Peter, how did it come around that you're a passionate Magpie fan?
I have to give credit to my parents. They loved everything about Collingwood and they passed that love on to their five children. My three daughters have had no other option but to love the Pies and long may that proud tradition continue in our family.
Is there any Collingwood premiership win more special then others?
I've got to rate the flag win in 1990 as extra special. I'll never forget we defeated an arch-rival in Essendon pretty convincingly in front of more then 98,000 people and my brother Shaun and I ventured out to Collingwood's old home at Victoria Park for the celebrations. We had a huge night. The grand final win in 1990 was extra special because it was our first flag win since 1958.
I note you were born in Port Fairy and attended primary school in the town before going to Warrnambool for your secondary school education. Did you play much sport in those early years growing up in Port Fairy?
Yes, I played a fair bit of sport when I was younger. I suppose footy, cricket and the surf club were the major sports back in my era. I played junior footy for Port Fairy before working my way through the various grades before starting me senior career in 1978.
Ray Anderson was my senior coach at Port Fairy in my two seasons in the seniors in 1978 and 1979. Sadly none of the sides that I played with in Port Fairy whether it was juniors or seniors ever won a premiership.
I would have to rate Kerrin Hayes as the best player that I saw play for Port Fairy. He went on to play at Fitzroy. My footy career with Port Fairy ended pretty abruptly.
Can you explain how and why your footy career ended abruptly with Port Fairy?
I was working with the Commonwealth Bank in Warrnambool at the time and I got a transfer to Geelong. There was no hope of me going backwards and forwards from Geelong to come home to Port Fairy so I played with St Mary's Football Club in Geelong. I played with St Mary's for 12 years before coaching the Geelong Amateur side for four years and then I went and coached Newtown. I came back to St Mary's as the chairman of selectors for a few years.
I've watched footy around Geelong in the various leagues over the years. There are very strong competitions as there's been an influx of people from Melbourne who have come down to live in Geelong and surrounding areas in recent times and that's made the local footy very strong.
Let's go back to your cricket career for a moment. I take it it started in Port Fairy?
Yes. I played junior cricket for Port Fairy and was fortunate enough to make a coupe of hundreds with them. I won the under 16 Warrnambool and District cricketer of the year award with Port Fairy before going to play A grade cricket with Dennington for three years. St Mary's have a cricket side in Geelong and when I moved down there I played cricket for them. I ended up being the captain-coach of St Mary's for a few years before work stopped my career.
What did you do for work once you left the bank?
I joined the police force. I was based in Melbourne for a few years before getting a transfer to Geelong. I was in the police force for 21 years and worked mainly as a police prosecutor. It was a pretty good job as I had weekends off. I took over home duties in 2005 as my wife Victoria part-owned a car dealership so I was Mister Mum for 12 years running our three girls to primary and secondary school. And then out of the blue a mate suggested I put my hand up to stand for council and luckily I was elected as a councillor on the City Of Greater Geelong in 2016.
What's your time as a councillor been like in Geelong?
It's been very hectic. There's always issues and things that you've got to get your head around. I'm one of eleven councillors. I was elected as the mayor in June this year and that job has increased my work load and involvement.
The area the City Of Greater Geelong covers from out at Little River and extends right across to Ocean Grove and everywhere in between. It's incredible to see the developments that are happening in Geelong and around the outlying areas.
The Geelong region is the fastest growing region in Australia and with that there are numerous challenges. The population in the region has grown significantly since COVID. More and more people are moving out of Melbourne and locating to Geelong and the surrounding areas. For example, it's predicted over the next ten to 15 years there's going to be a massive expansion in housing out around the Lara area. We believe there'll be about 110,000 houses built out there in that area over the ten to 15 years period. Developers have already purchased a lot of the land which you see when your leaving Geelong on the Ring Road on the left hand side. It's quite incredible to see what the future holds for the City Of Greater Geelong.
Peter another hat you wear is the president of the Geelong Racing Club. How did you love for racing come about?
It came about from my dad. He used to take me up to the TAB on Saturday mornings in Port Fairy when I was very youngest. We would go home and listen to the races on the radio. I've been on the committee for six years and for four years I've been the president. We have about 25 meetings a year and just a few weeks ago we had a big Geelong Cup Day.
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