Greg Wernert was born in Melbourne and received his early tertiary education in chemistry, at the precursor to Swinburne University, in the mid 1960s. He furthered his studies at Monash University, where he graduated with an MSc in organic chemistry in 1978. Though he had spent most of his working life as a research chemist at the CSIRO, he had a long-harboured desire to compose music.
Since 2001, he had been pursuing this interest. His particular focus was on writing orchestral music and setting the texts of poets such as Garcia Lorca to music. In addition, he sometimes wrote poetry. He graduated with an MA in music composition in 2010 and was supervised by Thomas Reiner from Monash University.