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My story

Taking people beyond

I was always happy to speak. From a young age I was singled out in class to deliver the thank-you speeches and welcomes to visitors. It came naturally to me and I didn't realise how difficult other people found addressing an audience.

This natural confidence served me well through school and as a young adult, often being asked to fill leadership positions.

After a journalism degree at The University of Queensland, where I had a number of articles published in various publications, I realised that playing rugby and attending university in my home town wasn’t all there was for me and I decided to chase my childhood dream of becoming an actor.

I was accepted into the prestigious Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), to study acting. Acceptance into the VCA was tough. From more than 1000 applicants nationally, only twenty were chosen to start first year and only twelve of us graduated after three arduous years and a ruthless culling process. I feel grateful to have received such rigorous training as an actor.

Since then I have worked as a professional actor in film, television and theatre.

Download a full list of my professional acting credits.

One day, out of the blue, I received a phone call from QLD Theatre asking me to conduct a large-scale artist in residency in the communities of Cunnamulla and Charleville in south-west Queensland. I was apprehensive initially, as I hadn't taught before, but I knew I had a natural affinity for working with young people and facilitating their creativity. Since then, working in this field has become a passion as I saw what a genuine difference it can make in people's lives.

I've lost count of the times I've seen these life changing moments, but one has stayed with me: teachers at a school I was working in decided that one student needed speech therapy. She would rarely speak and when she did, she was barely audible. After some rigorous work building up her self-belief, in a matter of days she was up performing on stage in front of her whole community. I knew from that day I could make a difference in the lives of young people through conducting acting workshops.

Download a detailed history of my theatre in education work.

I've now extended my passion for getting the best out of people expanded into the corporate world with 'TalkItUp' public speaking workshops. School students and adults in the workforce share the same fears and anxieties when it comes to speaking in front of a large group and I knew I would be able to make a difference in the lives and careers of people who were striving to be better communicators.

I love people. I love engaging with people and hearing their story. My work allows me to combine this with my love of writing, language, performance and self-development into creative, engaging and challenging experiences that allow people to perform at their full potential.

Peter Cook

To be an actor requires a great amount of empathy – an ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and to see things from their point of view - a skill that allows me to see where people are strong and where they need the most help in delivering their message. I love seeing everyone I work with grow – from young Aboriginal people in community to corporate or public sector executives. I have a passion for getting people beyond where they think they can go. I believe in my work and I take a genuine interest in the development of every individual I work with.

Cunnumulla Dreaming Peter Cook Director
Peter Cook Talk It Up public speaking workshops

Story telling is an art form. We can all learn the skills and tools necessary to speak with clarity, honesty, authenticity and passion.

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