For three decades David Liddiard OAM has been committed to closing the education, health and wellbeing and employment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
David is a Ngarabal man from northern NSW and a well-known passionate advocate of Indigenous Australians.
David was a successful sportsman, playing in the National Rugby League (Parramatta, Penrith and Manly), was recipient of the Dally M Rookie of the Year in 1983, played in two grand finals for Parramatta Eels in 1983 and 1984 and won the Premiership in 1983. On returning to Australia from a stint with Hull FC (England), David founded the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA), which provides real opportunities for Aboriginal youth in sport and education. Having seen first hand what opportunities sport can be opened through sport; David has long promoted sport as a bridge to a brighter future.
The National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy has had impressive success with thousands of Indigenous youth being involved and this success has broadened into other areas, such as education, health and employment with one of NASCA's programs, ARMTour (Athletes as Role Models on Tour), taking high profile athletes out to remote communities and interacting with Indigenous communities, providing Indigenous youth with positive role models and encouraging completion of schooling and transitioning to a career.
In addition to his role as founder and Chief Executive Officer of NASCA, David has spearheaded initiatives, which provide practical support to businesses large and small with workplace participation strategies for Indigenous talent. He has worked with programs at both national, state and territory levels, which focus on economic leadership development and has presented at numerous forums, conferences and events in this arena. In 2004 he was instrumental in the formation of the Indigenous owned business MessageStick (an Indigenous telecommunications company) and appointed to the position of first chairperson.
From 2008, David led the Indigenous Corporate Partnerships strategy for Dare to Lead, working with Principals Australia to assist in building strong links between schools and business to further strengthen education, transition and employment opportunities for Indigenous youth.
In 2009 David was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in the area of Minority Supplier Diversity. The opportunity to experience first hand the work being done to improve economic opportunities for Indigenous people across the world provided him with valuable insights into how to accelerate the economic and commercial opportunities for Indigenous Australians. On his return he played a key role in the establishment of the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council, now named Supply Nation.
In 2010 David established CorporateConnect.AB, through which he engaged in Indigenous community economic development and employment initiatives in partnership with government and private sector support. More recently David extended his scope of business opportunities to include project management and delivery in construction, services and recruitment and training.
David has been recognised for his tireless work and commitment to Indigenous Australia being awarded the Gold Harold Award in 2010 for services to Aboriginal Health and Education, the NSW Outstanding Community Service Award in 2013 and an Order of Australia medal (OAM) for service to Indigenous youth, sporting and employment programs in the 2014 Australia Day honours.