Peter Maher, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society, talks: Lifelong learning, working for others and being awarded the Order of Australia.
Peter Maher is the CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Peter is an enthusiastic person and he is dedicated to his work; he is very highly regarded in both the non for profit space and the broader business community in Queensland. Peter began his career as a school teacher and principal before transitioning to senior roles with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Centrelink.
Peter was born in Sydney and grew up in Canberra, the second eldest of nine children; he is one of two sons and has seven sisters. His father was a public servant and a man of strong faith who raised his children in the Catholic tradition. Peter tells how his mother is a person who always has time for others and that her generous nature influenced the entire family. He fondly recalls how his father, with nine mouths to feed, was always a pragmatist and economically sensible. He would buy a dilapidated caravan and repair it to take the family on holiday, later selling it to cover the costs.
While Peter admits he wasn’t a great student, his passion for helping people was noticed at school and he was recommended for teacher’s college. He began his teaching career in small town Cootamundra and later earned a Masters of Education from Australian Catholic University. Peter worked in education for almost fifteen years before changing careers.
One of Peter’s greatest achievements is being awarded The Order of Australia for his service to the non for profit sector. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.