Vale: Peter Harvey

By David Knox on March 2, 2013 / Filed Under News, Top Stories 27

2013-03-02_1813Veteran Channel Nine journalist Peter Harvey has died, following a brief battle with cancer, at the age of 68.

He passed away surrounded by family earlier today.

Harvey had 37 years in TV journalism with Nine News after ten years in print with The Daily Telegraph and then with Newsweek and the Guardian.

His distinct voice was synonymous with his political reports from Canberra, together with his baritone sign-off “Peter Harvey, Canberra.”

He spent 14 years in Canberra, including reporting on the Whitlam dismissal, before travelling the globe for Nine and joining 60 Minutes for its mailbag segment. He was a war correspondent in Saigon during the Vietnam War, and reported from hotspots in Israel, Egypt, China, The Philippines and a memorial visit to Gallipoli.

A Walkley Award winner, Harvey worked right until the end, including appearing on Nine News and 60 Minutes last month.

“This is the saddest of days for the Nine Network,” says Nine chief executive, David Gyngell. “Peter Harvey – Harves as he is known to everyone – is and will remain an indelible part of Nine.”

Long-time friend and Nine Network colleague Peter Overton says “we lose a fine storyteller. He came into the lounge rooms of so many families across Australia for so many years.

We lose a character,” says Ray Martin. “Journalism, like politics and life, is full of bland, colourless people. He is full of colour.”

His daughter Claire Harvey is the deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, and Adam Harvey is a journalist with ABC’s 7.30. 

Last month he appeared on ABC’s One Plus One interview show where he was asked about his career and his illness.

On cancer:
Jane: The writer Christopher Hitchens in his final book which was called ‘Mortality’ talked about the depression he faced in the first seven days after his diagnosis for oesophageal cancer, particularly when he was told that certain therapies were not open to him. He spoke about a sense of being cheated, as well as disappointed. Can you understand that, did you ever get those sentiments?
Peter: Oh yes, I don’t want to be cheated. I’m 68yrs old, I consider I’ve got a fair bit of living that I want to do. As soon as we’re able to, Anne and I are going back to Florence and Venice…It was I guess an understandable reaction (Christopher Hitchens’s), you think to yourself ‘Oh, why me, why is this happening’ but you get past that point and you say, Ok, well it is. It is happening so lets deal with it and lets be as positive as possible about it and get the show back on the road. Now there are a lot of clichés there, but they’re meaningful. If you hang on to the possibility that things are going to be better not worse, I think it sets you up pretty well. I don’t want worries about my day, ruining my tomorrows.

On continuing work
Peter: I want to keep working as long as I possibly can which I hope is for a very long time! …Jane I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support and reaction from people around this country, it’s been extraordinary… I felt extraordinarily grateful that so many people out there went out of their way to wish me good luck.

Source: Nine News, News Ltd


  1. Dave March 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm -

    everyone should read his daughters article

  2. AEDDIE March 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm -

    I was shocked and sad to hear about the death of Peter Harvey.
    RIP Peter.

  3. simmo3 March 3, 2013 at 7:03 am -

    A huge loss to Australia, he was someone young people would do well to use as a wonderful example of a true journalist. RIP Harves.

  4. Les Solomon March 3, 2013 at 3:54 am -

    A true legend, so so sad., Gone too soon. I hope Nine put a huge photo of him in the foyer and leave it there for generations to come. There was no one better. Some of our useless current bunch of politicians could learn much of style and grace from him.

  5. BigVic March 3, 2013 at 2:16 am -

    RIP Peter Harvey.

  6. Mac March 3, 2013 at 1:33 am -

    Sad news. An Aussie journo to be proud to call our own.

  7. Maev....Sydney March 3, 2013 at 12:11 am -

    @ Sydney2K ….FYI….if you read the piece David Knox wrote above …you will see a link to the One Plus One interview…it has also been added to Iview again 3 hours ago.

  8. jezza the first original one March 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm -

    Ahh he was a decent bloke and kinda knew what was coming. Very sad. I hope his family gain much comfort from how much he was loved and respected throughout Australia.

    RIP Peter Harvey

  9. jimbo k March 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm -

    very sad to hear about the loss of a true journalist. You will be missed, Peter Harvey

  10. Andrew March 2, 2013 at 11:29 pm -

    @byeana: Rob McKnight at Nine tweeted earlier to say that Peter Harvey had already seen and approved the tribute program.

  11. wwenrl March 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm -

    Very sad news!
    RIP Peter Harvey. We will miss you!!
    A true Legend!! of this country.

  12. Sydney2K March 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm -

    The One on One interview was rebroadcast tonight, but the episode is viewable on the ABC News obituary

  13. dan March 2, 2013 at 9:50 pm -

    RIP Peter we will never see a journo as good as you again it is a very sad day today

  14. byeana March 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm -


    I missed the 6-30pm tribute on Nine, and I would surely hope and assume it was compiled with Peter’s blessing?

    But please tell me that Nine did not have the “First On Nine” ticker showing, whilst they screened it?

  15. byeana March 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm -

    Vale: Peter Harvey

    One from the Old School, who till his passing, retained the early and intended principles of journalism, and who gave us all the facts of a story, and let the reader/viewer decide for themselves.

    Wouldn’t the “Ultimate Tribute” now be, if all those journalists now singing his praises, did exactly what they are praising him for,”His Unbiased Reporting Without Fear or Favour”

  16. aaron1004 March 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm -

    RIP Peter Harvey

  17. sat March 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm -

    What a wonderful, wonderful man. My heart breaks for Anne, Claire, Adam, and Rory. Be kind to yourselves during this very difficult time. xxx

  18. carolemorrissey March 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm -

    Very sad news, a great loss to Australian journalism. He was one of a kind.

  19. Maev....Sydney March 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm -

    I feel quite sad at this moment….Mr. Harvey seemed to be always there….I did know he was ill…still feels …well, just plain sad.

  20. Earthquake March 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm -

    RIP Harves. A news legend who can not be replaced.

  21. The Other Adam March 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm -

    RIP Peter Harvey

  22. Qubec March 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm -

    An absolute loss to Australian TV journalism. A professional storyteller and an brilliant reporter. He’ll be missed.
    I do find the tribute on Nine at the moment to be slightly off putting. I understand that these things are often done in advance but the way they have interviewed people as if he was already dead and an introduction that was likely shot weeks ago just feels a little wrong.

  23. Beckala March 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm -

    A very sad day for Australian television.

  24. Craig March 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm -

    Sad news indeed and I wasn’t even aware he was sick.

  25. David Knox March 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm -

    Nine News is now screening a 6:30pm tribute to Peter Harvey hosted by Peter Overton.

  26. James March 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm -

    RIP Peter. Has changed his signoff from Peter Harvey, Canberra to Peter Harvey, Heaven.

  27. Bogues March 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm -

    Very sad news indeed. And a great loss to Australian journalism.

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