Olive Pope was born in Broken Hill where her father worked as a winding engine driver. Olive's ambition to become a teacher was thwarted by her poor eyesight. She left the Broken Hill High School aged fifteen and although her parents encouraged her music and commercial studies she was expected to remain at home. Each summer the Popes would escape the Broken Hill heat by visiting relatives in South Australia. In 1912 Olive, her parents, brother, grandmother and several uncles and aunts, moved to sixty acres in Rostrevor to embark on poultry farming and market gardening. Olive began work at Cowell Brothers' Norwood office but after eighteen months returned home to help until her mother's death in 1922 and from then to run the home and care for her father. The property was broken up in 1935 and thereafter Olive supported herself by letting rooms at Glenelg and office work in Adelaide and interstate. In recent years she has begun writing under the name 'Olivia'.