Interview with David Scaife, MLA for Cockburn

David Scaife was elected as the ALP member for Cockburn in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly at the 2021 State election.

David grew up in regional WA and went to Australind Primary School from 1993 to 2000, and Australind Senior High School from 2001 to 2005. As his Wikipedia page discloses, he was one of 23 students in 2005 to achieve a perfect Tertiary Entrance Rank score of 99.95. He then studied for Bachelor degrees in Arts (Hons) and Laws at the University of Western Australia from 2006 to 2012, and later took a Master of Laws at University College London in 2019 and 2020.

David joined the Australian Labor Party (WA) in 2005 and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union in 2008, making him part of the Labor Left faction. He worked in the office of Senator Louise Pratt from August 2008 to November 2012. After that, he worked for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union until March 2013. He was president of WA Young Labor in 2012.

From August 2013 to August 2016, he worked as a lawyer for Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Perth. From August 2016 until March 2017, he worked as a legal practice director for Eureka Lawyers in Perth.

David then contested the electoral district of Murray-Wellington for Labor in 2013, but lost. He then contested the electoral district of Cockburn for Labor at the 2021 state election, after its incumbent Labor member Fran Logan retired. He comfortably won the safe Labor seat, with 68.2% of the primary vote.

David is married to Ellie Whiteaker, the Assistant State Secretary of WA Labor.

David Scaife kindly agreed to meet with our editor, Michael Barker, to make the podcast below, and discuss his career to date, what took him into law and politics, the issues of our time, and the challenges facing a first-term MLA in the WA State Parliament.


** Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to receive your free copy of The Weekly Edition of the Shipping News each Friday!

Here’s the podcast. Enjoy!