Peter FitzSimons is a well-respected columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, speaks four languages, has played rugby for Australia, co-hosted radio shows with Mike Carlton and Doug Mulray, interviewed famous people around the globe from George Bush to Diego Maradona, is the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement and has written over 27 best-selling books.
He is the biographer not only of World Cup winning Wallaby captains, Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, but also former Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, boxer Les Darcy, aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, war heroine Nancy Wake and Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson. In 2001 he was Australia’s biggest selling non-fiction author, and duplicated that feat in 2004, with his book on Kokoda. He has been Australia’s best-selling non-fiction author in the last decade and in November 2013 released his current best-seller on Ned Kelly.The most popular after-dinner speaker in Australia, he is married to Today Show co-host Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.
Born on a farm in Peat’s Ridge, Peter went to Knox Grammar School, before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to go to Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an Arts degree at Sydney University majoring in government and political science. In 1984 he broke into the Wallabies under the coaching of Alan Jones, then lived in France and Italy playing rugby for the next five years whilst learning both languages as well as Spanish. Upon his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies, under Bob Dwyer, going on to play seven Tests.
In 1989 he joined The Sydney Morning Herald full-time, and has been one of their most popular columnists since. Andrew Denton has called him “Australia’s finest sports journalist.”
Peter boasts an impressive list of interview credits including ex-president George Bush, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jodie Foster, Nicki Lauda, Joe Montana and Carl Lewis as well as all the major Australian sporting figures from Shane Gould to Lionel Rose to Herb Elliot. He has interviewed every Australian Prime Minister from Gough Whitlam through to Julia Gillard.
He has the distinction of being the only Wallaby sent from the field in a match against the All Blacks – unjustly, he swears. He was co-host of the Today Show 15 years before his wife, Lisa Wilkinson – even if it did last for only a day. He has fought a Sumo wrestler at the Opera House, danced on ice with Torville and Dean, told Alan Jones to his face that he is dead freaking wrong and opened a door for the redoubtable Germaine Greer . . .? and lived to tell the tale!
Peter was a very entertaining speaker, and was received warmly and enthusiastically. His jovial speech evoked much laughter and interest, and we received nothing but positive feedback from the audience.– AusIMM - VIC (The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy)
Peter was very well received, the audience found him humorous and his delivery light yet overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Impressed with his ability to engage all audience members in one way or another no matter how diverse.– Grain NSW
Guests were very entertained by Peter, he was relevant and his stories covered a wide variety of life experiences.– AusIMM - VIC (The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy)
Peter was very well received and held the audience engaged for the duration of his speech. Peter was very generous with his time and stayed fort he duration of the evening to sign books which we had pre-arranged to give to our clients. Peter was very engaged with all those he interacted with and in fact remained chatting with attendees until the venue closed at about 11.00pm. Peter was an ideal speaker for our 20th anniversary having also spoken at our 10th Anniversary – we would like to book him now for our 25th!– Waterway Constructions
We had a full house at the opening session and Peter kept everyone entertained from beginning to end. We could have gone another hour listening to his stories without anyone losing interest!– Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF)
Peter was well received by the audience. When he arrived at the venue, he was very open and engaged with everyone at our event. He spoke very well and was welcoming to everyone whom we spoke with. His presentation was broken into 2 separate sessions and was very entertaining. He captivated the audience from his first word to his very last. He spoke across a number of subject matters including politics, sports, business and was always very comical and entertaining.– Sektor Distributors
He was very entertaining with his stories. He knows how to keep an audience captive.– Ferrier Hodgson
Peter delivers a highly professional performance. His formula works within minutes. He captivates the crowd who already love him and keeps them together to laugh and enjoy life.– Compuware Asia-Pacific Pty Ltd
An exceptionally gifted and entertaining personality with first hand down to earth experience supporting his wonderful stories!– Dairy Farmers
Peter was fantastic, from the moment he arrived he made an effort to meet as many of our guests as possible and was very warm and friendly. His presentation itself was entertaining, informative, witty and although he spoke for close to an hour our guests didn’t want him to stop, I couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate for our venue and theme for the evening.– QBE Insurance