Did the Grim Reaper win?

Presented by ANU Archives and the Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, this lecture will cover the early history of HIV/AIDS in Australia and the community and political responses. It will focus on dealing with public and social discrimination, anger and victimisation, the battle between old style medical management and new style public health approaches. Phil will give his personal observations on the lessons learned from facing an evolving epidemic.

Phil Carswell OAM was a founding member and inaugural President of the Victorian AIDS Council. In 1984 he was appointed the Health Commission of Victoria's liaison officer with the gay community on AIDS-related issues and became Deputy Manager of the AIDS/STD Unit. He participated in the organisation of the 1st National AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in November 1985 and was a speaker during the event. He also spoke at the 2nd National AIDS Conference in Sydney as well as participating in the International AIDS Conferences in Stockholm (1988) and Montreal (1989). Phil represented the Victorian AIDS Council on the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations Council which he also co-founded and was appointed as one of two gay community representatives to the National Advisory Council on AIDS chaired by Ms Ita Buttrose. He was an inaugural trustee of the AIDS Trust of Australia in 1987 and convenor of the project to create the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Victoria. In 1993 he left the Victorian Department of Health and Community Services to take up the position as Manager, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health Section in the Queensland Department of Health. He was made voluntarily redundant by the incoming Newman Government in 2012 and received a Medal in the Order of Australia in 2015 for services to public health, particularly for people with HIV/AIDS.

Watch the lecture now on the ANU Youtube chanel.