Pete Shefford

Background: Pete was born in Albury, NSW, and joined the Army from High School. He served with RAEME and spent most of his military career at 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, QLD, as an Avionics Technician on S-70A Blackhawk and UH-1H Iroquois helicopters; before discharging from the Army a decade later and undertaking university studies towards becoming a High School teacher – reflective of his desire to always help others.

A volunteer across various grassroots sports for the last 3 decades, Pete has quietly gone about his business ensuring the hard work wasn’t shunned, and that things happen behind the scenes so others may enjoy the benefits on the surface. An international coach, grassroots referee, representative player, National selector, and both an established & award winning sports administrator – there’s not too much Pete hasn’t been involved with in his beloved sports of Rugby League & Touch Football – often putting his hand up when others will not. Pete also does fundraising for organisations such as the Cancer Council, Ronald MxDonald House and Movember (men’s health). It coincides with his firm life motto of “Don’t give me excuses, give me results”.

Pete’s efforts have seen him coach three different countries at an international level, the most recent being a stint with Samoa at the Federation of International Touch World Cup in Malaysia; and the ensuing Pacific Games event in July of 2019. He has been awarded both the VicSport Volunteer and Coach of the Year awards, and two Australia Day awards: for administration in sport, and community volunteer work. He has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Eunice Gill Leadership in Sport awards, and just weeks after his diagnosis was awarded a distinguished Service to NQ Sport Award.

Pete’s “Journey”: Sadly, within weeks of his 50th birthday, Pete was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic bowel cancer. He was immediately admitted to hospital for bowel surgery, before commencing a regime of chemotherapy; and was issued with a life expectancy of approximately 2 years. A prediction he has so far smashed out of the park!

Loyal. Dedicated. Passionate. Selfless. Courageous. Inspiring. All words used to describe Pete Shefford by his peers; and arguably reflective of those values instilled in him during his time in the Australian Army. These have been the foundation of Pete’s life journey to date, and he doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon, despite the medical hurdles he is confronted with. In early 2021 Pete was awarded another Australia Day award, as Community Volunteer of the Year; his list of community involvement extensive, and unfortunately beyond the realms of this page.

Not content to just tick off his own wish list though, which is far from complete (despite recently flying over Antarctica; and swimming with crocodiles in the NT), Pete saw an opportunity following his medical prognosis, & harnessed his want to establish a legacy for future veterans; to reinforce the belief that diagnosed medical conditions need not define us. He subsequently collaborated with Eyes Front to establish the ‘Pete Shefford Enduring Spirit Award/Fund’ – and is excited at the prospect of being able to help another deserving veteran.

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