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Peter Rose retires from PMA

After almost 10 years at the helm of PMA Australia, Peter Rose has opted to retire, effective from January 31.

Peter-Rose-209x300After a long career in key executive roles in the photographic industry – including 10 years running his own business, Merit Imports – he took on the director’s role for PMA Australia in 2005. During this time PMA took over the management of the (then) annual Australian photo equipment exhibition for several years from 2007, as well as its traditional role of running the accompanying PMA convention. During PMA’s management of the event it was further developed as a show open to the general public. In 2011 event drew over 20,000 trade, professionals and enthusiast attendees.

With an impeccable network of contacts across all segments of the photo industry, superb people skills, and a real passion for the photo retailing segment, he was a natural choice for the PMA Australia executive director’s role, and his contribution will be missed. He leaves to take on his next adventure – an active retirement (With an occasional round of golf a definite possibility!)

PMA 2009: PMA assumed management of the annual Australian photographic equipment exhibition during Peter Roses’ tenure, further encouraging attendance by photographic enthusiasts.

He guided PMA through a challenging period in the history of photo retailing, maintaining strong membership levels at a time when independent specialist photo stores have been under pressure. In recognition of his contributions to the industry, PMA International honoured Peter with a Distinguished Service Award in 2013.

The PMA Australia executive and PMA International – which has itself recently seen a new CEO (Georgia McCabe) and president (Gabrielle Mullinax) take the reins – are currently discussing the structure and direction of PMA Australia for 2015 and beyond.

While specific details are yet to be announced, PMA has confirmed unequivocally that PMA Australia will continue to operate and bring new opportunities and resources to Australian members.

‘Peter has been such an asset to our members in Australia, and to PMA as a whole. We can’t thank him enough for his many years of dedication and his excellent leadership,’ said Georgia McCabe. ‘As we congratulate Peter and wish him a wonderful retirement, we look forward to a bright future ahead for PMA Australia.’

In the meantime, all members are welcome to contact PMA Australia National Chairperson  Paul Atkins with any PMA-related business enquiries or issues.

A farewell note from Peter:
Almost 10 years ago I received a phone call from John Paxton asking if I was interested in joining PMA following the departure of Terry Rimmer. PMA had been an integral part of the industry for the majority of my career, so it was not a difficult decision to make.

Now with a new granddaughter in New York, Ellen and I decided it was time to move on from what was a fully committed role, to something that will allow us the time to travel. Looking back over those 10 years, it is easy to pick the highlights:
– Working with committed volunteers who gave their time for the benefit of the industry:
It never ceased to amaze me how the same group backed up year after year with little thanks and with the same business pressures we were all under. Special mention  should be made of John Paxton, John Ralph, Len Sandler, Paul Dawson, Terry Rimmer, Mark Alderson, Paul Boniface, Quentin Webster, Ormond Williams, Phil Gresham, Andrew Mason, Jenny Yates, Stephen Perris, Richard Robertson, Jeff Crowley, Laurie and Nicki Rogers, Tim Jones (RIP), Peter Stallard, John Mullavey, Paul Atkins, Alan Logue, Matt Makinson. They deserve our sincere thanks and gratitude;
– Working with  fantastic colleagues who made me look good. John Bourne, Barbara Bryan, Kathy Warlum, Lucy Wang, Eve Phillips, Frank Filippone, Peter Myers – all were critical in delivering events that were ‘best in class’. A special thanks to Barbara and husband Richard, who ‘transitioned’ PMA into an updated organisation, with a modern website, meaningful newsletter and help in staging professional events;
– The support of PMA staff and the board in Jackson, who allowed us to ‘get on with the job’- Jim Esp, Suzi Barger, Melissa Aldrich, Jennifer Kruger, were key to results;
– The industry shows that PMA ran from 2007 to a few years ago demonstrated the benefit of combining trade, public and retailers in one co-ordinated event. The profits that were generated were returned to each of the Associations as well as funding promotion – a winning combination for the photo trade and the framing industry;
– The Young Achiever program that morphed into the Future Leaders series was truly helpful in promoting our youth in the industry;
– More recently the success of the Educational Expos which were developed over 12 months with the valued help of Mark Alderson of Camera House and Nic Peasley of Ted’s. This format worked and is a bright spot for the future;
– The suppliers who frequently provided the funds and support for our numerous events. They are critical in whatever we do and are to be sincerely thanked for your friendship and cooperation over the years;
– Last but not least…our members. You have stuck with us over the years and hopefully will continue to do so. There are few associations in Australia that can claim over 37 years of continuous service. The industry, as we all know, has changed forever – however there will always be a need for networking.
– Peter Rose

A lifetime in photography
Peter Rose began his career in the photo industry in 1961 at Hanimex, rising to the position of sales and marketing manager before being appointed the first managing director for J. Osawa Australia (Mamiya, etc). In 1983, Peter, along with two partners founded Merit Imports, which eventually purchased Baltronics, a professional supply business that held the Sinar, Broncolor and Foba agencies. Merit sales grew rapidly with agencies including Vivitar, Yashica, Fotima camera bags, Panasonic flash and cameras, Sea and Sea underwater cameras, and Vivanco video editing equipment.
After 10 years Merit Imports went to Haminex, and Peter became general manager of Camera House Australia. In 1997, he was invited to head up Kodak Australia’s NSW Consumer Imaging Division.

