Derek Brookes has a Bachelor of Music (Composition) from the Elder Conservatorium of Music (Adelaide University) and a Master of Music (Composition) HD from the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, which was supervised by Ross Edwards.

Derek also has an ‘extra-musical’ career, which has included working as a university lecturer (he has a PhD in philosophy from the Australian National University, Canberra) and as a consultant, researcher and trainer in a range of social justice areas, including restorative justice, disability, work-related death, domestic violence and child abuse prevention.