Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio today paid tribute to the distinguished community service of prominent Toowoomba identity, Professor Peter Swannell AM, who passed away on 8 January. Mayor Antonio extended his sympathies to Professor Swannell’s wife, Janice, and his extended family. “On behalf of Council and the wider community, I am deeply saddened to hear of Peter’s passing and acknowledge his extraordinary service to our region.”

Mayor Antonio said Professor Swannell was a formidable character who wholeheartedly committed to every role he undertook. “After joining the University of Southern Queensland in 1990 as the foundation Professor of Engineering, Peter rose to the position of Vice-Chancellor, before retiring in 2004. His talents were put to good use at Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre, when he was appointed the inaugural chair of the Empire Theatres Pty Ltd in 1999. He showed tremendous dedication and passion to the role and guided the Empire Theatres through a period of great expansion.”

Born in England, Professor Swannell became a proud Toowoomba resident, championing the Toowoomba City and Toowoomba Region at every occasion. Professor Swannell retired from his role in 2017, though he and his wife remained enthusiastic patrons at performances held at the Empire Theatre.  Mayor Antonio said he was a lively and entertaining speaker without peer. “We have lost a great Toowoomba resident.”

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