David Pocock never planned on becoming a politician.
"Like so many people, I have been really frustrated with politics," the 34-year-old told Mamamia.
Now, the former rugby star has made history as the first independent to be elected to the ACT senate.
It’s a career move he never had on his bucket list. But one born out of a need to make change.
"We need fewer career politicians and more people who want to be in there to actually represent the community... [and who] want to work to actually solve some of the big problems that we're facing," Pocock shared.
We've officially made history! Thank you all.— David Pocock (@pocockdavid) June 14, 2022
What a huge honour to be able to serve the people of the ACT as a Senator. pic.twitter.com/OoORMmjJ4Z
A striking contrast from the typical figure we see in politics, the activist and former rugby player put his hand up to run as an independent after being approached by members of the community.
"I just have zero interest in toeing a party line that doesn't actually represent what the community that I love wants… I want to be able to represent a community I love on issues that are important to us and to be accountable to them."
Backed by the Climate 200 movement, Pocock is part of a new wave of independents who have taken seats at this year's election, having beaten out three-term Liberal Senator Zed Seselja.
"I think one of the reasons why we've seen independents do so well at this last election is that people realise they can actually have someone in [government] who is working for them."
Growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, Pocock witnessed first-hand just how much governments can impact people’s lives.
"I was so grateful for the childhood I had growing up in Zimbabwe... but in the late 90s, things changed pretty quickly politically and the government undertook a pretty rushed land reform program.
Violence erupted and his family were told they had 90 days to leave their farm
"It got pretty unsafe... There was a lot of uncertainty. There was huge political turmoil," he shared.
Sadly, one of Pocock's close family friends was shot dead in an ambush while driving home to his farm. His son was also shot nine times but managed to survive.