Peter Tucker has been working at the Sydney Opera House since before it was even complete. Now a part of the Building Operations team, he's worked in an assortment of roles and teams over the years. Along the way has met the Queen, the President and Jackie Chan – just to name a few. This year Peter celebrates 50 years on the job.
What roles have you had here?
I started at the Opera House in 1971 as a young and cheeky 19 year old. I was a labourer working in the Drama Theatre team doing lots of jackhammering and earning $127 a week. Before starting here I was a welder and earning $35 a week.
I will always remember my starting date: 22 March 1971. I woke up in the morning and my pregnant wife said “I think the baby is coming”. I had a driver pick her up and take her to the Paddington hospital because I didn’t want to be late on my first day at work! I went to the hospital after work, and discovered I had a son.
Eventually, I was hired as a Fire Prevention officer, and moved up the ranks to Senior Fire Officer, Chief Fire Officer and then to an acting role as the first safety officer where I set up the safety committee and implemented the Working at Heights Safety Act.
I worked in security for 12 months then was hired as a project manager installing the fire detection and monitoring system. Over time I moved to Assistant Site Manager for the Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety project (VAPS) and in 2016 I was re-deployed to Building Operations where I have been for the past six years.