About Dave Warner

DAVE WARNER: Writer / Script-Editor / Composer / Performer: Film / Stage / Radio / TV / Publication


Author of twelve novels, including the winner of the 1996 West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction CITY OF LIGHT, and the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction  'BEFORE IT BREAKS', and six other non-fiction titles, Dave Warner originally gained national recognition as a musician-songwriter.  His albums include the gold album MUG’S GAME and in 1992 he was the inaugural inductee into the West Australian Rock’n’Roll of Renown.

Dave has written for feature film, stage, television, radio and newspapers. His first feature movie CUT (2000) starring Kylie Minogue and Molly Ringwald was sold worldwide.  GARAGE DAYS, a co-write with director Alex Proyas (The Crow / Dark City) screened at the Sundance 2003 Film Festival.  RESTRAINT (Stephen Moyer, Therese Palmer, Travis Fimmel) a dark thriller followed.

Dave’s television credits include the INXS telemovie plus regular episodes of mainstream Australian primetime dramas WILD BOYS, PACKED TO THE RAFTERS, RESCUE SPECIAL OPS,  MCLEOD’S DAUGHTERS, SEA PATROL.   Dave was also part of the original writing team on the ground-breaking low-budget series GOING HOME  (McElroy Television/SBS).

About Dave


DAVE WARNER was born in Bicton, Western Australia, in 1953.
He was educated at Aquinas College and grew up an ardent supporter of the East Fremantle Football Club. Between 1971 and 1974 he attended the University of Western Australia, graduating with a B.A. (Hons.), majoring in Psychology.

Author of nine novels, including the winner of the 1996 WA Premier’s Award for Fiction, City of Light, and six other non-fiction titles, Dave Warner originally gained national recognition as a musician-songwriter in the late 1970s. In 1973 he formed Australia’s first punk band, Pus, playing early versions of tracks such as Suburban Boy and Hot Crotch which he was later to record with Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs.

In 1975, Dave went to London and wrote many new songs which expressed a clearly-defined vision of Australia, including tracks such as Convict Streak and Oklahoma. Suburban Boy become the cornerstone of this new style of music, which Dave labelled suburban rock. Warner’s music is probably best described as Lou Reed meets Tomas Pynchon, while Bob Dylan has referred to Dave and Richard Clapton as his “favourite Australian artists”.

Dave formed The Suburbs in January 1977. The group developed a huge underground following, which led to Dave signing with Australia’s Mushroom Records in 1978. His first album, Mugs Game, went gold within a month of release. Dave’s second album, Free Kicks, was released in 1979.

After the original Suburbs disbanded, Dave followed up with Correct Weight (1979), This is My Planet (1981 – reissued as This is Your Planet in 1996), Meanwhile in the Suburbs (EP – 1989), Dark Side of the Scrum (1989), Suburban Sprawl (1990), Surplus and Dearth (1995) Loose Men, Tight Shorts (1996) The King and Me (2016) and WHEN (2017).  Dave also reissued the original three-set of no-label live tapes from 1977-78 as Suburbs in the 70s. The original Mugs Game album has been reissued as a double CD with a CD or London demo versions of various songs included. Correct Weight and This Is Your Planet have also been reissued as double CD named Correct Planet.

From 1982 Dave Warner stopped touring full-time and broadened his creative outlets to writing plays, novels and screenplays.  The Sensational Sixties, an enormously successful revue toured through large suburban hotels with Warner directing, producing and compering.

With Suburbs’ stalwart Johnny Leopard, Dave began writing sketch comedy both live and for radio.  Dave, Johnny and David Zampatti, Dave’s partner in the Sensational Sixties teamed up for Australia’s first Murder Mystery Weekends. In 1985, Warner wrote, and appeared in, the barn-storming musical The Sixties and All That Pop, followed up with the full-scale rock-musical Planet Pres performed by the WA Theatre Company. One reviewer called it the “best Australian rock musical ever”.

