ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

After trying his hand at a number of professions, the son of a successful local businessman and a popular television chef has decided to give media a spin in the hopes of finding some sort of validation for his continued existence in his parents’ pool house cabana.

Greymarth House is a heritage-listed Victorian Italianate mansion on Greenbryer Avenue in Betoota Grove. It was built in 1845 by Sir Derryn Overell, of the Overell media dynasty. With eight bedrooms, two acres of gardens, and frontage onto Lake Betoota, it’s renowned around town as being one of the premier holdings this side of the Barcoo River.

It’s the house in which Peter-John John-Peter grew up. He went to Whooton but only managed an OP of 6, which for most people would mean either a full-fee spot at Bond Law School or an internship at their parents’ place of work. However, John-Peter went to the all-male Strathpine College at South Betoota Polytechnic, where he did a four-year honours degree in political science and policy.

“It gave me a firm footing for a job in journalism,” he told The Advocate today on the seventh hole at Royal Betoota.

“Doing some law subjects also gave me a good handle on constitutional law. Did you know the constitution is only 40 or 50 pages long? It’s not a large document. I think having a basic knowledge of the legal system and the political structure of the country is key to understanding how it works,”

“And why some things don’t.”

Peter-John has concerned himself, as the son of two independently wealthy businesspeople, with discussions on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and how he feels about it in his capacity as an enlightened young conservative that seeks to find common sense in everything.

“Let me play Devil’s Advocate for a minute, something your newspaper does regularly,” he said.

“What if I told you the Voice was tokenistic? I think it is because it only stands to benefit the educated elites, the ABC intelligentsia. Members of the New Sydney Push that drink cocktails to unwind after a long day on the public dime. What will it do for the people in remote communities? Despite me having had almost zero interaction with Aboriginal people in my 39 years on this planet, I can tell you that it will do nothing,” he said.

“It’s also patronizing. Why do Aboriginal people need a constitutional leg up? Australia is an egalitarian society that rewards hard work. If you aren’t prepared to put the work in, good things won’t come to you. It doesn’t matter which school you went to, what postcode you grew up in, or who your Dad plays tennis with. It’s about hard work, and I’m living proof of that,”

“I don’t mean to tell Aboriginal people what they need, but what they need is not this Voice. They need something that works. Something like the status quo because changing things that don’t need changing always leads to something bad.”

More to come.


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