Peter FitzSimons

Peter FitzSimons, Guest Speaker, Motivational Speaker & MC

Peter FitzSimons is a well-respected columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, speaks four languages, has played rugby for Australia, co-hosted radio shows with Mike Carlton and Doug Mulray, interviewed famous people around the globe from George Bush to Diego Maradona, is the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement and has written over 27 best-selling books.

He is the biographer not only of World Cup winning Wallaby captains, Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, but also former Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, boxer Les Darcy, aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, war heroine Nancy Wake and Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson. In 2001 he was Australia’s biggest selling non-fiction author, and duplicated that feat in 2004, with his book on Kokoda. He has been Australia’s best-selling non-fiction author in the last decade and in November 2013 released his current best-seller on Ned Kelly.

The most popular after-dinner speaker in Australia, he is married to Today Show co-host Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

Born on a farm in Peat’s Ridge, Peter went to Knox Grammar School, before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to go to Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an Arts degree at Sydney University majoring in government and political science. In 1984 he broke into the Wallabies under the coaching of Alan Jones, then lived in France and Italy playing rugby for the next five years whilst learning both languages as well as Spanish. Upon his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies, under Bob Dwyer, going on to play seven Tests.

In 1989 he joined The Sydney Morning Herald full-time, and has been one of their most popular columnists since. Andrew Denton has called him “Australia’s finest sports journalist.”

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Latest News

07 / 27 / 2016

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald There’s this bloke, see, Paul Waterhouse, a producer mate of mine from Channel Seven, who I’ve worked with over many stories for their Sunday Night program. Very quietly spoken, extremely self-effacing, devout – if I tell you the executive producer called us the “Odd Couple,” you’ll get the drift [...]

02 / 03 / 2016

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald I hesitate, of course, to draw parallels with the structure of rugby league and the illegal drug trade, but … here we go. (Hold on to your hats, sports fans, this might get ugly.) Whether you and I like it or not – and I don’t – trying to [...]

10 / 22 / 2015

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald  Oh you miserable bastards. How dare you? How dare you make out that, just because we write vicious, toxic posts to David Jones after they hired Adam Goodes to be one of their brand ambassadors, we are … we are … we can still barely believe it you’d make [...]

10 / 07 / 2015

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald The 2015 rugby league grand final? Loved it. Was there. Moment of joy: Kyle Feldt scores the last-gasp try of the 2015 grand final. Photo: Cameron Spencer Compelling from first to last. Like two boxers going toe-to-toe for 15 rounds, the most staggering thing was not just the fury of the [...]

09 / 24 / 2015

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Iconic: The late Mike Gibson changed the landscape of sports journalism The death of iconic Australian sports journalist Mike Gibson, 75, is sad news for all of us who either knew him personally, or admired his work. He was the everyman of Australian sports journalism, becoming iconic through a [...]

09 / 16 / 2015

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald “If they play the World Cup for 1000 years,” Phil Kearns once said, “the All Blacks will always be favourites to win it.” And, funny he should say that! Early exit: The New Zealand players are dejected following defeat in the 2007 World Cup quarter-final against France. Photo: Laurence Griffiths [...]

01 / 20 / 2015

By Jazz Twemlow, The Guardian Australia SBS’s excellent history-spanning series shows that riots come in all colours, proof that beneath all that distracting skin pigment, we belong to the same species The Great Australian Race Riot brings us up to the present day with a look at the riots in Redfern, Sydney. Photograph: SBS When [...]

10 / 16 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald The Wallabies, we are told by skipper Michael Hooper, are to have a “truth session”, where they will all get together in a closed room, bare their souls and try to clear the air over the whole Kurtley Beale saga. Guys, can I go first, as a kind of [...]

10 / 08 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald You’re likely to call it just a dickhead posturing, and you might be right, but I call it, ahem, FitzSimons’ First Rule Of Football: “Power off the field is directly proportional to power on the field.” It holds across all codes, countries and eras. Show me the most powerful [...]

09 / 25 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald One time? One time, see, after a storm this bloody big ship, the Pasha Bulker, was left high and dry on Nobbys Beach and my brother the engineer showed me on the back of an envelope all the maths that proved that a vessel of that size, stuck that far [...]

