Vale – Charles Pierre (Peter) Donnelly ACS (1935 – 2015)

It is with great sadness I advise you of the passing of one of our greats, a true pioneer in every sense of the word – Peter Donnelly ACS. We have included the Hall of Fame extract written by ACS Historian and close friend of Peter’s, Ron Windon ACS for you to read about part of the history of this fine man.

Our thoughts are with Peter’s wife Katherine, his sons Bede and Charles, daughters Alice and Anna- Marie along with his extended family and friends at this very sad time.

Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President

I just wanted to let you all know that this afternoon we lost a local legend – Peter Donnelly ACS. Pete passed away at Calvary Hospital where he has been for about a month now.

I went to visit Pete last Thursday, and his close friend David Brill ACS has spent a lot of time with him in recent weeks. Both David and I can attest that Pete remained in good spirits, even when his condition deteriorated, and both of us enjoyed some good conversations with Pete in his last days.

Peter was at the very core of the ACS in Tasmania – right from its first meeting in February 1969 to now. He has either been our branch President, Treasurer, Secretary or a Committee member for virtually every year of our existence. Importantly Peter basically kept the ACS going in Tasmania when it could have easily disappeared. He believed passionately in our craft and the importance of a guild like the ACS. He became a much respected and loved member of the Society nationally and worked hard to keep our local branch on the collective radar.

In 2013 Peter was recognised for his 40+ year contribution to our industry when he was inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame. Along with several other Tasmanian based members I was at the National Awards Ceremony in Canberra with Peter and his family and I know how much this recognition meant to him.

Although far from at peak health Peter was keenly involved in the planning and execution of the National ACS Awards held here earlier this year and to say he enjoyed the whole event would be an understatement. He was in his element and I know Peter felt justifiably proud of what we as a branch achieved. At the recent National Awards Ceremony I made a comment that Peter Donnelly was the ‘father’ of the ACS in Tasmania and that we owed him a debt of gratitude for 50+ years of involvement in the Society.

As I think of Peter tonight I am reflecting on how true that comment was and I thank him, as I think we all do, for the amazing contribution he made. Our thoughts are with the whole wonderful Donnelly family at this time.

Peter Curtis ACS
Tasmanian President

Peter Donnelly ACS – HALL OF FAME


Peter James ACS ASC – pays Tribute to Peter Donnelly ACS


It is with a heavy heart that I read in the ACS Newsletter of the passing of a wonderful member Peter Donnelly ACS. Peter has been part of the ACS for so many years I naively thought he would be around forever. It is hard to think he is no longer with us.

Whenever I was in Hobart to give a talk or do a Masterclass, Peter was the one who would make me feel most welcome. His naturally friendly and genuinely interested in all things to do with Cinematography as well as you as a person.

Many years ago I was giving a Masterclass Weekend at the ABC Studios. I was camping along the Derwent River and Peter would come around in his old Mercedes and drive me to the Studio. I valued those drives, not just because of his kindness but it was a chance to get to know each other better and share stories.

He was a wonderful gentle man.

Thank you Ron, Peter and Ron for the wonderful tribute to Peter.

He and generous people like Peter is what makes the ACS a truly Great Society.

I will be thinking of Peter and his family and the ACS family as I walk to Compostela in Spain this week.

May Divine light shine upon him, may he rest in peace. Amen.

Peter James ACS ASC