Sathyabhama Daly, known to her friends as Bhama Daly (nee Gopal), was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. New horizons beckoned and, in the 1970s, she pursued a career in nursing in London. She migrated to Cairns with her husband Simon in 1978. She has two sons. In the 1980s, she worked as a Registered Nurse at the Cairns Base Hospital, and then at Wu Chopperen Aboriginal Medical Service which provided her with an insight into the history and resilience of Indigenous Australians.
Bhama’s career has embraced not only nursing but also academic work at the University of Queensland and the James Cook University, Cairns. In the 1990, she was awarded a James Cook University medal for her BA major in English and History. Her doctoral thesis Quests and Labyrinths: The Search for the Sacred in Six Australian Contemporary Novels researched the way in which writers use traditional myths to provide interpretations of the world. Her research and writing are informed by stories, myths and legends and the way in which they provide explanations for being in the world. She is an adjunct research fellow at James Cook University, and a founding member of Tropical Writers Inc. an organisation focused on promoting writing and the creative arts in Tropical Queensland.