Q&A with Puffing Billy CEO, Peter Abbott

Peter Abbott. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

What is something people don’t know about you?

I had a movie character based on me – I managed the Middle Island Maremma Project in Warrnambool and was able to attract a movie to be made about this world unique project that used dogs to protect Little Penguins. http://www.warrnamboolpenguins.com.au/ – In the movie the American Tourism Manager that managed Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village was loosely based on my role in Warrnambool.

What was your most memorable moment? Why?

Winning the Australian tourism awards for Cultural Tourism when I was CEO at Bendigo Tramways. The award was wonderful recognition to all the staff and volunteers that saved Bendigo Tramways and had been operating them as a major attraction to Bendigo for 45 years.

What do you love most about the Yarra Ranges?

I love the seasonal changes that come through the trees – it is such a beautiful place to visit and now for me, live.

What would your last meal be?

I have recently moved to a plant based diet that I am really enjoying – Miso mushrooms and coconut rice is a recent favourite, so whatever the last meal was and I would like my partner Amanda and the kids to be there.

What event, past, present or future would you like to witness?

I would really enjoy seeing Puffing Billy recover from the effects of COVID, provide a welcoming and exciting environment for our staff and volunteers, and then win the Australian Tourism Awards for Puffing Billy.

Favourite book?

Currently Barack Obama’s book, so generally history or autobiographies.

Which six guests, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?

Amanda (partner), Barack Obama, Bob Hawke, John Curtin, Denis Pagan and Cathy Freeman.

What are your hobbies?

Trying to learn to draw and sketch.

What was your favourite subject at school?