Rarely do pioneers of the dietetics profession leave such a legacy as that of the late Peter Williams OAM, who passed at 71 years of age last week.

President of Dietitians Australia, Tara Diversi paid tribute to Peter who was highly published in the field of dietetics and nutrition, and a mentor to many.

“Peter was published 282 times, and listed 56 professional activities to his career,” Tara said.

“He truly has left his mark on the health and wellbeing of Australians and paved the way for dietitians into the future.”

It was Peter’s passion for working with people – and food – that led him to a career in dietetics where he emerged in food service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

He would later be approached by Kellogg Australia to take on the position of Director for Scientific and Consumer Affairs where Peter introduced folate to fortification in the cereal, as well as salt reduction.

Peter’s departure from Kellogg Australia in 2000 to take a position at the University of Wollongong coincided with his presidency of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), now known as Dietitians Australia.

“In the three years that Peter was President, he built an emphasis on evidence-based practice, and introduced measures to strengthen member connections,” Tara said.

“He was a tireless advocate for our organisation, and his work helped shape the landscape of dietetics in Australia.”

In 2010 Peter was made ‘Honorary Life Member’ of DAA, and in 2020 received the Order of Australia Medal for services to community health and medical education. This was also the year he published his memoir ‘My Divided Life, a fascinating insight into his personal and professional life.

“In reply to his Concluding Thoughts in the memoir, Peter certainly was a grateful and humble person, who lived an ethical life that helped others.”

Dietitians Australia offers its most sincere condolences to Peter’s husband, daughters, family and friends.


Peter Williams professional activities

2014-2020 Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Wollongong

2013-2019 Adjunct Professor, University of Canberra

2013-2015 Member, FSANZ High Level Health Claims Committee

2013-2015 DAA Accreditation & Education Consultant

2011-2014 Member, TGA Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines

2011-2014 Fellow, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

2011-2020 Member, Ad Standards Community Panel

2011-2014 Member, Dietetic Credentialing Council

2011-2013 Member, Commonwealth working group on a National Food Policy

2011-2013 Member, Board of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI) Australia

2011-2013 Member, Scientific Review Panel, Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council Ltd

2009-2013 Member, International Advisory Board, Perspectives in Public Health

2009-2013 Member, Nestle Oceania Scientific Advisory Network Group

2009-2014 Member, Heart Foundation Food and Nutrition Advisory Committee

2008-2013 Member, DAA Scholarship and Awards Management Committee

2008-2009 Member, Obesity Working Group, National Preventative Health Taskforce

2006-2013 Book Review Editor, Nutrition and Dietetics

2006-2008 Committee Member, 6th International Conference of Culinary Arts & Sciences

2006-2008 Member, MLA Human Nutrition R&D Advisory Committee

2005-2011 Member of the Board of Food Standards Australia New Zealand

2004 2006 Member, 24th Annual DAA Conference Scientific Program Sub-Committee

2004-2005 Member, FSANZ Standards Development Advisory Committee on Health Claims

2004-2005 Member, FSANZ Technical Expert Group on Nutrition and Health Claims

2003-2005 Chair, DAA Dietetics Standards and Accreditation Advisory Committee

2001-2002 Member, Policy Advisory Group on Nutrition, Health and Related Claims

2000-2008 Member, DAA Honours Advisory Committee

2000-2005 Member, Heart Foundation Food Information Program Steering Committee

2002-2003 Member, NH&MRC Working Group on Review of Recommended Dietary Intakes

2000-2003 President, Dietitians Association of Australia

2000-2003 President, Federation of Australian Nutrition Organisations

2000-2003 Member, NH&MRC Dietary Guidelines Review Working Party

2000-2002 Member, Eat Well NSW Consultative Committee

2000-2002 Member, the Go Grains Advisory Committee

1998-1999 Member, NH&MRC Working Party - Dietary Guidelines for Older Australians

1998-2000 Member, DAA Dietetics Skills Recognition Working Party

1997-1999 Member, AFGC Scientific and Technical Committee

1996. Australian DAA Delegate, International Congress of Dietetics, Manila

1996-1997 Chair, Planning Committee for the 17th National DAA Conference

1994-2001 Chairperson, DAA Food Standards Committee

1994-2002 Member, DAA Membership and Consumer Complaints Committee

1994. Member, National Food Authority Working Party on Nutrient Claims

1993-1999 DAA representative, NOOSR Panel in Dietetics

1993. Member, National Food Authority Working Party on Substitute Foods

1991-1992 Chairperson, NSW Branch of DAA

1990-1991 Member, ACA Food and Nutrition Policy Working Group

1989-1992 Member, Board of Studies, Master of Nutrition &Dietetics, Sydney University

1988. Member, NSW Department of Health Food Services Advisory Committee

1988-1989 Member, NSW Institute of Dietitians Training and Education Subcommittee

1986-1987 Member, NH&MRC Working Party on Nutrition Labelling Education

1985. Vice-Chairperson, NSW Branch of DAA

1984-1985 Member, NH&MRC Working Party on a Food Additive Numbering System

1983-1985 Member, Board of NSW Branch DAA

1983-1985 Chairperson, DAA Continuing Education Committee

1982-1983 Program Planner, 3rd National DAA Conference

1980-1981 Member, Council of the NSW Dietetic Association

1980 Treasurer, Nutrition Society of Australia (Sydney Branch)

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