He took on the PMA Australia director’s role in 2005. This included co-ordination of the PPFA (framers), APCI (pro labs), PIEA (photo educators) and DIMA (digital imaging) groups.

His tenure is second only to Les Brener, founding director of PMA Australia, and stands as one of the longest administrations of any PMA branch around the world.

Photo Counter wishes Peter Rose a long and happy retirement – with a surfeit of birdies!


  1. Harvey Gordon Harvey Gordon February 27, 2015

    Peter, your contribution to the Australian Photo Industry has been greatly appreciated by all involved. Even though I am no longer in the industry or even in Australia, I want to thank you for your help and guidance over the years. Enjoy your retirement and maybe come and visit the golf courses in Hawaii!

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Harvey.
      I would enjoy those courses in Hawaii!!
      Best wishes

  2. Phil Gresham Phil Gresham February 27, 2015

    Keith a great and fitting article on Peter and PMA. Peter has surely left his mark on the photo industry more especially in his role with PMA. Peter was a delight to work with and the mark of a good manager had great people working with him, we wish him all the best for the future.

    Small correction Paul Atkins is the Australia National Chairperson check this link for other active members of PMA Australia

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Hi Phil,
      Appreciate your comments.You were instrumental in keeping PMA in Aus. “on track” with the positions you held.
      I Valued our regular conversations.

  3. darryn darryn February 27, 2015

    A great contribution to the industry and better still a great bloke. All the best Peter….great job.

  4. John Swainston John Swainston February 27, 2015

    Peter, in the 36 years I have been in the industry here in Australia, you have been a remarkable torch for enthusiasm, common sense and leadership, whether it was at Hanimex, Merit Imports, Raleru, Kodak or PMA. Both as a solid friend to so many of us, or as someone focused on getting better outcomes for a stronger industry, you have been there for your respective companies and latterly members of the industry, fighting the good fight. I truly hope that you and Ellen will now get a little more time together, and in the company of grandchild or grandchildren here and overseas. You have given so much; now enjoy a well-earned change of pace (-usually harder work once you retire, I am told!) Good luck and fair winds for smooth sailing. Thank you for being you!

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Hi John,
      Compared to what you have given to the industry,I am but a minnow!
      Thank you for taking the time.
      really appreciate your thoughts.
      Best wishes

  5. Paul Atkins Paul Atkins February 27, 2015

    Peter, thank you for being the anchor for the PMA, you made our ideas happen, and always with a smile. Your sage advice and keen sense of fairness will be missed, but don’t be surprised if you get the occasional call!

    Lovely article Keith, thank you.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Hi Paul,
      Working with guys like you have made it all worthwhile.You ,John and your Mum are “salt of the earth”
      Thank you for all you do.
      Best wishes

  6. Alan Small Alan Small February 27, 2015

    When I was still wet behind the ears in the photo business, I can recall Peter Rose’s smiling face welcoming me to the ‘Big Smoke”. I think it was at a Hanimex conference. And of course the inimitable Jack Hannes was there with his memorable accent and syntax reminiscent of a benign ‘Godfather’.
    It was at this conference that I got to know Peter and other key members of the Hanimex organisation, and Jack invited me to
    be part of the Hanimex Advisory Group, an experience I will never forget, with industry luminaries such as the great John Mack.
    Peter has always been much the same as he progressed through the various ranks of the photo industry – small wisps of grey hair discounted – personable, friendly, accommodating and interested in other peoples’ points of view.
    Congratulations on your meaningful and productive career Peter
    and best wishes for whatever you do in your retirement.
    Alan small

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Allan,
      As always thoughtful meaningful and relevant.
      Those days at Hanimex were something special!
      Best wishes

  7. Des Crawley Des Crawley February 27, 2015

    Congratulations Peter. I wish to acknowledge your untiring support for photographic education over the years of your leadership of the PMA and wish you well in the future. Travel well, travel safe. Good health.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Des,
      Valued praise coming from Mr. Education!
      You are a gem sir!
      Best wishes

  8. Russell Hester Russell Hester February 27, 2015

    Congratulations Pete .
    Enjoy your retirement
    Good operator but an even Better Bloke.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Hi Russell,
      You were the “gun” agent at Merit and have earned an enviable reputation throughout the industry.
      Look forward to catching up at one of your lunches.
      Thanks mate

  9. Chris Wilkinson Chris Wilkinson February 27, 2015

    Peter, you’ve been a tremendous supporter for the industry and its people. We’ve been lucky to have your skills, enthusiasm and friendship steering the sector through its most challenging period. Enjoy your retirement.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Chris,
      You were always a joy to work with, consistently rated amongst the highest satisfaction scores in our conferences.
      Really appreciate your comments

