Our friend and colleague Graeme Philipson passed away on Tuesday, never having regained consciousness after a freak accident at his home in Sydney. He was 66 years old.
If ever there was a man who epitomised the quirkiness and comradery of the Australian IT media and publishing sector it was Graeme Philipson, or GP – GeePee – as he loved to be called.
Over the course of his long career, GP saw the sector from almost every angle; as a journalist, researcher, editor, analyst, publisher and commentator.
He helped to build and sell companies along the way, including Strategic Research to Gartner in 1996 and Strategic Publishing to Fairfax in 1999, and in the last twenty years reported widely on the technology sector.
But while most people know that he was an important and prolific member of the IT journo community, it is easy to forget just how much he achieved over the course of his career.
As part of his recently established website, GP published his CV which you can find here. It’s a wonderful history of a man who ‘operated’ computers, before selling them and eventually writing about them.
In recent years GP widened his reportage (a word that he would definitely approve of) and published a travel book, a book of poetry, multiple accounts of the Australian computer industry, and a series of blogs giving (well deserved) hell to the Australian Computer Society during its recent period of internal drama and intrigue.
GP knew how to live life and it was difficult to keep up with the pace of his travels and adventures, most of which he shared with his much-loved wing-woman Sharon Rowland. Or ‘Shazza from the Shire’ as he affectionately referred to her.
He loved great food, wine and laughter and he loved his friends. He loved his boy (Maximillian Philipson!) and was proud as punch at the arrival of his first grandchild just before Christmas.
In recent days the word ‘raconteur’ keeps popping into my head. It’s a fitting descriptor and with GP’s love of the written word, publishing and amassing friends and experiences everywhere he went, we wanted to find a way to capture some of those great stories.
As such, some of his friends have set up an email account rememberingGP@gmail.com and invite people to share a story or a memory of a time with GP that makes them smile. The account will be open until the end of February, and then compiled into a book for his family.
I have known Graeme Philipson for 20-odd years. He was a founding contributor to InnovationAus when we launched the title five years ago. He was great fun, and we all feel his loss deeply.
Vale GP. You will be missed.