Unsung HeroesRevealing the Remarkable in Seemingly Ordinary People
Born in Sheffield, England, Peter Maguire emigrated to Australia when he was nine years old, his family settling first in Kalgoorlie. Soon after, he was sent to boarding school, which he hated; the enormous changes in his life too great for him at that age. The son of a doctor, Peter studied medicine at the University of Western Australia and he has been a General Practitioner for most of his career, the latter part of it managing in-patients at the Narrogin Hospital.
After nine years working in his Narrogin practice and also at the Rural Clinical School as a medical educator, Peter moved with his wife Helen, to Perth, where they lasted six months before feeling the pull back to the country. Now Narrogin residents again, Peter has for the first time, a Monday to Friday job which allows them the freedom to pop up to Perth on the weekends to catch up with their family. With four children (none of whom have followed him into medicine) and five grandchildren between them, Peter and Helen enjoy the simple pleasures of time with family and share a love of travel, books, reading and watching movies.
Secretary of the the Local Lions Club, Peter is unable to give much time to their projects but he contributes by taking Minutes and doing what he calls the tedious paper work. He is not particularly sporty, follows Collingwood in the AFL and though he used to play tennis and golf, he has not played either game in a while; he does, however, make time to walk his dog.
Dr Maguire credits other doctors for being highly influential in his career, and in his personal life, his parents and wife Helen. He considers the best of his practice is in the people he meets. "Medicine is a good career though General Practice is much harder now" he says; "people have very high expectations." He is thankful that our Public Health system does not turn people away when they cannot afford health care. Helen speaks of him as a truly kind, caring and non-judgemental person, knowing that all who come through his care are met with the same goodness and understanding.
Peter Maguire's advice to people today: "when an opportunity comes up in life, don't hesitate, just give it a go."
Revealing the remarkable in seemly ordinary people
Portrait painted by Graham Smith 2020.
Text compiled by Jan Smith from notes provided with the nomination in 2020.