Skip to main content

David Combe (b.1943) became interested in politics at Adelaide University and was motivated to join the ALP in 1962, partly through his friendship with Don Dunstan. After working his way through various positions in the Young Labour Causus and the SA state branch, he became National Secretary of the ALP from 1973-81. However, Combe's association with the Soviet embassy official Valeriy Ivanov brought him the most notoriety and although the subsequent Royal Commission (1983), cleared him of any wrongdoing, his reputation was tarnished. The man Bob Hawke once described him as "masterminding" the 1974 Whitlam electoral victory, was sent overseas as Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner for Australia in Vancouver in 1985. He went on to a similar posting in Hong Kong and then became a London-bases international business manager for Southcorp. He returned to be based in their Sydney office in 1995.

Updated 2017