Peter Stoitse was born in 1939 in Balook, Victoria, not long after his parents Athanas (Tom) and Mitra, along with his sisters, immigrated from Macedonia. Working on the family dairy farm, young Peter developed a love for machinery. His start in trucking began when he purchased his first truck, an International he had found parked under a tree. On seeing the truck, his father commented “You’ll never make a living out of that!” On his very first trip, he did in four tyres but he persevered, picking up local work.
When oil was discovered in Bass Strait, Peter saw a huge opportunity and expanded his business, carting freight to support the oil and gas operations. By 1974, Barry Beach Marine Terminal was booming and his trucks were travelling as far afield as outback Western Australia and Queensland. Peter expanded his services to include; tankers carting bulk liquids such as fuel and glycol, carting general freight and also a fish run from the local ports to the Melbourne Fish Market. In 1993, he went back to his dairy farming roots, working in the milk industry with some linehaul runs that eventually led to farm pick up services.
Peter was supported throughout by his wife Norma, sons Steven and Terry and daughter Sandra. The business, Peter Stoitse Transport Pty Ltd, has grown to include eight depots across Victoria, with the Head Office in the town of Welshpool. The business operates a fleet of over 120 vehicles and employs 300 staff. After 50 years, it is still very much a family affair.
Sadly, Peter passed away whilst taking a well-earned break in Queensland in 2012 at the age of 73.
Regardless of how much he achieved, success never changed Peter. He always made time for his family. He was the boy from the bush who liked to work hard and play even harder. His word was his bond and a handshake, a binding contract. He is credited with giving many their first go in the industry and formed lifelong working relationships with all he met. Peter worked hard to achieve his success and this is reflected in his business legacy. Inducted in 2021