After a 15-year career, David Pocock is today calling time on his professional career, concluding his time with the Panasonic Wild Knights after retiring from the ACT Brumbies and Wallabies in 2019.
Pocock said of his time in the game,
“Rugby has given me so much opportunity. From a start at the Western Force to my years at the ACT Brumbies and the Panasonic Wild Knights, I’m so grateful for the community each of those clubs provided me and the skills I was able to develop.
“It’s been a huge privilege to represent Australia. As a migrant I was always so aware of the way it reflected something of the best of the Australian spirit, bringing so many cultures together, and I tried not to take that for granted. It’s really exciting now to see the next generation of Wallabies stepping up.
“I’m also very grateful for all the coaches, medical staff and administrators who’ve made my career possible. The biggest thanks, though, goes to all the teammates I’ve had throughout the years.
“I hope to keep contributing to rugby through involvement in grassroots programs in both Western Australia and Zimbabwe.”
Pocock’s interest in conservation is well-known so a pivot into this arena comes as no surprise. Pocock explained his next venture saying,
“I’ve just started the Rangelands Restoration Trust and we have been working on our first project, which is in southern Zimbabwe. We’re working to build land use models that regenerate degraded rangelands, while creating wildlife habitat and improving the prosperity of people who depend on the land for their livelihoods. This kind of regenerative agriculture is a critical tool in the midst of the climate and extinction crises we are facing.
“After a decade involved with a development project in rural Zimbabwe and studying sustainable agriculture in Australia, I started to better understand just how much our health is tied to the health of our landbase. Rural communities, and ultimately all of us, depend on the land for survival so if we want a better future, we need models of land management that regenerate degraded land and develop access to markets for rural communities.
“There are a lot of people doing great work in this field. We’re working to incorporate many of their ideas as we partner with rural communities to improve local economies while increasing biodiversity and re-establishing wildlife migration corridors.
“The looming climate and biodiversity crises make building better ways of organising our lives, our communities and our societies more urgent than ever. Our wellbeing is tied up with nature as we are part of nature. The work of restoring rangelands provides really important benefits in terms of biodiversity and carbon sequestration as well as the opportunity to meaningfully improve the prosperity of communities.”