09 / 18 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Of all the rugby anthems, Flower of Scotland is the only one that gets close to La Marseillaise in terms of stirring the blood and stiffening the sinews. Come on, hum a few bars with me as the mighty Scots, resplendent in their proud blue jerseys, boasting the thistle, emerge from the tunnel [...]

09 / 04 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald I was stunned. There I was, Saturday morning, engaged in one of my favourite activities, reading my Fitz Files column for the sixteenth time, and particularly savouring one entry in Team of the Week: Sydney Swans. Locked up a top-two spot and look to clinch top spot on Saturday, [...]

08 / 20 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald ”Five Cronulla Sharks have received show cause notices.” The news sounds so anodyne, doesn’t it? Like they have just received something of a parking ticket from – if you believe most of the commentary in the public domain – those incompetent and ham-fisted brutes at ASADA. Just about nowhere [...]

08 / 14 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald The Bledisloe? I thought you’d never ask. As a matter of fact, I hoped you wouldn’t ask. But seeing as you have, let’s get to it. I predict, we’re going to lose, horribly. Disaster. CatastroFFe, with two ‘F’s for FAIL. It’ll end up 60-0 to them if we’re lucky, [...]

08 / 06 / 2014

Peter FitzSimons revisits a story he wrote 20 years ago. By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald The ”Race of the Century” was 60 years ago on Thursday. But already we’re a little ahead of ourselves. For you see, a little over three months before that, our own great distance runner of the time, John Landy, [...]

07 / 31 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Be wewy wewy quiet. I’m hunting wabbits. Well, at the very least, hunting Crusaders here in Christchurch, the home city of the champion team just about to leave for our own Sydney Town for the final of the Super Rugby on Saturday night at the Olympic Stadium. As if [...]

07 / 17 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Ah, can’t you just feel the excitement? That wondrous buzz – coast to coast, to all ships at sea, and across the five continents – that a great sporting champion is about to make his long-awaited return to the main arena? Don’t we all just tingle with excitement, knowing [...]

07 / 09 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Let’s have a look at other times in the history of sport, when the home team, in no less than a World Cup, has gone down by a margin where their opponent has scored SEVEN times the number of points/goals/tries than they have. No, I can’t think of any [...]

06 / 26 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald I know it. You know it. In recent times the great leap forward in contact sport in Australia has been taking the issue of concussion seriously. After years of embracing the culture whereby even after being knocked out, a real man plays on, and backs up next week, just in the [...]

06 / 18 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Gawd, I wish I had written this brilliance, Oscar – in fact written by an unknown, but circulating on the net … “I just can’t get excited about a sporting event, where a government has spent millions funding it, yet people still live in squalor and deprivation. Where drugs [...]

06 / 11 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Let’s talk about Jesus and sport. No, no, no, not about how Jesus was the most legendary fullback Jerusalem ever had, nor even how, in terms of comebacks – see the Resurrection – he even outdid Lazarus. I don’t even want to focus on the ludicrously pompous tendency of [...]

06 / 05 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Well knock me over with a feather. The decision to award Qatar the World Cup in 2022 was corrupt, you say? How do you know when Sepp Blatter is telling porkies and covering up FIFA atrocities? His lips are moving. So when even he says the whole thing was [...]

05 / 28 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald This is neither a preview or a review of the Origin; rather I fancy it is a re-pre-view. That is, at the time of writing, 10 hours before kick-off on State of Origin – and I am actually in Brissie, seeing as you ask – all we know is that [...]

05 / 15 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Look, if the TV stations can replay all that grainy black and white footage of Reg Gasnier at his best, may I not be indulged too? When I met him all of 18 years ago, working quietly at a Meadowbank packaging company, the most surprising thing was just how [...]

05 / 08 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald Morningside. The old man died. Ah, but this time, many cried. For you see when Dave Jackman passed away last Saturday, aged 74, he did so as a tribal elder of Sydney’s surfing community, a cherished icon, at the base of which lay something that happened over 50 years [...]

05 / 01 / 2014

By Peter FitzSimons, Sydney Morning Herald So, what do you do when, as a professional black athlete, it turns out that the man who owns your team is a hideous racist who hates your race so badly he admonishes his girlfriend for even being seen with black people? He’ll profit from your skills, he’ll prance [...]

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