Having spent over 20 years teaching at TAFE Queensland, Peter Koch has decided it's time to put the utensils down, take off his apron, and retire.

When Peter was just out of school as a teenager he was still trying to figure out what he wanted to do.

"My brothers were in the building industry and my father was also in that game, and I thought I would do something different and tried plumbing," he said.

"I didn't really like plumbing, so I looked around and I just lucked upon an ad in the paper for an apprentice chef. So I thought that's different, I will give that a go and it turned out to be a decision that shaped my life."

Before working at TAFE Queensland, Peter was an executive chef in a leading restaurant in Brisbane. However after a number of years he decided he needed a change and got qualified to teach commercial cookery and patisserie courses.

"I became a teacher to step back from the cut and thrust of working split shifts, long hours and spending all my time in the restaurant and not with my family. I thought being a teacher was also a great way to give back to the hospitality industry," he said.

"Being a teacher is rewarding; it's the growth and development of the students, to see where they start and where they end up. It's very rewarding from a personal point of view because you can see that you have actually made a difference in their lives and have set them up for a good career."

Now that Peter has decided to put the utensils down and take off his apron, he and his wife have some plans for retirement life.

"We've been kicking around a few ideas of travel, and we live at Mount Tambourine so we have a beautiful home there which is paradise in itself. We also have a large family of siblings spread out over Queensland and one in Vietnam," he said.

Peter will be greatly missed by students and staff alike at TAFE Queensland.


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