Vale Phil Carswell OAM

It is with profound sorrow that QPP advises the passing of our honorary member Phil Carswell OAM, a dear friend of our organisation and community, and a beacon of courage in our time. Phil passed away early yesterday morning at his residence in Brisbane, at the age of 70. 

Before reaching 30, Phil had already distinguished himself as a committed educator, union advocate, journalist, socialist, and pioneer in gay liberation. In 1983, he assumed the role of convenor for the Victorian AIDS Action Committee, and in 1984, he became the inaugural President of the Victorian AIDS Council. Despite the heavy burden of grief from losing many close friends, Phil led our community through the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic with unwavering energy and optimism.  Phil’s leadership, both at the state and federal levels, was unparalleled and irreplaceable, as subsequent generations have come to realise. 

In recent years, he dedicated himself to writing an account of his experiences during the AIDS era, currently in the hands of a publisher. While he received the Order of Australia Medal in 2015, he cherished even more his lifelong membership in his union, Queensland Together.

Throughout his journey, he was steadfastly supported by his partner Ian of nearly 40 years, whom he married on Stonewall Day in 2013 in New York.

We are very grateful to have had Phil with us and will miss him dearly.

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