JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Chris Peters passes away

Date

Ross Peake and Lisa Cox

13 March 2012, news, story by Jacqueline Williams, photo by STUART WALMSLEY. Chris Peters, chief executive officer of the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry and 2012 Canberra citizen of the year, has revealed he is suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. Click for more photos

Chris Peters

A life in photos: Dr Christopher Peters has passed away. Photo: Casual CAS

Generous tributes are flowing from the Canberra community, marking business leader Chris Peters, who has passed away, as one of the greatest contributors to the city.

Mr Peters, 63, who was the ACT Chamber of Commerce chief executive, succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a 19-month battle.

Chris will be missed for his quick wit and smile, his generosity of spirit, his innate diplomacy and negotiating skills as well as his unerring perception and understanding of the nature of business and its often complex relationship with Government in the ACT. 

When he was awarded Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2012, he was described as “a giant of the town”.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, who gave that award, led the tributes, saying Mr Peters was a kind and generous “giver” who worked quietly behind the scenes to make Canberra a better place.

“I think anyone who has worked in Canberra knows that he has been the public face of the Chamber of Commerce for many, many years,” she said.

 “But he’s also had a number of other roles behind the scenes – roles that he wasn’t as public about.

“He did a lot of work with young people at risk, he did a lot of work in vocational education and training.

“He was a huge force in the recovery from the bushfires in pulling together the business community to contribute and give back to Canberra, but he did this all on the quiet.

“He was never someone to shout from the rooftops about all the work he did in addition to the Chamber of Commerce and it was for that work that he was recognised as the 2012 Canberra Citizen of the Year.”

Ms Gallagher said the Legislative Assembly hoped to move a condolence motion but was allowing Mr Peters’ wife, Josephine, time to consider the idea.

ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries said he was saddened to hear Canberra had lost a friend with Mr Peter’s passing.

“Chris was an indefatigable advocate for Canberra business and always knew where to find someone to share the next grand plan or vision for the city,” Senator Humphries said.

The chamber announced Mr Peters' death in a statement on Wednesday.

"Chris suffered a setback to his existing condition which resulted in complications from which he was not able to recover," it said.

"Chris will be missed for his quick wit and smile, his generosity of spirit, his innate diplomacy and negotiating skills as well as his unerring perception and understanding of the nature of business and its often complex relationship with Government in the ACT."

The chamber said the family had requested privacy in their time of grief and for donations to be made in his memory to pancreatic cancer research in lieu of flowers.

"The staff and the board of the chamber would like to extend to them our heartfelt condolences. It is anticipated that a memorial service will be organised in due course," it said.

"Donations can be made to the Australasian Gastrointestinal Trials Group, through their fundraising arm called the GI Cancers Institute."

Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Mr Peters was widely respected.

“Chris was a man of character, a leader of business, respected by governments, a servant of his community and honoured by the nation,” he said.

“He leaves a legacy of achievement that makes us all proud but he will be very sorely missed.

“It is the day we all dreaded.

“In these early days, it is hard to fathom how the business sector or ACT community can fill the gap he leaves but to honour his legacy, we will and must do so."

Do you have a special recollection of Chris Peters? Please leave your tributes in the comments field.

Generous tributes are flowing from the Canberra community, marking business leader Chris Peters, who died on Wednesday, as one of the greatest contributors to the city.

Mr Peters, 63, who was the ACT Chamber of Commerce chief executive, succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a 19-month battle.

When he was awarded Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2012, he was described as “a giant of the town”.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, who gave that award, led the tributes, saying Mr Peters was a kind and generous “giver” who worked quietly behind the scenes to make Canberra a better place.

“I think anyone who has worked in Canberra knows that he has been the public face of the Chamber of Commerce for many, many years,” she said.

 “But he’s also had a number of other roles behind the scenes – roles that he wasn’t as public about.

“He did a lot of work with young people at risk, he did a lot of work in vocational education and training.

“He was a huge force in the recovery from the bushfires in pulling together the business community to contribute and give back to Canberra, but he did this all on the quiet.

“He was never someone to shout from the rooftops about all the work he did in addition to the Chamber of Commerce and it was for that work that he was recognised as the 2012 Canberra Citizen of the Year.”

Ms Gallagher said the Legislative Assembly hoped to move a condolence motion but was allowing Mr Peters’ wife, Josephine, time to consider the idea.

ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries said he was saddened to hear Canberra had lost a friend with Mr Peter’s passing.

“Chris was an indefatigable advocate for Canberra business and always knew where to find someone to share the next grand plan or vision for the city,” Senator Humphries said.

9 comments so far

  • I had the privilege of working with Chris over a couple of years. He was one of nature's true gentleman - humble, thoughtful and quick with a gentle and self-deprecating humour. Chris's leadership of Canberra's business community will be sorely missed.

