Peter Hughes OAM was born in Wagga Wagga and attended a one-teacher primary school in Junee Reefs. He studied Medicine at Sydney University. After graduation he spent six years in England training in general then urological surgery. He set up practice as a urologist in Canberra in 1962.
In 1965, with Dr Bill Ferguson in Shepparton, he started the Provincial Surgeons of Australia. He was a part-time elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1974 to 1979, wherein he was Leader of the Liberal Party for 3 years. With colleagues from Queensland, Victoria and NSW he organised the first meeting of the Regional Medical Specialists Association, which was held in Canberra on 7 April 2018.
Peter and his wife Ellen have eight children.