Victor Perton is “That Optimism Man!” Victor has spent the last 2 years writing two books, developing social media and creating programs for prisons, schools and MBA courses on what makes us optimistic. Victor’s life experience includes stints as Senior Adviser to the G20 Presidency, Trade Commissioner in North and South America, 18 years a Victorian parliamentarian, practice as a barrister, mediator, arbitrator, businessman and board service.
As he puts it, he moved back to Melbourne in 2015 and was bewildered by the negative mindset towards Australian leadership. He created the Australian Leadership Project interviewing over 1500 leaders on the qualities of Australian leadership. His view is there’s no shortage of good leadership in Australia. There’s a shortage of optimistic mindsets and expression.
What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?
I can’t remember my first story written. I did have a poem published in the Church Parish newsletter at the age of 7.
What was your first book published?
My first book as a full time author was published in 2018 “The Case for Optimism: The Optimists’s Voices”. In earlier careers, there were many book-length reports on public policy issues and a review of democracy in Hong Kong.
What is your favourite part about being an author?
As my focus is on helping people to become more optimistic, it’s the feedback I get from people face-to-face, by email and via social media.
What is the hardest part about being an author?
Don’t know. I suppose allocating the time to writing but every appointment you make is a choice. And, of course, when family or friends need help or support I make that my priority.
What do you do for fun?
Conversation. Read and tell jokes. Walk in the sunrise. Travel.
What was your favourite children’s book when you were a kid?
Enid Blyton’s “The Magic Faraway Tree”, “The Famous Five”, “The Secret Seven” and later Biggles and Tarzan.
Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?
Have you met anyone even more famous than you that was exciting?
Yes. I have been very fortunate that way. I have shared a platform with the Dalai Lama in the days following the Berlin Wall. Dinner with Bill Clinton. Met Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. Could go on but I have been fortunate to be in places where interesting people congregate to converse.
What writing genre do you like to do the most?
Don’t know. I read widely.
What do you consider your biggest achievement?
That’s a hard one, it’s probably for others to judge. My mother thinks my calling to spread the word on the benefits of optimism and to help people become more optimistic is the most important work I have done.
What is your favourite way/time to read?
What book are you reading right now?
People send me books to read so I have a pile that I dip in and out of. Jonathan Salk sent me his new book “A New Reality: Human Evolution for a Sustainable Future.” I found that very interesting.
I enjoyed Steven Pinker’s book on The Enlightenment.
Earlier in the year I read Martin Seligman’s The Hope Circuit. Liked that a lot and learned new things on neuroscience and optimism.
This week I bought Dadi Janki’s “Feeling Great: Creating a Life of Optimism, Enthusiasm and Contentment” – haven’t started it yet. She’s 103 and an inspiration.