David was born in Richmond on 22 April 1937. His early years were spent following his father, Kristian, around the forests of Victoria, until the family finally settled at Buxton.
David went to New Zealand in 1961 with brother Bernhard ( a trained forester) and worked for NZ Forest Products at Kinlieth. He then joined the NZ Forest Service as a Woodsman in Protection Forestry, and spent 12 years as a Ranger helping to reduce the damage done to forests by introduced species.
He then trained as an agricultural engineer and was instrumental in providing a water system to Lae and Madang in New Guinea.
David returned to Australia in 1988 and joined Conservation, Forests and Lands at Ferntree Gully. He qualified as a Ranger and worked in the Dandenongs, Gembrook and Wilsons Promontory areas.
He finished work in Victoria in 2001, and went back to New Zealand to join the Department of Conservation to work on firefighting and endangered species projects. He has written four books and various articles on Forest Management.