Rowan Callick grew up in England, graduating with a BA Honours from Exeter University. He worked for a daily newspaper in the north east before moving in 1976 to Papua New Guinea, where he became general manager of a locally owned publishing, printing and retail group. In 1987 he moved to Australia, working for almost 20 years for The Australian Financial Review, finally as Asia Pacific Editor. He was China Correspondent for the AFR, based in Hong Kong, from 1996-2000. From 1990-1992 he was a senior writer with Time magazine. He joined The Australian at the start of 2006, as China Correspondent. After three years in Beijing, he became The Australian's Asia-Pacific Editor in 2009.
He was appointed in 2013 a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He was a member of the National Advisory Council on Aid Policy from 1994-96, a board member of the Australia Indonesia Institute from 2001-2006, and a member of the Foreign Minister's Foreign Affairs Council from 2003-2006. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of Deakin University’s Deakin Foundation, and of Melbourne University’s Asian Law Centre. He has published two books: "Comrades & Capitalists: Hong Kong Since the Handover" in 1998 by the University of NSW Press, and “Party Time: Who Runs China and How” in February 2013 by Black Inc in Australia, then internationally in September 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan. He won the Graham Perkin Award for Journalist of the Year for 1995, and two Walkley Awards, for Asia-Pacific coverage, for 1997 and 2007. He was awarded an OBE on recommendation of the Papua New Guinea Government in 2014. He is married with two children.