Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 2008
David Parer began his career as a physicist and spent two winters (1970 & 1972) at Mawson Base in the Antarctic studying cosmic rays and making films about the Adelie and Emperor Penguin. Soon the lure of the electron was replaced by a fascination for the photon and he took to making wildlife films for the newly formed ABC Natural History Unit. Trips to Papua New Guinea, Macquarie Island and a return to the Antarctic resulted in a dozen programs.
He and his wife Liz then teamed up in the late 1970’s, working together on many films including the six-part ‘Nature of Australia’ series for Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. Some of David’s projects have included ‘Wolves of the Sea’ (killer whales), ‘Mysteries of the Ocean Wanderers’ (wandering albatross), a three part series on the Galapagos and one offs on Platypus, Tasmanian Devils and Australia: Land of Parrots. All were co-productions with overseas broadcasters and their films have been shown on BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Canal Plus, ZDF, ORF and many others.
When the ABC closed down the Natural History Unit the couple went freelance in 2008 and since then David has worked as a wildlife cameraman on a six-part series called “Penguin Island” and an hour special on the aftermath of the Black Saturday fires.
David has explored and recorded on film many extraordinary images of nature, in numerous instances capturing behaviour that has never been photographed before. He has built his reputation on delivering the sequences we never thought we’d see. He is a multi-award winning Natural History Cinematographer and he and Liz are well known both in Australia and internationally for the unique and high quality of their productions. His passion for nature developed in his childhood in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne and he credits his mother’s love for birds and animals leading him in this direction.
David and Elizabeth’s films have won over 130 Australian and international awards including the Golden Panda at Wildscreen twice and three Emmy’s. David has been the recipient of the Milli Award and earned the honour of being the Australian Cinematographer of the Year on three separate occasions.
David was awarded ACS Accreditation certificate 175 on July 1, 1989.