Donald Hall was born in the Mareeba Base Hospital in Far North Queensland, one of identical twins, on November 18th. 1953. This was the closest hospital to Normanton, way up on the remote Gulf of Carpentaria, where the family lived at the time.
Although beginning his musical education on a piano accordion given to them by an opera singer aunt who had gone deaf, he moved to piano and violin, finally studying cello at the Queensland Conservatorium with Julie van der Klei, as well as doing a couple of degrees in psychology and anthropology at the University of Queensland
Upon graduating, Donald went into the public health system to become the first music therapist to work in the public hospitals of the state. He traveled widely holding training sessions and lectures on music therapy for the State Health Department and the Education Department, as well as establishing clinical sessions in three of the major metropolitan hospitals covering the fields of aged care, post-operative rehabilitation and both adult and the then very new field of child psychiatry. He served for many years as the secretary of the Music Therapy Association, and along with musician Moya Evans, psychologist Cathy Brown, nursing superintendent Helen Menzies, conductor Brian Stacey and physiotherapist Lynn Thompson, managed to organize a number of national conferences and establish a full course in music therapy at the University of Queensland.