Peter Smedley

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Not to be confused with English hotelier Peter Smedley who appeared in the programme Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die
Peter Smedley
Born 2 January 1943
Perth, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Education Aquinas College, UWA, University of Melbourne
Occupation Businessman

Francis, James, Charles, Venessa and Nick Smedley

Grand Children = Olivia Smedley, Thomas Self, Matthew Self, Grace Smedley, Samuel Smedley, Daniel Smedley, Zachary Smedley, William Smedley, Stephanie Smedley, Elliot Smedley, Emma Smedley and twins on the way

Peter Smedley is an Australian businessman and Chairman of Onesteel Limited[1] and Spotless Group Limited.[2]


Smedley spent much of his early career in the resources industry. He spent over 30 years working for Shell in Australia and around the world, gaining experience in energy and resource industries. He held a number of senior positions including Executive Director of Downstream Oil and Chemicals from 1990 to 1992 and Executive Director of Coal and Metals for Shell Australia Limited from 1986 to 1990 and Area Co-ordinator Central America, Caribbean and South America for Shell International from 1982 to 1986.

From 1992 to 2000 he was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Colonial Group Limited. Colonial was demutualised and listed on the ASX under his leadership. Colonial grew quickly in this period and was ultimately acquired by CBA in 2000.[3]

From 2000 to 2002 he was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mayne Group Limited. Originally a transport business, Mayne diversified into health, pharmaceuticals and other industries. While at Mayne, and against long-standing practice in Australian hospitals, Smedley undertook a ruthless campaign of cost cutting which included the centralisation of the group's hospital management. This resulted in an alienation of the hospitals' primary customers, their specialist doctors, who then referred their patients to other health care providers. The resultant heavy loss of income was a significant factor in Mayne's failure as a hospital provider.[4] Smedley has not had an executive role since this time.

He had a long association with CARE Australia, establishing its Business Council and serving as its Chairman. He subsequently joined the Care Australia Board in 2000 and retired as its Chairman in November 2009.

Smedley also served as a Director with the Australian Mining Industry Council, the Australian Mining Industrial Research Association, Lloyds Register of Shipping, the Alumina Development Council, the Life Insurance Federation of Australia, and the Australian Banker's Association. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Smedley has been involved in not-for-profit organizations in the area of mental health. He is a member of the board of the Haven Foundation,[5] an organization providing housing for the mentally ill, and is chair of the board of Orygen Youth Health Research Centre,[6] an organization working in youth-oriented preventative psychiatry.

Early years[edit]

Smedley was born on 2 January 1943 in Perth, Western Australia where he completed his secondary education at the Christian Brothers' Aquinas College.

He attended the Royal Military College for a limited time.[7]

He studied for a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Western Australia, later completing an MBA at the University of Melbourne.


  • Director and Chairman of Onesteel, appointed October 2000[8]
  • Chairman of Spotless Group Limited, appointed Director 2006[9]
  • Chairman of the Colonial Foundation[10]
  • Chairman of Orygen Youth Mental Health Research[11]
  • Director of The Haven Foundation[12]
  • Chairman State Bank of New South Wales
  • Deputy Chairman of Newcrest Mining Limited
  • Director Austen & Butta Limited
  • Director Australian Mining Industry Council
  • Director Australian Mining Industrial Research Association
  • Director Lloyds Register of Shipping
  • Director Alumina Development Council
  • Director Life Insurance Federation of Australia
  • Director Australian Bankers Association

Community, Charity and the Arts[edit]

Other positions[edit]

  • Advisory Council of CARE Australia
  • Former Councillor for the Business Council of Australia
  • Former Director Business/Higher Education Roundtable
  • Former Director Christian Brothers Foundation for Charitable Works


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Colvin, Mark (31 May 2000). “Commonwealth Bank takes over Colonial Mutual” ABC Radio PM program
  4. ^ Wood, Leone (28 August 2003), "Bitter pill after Smedley's ripper ride on hospital-go-round",, accessed 9/11/11
  5. ^ Haven Foundation. "Haven Board". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Orygen Youth Health Research Centre. "OYH Research Centre Board". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. ^ entry in Who's Who
  8. ^ Salmons, Richard (6 June 2000). “Colonial Top Gun to Head Onesteel” The Age
  9. ^ ASX release (8 December 2006) “Appointment of Non-Executive Director” Spotless Limited.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^