Graeme Philipson, technology journalist, editor, prominent ACS member and critic has passed away aged 66 following an accident at his Sydney home.
A long-standing member and passionate supporter of ACS, Philipson was an early editor of Information Age. In recent years Philipson was a fierce critic of the organisation’s senior management and its decision making.
“ACS has lost a passionate supporter with the passing of Graeme Philipson,” said ACS President Ian Oppermann. “Graeme was a fierce but honest critic who helped ACS see itself more clearly.
“His broad experience as a consultant, analyst, technology journalist and entrepreneur over forty years meant Graeme had a unique and deep perspective of Australia’s technology sector.
“I would like to extend commiserations to Graeme’s family on behalf of all of ACS’ members and staff. His contribution was greatly valued by everyone, and he will be greatly missed.”
Philipson went into computer sales after graduating from the University of New England in 1975. His break into IT journalism came in 1983 after selling some Apple II computers to publisher Gareth Powell, later to become The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s controversial technology editor.
Philipson began his 30-year association with ACS as editor of the then ACS Magazine, which became Information Age. His relationship with the society was rekindled in the mid-1990s when Strategic Publishing Group, which he co-founded with Alistair Gordon and Ken Davidson, held Information Age’s publishing rights.
Strategic Publishing Group’s main title was MIS Magazine which pioneered the expansion of Australian media companies into market research. Strategic Publishing was sold in 1999 by the trio to John Fairfax with MIS being later folded into the Australian Financial Review’s IT section.
Along with MIS magazine and Information Age, Philipson was a former editor of Computerworld Australia, and worked as a columnist for The Australian and Fairfax’s SMH and The Age. He also served as a research director with Gartner for two years following the SPG sale.
In 2010 Philipson was commissioned by ACS to research and write a 64-page analysis of the carbon footprint of the entire Australian IT industry and in 2016 to write the comprehensive history of the Australian computer industry to coincide with ACS’ 50th anniversary.
In recent years he became involved in a number of technology media ventures including Innovation Aus and ITWire. He also combined his IT journalism with his passion for poetry, describing himself as being “profoundly influenced by the great Australian bush poets, and in particular Banjo Patterson, Henry Lawson and C.J. Dennis”, along with a travel website that allowed him to indulge his enthusiasm for long European holidays.
Last year, he also re-took the reins of the Australian Computer Museum Society, having been its founding President in 1994.
Graeme Philipson is survived by his long-term partner, Sharon, his son Max and newly born grand-daughter, Oona.