Peter Thorogood was awarded a Glebe Society Commendation at the 2013 annual general meeting. His citation appears below.
Peter Thorogood moved to Glebe just over seven years ago. Prior to coming back to the inner city Peter and his partner, Mary Hendriks, owned a computer sales and service business in Gosford. Mary says Peter sees the internet not just as a business, but as a catalyst of change and has developed several websites for community use. So it not surprising that they joined the Glebe Society in August 2006. Peter listed his interests as the foreshore walk, heritage and history and, last but not least, the Society’s website.
The following year he became a member of the society’s Web Group which was established to maintain the website and to develop a ‘new look’ as the website had not been significantly changed since it was set up. At this time Peter was busy setting up a new business but was happy to offer advice to the group, which was very welcome as many members were absolute novices with respect to the technicalities of the world wide web.
It was not long before, busy or not, Peter became involved in the day-to-day tasks of running the website – uploading new material, fixing broken links, identifying problem areas and so on. Not only did Peter bring technical expertise to the Web Group’s work but he also injected a healthy degree of realism to discussions about the new website. While there was much debate about ‘stakeholders needs’ and the goals of the website, Peter focused on the practical issue of ‘How can it be done?’ When one member of the group was promoting a flash new scheme Peter responded with ‘… It looks like a LOT of work.’
By mid-2008 the group had agreed that the new site should be ready for the Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations the following year. The minutes of the group’s meeting on 23 June 2008 contained telling line: ‘Content gathering – Peter will develop a site map. Who is going to do what?’ The aim was that convenors of subcommittees would provide the content of the new site, and Peter would train them how to upload their material. In practice our convenors demonstrated emphatically they are not nerds, and the main task of uploading material fell to Peter and a few others. Peter’s recommendation for the architecture of the new website was also accepted, and he began the task of converting the site to the new software. The objective of having the new look site up and running in 2009 was achieved.
In following years Peter introduced online payments to the website which enabled members to book and pay for functions from the website, and renew their subscriptions. Another initiative was forums page intended to allow members to air their views on current issues. Unfortunately this was not the success that the Web Group had hoped. Peter also facilitated the introduction of Glebe Walks, working with the designers Red Ant, and the authors of the walks.
The Glebe Society website continues to evolve, and much of what is happening can be put down to Peter’s quiet advice and willing work. He is a key member of the new Communications Subcommittee of the Society, and we hope that he will remain so for many years to come.
Peter’s website is at peter.thorogood.id.au