Ageing and Access Community Committee Chair, Orange Health Liaison Community Committee chair, Orange Regional Museum Community Committee chair. Member of Clifton Grove Community Committee.
I’m 36 years old and have been a doctor for 11 years, husband for 10, father for 8 and had quadriplegia for 4. These experiences have taught me many lessons which I hope to bring to Council as a fresh perspective.
My father was an army officer so I moved often in my childhood, being born in Hong Kong, attended high school in China and lived in a variety of places around Australia. I met my wife at the ANU medical school and we did our early years of work in Darwin, far north Queensland and the Kimberley. Orange is my wife’s hometown so we returned in 2014 to raise our family. We have two young children and live on a cattle farm on the outskirts of town with a dog and a cat!
I am a doctor and work in 2 telehealth roles providing clinical support for small emergency departments in regional New South Wales. I am also the doctor at the local drug and alcohol detox & rehab. I am on the clinical governance committee with Live Better in town and have education roles with the GP college, a GP training provider and the University of Sydney’s Orange clinical school.
I have a history of community service with 5 years as a scout leader, 3 years on the local St Vinnies night van, the volunteer gameday doctor with 3 different sporting teams, and roles with various University, social and Church groups. Before Council, I was involved in fundraising for spinal cord injury research and seeking grants for the Orange Mountain bike club.
Why did you stand for Council?
In 2018 I was hit by a car whilst riding my bicycle to work at the Orange emergency department and sustained quadriplegia amongst other injuries. I had to reassess how I could contribute to my community now being unable to do the physical volunteer work that I used to do. I also felt that being a younger man, a medical doctor and having a serious disability was an unusual combination. I could thus bring something different to council than what was already represented there.
I have a variety of links throughout Orange. I have done many years of work at the Orange Aboriginal medical service, CSU and Orange hospital in addition to my current employment. I am part of the Orange Evangelical church as well as Orange’s Catholic Church. I am active with the Friday night gaming and the Orange mountain bike clubs. I have two school-aged children. I feel in touch with the community and believe I can represent them well.
I do love this town and want Orange to be the best it can be. I want Orange to be a place that my children choose to stay here when they are adults. Furthermore, I feel my personal and professional background allows me to make a particular contribution, different to my fellow councillors, and that I should take this opportunity to do so.
What do you want to achieve?
There are specific things that I would like to raise in council.
As a wheelchair user, I have specific ideas regarding access to local shops and Cook & Robinson parks. I have a particular awareness of the difficulties presented by cracked footpaths and potholed roads. Roads and footpath quality is a concern frequently raised by the community and I want to make sure Council does not get distracted by higher-profile issues at the expense of these basic essentials.
The next drought will occur with many thousands more people living in Orange and potentially less water. Every council will need to expand water capture and storage as the population continues to grow. This council is no exception and I want to ensure proactivity on this issue.
Orange can boast some of the closest snow to Sydney. Mt Canobolas is a tourist attraction, but winter access is limited. I want to investigate what we can do with Cabonne Council to improve access to Mount Canobolas.
As Orange continues to grow Council needs to be proactive to make sure corners are not cut by developers. Council needs to ensure that adequate footpaths, road infrastructure and parks are essential components of development.
Those issues I would like to champion, but many other issues will come out of the blue in a coronavirus-like fashion. I want to be a hard-working, sensible and humble councillor who will strive for what I feel is best for Orange.
Hear more about Cr Steve Peterson:
Cr Steve Peterson was interviewed in a recent episode of ‘The Orange Podcast;’ – Hear that interview here.