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. David is currently the Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade – both Legislation and References, and a member of the Senate Standing Committee of Privileges.
David’s experience in aviation has helped to facilitate change in Australia’s aviation policy and approach to aviation safety regulation. With tertiary qualifications in science and business administration, he is known for his evidence-based approach to policy development and oversight with a focus on outcomes that are in the national interest.
David is a strong advocate for initiatives that would lead to a more effective and efficient national defence force, including the development of a sustainable defence industry capability. His extensive and widely respected policy understanding has led to a number of appointments, including Assistant Minister for Defence and Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade during the 45th and 46th Parliaments.
As Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in the 44th Parliament, he led an inquiry into the educational and professional standards of the financial advice industry. This body of work has been a catalyst for significant legislative and industry-led reforms in the finance sector.
Having lived in Asia, the UK and across Australia, David is proud to call South Australia home. He is a keen sailor and is married to Lorna and together they have two adult daughters.
Be sure to read David’s maiden speech to the Senate.
Authorised by Senator the Hon David Fawcett, Liberal Party of Australia, Adelaide, SA.