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About David


David served in the Australian Defence Force for over 22 years. An Army pilot, he flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and was the Senior Flying Instructor at the School of Army Aviation in Queensland.

Graduating as an experimental test pilot from the Empire Test Pilots’ School (UK), he finished his full time career in Defence as the Commanding Officer of the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit.

Elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Wakefield (SA) in 2004, he served in the Parliament until 2007. David continued to fly as a test pilot and ran a small business working in the Defence and Aviation sectors prior to being elected to the Senate in 2010, 2016 and again in 2019.

In the (45th) Parliament, David was sworn as the Assistant Minister for Defence.

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Last week, as part of the Royal Australian Air Force centenary, I attended the Graveside Acknowledgement and Commemorative Service held by the RSL Salisbury Sub-Branch.The service honoured Flying Officer (FLGOFF) Maxwell Pearce - laid to rest in the lone Commonwealth War Grave located at the St Johns Church in Salisbury. Posted at No 1 Elementary Flying Training School (1EFTS) at Parafield as a flying instructor during WWII, following his own graduation through Flying Training School, FLGOFF Pearce was tragically killed during a crash in 1942, while instructing a trainee pilot in DH82 Tiger Moth A17-419.Also taking place this morning, a monument dedicated to the P-3 Orion, and those who served in operations with the aircraft including the 92 Wing out of RAAF Base Edinburgh, was unveiled near the Salisbury War Memorial. The P-3 Orion fleet was retired in 2018, replaced with the P-8A Poseidons and MQ-4C Tritons. The P-3 celebrated 50 years in RAAF service in December 2018.Special recognition is due for Wing Commander (WGCDR) Marija Jovanovich (pictured) - Commanding Officer for No. 10 Squadron - and Graham Reynolds - Salisbury RSL Vice President and former Chief Engineer for the P3 Orion - who advocated for the creation of this monument. As a former test pilot, it’s great to see WGCDR Jovanovich, a fellow test pilot and distinguished graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, providing leadership to the men and women operating this venerable aircraft as well as contributing to these commemorations.No. 10 Squadron has a rich RAAF history. Formed in 1939, it was the first British Commonwealth squadron to experience active service in WWII and the only RAAF squadron to see continuous active service for the entirety of the war. ... See MoreSee Less

Great to celebrate the 65th anniversary of St Peter's Lutheran Church, Elizabeth at their service last Sunday, alongside The Hon. John Dawkins MLC and City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty.The Lutheran Church in South Australia has a long and dedicated history, established in 1838, and St Peter’s has played a role in supporting the community over the last 65 years. Approximately 10,000 regular worshippers attend Lutheran Church of Australia - SA & NT churches each week.Thanks to Mayor Docherty for the photos. ... See MoreSee Less

Great to celebrate the 65th anniversary of St Peters Lutheran Church, Elizabeth at their service last Sunday, alongside The Hon. John Dawkins MLC and City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty.

The Lutheran Church in South Australia has a long and dedicated history, established in 1838, and St Peter’s has played a role in supporting the community over the last 65 years. Approximately 10,000 regular worshippers attend Lutheran Church of Australia - SA & NT churches each week.

Thanks to Mayor Docherty for the photos.Image attachment

I joined the Northern Suburbs Sub-Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia at a commemorative service for the laying of a memorial paver in their Veterans Garden, on Saturday, to recognise the service and sacrifice of Indigenous serviceman Private Arthur Thomas Walker. The service featured a smoking ceremony performed by Private Walker's great-grandson John.The Defence Act 1903 prevented Indigenous Australians from enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force but Arthur’s determination to serve his country meant he denied his heritage – a supportive medical examiner registered Private Walker as a man of “dark complexion”.Arthur served at Gallipoli, and was evacuated with other personnel in December 1915, before training for several months in Egypt. Transferred to the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion, Private Walker was deployed to the Battle of Mouquet Farm, near Pozieres. Tragically, Arthur went missing during battle, and was declared dead on 16th August 1916.Private Walker’s name features on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.You can read more of Private Walker’s story here: veteranssa.sa.gov.au/story/private-arthur-thomas-walker/ ... See MoreSee Less

I joined the Northern Suburbs Sub-Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia at a commemorative service for the laying of a memorial paver in their Veterans Garden, on Saturday, to recognise the service and sacrifice of Indigenous serviceman Private Arthur Thomas Walker. 

The service featured a smoking ceremony performed by Private Walkers great-grandson John.

The Defence Act 1903 prevented Indigenous Australians from enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force but Arthur’s determination to serve his country meant he denied his heritage – a supportive medical examiner registered Private Walker as a man of “dark complexion”.

Arthur served at Gallipoli, and was evacuated with other personnel in December 1915, before training for several months in Egypt. Transferred to the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion, Private Walker was deployed to the Battle of Mouquet Farm, near Pozieres. Tragically, Arthur went missing during battle, and was declared dead on 16th August 1916.

Private Walker’s name features on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

You can read more of Private Walker’s story here: https://veteranssa.sa.gov.au/story/private-arthur-thomas-walker/Image attachment

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So lovely to hear a Smoking Ceremony was included. Very moving.

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