Family link spanning 75 years comes to an end as Peter Dearden retires

11 September 2014

For 75 years, the name Dearden has been synonymous with road projects across NSW. Firstly with John Hedley Dearden, who retired in 1984 after 44 years service with the Department of Main Roads, then Ross Dearden, who retired after 42 years with the DMR and Roads and Traffic Authority.

Peter Dearden, Roads and Maritime Services’ Western Region Manager, became the third member of the Dearden family to join the DMR – following in the footsteps of his father John and brother Ross.

Now, after a 42-year-career, he officially retires tomorrow bringing an end to a combined 128 years of dedicated Dearden service to NSW.

“It’s hard to believe I am finally retiring but I’m certainly looking forward to spending a lot more time with my family, including my three grandchildren,” Mr Dearden, the Western Region Roads and Maritime Services Manager, said.

“I’ve had a wonderful 42 years and had the pleasure of working with some incredible individuals and on some amazing projects.”

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay has paid tribute to Mr Dearden’s career.

“Peter Dearden has dedicated his career to helping deliver safe, efficient and high quality services to the community and businesses of NSW,” Minister Gay said.

“For more than 40 years, Peter has proved to be the ultimate professional and his expertise and leadership will be greatly missed by his colleagues.

“I wish him all the best for a well deserved retirement.”

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said Mr Dearden has worked tirelessly to deliver roads projects in the Bathurst Electorate.

“I have worked closely with Mr Dearden to see a number of road projects get underway.

His knowledge and expertise has been invaluable to help deliver these projects for the community and businesse. Mr Dearden started with the Department of Main Roads as a civil engineering cadet shortly after completing his HSC at Lithgow High School in 1971.

His first undergraduate placement was in Parkes and he was moved to Deniliquin and Bega before graduating from Sydney University in 1975.

After that, Mr Dearden worked in Picton, Dubbo, Bourke, Berowra and Lane Cove before returning to Parkes, with a wife and four young children, in July 1989. He became Western Region Manager in July 2008.

Mr Dearden has made his home in Parkes for the past 25 years, where he has a small farm on the edge of town.

“While sparsely populated, the region covers more than half the State and has 1176 bridges and more than 16,278 kilometres of road network,” he said.

Mr Dearden lists the State road timber bridge replacement program and an innovation award for his team’s project delivery of the Walgett Bridges among his major achievements.

He also initiated the Aboriginal secondary scholarship program and the western region civil engineering cadet program and helped establish extra overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway to improve safety and heavy vehicle freight access.

Mr Dearden intends to spend his retirement with wife Julie, children Salena, Amy, Georgina and Stuart and grandchildren Ella, Leila and Drew.

His property is certified organic for cattle, wine grapes and olives and he established a vineyard in 2003, with his Shiraz Merlot winning a bronze medallion in 2013.

“It’s ironic my career started in Parkes and 42 years later, with the same organisation under a different name, has finished in Parkes,” Mr Dearden said.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

MEDIA: Siobhan McCarthy 0407 791 802 (Minister Gay)

Paul Toole MP 0407 962 357

View the original media release (PDF)

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