David Hicks was born in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1975. After leaving school, he worked as a jackaroo in the Australian outback before settling in Adelaide. Later, he worked as a horse trainer in Japan before witnessing TV reports of atrocities in Kosovo, which motivated him to travel to Albania. Back in Australia, he developed an interest in politics, especially in disadvantaged, oppressed communities. He then embarked on a journey to Kashmir. During the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, he was apprehended by the Northern Alliance and sold to the US military, which then sent him to Guantanamo Bay, where he spent five and a half years in detention before returning to Australia.