Neil graduated from Melbourne University in Law and Arts and worked as a lawyer at the Flemington Community Legal Service. He is a former Member of the Victorian State Parliament which included three years as Shadow Attorney General. He is Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, based at the Mental Health Research Institute and the Brain And Mind Research Institute in Sydney. Neil is also a celebrated playwright, having won the Griffith Theatre Award, and in the past has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier Literary Award. He has had eleven plays produced throughout Australia and in 2008 two of his plays were read at the ActorsGuild Theatre in New York. Exploring an understanding of mental illness derives from Neil own mental illness, bipolar mood disorder. He has been a strong advocate for those with mental illness and for the underprivileged in general.