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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.
About David Fawcett
David Julian Fawcett is an Australian politician and a member of the Liberal Party. He was born on October 23, 1963, in Narrabri, New South Wales, and grew up partly in Thailand where his father was sent under the Colombo Plan. Fawcett returned to Australia in 1975 and attended Prince Alfred College in Adelaide.
After completing his education, Fawcett joined the Australian Army Aviation Corps and became a qualified pilot, flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. He graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon with a Bachelor of Science in 1985 and later qualified as a test pilot through the Empire Test Pilots’ School in 1993. Fawcett was a senior flying instructor at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre and also held a number of positions in the Royal Australian Air Force Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) and the Defence Acquisition Organisation. He was appointed as Commanding Officer of ARDU and was responsible for flight test programs for all of the Australian Defence Force aircraft. Fawcett left the Australian Defence Force in 2004 after reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to enter politics.
In the 2004 election, Fawcett was elected as a member for the House of Representatives seat of Wakefield in South Australia. He served one term in parliament until he was defeated by Labor’s Nick Champion in the 2007 election. Fawcett was then elected as a Liberal Senator for South Australia in the 2010 election and assumed his seat on July 1, 2011. He has been a member of the Centre-Right faction of the Liberal Party.
Fawcett served in the Morrison government as Assistant Minister for Defence from 2018 to 2019. He is married with two children and has been involved in leadership positions at Clovercrest Baptist Church in Modbury North, Adelaide, and Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East, Adelaide. Fawcett has also been a contributing member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Australian Flight Test Society.
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