Timo was born to immigrants, the fifth of seven kids. Raised in a Finnish enclave of sugar pioneers, his good luck was to emerge bilingual and duo cultural. It weighed nothing but doubled his outlook. He was educated in government schools, and graduated from the University of Queensland. A career as an economist followed in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney. He took early retirement and made a change to stonemason, for ten years until 2010, when the body said enough. During this time he was an occasional writer for the local newspaper, Bay Post–Moruya Examiner.