The Melbourne carpenter donating his skills to make a world of difference in Vanuatu

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When carpenter Peter Duffy went to watch a family member play against the Vanuatu Cricket Team in 2015, the first thing he noticed was the poor condition the cricket bats were in that the opposition team were holding.  

He soon discovered that the old and damaged bats were all that the team could afford and although they were leaving Melbourne in a few days time, he quickly offered to repair all 10 of the players bats.

Fast forward three years and Peter has collected and fixed over 70 bats for the Vanuatu cricket community, taking annual family trips to Vanuatu to personally deliver the bats in his families carry on luggage.  

Peter said he quickly realised just how lucky Australians are when it comes to equipment, as not even the top-level players in Vanuatu can afford a new bat.  

“Although I’ve been playing cricket for a long time now, it really dawned on me how lucky we are in Australia; if something goes wrong with your equipment and you need to replace it, you just go to the shops.

“A broken bat can mean the difference between hitting a six and getting caught on the fence.”

Peter said it’s difficult for players to make their way up the rankings if they’re using inferior equipment.

“To be able to supply them with bats, either repaired or donated, makes a huge difference.”

Drawing on his experience with the Vanuatu community and his 28 years as a carpenter, Peter turned his hobby of repairing bats into a full-fledged business that now operates out of a factory in Keysborough.  

“A player once told me it would take him a year to save up to purchase his own bat and that is without spending a single dollar on anything else.  

“The labour to fix the bats can take a bit of time but seeing the look on their face when they see them is priceless,” said Peter.

Peter was recently nominated as a Cricket Australia Community Champion, an initiative that seeks to share the stories of local heroes making cricket a great game for all.

As part of the initiative, Peter was flown to Vanuatu to visit the communities he is assisting and to see the impact his work is having first hand.

Peter’s recent visit was captured on film and can be viewed here:
Know someone like Peter whose story deserves to be told? Nominate your Community Champion