Peter Haffenden

Welcome to this web site that is designed to give you some sort of further insight into my eligibility for running for local council.


My family has lived in Footscray for a hundred years. I worked in the old factories as a teenager, probably know every inch of the municipality and watched fascinating people from fascinating places come in waves from all corners of the earth. Many are now my friends. I worked in the local Living Museum for 25 years, my latest project has been to produce a large exhibition about local biodiversity called Volcano Dreaming,

I also keep bees and supply some local shops with Footscray honey from the sweetest suburb.

More younger people should get involved in local politics but I also think older people with a longer perspective should also get involved, so I am running to offer that longer perspective. All candidates will be responding to practical issues, but I am also offering a wider context. There is so much to do here in this post-industrial melting pot.

First let me say that it is very difficult to explain yourself in 150 words. Actually it is very difficult to explain yourself in several hundred words.

However the first thing I would want to know is why I am running for council in the first place?

I am running for Council because I have been encouraged to run by people who have worked with me in my various jobs at Melbourne's Living Museum of the West that sits in Pipemakers Park. In my last job as Director of the Museum I initiated, organized, managed, facilitated and so on a couple of hundred programs and projects. We won prizes and awards in the cultural industry. The very nature of a Museum is that it is a very broad team effort. It is broad because the team extends to people in other organizations. The very nature of a museum is also that it is an ethical place to work and the world expects high standards, which we delivered. Part of the job of running a cultural organization in this era is to understand politics, particularly local politics. I have personally known every councilor in the City of Maribyrnong and the City of Footscray before it for the past 25 years.

The point I am making here is that the progression from museum Director to Councillor is almost a natural one. Plus that I would bring the very history of the council itself to the job.

Why would I want to be a Councillor?

Oddly enough part of the motivation is that odd feeling of community responsibility. Which evolved during my time at the Museum. Not only that the work at a local museum brings you to know about and deal with nearly every issue and organization in the municipality. You can refer to the Living Museum web site for some kind of insight into this comment. So being a Councillor is in one way a simple step.

And what would I do as a Councillor, what are my special dreams and crusades?

Actually I don’t have any special dreams or crusades. There are enough of them already. The Councillor is to some extent the adult in the picture that to some extent tries to manage that the special dreams and crusades of one part of the community does not necessarily threaten to crush the dreams and crusades of others in the community. Or even outside it.

Now among other things I am also trying my hand at a bit of beekeeping?

What is this all about. Actually I have been working with the Department of Primary Industry in monitoring the deadly pests that threaten the honey industry which are likely to enter the country through the ports. Footscray is a functioning port. Again a sense of community responsibility coming into play. But also beekeeping brings me close to local business, as I supply a few shops in the City of Maribyrnong with my honey labeled 3011. Bit of local loyalty. Also you could see the beekeeper image as a bit of a metaphor for managing the hive and harvesting the honey of the community. I have also had my own share of ‘arguments’, ‘disagreements’ and sometimes ‘discussions’ with Council. I do understand the frustrations that come with that and would endeavour to address such frustrations.

What do I think of the current Council?

I am not really going to go into that. These days Councillors have limited power and you need to know what they can and can’t do before delivering too much criticism. However I am available for discussion so it you do want to ask me some questions then go ahead and email me through this web site and I will eneavour to answer you.

Peter Haffenden Candidate


Peter Haffenden spent 24 years working in the museum industry as a photographer, project manager, administrator and from 1997 - 2007 as Director of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West Inc.

Previous to that he worked as a professional photographer, a journalist with the ABC and the Age Newspaper and a short stint as a Marketing Analyst with the Shell Oil Company.

During his work in museums Peter managed more than a hundred projects and supervised the production of innumerable events and exhibitions. Several of these exhibitions won commendations and prizes.

Peter has photographic work in the State Collection of significant photographs, has written many articles and a book, has received an award for contribution to the museum industry and a Bicentennial Medal for contribution to the community.

Museum events, projects and exhibitions developed
and co-ordinated by Peter include:

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS concerts 2006 and 2007

POBBLEBONK animals of the Maribyrnong River Estuary, 2005

Living Museum publications include:

The work of a community museum in Melbourne's west, 1994

Remarkable insights from an ordinary world, 1988.

KOROROIT CREEK (brochure), 1985.


for further and current information also see our projects page



who we are

for further information also see our projects page




bee keeper






crowdPeter organised and MC'd the concert Meet the Neighbours at the Living Museum in 2006 and 2007

crowd 2



Peter and the Dombai Dancers, Peter organised and MC'd the concert Meet the Neighbours at the Living Museum in 2006 and 2007

Copyright Inherit Earth © October 2012
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