Brisbane memorial announced for activist Phil Carswell

Phil Carswell with Queensland Premier Steven Miles
Image: Steven Miles/Facebook

Friends, family and colleagues will gather to celebrate the life of the late Phil Carswell, a pioneer and legend of LGBTQI+ and HIV/AIDS activism in Australia, at a memorial at Queensland’s Parliament House.

We lost a legend when Phil Carswell OAM passed away last month. His incredible legacy includes fearless leadership in the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, establishing the Victorian AIDS Council.

The longtime activist later moved to Brisbane. He worked for Queensland Health and continued his advocacy in health and politics.

Phil received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2015 for his “outstanding service to community health and the response to HIV/AIDS”.

A Brisbane memorial service for Phil is next Thursday (April 11) inside the Speakers Hall on Level 3 of the Parliamentary Annexe building.

Guests are invited to arrive at 11:30am for a 12pm start. Following a service, there will be light refreshments and the opportunity for guests to share stories of Phil’s impact and legacy.

Queensland Premier pays tribute to Phil Carswell

After Phil’s death, Queensland Premier Steven Miles paid tribute to the “pioneer and legend” and his years of of campaigning.

“Phil always believed that we were stronger together. He fiercely fought against any attempts to divide people,” the Premier said.

“Phil was the founding member and President of the Victorian AIDS Council in 1983.

“In the four decades since, Phil’s advocacy for a better community response to HIV/AIDS broke down stigma and saved countless lives.”

Steven Miles remembered Phil Carswell’s work in recent years, during Steven’s time as Queensland Health Minister.

“He was a fierce campaigner for the rights of others, for better public health responses, for marriage equality, expungement of historic gay sex offences and many other law reforms,” the Premier recalled.

“Whether advocating for workers, or his work with and alongside the LGBTQI+ and HIV communities, he fought to make the world a better place.”


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A post shared by Steven Miles (@stevenmilesmp)

Steven Miles remembered Phil’s “wicked sense of humour” that “brightened a room”.

“He fought and campaigned for the rights of others his entire life. We will miss dearly him and I send my deepest condolences to his loving husband Ian,” Steven said.

Melbourne memorial also planned

After Phil’s death, LGBTQIA+ health organisations across the country paid tribute to him.

Thorne Harbour Health has confirmed planning for a memorial in Melbourne is also underway.

“We use the label ‘legend’ for many people who have played important roles in our community but it’s completely true and appropriate of Phil Carswell,” Thorne Harbour Health President  Janet Jukes said.

“Phil Carswell lived an incredible life. Our LGBTIQ+ communities owe him a debt of gratitude for his remarkable contribution to our collective health and wellbeing.”

Vale to community legends:

Veteran HIV/AIDS activist Phil Carswell dies age 70

Legendary showgirl Trixie Laumonte passes away in Brisbane

Vale Trixie Laumonte: photos from a 50-year career

Sydney legend Steve Ostrow’s memorial is next week

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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