9 Jan 2023

Vale, Dr Peter Woodgate

SmartSat CRC is deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of our Chair, Dr Peter Woodgate, on Friday, 23 December 2022. Inspiring leader, strategic thinker, advocate for the Australian space sector, Board Chair par excellence, gentle human being…a friend.

Dr Woodgate was integral in leading the initial CRC Bid and since then has been instrumental in the establishment of the SmartSat’s structure and governance framework. He was appointed the Chair of the SmartSat Board in August 2019, bringing with him a wealth of experience and connections from the space and spatial industry, as well as from the broader CRC sector. 

Dr Woodgate has been involved with the space and spatial industries for over 30 years, helping to create several companies and managing an industry cluster of over 100 companies, translating applied research into commercial outcomes. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute, a life member of the International Society for Digital Earth and a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors. He held a Doctor of Business Administration from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in factors that drive innovation in the spatial industry, a Masters of Applied Science from the University of New South Wales focused on bushfire mapping using satellite remote sensing, and a Bachelor of Forest Science from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Woodgate’s impact in the space, spatial and science areas is immeasurable and will leave a lasting legacy in our country well into the future. He lent his enthusiasm and dedication to many organisations, including as President of the Geospatial Council of Australia; a board member of PMSA Ltd (trading as Geoscape Australia); a Member of the Nominations and Renumeration Committee at Charles Sturt University; a Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne; Chair of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (NCRIS facility); Chair of cancer therapeutics organisation Canthera Discovery; and as the chair and founding driver of the 2030 Space + Spatial Industry Growth Road Map. 
 
All those who worked with Dr Woodgate will remember how he treated each person he met with the utmost respect, his high level of ethics and the passion he put into everything that he did. Most of us within the broader SmartSat family were honoured to not only call him a colleague, but a friend. We will all miss his leadership, vision, compassion, ethics, and his tireless commitment to the advancement of the space and spatial industries.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Dr Woodgate’s wife Janet, family, and friends at this difficult time.