David was raised in Maitland in the Hunter Valley region of NSW. His career began with the Royal Australian Navy at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he graduated as a Naval Officer in 1990. Following graduation, David gained his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate as a qualified Officer of the Watch on both minor and major war vessels prior to beginning his flying career as a Navy pilot.
During his time as a Navy pilot, David flew the AS350BA Squirrel and S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters as the Flight Pilot and Flight Commander during operations throughout Southeast Asia and the INTEREFET Operations in East Timor. In 2000 he was selected to become a Flying Instructor and was to Dux No 135 Flying Instructor’s Course including the Flying and Ground School Awards. After serving as a Flying Instructor on the PC-9 advanced trainer and the Senior Naval Officer at No 2FTS in Perth, he was to serve at the Central Flying School in East Sale as an Instructor of the Instructors. David was to become the Standardisation and Check Pilot for senior Navy and Army Instructors. During his tenure at CFS, David was selected to fly with the RAAF Formation Aerobatic team, the Roulettes. He was to have the honour of being only the second Navy pilot in history to fly with the team and the first to fly as Deputy Roulette Leader and Leader of the Synchronised Pair. During his Roulette engagements, he was to provide a lead role in promoting Naval Aviation throughout Australia. Whilst showcasing Naval Aviation during the team displays, his duties included representing the Navy to Heads of Government and enterprise, including multiple school and community visits and media engagements.
After retiring from the Navy, David joined BAE Systems Australia as an advanced flying instructor in Saudi Arabia, training Air Force pilot cadets and instructors from throughout the Middle East. During his eight years in Saudi Arabia, David occupied both Junior and Senior Management positions at the King Faisal Air Academy at the both the Squadron and Wing level. David has well-developed management skills with particular expertise in strategic planning, internal communications and executive coaching. He is experienced in designing and delivering training systems and received multiple company awards and Royal Saudi Air Force commendations for his leadership roles in designing and implementing new training processes, documentation and syllabi across the Wing. He has over 25 years experience in international leadership, management and training experience in defence and the commercial sector.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English and History, from the University of NSW, an Advanced Diploma of Aviation, Air Transport Pilots Licence’s for Aeroplanes and Helicopters, the Certificate IV in Training, has conducted Advanced Media Awareness and numerous leadership and aviation related courses.