Colette Livermore was born in Mittagong, Australia, in 1954. At 17, she had been accepted to medical school but chose to join Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity instead, after seeing a film about Mother's work with the poor. As a nun she was called Sister Tobit and was with the order for 11 years, serving in India, Hong Kong, Timor, and the poor outback of Australia. After she left the order in 1983, at age 30, Livermore went back to medical school and ultimately attained her medical degree from the University of Queensland. Since then, she has worked in Australia's Northern Territory, where the despair facing the aboriginal and other people in remote communities affected her deeply, in Aileu, East Timor, where she worked with local staff at a rural clinic to overcome tuberculosis, malnutrition, and infectious disease, and again in Australia, where she currently lives.