Former Wallaby and ACT Brumby, passionate climate action advocate and conservationist, David Pocock, today announces he is launching a bid to run for one of the two ACT Senate seats at the 2022 Federal Election.
David’s aim is to reach and inspire Australians who care about climate and who are fed up with ‘politics as usual’. After presenting to independent community-led organisation ProACT on Tuesday evening this week, David was officially endorsed by the group.
David aims to represent the Canberra community, working on issues important to them. From putting politics back into the hands of the people to building a future where our planet and economy thrive -- where there are good jobs, where businesses are supported to seize the huge opportunities available right now, and where we are a leader in climate action -- instead of trailing behind other countries and jeopardising our future and economic security. David will work to support a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament; advocate for territory rights and equality for all members of Australian society.
David says: “Politics has never been more important. In the face of big challenges like climate change, we need governments making decisions in the best interests of Australians and future generations who will call this amazing continent home. I want to play my part in building a better future.
“From finding a pathway out of Covid, to action on climate change and restoring integrity in politics, the questions facing us at the next election are big ones. I think Australians are tuned into them. They don’t want another politician who’ll deliver a line that’s been workshopped and run through a focus group, but someone who really believes in what they’re saying.
“The challenges facing us aren’t just for the people who can afford to care about them. They affect all of us. We need the government to work to solve the big issues we face and create a better future for us, so Australians can focus on living their lives.”
Growing up on a farm outside of Gweru in Zimbabwe, David first began playing school rugby at the age of 8. Relocating to Australia in 2001 after his family’s farm was taken in the Zimbabwe government’s land reform, David threw himself into both water polo and rugby. His illustrious rugby career saw him start out with the Western Force, before spending nine years in Canberra with the ACT Brumbies and the Wallabies - including representing Australia at three consecutive Rugby World Cup championships.
Alongside his rugby legacy, David has co-founded a number of charitable organisations. EightyTwenty Vision is a foundation that improves maternal health, food and water security for rural communities in Nkayi, Zimbabwe. Co-founded with partner Emma in 2020, FrontRunners works alongside athletes and sporting organisations to develop solutions to climate and environmental challenges. Rangelands Restoration Trust, co-founded with David’s brother Steven, is a regenerative agriculture and conservation project working to build nature-based climate solutions, adaptation and resilience in rural southern Zimbabwe.
A string of acknowledgements and accolades have been awarded to David over the years both for his contribution to rugby and in recognition of his advocacy work. David has been awarded multiple John Eales Medals (2010 and 2018) and was nominated for World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year three times (2010, 2011 and 2015). In 2012 David was named the West Australian recipient of the ‘Young Australian of the Year' for his contribution to rugby and his community work with EightyTwenty Vision. In 2015 he was awarded the Brett Robinson Brumbies Player of the Year, Best Forward and Fans Choice awards - the same year taking home the World Rugby Player of the Year, peer-voted Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) Medal of Excellence and the RUPA Fans Choice Award. David represented the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 2011 and captained Australia in 2012. David was the only Australian player named in the Team of the Decade by World Rugby in 2020.
David has utilised his position to drive change on a number of social and cultural issues. He has been at the vanguard of challenging homophobia in sport. In 2010 David and his partner, Emma, took a personal stance on marriage equality, waiting to marry until same sex marriage was legalised in Australia (eventually marrying in 2018 after marriage equality was legalised in 2017). In addition to his rugby career, activism and advocacy work, David has completed a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture. He is passionate about the intersection of agriculture, conservation and communities.
Additional Quotes Attributable to David Pocock:
On climate change:
“Climate change is the greatest threat we face. We need to be pushing for bold climate action. We’re currently ranked dead last but we can be world leaders. We need bold climate action because our future depends on it. And it is also the key to a much stronger economic future. Australia cannot afford to squander the huge economic opportunities that are there to seize. Canberra is a leader in this space and we need a Senator who will push for this at a federal level.”
On integrity in politics:
“We’re facing a crisis of trust in politics and our political institutions. And with good reason. I want to be part of helping restore integrity in politics. We are so fortunate in Australia to have the democracy we do have - and it can be better. It must be better. We need an independent integrity commission to ensure politicians are held to a higher standard.”
On the need for independents:
“Like so many Australians, I have spent the last few years watching national politics with increasing frustration. We all know we desperately need change. We need better leadership. And I believe that leadership can come from independent candidates who are not tied to toeing a party line. Politicians who make decisions that are in the interests of the people they represent and our shared future. The stakes have never been higher. We can change Australian politics by electing people who will stand up for all of us.”
On running at this election:
“Thinking about life after rugby I have been really motivated to find a path that allows me to make the biggest impact I can on the most pressing issues we face. I’ve been working on that over the last two years through the Rangelands Restoration Trust and FrontRunners. But the opportunity to address these issues while representing a community I love feels right.
“I am so grateful to call Australia and Canberra home. I want to help navigate this uncertain future in a way that safeguards Australia’s people and our incredible home as best we can.”