Peter Waterworth was born in 1943 to a Tasmanian-born father (Allan Noel Waterworth) and a South African-born mother (Beryl Irene Waterworth). Allan's family migrated to Australia from England and Ireland during the nineteenth century. The Waterworth family of parents and six mostly adult children came from Scarborough in 1886 and 1889 and settled in Hobart. The Alcock family came from Norwich to Melbourne in about 1922. Allan and Beryl met and married in Launceston and travelled to a number of places since Allan was a gold asssayer and metallurgist. Their four children (John, Mary, Peter and Helen) were born in Hobart.
The family moved to Melbourne in 1949 and Peter went to state primary and high schools and eventually to university where he studied teaching and the social sciences. He graduated from Monash University with a PhD in sociology in 1984. He first taught in state primary schools until 1971 when he gained a position as a lecturer in education at first, at Melbourne Teachers College (later merged with the University of Melbourne), then Toorak Teachers College and eventually Burwood Teachers College (later merged with Deakin University). He took early retirement in 2001 and has since been working in consultancy projects in Victoria and a number of countries in South East Asia.
Peter is married to Elaine Neate and has four sons, David, Mark, Christopher and Philip and grandchildren Caleb, Joshua, Thomas, Samuel, Grace (dec.) and Bailey. There are a number of "roots" in the family tree, in previous generations including Waterworth, Alcock, Smith, Murden, Riches, and current generations including Moyle, Messieh, Henderson and Drendel.
Peter has interests in art (particularly ink sketching) and music (barbershop/choral singing).