts On File, NY, and the revised version in 2002 under its present title by Cornell University Press, NY.
- The Great Australian Wilderness – Phillip Mathews Publishers, Sydney 1993.
- Australians Exposed – Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1973.
Reg has also compiled several major digital works including:
- HYDROGEN: Life’s Maker and Breaker – RM Publications (digital), Sydney 2008.
This is a reassessment of the misleading ‘life-is-carbon-based’ axiom, and an exploration of the corroborative evidence for this reassessment as it appears in the deteriorating environment around us. (This work is freely available on the Home Page and is under continual revision.)
- In Black and White: Australia 1960 – 1975 – RM Publications (digital), Sydney 2007. This photographic essay explores some of the dramatic changes that transformed Australia during the period 1960 – 1975. It was a time when our species switched from unbridled exponential growth to accelerating fecundity-decline and it highlights the social stresses as they first appeared in Australia.
- Eulogy for an Unsung Pioneer – RM Publications (digital), Sydney 2008. This explores some compelling evidence for the occupation of Australia by archaic hominids many thousands of years before it was colonised by modern humans (the ancestors of Aborigines).
Reg has also been the sole or principal photographer for many other books covering a wide range of topics. These include the following titles:
- A Field Guide to Central Australia – Reed Books, Sydney 1993.
- The Centre– Reed Books, Sydney 1991.
(Compiled in collaboration with science writer Penny van Oosterzee, this won the Australian Museum’s 1991 Eureka prize for science-based books.)
- Over Hawaii – The Mallard Press (Weldon Owen), San Francisco 1991 (aerial).
- Over California – Collins (Weldon Owen), San Francisco 1990 (aerial).
- Fraser Island – Lansdowne, Sydney 1990.
- Legends and Landscapes – Bow Press, Sydney 1990.
- Australia’s Living Heritage – Lansdowne, Sydney 1984.
- The Colours Of Australia – Lansdowne, Sydney 1982.
- Australia: A Timeless Grandeur – Lansdowne, Sydney 1981.
- Australia: The Greatest Island – Lansdowne, Sydney 1979 (aerial).
- How to Play Winning Soccer – Ure Smith, Sydney 1978.
- Gary O’Callaghan’s Sydney – Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1977.
- Singapore Food – Ure Smith , Sydney 1979.
- Lebanese Cookbook – Ure Smith , Sydney 1978.
- Easy Gourmet Cookbook—Ure Smith , Sydney 1978.
- Australia’s Snowfields—Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1976.
- This Is Australia—Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1975.
- The Complete Book of Asian Cookery—Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1975.
- A & NZ Complete Book of WINE—Paul Hamlyn, Sydney 1973.