As a young boy, Peter migrated twice to Australia, initially at four years of age from the Netherlands, and then at ten from Belgium. His first experiences in his new land were in a migrant camp deep in the bush, where new arrivals waited for work. His family moved to Sydney, and the seashore, where they learned to swim and speak English. Things didn’t last, and after adjusting to their new home, they were on a boat heading back to Europe.
Just as Peter was readjusting: passing his school work and speaking Dutch/Flemish fluently, presto: he was back at his old school in Sydney, wondering how he still knew all the English words—he just couldn’t put them together in the right order! It taught him the power of self expression and the richness of words.
A year later, his family packed up and moved to Adelaide in South Australia. This was the lowest and poorest time in their lives, arriving with no money, parents with no work and nowhere to live. They went to school with holes in their shoes. Most disillusioning of all, there were no surf beaches so they used the local swimming pool. Adelaide was where Peter spent his teenage years, finished school and went to university. He loved playing football (soccer), running, joined the air cadets and pumped iron with his dad, and also developed a love for Dutch painting and maritime history.
Later, he moved to Queensland to become a teacher and taught for over twenty years. He also worked as a graphic artist and learned to scuba dive. Peter has dived with giant manta rays off Swain’s reef on The Great Barrier Reef, wreck dived, and swam with leopard sharks, turtles and giant bat fish off Lady Elliot Island. Now living on the southern Gold Coast, the area became the inspiration for his first book. While in the area’s waterways, and exploring the bottom, this emerging Australian ya author discovered a submerged bathtub. This started The Voyage Series of action adventure books. A new fantasy book 2018 “Voyage to the Bottom of the Bathtub” is out soon.
“The true beauty of Australia lies hidden beneath the waves,” Peter says. “Sure, there are sharks, one eye-balled me one day. I just eye-balled him back (what else could I do?). Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you love.”