Peter Westoby

Peter Westoby was introduced at a keynote of the 2018 International Association of Community Development as “a community development scholar, activist and analyst”. Peter kind of liked the ring of it; almost poetic. Yet, more accurately, from the age of 20, Peter has been on a journey of community development practice, deeply shaped by a grass-roots tradition, Freirean in nature, and place-based. That evolved over many years, particularly as he worked in places such as South Africa, Uganda, the Philippines, Nepal, PNG and Vanuatu. At the age of 40 – after 20 years of grassroots work – he found himself as a latecomer wading into the academy, and perhaps by chance, took up a position as a community development scholar just as Anthony Kelly retired from 40 years of teaching, practice and service at The University of Queensland.

He has been a writer or co-writer/editor of 15 books and over 60 professional journal articles on community development (, and loves that there is an emerging global ‘community of scholarship’ growing around the world. But more importantly, he loves reading, walking, sitting by a fire under the moon or stars, wandering daily in Mary Cairncross Park, exploring his bio-region, being with friends, sipping a coffee at dawn, and going to bed about 8.30pm (yes, he’s a lark, not an owl).

At this present moment he is also:

Director/consultant at Community Praxis Co-op;

a part-time practitioner at Hummingbird House;

a Custodian of Camellia Centre for Soul Work & Reflective Practice; 

An Honorary Associate Professor at Deakin University and;

a Visiting Professor, University of the Free State, South Africa.

Check this out to listen to Peter: