BAR ROLL NO: 2129
It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death last Saturday 22 July 2017 of His Honour Sheamus Peter Gebhardt. Peter was 80 (born 23 August 1936).
A Service of Thanksgiving for Peter’s Life will be held in the Chapel of Trinity College, University of Melbourne, 100 Royal Parade, Parkville on Thursday 17 August 2017 at 2 pm.
Peter Gebhardt was educated at Geelong Grammar School and at the Universities of Melbourne and Harvard. Upon completion of his Law Degree at Melbourne in 1959, and encouraged by the legendary Geelong Grammar Headmaster Sir James Darling, Peter began teaching English & Latin there. He taught at Shore (Sydney Church of England Grammar School) and then, in 1964, earned an MA in Teaching at Harvard and taught at Milton Academy just outside Boston. He returned briefly to Shore, and was not yet 30 when appointed the 10th Headmaster of All Saints College Bathurst (1966-75). He was then appointed the 8th Principal of The Geelong College (1976-85). He was, as Headmaster and Principal, an innovator and a builder.
He returned to Harvard for graduate work with the Nobel Laureate Irish Poet Seamus Heaney. The two men remained friends.
In 1986, some 27 years after completing his Law Degree, Peter Gebhardt commenced Articles with Brian Flynn at the firm of Flynn & Murone in Coburg.
He was admitted to practice in March 1987, came straight to the Bar with the March Readers, and signed the Bar Roll in May 1987. He read with John Kaufman, now retired QC.
He quickly developed a flourishing practice, mainly in Administrative Law and in Crime. He appeared in the Full Court without a Leader; and in the High Court.
In May 1996, he was appointed a Judge of the County Court and served with distinction for more than 10 years (14 May 1996 to 22 August 2006).
He wrote and published poetry and was a lifelong supporter of the Aboriginal People. He supported the Aboriginal Treaty Committee in 1979, at whose 1981 Townsville Conference instructions were taken from Eddie Mabo. He was the driving force behind Trinity College’s active support of Aboriginal students and Studies, personally funding the first Visiting Indigenous Fellow.
A Service of Thanksgiving for Peter’s Life will be held in the Chapel of Trinity College, University of Melbourne, 100 Royal Parade, Parkville on Thursday 17 August 2017 at 2 pm. There is no parking in the College; Street parking is extremely limited; the number 19 (North Coburg) tram along Elizabeth Street - stop 12 (Royal Parade and Morrah Street) is opposite the Chapel.