  10. Robbo Robbo February 27, 2015

    Too many things to mention that made you a house hold name in our industry. You have worked through the most exciting times in photographic saw the transition from film to digital. You help the companies you worked in and the industry you lead during tour time at PMA Australia. It will never be the same again, your retirement awaits you go get it,you have certainly given your all to this industry.
    Take you well deserved bow on center stage and leave it knowing you contributions were well recieved by all.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Robbo,You are a treasure!
      Very few in our industry genuinly “care” as much as you do, and I knew you were always there with the offer, “what can I do to help Rosie?”
      Best wishes
      Peter .

  11. Duncan Dodd Duncan Dodd February 28, 2015

    Congratulations Peter on your retirement and thank you for all you have done for the photographic industry in Australia both in the wholesale environment and for PMA. Through your dedication you managed to keep PMA alive particularly during the last few years when there have been a lot of challenges in a changing industry. I wish you all the best now that you have joined the retirement club and It is true that you may find you are busier now that you have retired and will wonder however you had time to work. I hope you enjoy your retirement and will be able to spend more time with your family & grandchildren.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Duncan,
      My years in WA were precious and your connection with the market there correctly made you a legend!
      Really appreciate the time taken in your comments.
      PS one of my favourite possessions is the engraved gold Cross pen you guys presented to me on transferring from WA back in 1973!

  12. Noel Bentley Noel Bentley March 1, 2015

    Hi Rosie, didn’t you tell anyone you were leaving the building. January 31 was a month ago. I had you on my list to call only last week.
    Enjoy your retirement. It doesn’t really mean you stop work. However you will have time for more coffee shop (you will soon learn who makes the best coffee (try chi latte) and relaxed lunches as well as travel.
    I told Rainer this morning at our weekly 6am breakfast of what I thought was your impending departure. WOT no farewell drinks!!!
    Or do we watch this space.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Hi Noel,
      Thanks for your comments.
      A little bird has told me there may be a “gathering ” in Sydney in April.
      Barb as usual is doing the arranging.
      Best wishes

  13. Mark Fitz-Gerald Mark Fitz-Gerald March 2, 2015

    It’s important to acknowledge that Peter’s efforts on behlaf of PMA flowed right through the industry. The AIPP and many other organisations and their memberships owe a debt of gratitude to Peter’s enthusiasm. We can argue over the metaphore, big family, broad church etc. etc. but not the effect. All the best for the years ahead Peter.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 3, 2015

      Thank you Mark,
      There were many meetings with Peter Myers
      as I firmly believed the synergy between the AIPP and PMA was strong.Both organisations service different photography users however both are supplied by common manufacturers.
      Now the “prosumer” has become such a force there are many areas of overlap that could be exploited for the benefit of all.
      i really appreciated your view.
      Best wishes

  14. Bob Moggach Bob Moggach March 4, 2015

    Peter represented PMA and the Photo sector at its finest. His leadership, devotion and insight will be missed and the organization weaker as a result. As all good things come to an end so did a wonderful career of giving back to the industry he loved. New faces, new ideas and energy will need to be found to help our industry grow and prosper for future generations. All the best to you Peter and Ellen in the years to come.

    • Peter rose Peter rose March 4, 2015

      Thank you Bob.Kind words indeed.
      Would love to have a dollar for every hour spent with you (Canada),Nigel (UK) and more recently Don (UK) in looking at options for our association and our members.
      That is just one advantage of having an experienced team working on outcomes.
      I will miss those discussions!!
      best wishes

  15. Jim Esp Jim Esp March 5, 2015

    Peter, thank you very much for all your effort and dedication to the Australian imaging industry. Your accomplishments for the PMA Australia members and industry members were outstanding! Your passion and integrity during your leadership was recognized by all.

    Great job Peter!

    • peter rose peter rose March 9, 2015

      Thank you Jim,
      We achieved a lot, in no small measure thanks to you and the likes of Alan Showalter,Rainer and Kenny Strawbridge.
      We were allowed to get on with the job.
      Many in the Australian trade pass on their best wishes

  16. Alan Logue Alan Logue March 9, 2015

    Many words have been said by others who have been around this industry even longer than me!
    They have encapsulated what you have done for all of us.
    There are some who have whinged that PMA is not what it used to be. Yes, very true, and very little in retailing or wholesaling is like what it used to be!
    You have guided many of us through some very difficult waters and I for one am proud to say that you, and PMA, have helped my business to become what it is today.
    Yes, we are a small (very small) retailer, but we are now more profitable than we have ever been, and it is the PMA shows that have helped to make that happen.
    You have always been there for a chat, or idea, and both Catherine and I hope you will have a truly enjoyable retirement with the grandies!
    Good luck, and heartfelt thanks for your guidance and friendship.
    Alan & Catherine Logue.

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