Sydney LGBT community member Philip Diment was among those honoured in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Diment became a Member (AM) General Division for “service to the community as the convenor of the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project, and through contributions to the advancement of human rights”.
“It was really for 20 years of services to the gay and lesbian community, which culminated in the work I did securing the quilt a permanent home in the Powerhouse Museum,” Diment told the Star Observer.
“It was a very pleasant surprise to be recognised for all those years of voluntary service.”
Before becoming convenor of the Quilt Project in 2002, Diment was strongly involved with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, volunteering as a director from 1991-1993 and a director of the
Parade Committee in 1993 and 1994. He was also one of the founding directors of Harbour Party from 1996-2002, helping create and produce the now-iconic Mardi Gras event.
Diment said it was encouraging to see that voluntary work in the LGBT community was being officially recognised by the Australian Government.
Central to Diment’s honour were his efforts in raising $90,000 to cover the cost of curating, preserving and storing the Memorial Quilt in the Powerhouse.
Having juggled his two decades of voluntary service with a successful career as an architect, he admitted that at times the unpaid workload had been a struggle.
“Sometimes you do wonder whether you’ve taken on too much,” he said.
“But my award comes thanks to help from a lot of other people along the way, including people who donated up to $90,000 to get the quilt into the museum. That was quite an achievement in itself.
“I must say thanks to all the people along the way who’ve helped.”