David Foster (woodchopper)

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David Foster at the Launceston Show in 2012

David Foster OAM (born 20 March 1957) is a world champion woodchopper, and Tasmanian community figure. He has held the World Woodchopping Championship title for 21 consecutive years,[1] and is Australia's most successful athlete[2] and possibly the only athlete in any sport in the world to win over 1000 titles.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Foster is married to Jan Foster and has four children. Following his wife's illness he was forced to quit management of the Australian Axeman's Hall of Fame at Latrobe. In 2014 he announced plans to leave Tasmania following an offer by Camden Council to set up a multimillion-dollar tourist attraction focused on his memorabilia after Tasmanian businesses and government rejected proposals for a similar attraction in Tasmania.[1] However he remained in Tasmania after being signed as the spokesman for OneCare, a Tasmanian aged care provider.[4]

Athletic career[edit]

He started wood chopping with his father, George Foster, in 1978, and between them they won the World 600 mm Double-handed Sawing Championship eleven years straight. He and his brother Peter Foster continued competing and winning this event for another ten years, until 1999, making David a world champion 21 years straight. The pair lost in 2000, but re-gained the championship in 2001, after which David's son Stephen took over as his woodchopping partner.

His other achievements in wood chopping include winning the Australian Axeman of the Year award nine times in a row; winning every major wood chopping event in Australia and New Zealand; becoming the first person in sporting history to have won 1000 championships; and been the only axeman to have ever won six out of seven championships at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The Australian Axeman's Hall of Fame in Latrobe, Tasmania, was operated by David Foster and his wife Jan from 2004 until 2006.

Other activities[edit]

David Foster is often joined in his charitable quests by Launceston cricketer, David Boon. Both Foster and Boon, as well as then Premier of Tasmania Jim Bacon, also willingly allowed their famous moustaches to be shaved off for charity.

Foster has written a book called The Power Of Two.[5] He is a campaigner for LGBT rights following his daughter coming out to him.[6]


Foster has received several awards for his cultural, charitable and community activities. These include being awarded an Order of Australia Medal, a commendation from the then Governor of Tasmania Sir Phillip Bennett, and an Anzac Medal for services to the community. He also received a Tasmanian of the Year award in 1995, and was appointed a Director of the National Australia Day Council in 1998.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b "Jobless champion axeman David Foster set to give Tassie the chop for family's financial security". The Mercury. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Woodchopping champ goes for one last victory". ABC. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  3. ^ editors, John Nauright, Charles Parrish, (2012). Sports around the world : history, culture, and practice. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 474. ISBN 1598843001.
  4. ^ "World champion axeman David Foster will still call Tasmania home". Perth Now. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ Wilson, Geoff (23 May 1998). "THE POWER OF TWO". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  6. ^ "World champ axeman backs gay marriage". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. ^ Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) entry for Foster, David John, Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 10 June 1991, https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=886194&showInd=true. Retrieved 16 July 2013, "In recognition of service to the sport of woodchopping" 
  8. ^ Australian Sports Medal entry for Foster, David John, Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 19 May 2000, https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=975768&showInd=true. Retrieved 16 July 2013, "World Champion Axeman for many years" 
  9. ^ Centenary Medal entry for Foster, David John, Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1 January 2001, https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1115855&showInd=true. Retrieved 16 July 2013, "In recognition as a Tasmanian sporting legend and for 15 years supporting a range of charities" 

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