Remembering Graeme Philipson
25 January 2022
In memory of Graeme Philipson, the Pearcey Foundation is continuing his work of writing a definitive History of the Australia in the Digital Age. The section Graeme completed is being finalised for publication and the remainder will be completed by contributing authors in accordance with Graeme's original plan.
It is now a year since we lost a remarkable colleague.
Graeme Philipson was a poet, an author, an IT journalist and commentator. During his long career as an acute observer of the ICT sector, Graeme published thousands of news items and opinion pieces.
Graeme's commitment to our industry included long term involvement with the Australian Computer Museum Society and participation in a research project in the Business School at the University of Sydney: gathering oral histories from ICT pioneers, particularly previous Pearcey Foundation awardees, in order to identify factors contributing to past success in innovation in Australia. Graeme had also developed histories of the ACS and of ICT companies and individuals.
Graeme had been commissioned by the Pearcey Foundation to write a definitive history of Australia and Australians in the digital age. The source material for this work included biographies and oral histories from people who had led us through the IT revolution. Graeme laid out a detailed plan for an extensively referenced publication which would cover the whole period up to the present day.
Supported by an editorial group from across Australia, Graeme had almost completed the first section of this major work at the time of his death. He had reached back into the history of computers, through the story of George Julius and the Totalisator, the pioneering work of Trevor Pearcey and others, up until the mainframe era of the 1960s.
Graeme had the rare capability to write well-researched history which was eminently readable and engaging, even to the non-technical reader.
The Pearcey Foundation is determined to continue the work Graeme started: preserving his style in the work he had brought close to final form, and continuing the recording of our IT history in accordance with the plan he had established.
It is fitting that on the anniversary of his death the Pearcey Foundation can announce that IT commentator and experienced editor, Martin Aungle, has agreed to take on the task of finalising the work Graeme had almost completed and to prepare it for publication.
Martin will also work with the Pearcey Foundation to recruit other contributors who will be invited to provide material (probably in a Wiki format) to create an accessible online history which will follow Graeme's original plan.
In this way we can continue the work initiated by the remarkable and greatly missed Graeme Philipson.