Childhood & Early Life
Peter Garrett was born in the Wahroonga region of New South Wales, Australia on the 16th of April, 1953. He pursued his primary education at the ‘Gordon West Public School’, Pymble, an area located in the upper north shore of Sydney.
Peter later moved to institutions like ‘Barker College’ as well as the ‘Australian National University’ to study further. He finally went to the prestigious ‘University of New South Wales’, where he enrolled for a degree in law.
Garrett joined the Australia based rock band ‘Midnight Oil’, which was previously known as ‘Farm’, during the year 1973, as its lead vocalist. The young lawyer grabbed the opportunity after responding to an advertisement placed by the band’s drummer Rob Hurst.
Peter, along with the other members of the band, went on a musical tour in 1975, but he returned to studies the very next year to complete his degree in law.
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After being associated with ‘Midnight Oil’ for quite a few years, the vocalist grabbed the attention of Australia’s political circles. His growing popularity helped him get an invitation from the political outfit ‘Nuclear Disarmament Party’, to contest for one of the many seats during the Federal Elections of 1984.
Although he refused initially, this singer did compete, but ended up losing the contest by a small margin. One of the reasons behind this loss was the refusal of the ‘Labor Party’ to join hands with the ‘Nuclear Disarmament Party’ to form a majority.
However, Garrett entered the field of administration in 1989, when he was appointed the president of the environmental organization ‘Australian Conservation Foundation’. This initiative was aimed at working towards a better environment and addressing the issues concerning the same.
After a four-year long tenure with the organization, Peter started working with the non-governmental initiative ‘Greenpeace’, which also worked towards the betterment of the environment. The singer was then associated with other initiatives like the ‘Jubilee Debt Relief’ as well as ‘Surfrider Foundation’.
Peter took a break from his non-musical commitments in 2000 and performed along with his ‘Midnight Oil’ band mates during the closing ceremony of the ‘Olympic Games’, held in Sydney that year.
The band’s musical performance at this prestigious ceremony was also coupled with a strong political motive. The band members used the platform to voice their protest against the then Prime Minister John Howard’s dislike towards Aboriginal Australians, by being clad in black clothes.
Garrett then joined the Labor Party and even represented the political outfit during the ‘2004 Federal Elections’. His association with the party was formally announced to the public by the party chief Mark Latham. The ‘Midnight Oil’ singer won the contest by a thumping margin.
Two years later, he helped the Labor Party’s chances of winning the ‘Victorian State Elections’, by campaigning for the party. However, Peter invited the wrath of the other parties such as the ‘Greens’, since he assassinated the party’s image by distributing a hate letter amongst the state’s voters.
In the 2007 Federal Elections, ‘The Labor party’ emerged victorious and Kevin Rudd was sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister at that time. Garrett was appointed as the Minister of Environment, Heritage and the Arts, after the Kevin Rudd government came into power.
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One of Garrett’s best works during his tenure as a minister was helping the expansion of ‘Beverly Uranium Mine’ in 2008. However, this move was criticized by environmentalists, who feared an increase in pollution.
The singer contested the Federal Elections yet again in 2010 and turned out to be successful even this time. Peter was appointed as the Minister For School Education, Early Childhood and Youth in the new government formed by the political leader Julia Gillard.
Awards & Achievements
The ‘Midnight Oil’ singer was felicitated with the ‘Australian Humanitarian Foundation Award’ in the year 2000. The following year he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the ‘University of New South Wales’.
The Government of France granted Garrett the honour of being the officer of the ‘Order of Arts and Letters’, in the year 2009.
The Singer was felicitated with a ‘Leaders for a Living Planet Award’ in 2010, by the organization named ‘World Wide Fund For Nature’.
Personal Life & Legacy
The politician and singer got married to Doris Ricono in 1986. The couple is blessed with three daughters, namely Grace, Emily and May.
The band ‘Midnight Oil’ performed two gigs to earn money to help the survivors of the ‘Tsunami’ disaster which occurred on 26th December 2004.
In a bid to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, Peter performed along with the other members of the band ‘Midnight Oil’ in 2009.