Des is a Yorta Yorta man from the Murray/Goulburn river area of Victoria/NSW. He has been an active member of the Aboriginal community since 1984, having served on various local and state organisations, Boards of Management Inc, Legal Service, Aborigines Advancement League, VACSAL and VAEAI.

He also served a six-year period as an ATSIC Regional Councilor and past Chair of NJERNDA (Echuca) for several years and a member of Yorta Yorta Nations Aboriginal Corporation.