Page 1308 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013

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He was named Canberra Citizen of the Year last year and was also a Canberra Honour Walk inductee in the same year. He combined his exemplary leadership qualities with enormous depth of knowledge of everything business. He was a constant source of information and sage advice to others.

It was said that there was hardly a question that you could put to Chris that he did not have an answer to. He was a contributor, a giver, and a generator of solutions and ideas. He did an enormous amount of work to assist young people at risk, and he had a significant influence on the career paths of many young Canberrans through his work with the local vocational education and training sector.

He was a driving force in the recovery from the bushfires that hit Canberra just over a decade ago. His leadership helped galvanise the local business community during the rebuilding process in the immediate days after the fire. A mark of a true leader is being able to deliver in the tough times, and the 2003 bushfires were certainly that.

He had an amazing work ethic, and he was a tireless worker representing local businesses on over 20 boards. His CV was as long as your arm, and he had a business card to match. Chris made sure he was available to those who sought his counsel, whether they were from private enterprise, the public service, federal or ACT governments or the community sector.

He described himself as a workaholic, and once remarked that he came from a family of workaholics. His father Brian, who he always spoke so proudly of, was a local GP who retired from his medical practice in Adelaide when he was 88, at the time caring for a fourth generation of patients.

His father’s work ethic certainly rubbed off on Chris when he was growing up in Adelaide in the 50s and 60s. During these formative years he was exposed to people from all walks of life, coming from a working class neighbourhood and attending a well-known private school.

Mixing with people from different cultures and backgrounds gave him the ability to relate to everybody, no matter who they were or where they came from. A friend of Dr Peters remarked that, “Chris was always a bit different when we were growing up. He liked to be the organiser and leader, and through his life this never changed.”

And he was a leader in a wide variety of fields. He was an advocate for justice and crime prevention, having been a member of the New South Wales Attorney-General’s Corporate Crime Task Force, the commonwealth Companies and Securities Legal Advisory Committee, and the ACT Crime Prevention Committee.

He was environmentally conscious before it became fashionable. In the early 70s he was responsible for setting up the South Australian institution called Scouts Recycling when he was assistant commissioner of the state’s Scouts association. He brought this green interest to Canberra and was a member of the ACT recycling group and NoWaste committee for almost a decade.

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