The Canberra community recently lost one of its true champions with the passing of Chris Peters AM. Sadly, Chris passed away following a very long illness. Chris Peters was the head of the ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry, but he was so much more. As I joined with hundreds of my fellow Canberrans at the Albert Hall in April to farewell Chris Peters, we heard many speakers share Chris's incredible work and community spirit. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Chris for many years and I was deeply saddened by his passing. In a very moving service, members of the Canberra community talked about Chris Peters's tireless commitment to making Canberra a much better place.
Every so often we have in our midst someone who stands head and shoulders above the crowd in terms of their contribution, and Chris Peters was one of those rare individuals. Not only did Chris make a major contribution to Canberra's business sector, he had an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra and was a long-time supporter of the arts, including the music school here in Canberra and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Chris is also credited with establishing the Canberra Institute of Technology Vocational College and was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2004. It was therefore fitting that, at his service, the speakers included the ACT Chief Minister, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, the Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Public Trustee for the ACT and Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. Chris once said that his greatest achievement was uniting the business community to help after the 2003 Canberra bushfires.