Ian David was born in Perth, Western Australia, and graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney, in 1984.
He is known for his ground breaking reality-based dramas POLICE STATE and POLICE CROP for the ABC, which won AFI Awards in 1989 and 1990 respectively for Best Mini-Series/Telemovie and Best Screenplay for a Mini Series/Telemovie. Following on from these, in 1992, he wrote JOH’S JURY, a dramatisation of the deadlocked jury of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s trial for perjury and in 1993 Ian wrote the 3 hour mini-series BLUE MURDER (based on the Neddy Smith and Michael Drury stories), which was screened on the ABC (excepting NSW) in 1996 to national acclaim. BLUE MURDER received the 1996 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Television Drama, AWGIE Award for Best Television Screenplay, and AFI Award for Best Screenplay.
Ian’s eight-part comedy series for the ABC, BAD COP, BAD COP, was screened in 2002. His mini-series adaptation of the Robert Drewe memoir, THE SHARK NET, aired on the ABC and was nominated for a Scriptwriting Award in NSW Premier’s Literary Award, 2004. In 2011 he wrote and script produced KILLING TIME for Fremantle and Network 7, in 2007 he wrote for the children’s award winning TV series THE SADDLE CLUB (ABC) and his original telemovie, THREE ACTS OF MURDER screened on ABC TV to critical acclaim in 2009.
In 1997 Ian was invited to give the annual Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture at the Sydney Film Festival. Ian received the AFI’s Byron Kennedy Award in 2001 and a Centennial Medal from the Commonwealth of Australia in 2003 for services to Australian society and film. In 2003 Ian represented Australian artists at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, with an address on cultural diversity. Ian was named as the inaugural Kit Denton Fellow at the 2007 AWGIE Awards.
He was lecturer in Creative Writing and Film Studies, Department of English, University of Sydney from 2007-2016 and lecturer in Screenwriting at AFTRS in 2016. In 2018 Ian was awarded a PhD from University of Sydney.
He is a past president of the Australian Writers Guild and is a member of the Council of Patrons of the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Ian continues to write for both film and television.