In 1987, Dave wrote and performed his one-man show, Australian Heroes in Sydney, and made his screen debut with a small part in Boundaries of the Heart as well as working on new songs with Greg Macainsh (Skyhooks).  Some of these songs found their way onto the mini-album Meanwhile In The Suburbs and others on subsequent albums and cassingles.  Dave then released the comedy Rugby League album Dark Side of the Scrum.

In the early 90s Dave wrote plays The Boys Gotta Bond and Bondi By Bus, and after a long break writing film and TV returned in 2015 with the smash Fringe musical The King and Me. A soundtrack album was recorded in 2016.

Dave’s first novel, the crime opus City Of Light, was published in 1995 and won the award for Best Fiction Work at the WA Premier’s Book Awards in 1996. That year also saw the release of Footy’s Hall Of Shame, a humorous look at Australian Rules Football. In 1997 Dave published another hard-edged crime novel (Big Bad Blood) and edited an anthology of Australian humorous writing called Great Australian Bites.

The first in a serious of humorous, Agatha Christie-style novels starring rock-star-turned-detective Andrew “The Lizard” Zirk, Murder In The Groove, was published in 1998, along with Cricket’s Hall Of Shame and 25 Years of Mushroom Records. September 1998 saw the release of three AFL footy-related CDs, featuring tracks paying tribute to the Sydney Swans, the Western Bulldogs and the St. Kilda Saints football clubs respectively.

The final year of the 20th century saw Dave take part in a number film and TV projects, including the completion of the feature film Cut which was directed by ex Hoodoo Guru Kimble Rendall and starred Kylie Minogue and Molly Ringwald.

Horse Racing’s Hall of Shame, co-written with Nicolas Brasch, was published as was the second “Lizard” Zirk novel, Murder In The Frame, and shortly after Dave’s critically-acclaimed novel eXXXpresso.

Dave began writing for TV at this time and was also one of the chief writers on the daily SBS drama Going Home. Following this he wrote numerous episodes for the Channel Nine TV series McLeod’s Daughters, and has since written for such shows as Packed To The Rafters, Rescue Special Ops, Sea-Patrol and Wild Boys.  He was a co-writer on Never Tear Us Apart, the INXS TV telemovie.

2003 saw Dave co-write the screenplay for the feature film Garage Days with filmmaker Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow, Dark City). He also wrote the short TV feature Roll, directed by award winning director Martin Wilson.  Two years later his dark thriller Restraint was shot starring Travis Fimmel (Vikings) and Trueblood star Stephen Moyer.  Dave currently has a number of other feature film screenplays at various stages of development.

In 2017 Dave’s novel Before It Breaks won the Ned Kelly Award for best Australian Crime Fiction, and his follow up Clear To The Horizon was longlisted for the Dublin Impac Awards. 2019 sees him publishing a new novel River Of Salt and continuing to perform and record.

Dave is a member of the WA Rock and Roll Of Renown (1992) and in 2016 was named a Living Treasure of the West Australian arts.

Dave lives in Sydney with wife Nicole, daughters Violet and Venice and son Gus.

Curriculum Vitae

Dave has written for a number of children’s television shows both animation and live-action.  (STREET SMARTZ, ODD FAMILY, K9).

As a script editor, Dave has worked on the Brian Brown TV series TWO TWISTED and also MCLEOD’S DAUGHTERS.

Dave’s has a successful series of children’s novels, CHARLOTTE AND THE STARLET (Random House 2007-2009).

His plays include the musicals THE KING AND ME (2015) PLANET PRES (1987) 60s AND ALL THAT POP (1985)

In 2015 Dave Warner was named a Living Treasure for WA Culture and The Arts.



