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Education graduate Peter Fossey is one of a select few Deakin students to have represented Australia on the world sporting stage.
Having trained with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and represented Deakin with distinction at the 1985 World University Games in Zagreb, Croatia, the next year, Peter fulfilled a boyhood dream when he represented Australia at the 1986 Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Peter was chosen for the Australian athletics team and competed in the gruelling decathlon event against a field which included English Olympic and world champion Daley Thompson.
As recognition for his sporting achievements and selection for Australia, Deakin awarded Peter (pictured with his 1986 Commonwealth Games team blazer) the prestigious University Full Blue award in 1985. The Full Blue award is given to university athletes who gain selection in an Australian University Sport (AUS) squad to attend an International University Sports Federation (FISU) event or other AUS-endorsed international tour.
Aside from athletics, Peter was heavily involved in university life during his time as a student, including assisting in the construction of the first gymnasium in the KD Stewart Centre. He was also a counsellor for the Student Association Council and was the vice-president for several years of the Deakin Student Association (DSA). Former Deakin academic Dr Nerrida Ellerton (who worked in the area of mathematics) also employed Peter for a time as a research assistant.
As a student, Peter initially thought teaching physical education would be a good career path owing to his considerable ability and experience in sport; however, this was not to be as his focus shifted to the newly developing information technology industry in Australia.
"Initially I studied at Deakin to become a physical education teacher, although ironically I have never taught PE. My career commenced at Ballarat Grammar Junior School as a classroom teacher and IT was very much emerging onto the agenda there. I chose to teach IT due to its ever-changing nature and the exciting developments it brings-it is my passion," he said.
As for his time at Deakin, Peter remembers the social side of university life especially and the great support from his wife in the journey through the course.
"I really enjoyed the social experience. I enjoyed being around people and loved to connect. I also enjoyed some good friendships with the staff.
"Nowadays I live just over the road from the Waurn Ponds campus and I think that it is wonderfully positioned outside the 'rat race'. Its beautiful surrounds are a real attraction, notwithstanding the fact that it has become a world renowned university through it's off-campus studies."
"My 19-year-old son, Stephen, is midway through a Bachelor of IT at Deakin, so we think it is great," he said.
After some 20 years in primary and secondary education, Peter continues to teach IT and is currently head of the Information Technology Faculty at Christian College in Geelong, where he has worked for some years.
Peter is keen to continue his work at Christian College.
"I want to continue to help develop and evolve the IT facilities and curriculum at Christian College to enable our students to reach their full potential. To make a difference in the lives of young people at this College is such a great privilege!" he said.
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