    Commenter
    Luke Vardanega
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    February 27, 2013, 3:28PM
    • Chris Peters employed me after the merger of the Company Directors Association and the Institute of Directors. He made me the first NSW State Manager, the new department required a lot of developing. His open door policy meant that I learnt an awful lot about Corporate Law in a very short time. He then saught me out to set up a National Training and Development Department in the Printing Industries of Australia. I considered him my mentor-someone who was prepared to invest in the potential that I had always been told that I had, but never knew in what. I am greatly saddened to hear of his passing and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

      Commenter
      Julia Caladine
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 3:31PM
      • I worked with Chris many years ago when he first started at the ACT Chamber. He was a fantastic leader, friend and all round nice guy and I only have fond memories of working with him. He will be sadly missed by the Canberra Community as a whole and I feel privileged that I had the opportunity to work with him. I was only speaking with him a few months back when he optomistically told me about his diagnosis and I told him I'd touch base early this year to see how he was going. I'm very sad to say I hadn't done this yet. My thoughts go to his family. RIP Chris.

        Commenter
        SandyHay
        Date and time
        February 27, 2013, 5:10PM
        • Chris was my CEO and mentor early in my career and his kind support and generosity allowed me to develop my career with confidence. He was a lovely man and will be missed my many, including me.

          Commenter
          TheaMR
          Date and time
          February 27, 2013, 8:28PM
          • I met Dear Chris Peters in 2001 when I started my posting in Canberra. Jo and CHris were like a big family to me and my seed family at the beginning a new phase of ourlives. Always generous, kind hearted, ready to help and makes you feel that they are always there for you. He was like a walking symbol of Canberra, such a devotion, such a knowledge and deep patience. They were the greatest luck of any foreigner arriving on a diplomatic mission in Canberra. I always miss them.

            Dear Chris, Our Great Friend rest in peace!!! May the grace of God be upon you .Throughout these years we never forgot you, you will be always in our hearts.

            Deniz Cakar, Rahul Uras and Amrit

            Commenter
            Deniz cakar
            Location
            Antwerp/Belgium
            Date and time
            February 28, 2013, 5:35AM
            • I first met Chris in 1998. Chris was a great advocate for small biz in Canberra, especially for start up businesses. He had a great life story of what he did and it was great that he became CEO of the ACT Chamber of Commerce and Person of the Year in Canberra.

              What I really liked about Chris was he was a great fun person to be with - he was witty, compassionate, caring, intelligent and a great conversationalist

              May Chris Rest in Peace

              Commenter
              Remember 1996
              Location
              Reid
              Date and time
              February 28, 2013, 8:30AM
              • I've known Chris for 59yrs as he was my brother. Chris was always a bit different when we were growing up, he liked to be the organizer and leader and through his life, this never changed. He would try most things to see if they suited, from being assistant commissioner of scouts in S.A. and being responsible for setting up that now great institution called "Scouts Recycling" to his last roll of CEO of ACT C of C he always looked for way to help people. He ran a very exclusive Italian furniture outlet in Adelaide, well before its time and then he moved to Sydney / Canberra with his 2nd wife Jo and the rest of his public life is history. He never stopped his life long support of his father Brian, still doing "everything business", for him until this week. The family, Brian, Jo. and Josie all live in Adelaide and we saw him whenever possible, usually when he was on his way to yet another conference or had a speech to give somewhere or when I visited Sydney. His wife Jo and the rest of his family "who reside in Adelaide" will miss him. A good life cut too short.
                Jo.

                Commenter
                Jo. Peters
                Location
                Adelaide
                Date and time
                February 28, 2013, 11:23AM
                • We have been bombarded continually by the media with reports of the personal problems of Ben Barba, a 23-year-old ''kid'' with more money than sense, while it took until Tuesday or Wednesday for the public to be notified of the passing of, from all reports, a great human being in the form of Chris Peters, last Saturday.

                  Commenter
                  Eudaimonia
                  Location
                  Kingston
                  Date and time
                  February 28, 2013, 12:07PM
                  • One of my first introductions to the business community in the late 1990s was through becoming a member of the Chamber which is where I met Chris and his wife Jo. He was incredibly supportive during the start-up of my company and always shared words of wisdom which kept me personally going during the challenging periods of being a business owner. His was so passionate about the ACT business community - his energy and enthusiasm will be missed but the difference he made for the ACT community will live on. RIP Chris with thoughts and prayers to Jo and the rest of the Peters family.

                    Commenter
                    Dr Dion
                    Date and time
                    February 28, 2013, 3:11PM

                    Make a comment

                    You are logged in as [Logout]

                    All information entered below may be published.

                    Error: Please enter your screen name.

                    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

                    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

                    Error: Please enter your comment.

                    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

                    Post to

                    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

                    Thank you

                    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

                    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

                    Related Coverage

                    Featured advertisers

                    Special offers

                    Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo