Pip was born Philippa Williams in 1950, at Roxburgh. She attended St Hilda's Diocesan Collegiate School, Dunedin, and Gore High School. In 1971, she graduated from the Christchurch Hospital School of Nursing and in 2000 earned a diploma in bereavement and grief counselling from the Sydney Bereavement Care Centre.
Pip’s nursing career included roles in surgical wards, family planning clinics, geriatrics, and, foremost, ten years at Wellington Public Hospital in oncology and haematology. For several years she was also a Nurse Counsellor with the Wellington division of the Cancer Society.
Pip has lived most of her life in Wellington, having moved there in 1971. Three years later, she married diplomat, Simon Murdoch and they were posted to Canberra and Washington DC. Pip’s three children are adults, and she has seven grandchildren.
Now retired, family takes up a large portion of Pip’s time. She is an avid reader and enjoys writing, playing golf and gardening.