Born in 1963 on a wheat farm named "Bulga", Bruce Mathiske has been a serious student of the guitar since the age of seven. He took lessons in his hometown of Swan Hill, in rural Victoria, until his mid teens. Moving to Bendigo, he studied Classical guitar for several years. He then moved to Queensland where he was able to study with Neville Khan and gained his Diploma in improvisation, arranging, composition, theory and sight reading. He later joined Neville as a teacher, allowing him to realise a burning desire to learn and play jazz.