Peter Payten was born at Cooma on 13 November 1948 and received his secondary education at St Josephs College Sydney.
While at the College, Peter started to show his prowess in a number of sports including being Open Squash Champion, Open Doubles Handball Champion, Open Doubles Tennis Champion, Full back in the First XV Rugby Team, a Member of the Senior Athletics Team, and a Member of the Combined GPS First XI Cricket Team.
While Peter was a great all-round sportsman there is no doubt his first love was Rugby, a game in which he quickly made his mark. He received probably the greatest honour of his sporting career in 1969 when he was selected to play for Australia in the First Rugby Union Test against Fiji. The test was played in Brisbane and at that time Peter became only the second player from this area to gain selection to play for Australia since the Second World War.
His Rugby career, including his time with St Josephs, spanned some twenty years and included the following:
He played Cooma Rugby from 1967 to 1980 Played with Canberra East’s in 1973 He represented ACT Rugby from 1969 to 1973He represented New South Wales Country Firsts from 1969 to 1976 and during this time he played against teams from Victoria, Sydney, Queensland, Tonga, France, Argentina, Wales, Queensland, South Africa and New Zealand. In 1974 Peter toured America, Canada and New Zealand with the NSW Country Firsts.