As a first-grade rugby league player, David Liddiard played 15 seasons with the Australian Parramatta, Penrith and Manly Clubs and in the English competition with Leeds Rugby League Club.
David took the strength he showed as an elite sportsperson and channelled this into the development of opportunities and advancement of young Indigenous Australians. David is the chairperson of Messagestick (an Indigenous telecommunications company) and his newest role is managing Indigenous Corporate Partnerships for Dare to Lead.
David is the CEO of NASCA (National Aboriginal Sports Corporation Australia) an organisation he started to provide sporting opportunities for Aboriginal youth. NASCA has had impressive success with thousands of young Indigenous Australians, and this success has broadened out into other areas, such as education, health and employment.
One of NASCA's programs, ARMtour (Athletes as Role Models) takes athletes out to remote Aboriginal schools, where the athletes bring simple messages about healthy life choices to the children.
David, how many children do you have? What age/sex are they?
Four children. Two from previous relationships - a girl and boy (ages 22 and 16) and two daughters aged 6 and 3.
What has surprised you the most about becoming a father?
How messy children are!!!! I am always amazed at how muchI love and miss them when I am away, and the unconditional love I get when I walk back through the door.
My advice would be to relax and enjoy it - and to bond early with your baby. Time spent early on will reap loads of rewards down the track.
Do you miss anything about your life prior to having children?
Absolutely - quiet Sunday afternoon videos/movies, afternoon naps, and uninterrupted conversations with my wife.
How has your relationship with your partner changed since becoming parents?
We only get to really chat when the kids are in bed - but this helps keep the connection going when we are really busy. With no family around, one on one time can be difficult!!
What are you great at?
I like to take a pro-active role with the girls when I am at home - I don't play golf or tennis, so when I am home I am as hands-on as I can be.
What are you terrible at?
Terrible is a strong word! Sometimes when I have been away for a long time it can be hard to get back in 'sync' with the girls - sometimes having dealt with adults all the time, my patience can be tested.
Could you tell us what's involved with being the Chief Executive Officer of NASCA (National Aboriginal Sports Corporation Australia (NASCA)?
I started the organisation 15 years ago with the intention of increasing sporting opportunities for young Indigenous sportspeople. It has grown from there - we really like to look at other obstacles facing Aboriginal youth such as education, health and employment opportunities. Our 'Athletes as Role Models' program
has seen us travel to many remote Indigenous communities, where we interact with the youth and give them positive information about the issues that confront them.
What have been some of the best things that have happened through NASCA?
Personally, it has given me an amazing network of contacts, which has allowed me to pursue a range of opportunities in the area of Aboriginal Education, Tourism and Telecommunications (to name a few!) I have recently been awarded the 'Churchill Fellowship' in the field of 'Supplier Diversity' - engaging Aboriginal Australians in the 'real' economy.
What do you think about "me" time? Do you practice it, preach it or have you resigned yourself to the fact that you will have to play catch up later on - and how do (or would) you spend your leisure time?
Me time is rare - because I travel so much, I would feel selfish to come back home and not give as much as I can to my family. I do love training - and that gives me the headspace I need.
Finally, what advice do you have for new fathers or fathers-to-be?
I actually appeared in a DVD about being a new father! My advice would be to relax and enjoy it - and to bond early with your baby. Time spent early on will reap loads of rewards down the track.