Peter De Waard on the Importance of Purpose, a Legal Military Career and Moving to the Beach

In today’s episode of the Beyond Billables podcast we get to hear some war stories, tales of life on the Sunshine Coast and what a legal career can look like in a military context. The man behind it all? Our good mate and legal expert, Peter De Waard. Peter is currently serving as the counsel assisting the Office of the State Coroner and reservist legal officer with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Peter served tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan with the RAAF before returning to Australia and taking up his position with the State Coroner’s Office. Do a quick google search and you’ll see him cited by the media in numerous investigations, some quite high-profile and interesting. Despite the intense, stressful and sometimes classified nature of Peter’s work, he’s managed to stay grounded. In our discussion we dug into his past and why titles such as ‘dad’ or ‘surfer’ are more important to him as anything else he achieved professionally.

In our wide-ranging discussion, we also hit on topics such as…

  • What the legal counsel for the coroner's office actually does

  • The experiences and benefits Peter received from undergoing military training

  • How to segue a legal education into a military career

  • What legal officers in the armed forces actually do in practice

  • How 9/11 changed Peter’s life and led to deployments in the Middle East

  • The value of excitement and passion to overcome highly stressful situations

  • The challenges that military personnel face when returning from a war zoom

  • Why it’s so important to stay true to yourself and say unpopular things

  • There are more important things in life than money, quality of life over salary, etc.

  • The critical importance of being happy with where you live

  • Why you must be interested or passionate in what you do to be successful

 

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