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This is a photograph of former UQ politics lecturer Phil Richardson speaking at the Forum.

Phil was a regular at the Forum in the late 60s and early 70s.

Greg Mallory recalls that Phil was very active in the radical movement on campus and was a member, or fellow traveller, of the Students for Democratic Action. During the 1960s he had enormous influence over future student leaders such as Mitch Thompson and Brian Laver. His lectures were extremely entertaining.

In Greg’s words, ‘He was the only lecturer who ad-libbed his way through an hour’s lecture without any notes. Sometimes he didn’t seem to remember what the topic that day was on, or pretended not to, so students would call out: “You’re meant to be lecturing on Churchill’s war cabinet” or “Anthony Eden and Suez”…and after a long draw on a fag, off he’d go, and it was if it was the first time he’d spoken publicly on his favourite subject.’

In 1977 Phil returned to England, where he practised law and then taught politics and economics at Maidstone Grammar School. Sadly, Phil died in April after contracting COVID-19. 

Greg’s obituary for Phil was published in the Autumn/Winter edition of the Queensland Journal of Labour History.

Thanks to Jeff Rickert from Save the UQ Union Complex
@SUQUC

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