2015 BLINKY BILL (contributing writer)

2006 RESTRAINT. Writer. Produced

2002 GARAGE DAYS  Co-Writer. Produced. (Fox Searchlight)

2000 CUT  (Mushroom Pictures) Produced.


2013 NEVER TEAR US APART (INXS) (telemovie) co-writer
WESTBROOK (docu-drama 2 hours)

2011 WILD BOYS  (series Channel 7, writer, 2 Episodes)
    RESCUE   (series 4 Channel 9, writer)

2010 RESCUE SPECIAL OPS (4 episodes)
THE BUILD UP Series in development, SBS, writer.

2009 PACKED TO THE RAFTERS Series Channel 7 Writer
RESCUE SPECIAL OPS Series Channel 9 Writer (4 episodes)
K9 (children’s – writer)

2008 PACKED TO THE RAFTERS Series Channel 7 Writer

2007 CANAL ROAD     Series Channel 9   Writer

2006 SEA PATROL. Series with McElroy/Channel Nine. Writer.


2019     author RIVER OF SALT (Fremantle Press)

2017     author CLEAR TO THE HORIZON (Fremantle Press)

2015 author BEFORE IT BREAKS (Fremantle Press)

2009 author HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD (Random House Australia). A children’s book.

2008 author FRIEND IN NEED (Random House Australia). A children’s book.

2007 Author. CHARLOTTE AND THE STARLET (Random House Australia). A children’s book.

2006 Author. COUNTDOWN (ABC Enterprises). A book on the
television series of the same name.

2000 Author. MURDER IN THE OFF-SEASON (Pan Macmillan),
the third novel featuring rock-star turned detective Andrew `The Lizard’ Zirk.

Author. EXXXPRESSO (Pan Macmillan), a fast-paced Elmore Leonard-style romp from Perth to Kalgoorlie. Available from Amazon and Amazon Kindle.






2016 WHEN (DRAW)  Dave Warner with Martin Cilia, Greg Macainsh, Lloyd Gyi, Tony Durant, Bill Beare, Nicole Warner, Dick Haynes, Jim Monginie, Kevin Borich, David Briggs, Mick Thomas and Mark Wallace, James Gillard. Produced by Martin Cilia, mixed by David Briggs.

2015 The King and Me  – (DRAW) Dave Warner and various artists.

2013 Correct Planet (DRAW) Double CD remastered combination of This is my Planet and Correct Weight.

2008 Mugs Game (DRAW) – double album re-release with new material

2002 – 03 AFL PROJECT SONY – 16 CDS one for each AFL Club.

2000 Suburbs In The 70s (Draw) Double Cd.

1998 Swansongs (Sony Records) 6 Track CD.

This Is Your Planet (Draw) C.D. Album.

1992 Surplus And Dearth (Draw) C.D. Album.

Also:   Meanwhile In The Suburbs (mini LP) Suburban Sprawl, Correct Weight, This Is My Planet, Free Kicks, Mugs Game, 12” Single Half Time at The Football


2015 The King and Me (musical)

Also: Bondi By Bus, Boys Gotta Bond (co-writer). Planet Pres (musical aka Blast), Sixties and All That Pop (Musical)


Insight Films was started in Perth in 1982 by Gavan O’Sullivan and was primarily occupied with shooting TV commercials. From 1982 to around 1989 we shot around 300 commercials — all on 35mm film for major clients like the banks, Brownes, Red Rooster etc. It was an exciting dynamic time in Perth with plenty of work and good music! Things slowed down a bit in 1989 and Insight moved to South East Asia and slotted right into their booming industry. After 7 years, mainly in Jakarta shooting around 300 more TVC’s and corporate style programs, we returned to Perth — a very quiet Perth.

Soon after our return, the SE Asia economic crash occurred so it was very lucky timing. Back in Perth it was time to take a fresh look at the industry and we decided to ‘do our own thing’ We now talk to clients directly and favour small to medium companies that are expanding, have a brave and dynamic attitude, and require video productions and TV commercials to promote themselves. This stuff pays the bills and allows us to do some fun projects like the Dave Warner DVD. The new technologies of the internet and DVD etc allow us to shortcut all the traditional routes of TV stations or complex sources for funding and distribution with their ‘can’t do’ attitude and just do it! Yeah!