Vale, Peter Haffenden (30.03.1946 – 14.10.2022)

| Past events

It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Peter Haffenden at home with his family on Friday 14 October 2022. Our thoughts are with Kerrie and Phoebe at this time.  

Peter’s life will be celebrated at the
Living Museum of the West on
Thursday 3 November at 4 pm.

The Living Museum is creating a ‘Peter Haffenden Future Project Fund’ to develop new projects in keeping with Peter’s legacy and philosophy of museology. 

We ask that, rather than sending flowers, contributions instead be made towards the establishment of this fund, via EFT donation. The Museum is a tax deductible registered charity.

Please email for further information and receipts.
EFT details can be found below.
Peter spent 38 years working in the museum industry as a photographer, project manager and innovator and has made an elegant tribute through photographs, journalism, history and museology in Australia.

Peter grew up in his family’s milkbar in Barkly Street, West Footscray, in the 1950s, working in local factories as a teenager and organising dances at the local church. After completing an Economics degree and a short stint as a Marketing Analyst, Peter worked as a journalist with The Age newspaper, then the ABC, and then studied art and photography, drove taxis, and began working at the Museum as Media Co-ordinator from its inception in 1984.

With the Museum’s first director, Olwen Ford, Peter was instrumental in establishing First Nations projects and programs at the Living Museum from the late 1980s, including positions of Cultural Officer (from 1991), Arts Officer and training programs such as the Koorie Gardening Team, of which he was a Director. Over 30 years, Peter has made many close colleagues and friends across generations of elders and families of the tribes of the Kulin Nation and beyond.

From 1997 to 2007, Peter was the Director of the Living Museum, managing hundreds of projects and supervising the production of innumerable events and exhibitions.  Peter has photographic work in the State Collection of significant photographs, has written many articles on the history of the Western suburbs and the book, Your History Mate.  He received awards for contributions to the museum industry and a Bicentennial Medal for contribution to the community. 

In 2011, upon request, Peter returned to work as a member of the Committee of Management of the Museum, developing new projects and sharing his knowledge. Peter has been instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the Living Museum, the recognition of Pipemakers Park as a heritage site of national significance, and the ongoing preservation of its historic buildings.

A relentless advocate for the environment, Peter’s legacy includes multiple copies of educational touring exhibitions: Pobblebonk (2005), about the Maribyrnong River, and Volcano Dreaming (2011), about the critically endangered biosphere of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, on permanent display in the windows of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on the corner of Victoria and Nicholson Streets. Peter founded the Friends of Buckley Park to protect the intact remnant coastal dune system between Point Lonsdale and Ocean Grove in 1999 and remained the group’s president throughout.  

Donations to ‘Peter Haffenden Future Projects Fund’
EFT details: Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West Inc.
BSB: 083004 Acc: 018485325