Vale Peter Saunders

1-IMG_2167The Staff Association is deeply saddened to acknowledge the death of former CSIRO employee and stalwart union member Peter Saunders.

Peter joined the CSIRO Staff Association in June 2000. A communications specialist, Peter worked at CMIS Macquarie University for many years and also worked at both Lindfield and North Ryde more recently.

Known for his passion for photography and motorbikes, Peter was a staunch member of the Staff Association and demonstrated his commitment to his colleagues by volunteering as a delegate.

  • Leave a message of condolence by emailing us or posting a comment below.

“Peter represented members with absolute integrity and was generous and humble. He was one of the very good ones in CSIRO and in our union,” Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said.

“Put simply, Peter was a great advocate for the Staff Association cause. He improved the working lives of many colleagues in CSIRO. He will be missed enormously,” Mr Popovski said.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peter’s contribution to the Staff Association included service as President of the New South Wales Sub Section Delegates committee. His commitment to the union culminated in his election as NSW Section Councillor in 2012, a position he held with distinction until 2014.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, Peter underwent surgery and chemotherapy and reluctantly left CSIRO in November. As a mark of respect and thanks, Peter was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation ‘in recognition for his membership and contributions towards the Staff Association.’

“On behalf of everyone at the Staff Association, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Peter’s family, friends and former colleagues,” Mr Popovski said.

Memorial details

Close family and friends will be attending a formal ceremony at Leura. Colleagues and comrades are invited to attend a wake from 5pm on Friday 28 August at The Royal Hotel, 220 Macquarie Road, Springwood.


Peter’s family have asked for donations to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation in lieu of flowers. For more information on how to make a donation, click here or you can call (02) 9223 7833 to make a contribution over the phone. 

Condolence messages

Members and colleagues are encouraged to leave a message of condolence by emailing or through posting a comment below.

23 thoughts on “Vale Peter Saunders

  1. I’ll miss you Peter, especially your encouragement and advice. My thoughts are with Janet and the family. Vale comrade.

  2. I was fortunate to work with Peter in his role as a union delegate and leader. I could trust him absolutely to represent members with integrity and humility. A true gem as a unionist and as a bloke.

  3. First met on the EWAG – what a legend. A quite spoken but powerful man of integrity. There is not enough people like him and it is incredibly sad to lose him; but he gave a lesson to us all to live life well and care about other people.

  4. So good to have shared time with him on council – a people person and always fun to be around – dedicated to the members, the union and CSIRO – Vale Peter

  5. Peter was an absolute gentlemen. His commitment to the Staff Association and the welfare of members was deep, and his humanity was always evident. He spoke of his wife, daughter, brother and elderly father with great affection, and one can only feel for them at this time.
    He will be missed.

  6. I’ve been an organiser for a relatively short time, but in my short time i have been blessed with working with very dedicated Staff Association Councillors, certainly Peter was one of those. I have distinct memories of Peter. One of those, he was sitting downstairs in the hotel lobby of a Council Meeting i beleive in 2010 and he was sipping casually on some red wine and reading a book, he was cultured, he was learned and purposeful and never came off as arrogant but conversely highly approachable and through this attracted people. Highly respected at all sites i visited, all i had to do was mention Peter and that respect for him branched to the Staff Assocaition. I liked that Peter was into african drumming, tennis, photography he was a very interesting chap. I write this and smile, Peter you will not be forgotten and the Staff Association will miss you. I as NSW Organiser have and will miss you. I’m sure you are beating those drums now in peace.

  7. I forgot to say – when Peter first got sick I would send him online articles on motorbike innovations. Every time I see a motorbike article now, I’ll think of him!

  8. Peter’s passing is a great loss to our community, and a huge loss to his family. I enjoyed getting to know Peter at the Staff Association Council meetings, and had fun catching up with him at the National Folk Festival over the years. He will be remebered for taking an important role in CSIRO’s Digital Strategy, but he will mostly be remembered for his humanity, his kindness and empathy. Farewell Peter.

  9. As a fellow councillor Peter always had great insight and clarity in the many topics raised and discussed with a genuine concern for his colleagues. He was solid in his commitment to the Staff Association and his membership and represented them very well. Thanks for the chats over tea/coffee and the odd wine, good memories – Vale Peter.

  10. Peter Saunders that I knew was a man with a collectivist spirit, integrity, class and kindness.

    The one conversation he sought to have with me after his diagnosis (which I did not know at the time) was not about himself, but a “succession plan” for the Staff Association. Peter was a true leader.

    Thank you Peter. My condolences to Janet and the family.

  11. So sad to hear news of Peter’s passing. Peter was our union delegate at Macquarie Uni/N Ryde for many years. His commitment to the welfare of his colleagues was absolute. He was a credit to both CSIRO and the union. And a lovely man to boot. Condolences to his family.

  12. Please accept my condolence for you loss.Whilst I did not know Peter personally I have heard lots of good things about him form people that have worked with him in CSIRO and Staff Association members.

  13. I had been very fortunate interacting with Peter when he was managing web pages. Peter was very helpful, very kind and friendly. Miss you Peter!

  14. I didn’t know Peter well but throughout my time on the Council he was a gentleman and a fantastic advocate for doing the right thing, always. He bought warmth and fun always our Association will be so much the poorer without him.

  15. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to provide injury management support to Peter 2 years ago when he was experiencing issues using his computer mouse. His gentle attitude and respectful way of interacting with others, even during difficult times, impressed me greatly. My thoughts are with his family, friends and all the colleagues at CSIRO that Peter touched while he was here.

  16. When meeting Peter many years ago for the first time in the EAWAG negotiating a EB agreement, we had a great understanding, We met more when both of us got elected to the section council and worked for the betterment of CSIRO staff. I will always remember his gentle but persistent way to work on problems. I will cherish the memories of great wines and talks after the meetings. Condolences to his family. We all will miss him

  17. Vale Peter, all who knew him know appreciated his humanity and commitment to social justice. While it is a sad time for all who knew him, it is none more so than for his family and I would especially like to express my condolences to them. Like Sam I first met Peter during the EAWG process. We found we shared a commitment to unionism, Staff Association members and CSIRO. I also worked with Peter for a number of years on the Staff Association Council. Later I found we shared interests in photography and would inevitably meet up at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. Peter you are missed.

  18. Vale Peter, one of great heart – big in knowledge and bigger in understanding, eager to learn, quick to apply. Unwavering in representation and care for people around him working, living, loving life…
    Here’s to the beauty of the visual, to the generosity of words, to a life lived well and to the call of a different road. You leave many friends.

  19. Peter thankyou for the joy you brought us, for your clear view of the principles underlying Staff Association activities and for the quiet and calm way you cut to the chase in service of fellow members. You remain a guiding light for how we can all contribute.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s