Speakers Profile - David Pocock

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David grew up in a farming area just outside of Gweru, a city in the Midlands of Zimbabwe. He began playing rugby as an 8 year old at Midlands Christian School.

His family moved to Brisbane to start a new life in 2002 after the family farm was acquired in the Zimbabwe governments “land reform program”. David attended Anglican Church Grammar School and threw himself into sport, representing the school in rugby, waterpolo, athletics, swimming and cross country before focussing on rugby and waterpolo in his final two years of school, representing Queensland in both sports.

He toured with the Australian Schoolboys to the UK in December 2005 and on his return moved to Perth to join the Western Force for their inaugural 2006 season on an apprentice contract. After initially being unable to play Super Rugby having not yet turned 18, he made his run-on debut for the Western Force in their last game of the season against the Sharks in Durban.

In 2008 he captained the Australian U20s at the Junior World Championship and then later that year made his Wallaby debut against New Zealand in Hong Kong. In 2010 he was recognised by his peers for his efforts, being awarded the John Eales Medal. In 2011 he played in the Rugby World Cup, where the Wallabies finished third.

In 2012 he captained the Wallabies to a 3-0 series win over Wales in the June tests before picking up what was the first of a succession of knee injuries. He made the move to the ACT Brumbies in 2013 after seven seasons with the Western Force. Since then he has played a handful of games for the Brumbies after battling successive ACL reconstructions. He looks set to play a part in the Brumbies 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

Outside of rugby he is the co-founder of EightyTwenty Vision, an organisation that partners with a rural Zimbabwean community development organisation that works in Nkayi, Zimbabwe. The focus areas have been around maternal health and food and water security. In 2012 he was named as Western Australia’s ‘Young Australian of the Year'.

After years of involvement in campaigns for action on climate change, David joined the Leard Blockade in November 2014 and chained himself to a superdigger in Maules Creek Coal Mine (in Leard State Forest), with 5th generation farmer, Rick Laird. He was arrested and charged, facing Gunnedah Local Court in February 2015, where the charge was proved but no conviction was recorded.

David is currently studying a Bachelor of Ecological Agricultural Systems and is interested in the food system and how it affects our health, lives and the environment. In his spare time he is a keen gardener – David, his partner Emma, and their 9 chickens maintain a garden in Canberra which provides them the majority of their fruit and veg.