Michael Slater was born in Brisbane Australia. After attending the Queensland University of Technology, he joined Australian Army in 1978. He has taken some formal education in military tactics in the US. Slater also served as an operations staff officer for the United States in Kuwait. During the 2010 Queensland Flood he was in charge of operation Queensland Flood Assist by the Australian Defense Force. In 2011, he was appointed to lead Task Recovery Task Force that was in charge of the recovery effort for the Queensland Flooding. He remained there and handed his former position of Director of Defense Intelligence Organization to Richard Wilson. He goes by the nickname “Mick”.