Message from Glenn Patterson, CEO, City of Casey
Farewell to Peter Fitchett
Peter has resigned from his role as Director City Planning and Infrastructure, in order to pursue work that is more flexible, making his health, family and lifestyle his priorities. Peter's last day in the office will be Friday 12 July.
Peter has had a long and fulfilling career in local government, some 34 years after initially commencing in 1985 at the City of Camberwell. It was at Camberwell that Peter developed a passion for quality parks, recreation and community facilities. He led the planning of the Ashburton Aquatic and Recreation Centre and was involved in the development of Balwyn, Ashburton and Camberwell Community Centres. His team initiated the Anniversary Trail and the various paths that radiate from it creating an extensive off-road trails network. He also ran an innovative outreach program into supported accommodation homes, the first of its type in Victoria.
Early in his local government career Peter completed his Master of Arts in Public Policy at the University of Melbourne and initiated the establishment of the peak industry body Parks and Leisure Australia. For this latter work he was awarded the industry's highest acknowledgement, the Frank Stewart Award.
Peter then moved on to Frankston where he led the reshaping and rebranding of Frankston through large scale urban development initiatives. This work led to him being awarded the Planning Minister's inaugural award for Planning excellence for "Frankston - TAFE to Bay". This work saw the Frankston Waterfront created, significant investment into Monash University, Frankston Private Hospital, the Frankston CBD and Melbourne's best open space network. Peter became a Director of Planning and Infrastructure at Frankston in 1998.
Peter has been a lecturer at both Victoria University and University of Hong Kong. His work during this time encompassed post-graduate lecturing and supervising masters level students in the specialities of strategic planning and policy development.
In 2006 Peter arrived at Casey as Director of Planning and Development. He immediately set about creating a more aspirational culture for the City as it developed. Across housing estates, parks, recreation and community facilities he drove an increase in quality which attracted the interest of other growth area municipalities and saw Casey become a desirable place to live. When the emergency was declared at the Brookland Greens Estate he was selected to lead the Council's response which he did for the first eight months. It was a difficult period with the Council subjected to a $100m class action claim which it ultimately settled for around $1m. It also secured $42m from the State Government to rehabilitate the site.
He oversaw the transformation of Casey Fields from five playing surfaces into a true regional parkland. He set up the partnerships with Melbourne Football Club and the Melbourne Stars and was passionate about building pride in the Casey brand. Casey Stadium, the Shed, Casey Fields Number 2, Autumn Place, the St John of God Hospital and an extensive array of community infrastructure have all been part of Peter's legacy at Casey. He has built a strong, talented and loyal team and is known for his authentic approach to leadership.
After suffering serious health issues last year, Peter is back to good health but has chosen to move into part time work so that he can better manage his wellbeing. He is taking up a consulting role in the Sport and Leisure industry with Otium, will utilise his Board level experience by helping some not for profit Boards and maintain a small base of private clients. There is plenty of golf planned, as well as regular travel to London where both of his sons are now working.