Getting to Know David Pocock

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Aug 24, 2015

by DI WEBSTER, Managing Editor

Sporting skills. Good looks. Social conscience. Just when it seems the Zimbabwe-born Qantas Wallabies flanker is the perfect package, he admits to a weakness. And he blames his Aunty Denise.

What’s your greatest strength?
Maybe being able to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously. 

What’s your greatest weakness? 
My Aunty Denise’s banoffee pie.

What scares you?
Having regrets when I’m an old man looking back on my life. I know it’s a cliché but I think that’s because it’s true for so many of us.

What’s your favourite karaoke song?
Something by Paul Simon, probably You Can Call Me Al. But I’m an awful singer.

If you had any other job, what would it be?
A game-park ranger in Southern Africa. 

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
I enjoy painting. I’m not very good and didn’t do art at school but I really enjoy it andI usually have a painting on the go at home.

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?
Sitting around the fire at night on my grandfather’s farm in Zimbabwe, listening to the scops owls and hyenas calling. 

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?
Russell Brand and [American organic farmer and author] Joel Salatin.  

What travel experience is on your bucket list?
A big road trip through Sub-Saharan Africa. I would love to have six months and an old Land Rover to travel and explore. 

How do you switch off?
Usually gardening or painting. I had two knee reconstructions in two years and gardening helped keep me sane. And the produce was delicious. 

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Cream with blackberries and macadamia nuts. I have it a few times a week.

What quality do you most admire in people?
People who do what they love. Not sure if that’s a quality but I love spending time with people who have found ways to live out their passions in life. 

If you could turn back time, what in your life would you change?
I’d have spent more time with my brothers during my last few years of school. I was really focused on sport and then moved from Brisbane, where my family still lives, to Perth straight after school.

What is your greatest achievement?
The Cherokee purple tomatoes I grew this year were pretty amazing. I know it’s not hard to beat store-bought tomatoes for taste but even compared to homegrown ones, these were next level.

Who is your personal hero?
I’ve always viewed Desmond Tutu as a hero. He’s someone who has done the things life has asked of him and in doing so shown people how we can create a more just world. 

What would you say is the most Australian thing about you?
Probably that I’m an immigrant. Apart from Indigenous Australians, we all arrived here from somewhere else. 

Where would we find you at a party?
I have dreams of being a DJ but I’d probably just be on the dance floor. 

How would you like to be remembered?
I’m not too sure but there is a quote from an author I love, James Hollis, that maybe sums it up: “We are not here to fit in, be well balanced or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.”