Captain George Darvel Hill was born in the English Tyneside town of Wallsend on 16 June 1938, the son of a master mariner. He attended primary school in many towns, states and countries throughout the world, before attending Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont, Western Australia from 1949 to 1956.
At the end of his secondary education, George decided upon a professional career in agriculture, but with salt now impregnating his blood decided at the same time to pursue a part-time seafaring career and so joined the Royal Australian Naval Reserve based at HMAS LEEUWIN in November 1956.
His first seagoing naval posting was to HMAS FREMANTLE, a Bathurst Class minesweeper, as an Ordinary Seaman. He was commissioned an Acting Sub-Lieutenant (on probation) RANR in June 1958 and underwent the usual Sub-Lieutenant courses at HMAShips CERBERUS and WATSON. He served at sea in HMAShips MELBOURNE, ANZAC and DIAMANTIA. He was awarded a Limited Watch Keeping Certificate at conclusion of the latter training. He was promoted Lieutenant RANR in 1962 which was followed by further sea training in HMAS SYDNEY.
In 1965 he moved to Papua New Guinea and was employed in agricultural research at Bubia, near Lae, where he spent the next four years. While in New Guinea he undertook sea training on HMAShips BANKS, SAMARI and LAE which were based at HMAS TARANGAU on Manus Island, SAMARI and LAE were ATTACK class patrol boats.
He returned to Western Australia in 1965 and was awarded his Ocean Navigation Certificate in HMAS ACUTE, also an Attack Class patrol boat, following a return passage from Fremantle to Broome, Western Australia. He passed his Minor Vessel Command Certificate following courses in HMAShips CERBERUS and WATSON. On 13 October 1971 he was awarded the Reserve Decoration and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 31 December 1971.
In October 1972 Lieutenant Commander Hill accepted a position with Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand, this resulting in a transfer to the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, and a posting to HMNZS PEGASUS in Christchurch. The following year on 15 December 1973 he was appointed Executive Officer of HMNZS PEGASUS.
On 8 October 1975 Lieutenant Commander Hill was appointed Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the then Governor-General Sir Denis Blundell, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QSO. On 31 December 1977 he was promoted to Commander and appointed in command of HMNZS PEGASUS.
Soon after this promotion Commander Hill undertook further sea training in HMNZS HAWEA, a Lake Class patrol vessel and also HMNZS TARAPUNGA an Inshore Survey Craft. Commander Hill joined this vessel to obtain experience, as this craft had the same hull as the new Inshore Patrol Vessels which were then building, and were to be allotted to the Naval reserve for sea training and fishery protection duties.
On 31 December 1983 Commander Hill was promoted Captain RNZNVR and appointed Naval Reserve Adviser to the Chief of Naval Staff. He remained in this appointment until 30 June 1990 when he transferred to the Emergency List.
Captain Hill was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD) in 1988 having the rare distinction of being awarded both the Reserve Decoration and the Volunteer Reserve Decoration.
Captain Hill was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1984
In January 1994 George Hill was promoted in his professional capacity to head of Department of the Agronomy Department of Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand. He is currently an Associate Professor in the faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Other offices held by Captain Hill include President of the Agronomy Society of New Zealand, a scientific organisation of which he has been elected a Fellow; National President of the Association of University Teachers; President of The Navy League of New Zealand Canterbury Branch, National president of The Navy League of New Zealand, Honorary Member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Chairman of the Board of Degree Studies, Lincoln University, New Zealand. He has been author and co-author of many professional papers on agricultural science with particular emphasis on the agronomy of lupins.