David Palfreyman is the only Australian to have represented his country as a coxswain, rower and coach. He began his coxing career in 1957 and first represented Victoria in 1960. Whilst still at Camberwell Grammar, he coxed the men’s Eight at the 1962 World Rowing Championships in Switzerland and later that year won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Perth, aged 16. As a coxswain, David represented Australia at two World Rowing Championships.
In 1964 David progressed to rowing where he once again represented both Victoria and Australia. During his eleven years rowing, he won national titles nearly every year and also represented Australia at the 1966 World Rowing Championships.
From 1975 David shifted his focus to coaching. He has coached two Olympic crews, including the first women’s crew to represent Australia at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and more recently the women’s Double Scull at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In between, David has coached nine Australian crews at the World Rowing Championships as well as a number of men’s and women’s crews to national titles.
In total, David has represented Victoria 18 times and Australia 13 times.