Meet Peter Woods, Mitigating Risk - with a Volvo!

10 September 2018

Motor racing involves a fair degree of risk so who better to have on your team than a risk management expert.

In most racing teams however your risk expert is not usually the driver.

For New Hope Group Corporate Risk and Internal Audit Manager, Peter Woods, doing a few laps in his Group C touring car makes for the perfect weekend.

And in true risk management style, Peter mitigates potential risk by racing a Volvo.

"I’ve been around cars for a long time and enjoy restoring and racing them," Peter said.

"But we don’t have a big budget so we call it a win if we can put the car back on the trailer at the end of the weekend with no damage.

"I’m currently driving the Volvo 242 GT originally driven by Spencer Martin and David McKay which finished 20th at Bathurst in 1979.

"I may not be the fastest around the track but in the Heritage Touring Car Class it’s more about having fun, giving each other racing room and bringing the cars home intact."

Peter’s tactics obviously paid off last year as he took out the 2-3 litre Championship title in the Heritage Touring Car Group C category.

"I tried racing a Group A Commodore but you really need deep pockets for that," Peter said.

"We are entered in the Baskerville Historics in Tasmania later this month (21-23 September) and we currently lead the 2-3 litre class in the 2018 Championship.

Peter has been treasurer of the HSV Owners Club of Queensland for the past 10 years.

"When you turn up to committee meetings of any organisation and they find out you are an accountant the gig’s up," Peter said.

"I’ve been treasurer of the school P&C, the Hockey club and I still do pro-bono audits for a small number of organisations.

"It’s a trap a lot of accountants fall into but it’s also something I enjoy."

Peter has been with New Hope Group for the past 29 years, the last seven at the Brookwater offices.

"I started with the company as an accountant at the New Hope underground mine at Swanbank in 1989," Peter said.

"Now I spend my days auditing the various divisions of the business and maintaining the corporate risk function.

"Being able to tinker with my cars and get out and race them from time to time is a great diversion from what is, at times, quite an intense work environment."

During his time with New Hope Peter has seen the company end operations, start new projects, and operate in a high risk environment, but he says a few stick out to him.

"New Hope is a very resilient and fair company," he said.

"When I started on a 12 month promise of employment, people would joke around with me when I was heading to work with an Ipswich coal company because they were beginning to all shut down."

"Now here I am 29 years later, and New Hope is still going strong."