David grew up in Sydney but his first job was in Alice Springs, Northern Territory (NT), which allowed him to visit schools in many isolated Aboriginal communities. He later worked in Canberra at the National Library of Australia. He joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1990, and was assigned to work amongst the Alyawarr people of Central Australia.
David married Marie Geytenbeek in 1996. They worked in an Aboriginal community of about 150 Alyawarr people called Wetenngerr [WOO ten nger a], which is on Epenarra Station, a cattle property of 2,658 sq km. The nearest town is Tennant Creek (NT), 220km by road to the northwest. Alice Springs is 550km by road to the southwest. Marie passed away in December 2004. Since then David and their sons, Paul and Simon, have lived in Alice Springs. Paul is now studying in Adelaide.