Rodney Cocks was born in Melbourne in 1976. After graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, he studied law and commerce while serving with the Australian Army. He served with the UN in East Timor, and was holidaying in Kuta at the time of the Bali bombings. He assisted in the horrific aftermath and was later awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for his actions. In 2003 Rodney joined the UN's de-mining team in Iraq, and was injured when a suicide bomber attacked the UN's Baghdad headquarters. Once again, he helped the injured and dying and performed trauma first aid. Rodney is currently serving with the UN as a security adviser in Afghanistan, based in Kandahar. He was named the 2005 Victorian of the Year for his humanitarian service in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for his actions following the Bali and Baghdad terrorist bombings.