Born 13.3.45 – Died 29.10.92
Free Ken McClelland!
Until several years ago these words could be seen on a wall in a lane in Carlton, a reminder of the fight to free Ken McClelland who was gaoled in Pentridge prison in 1972 for resisting conscription.
Ken’s role in the battle against AIDS though was a considerable less conflictual and political one. He was the first Convenor of the North Area Support Group of the VAC/GMHC and spent many hours developing the systems and training necessary to skill up the members of his group to be able to care for the members of their PLWHA clients. North group was the first to have a client load in the mid 1980’s and Kens work with the group helped make it a model for other area groups to follow.
Member of the North Group in the eighties remembers Kens inclusive, consensual style, his ability to listen and carefully match volunteers with the tasks that reflected theirs skills and interests as the hallmarks of his leadership. He was highly committed to working with people at a “grass roots” level and to following principles of community development.
In the latter years of his life, he preferred to be known as Joe. His work with the Support programme as well as his warmth and charisma had endeared his to many in the HIV community. His legacy and name will not be forgotten.
Photo courtesy of the Satellite Group Limited