PFLAG Perth founder June Smythe passes away aged 84

One of the founding members of the Perth chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), June Smythe, has passed away this week at the age of 84.

In 2021, the support organisation for the loved ones of LGBTQIA+ folks is celebrating 32 years thanks to the foundation laid in 1989 by Smythe and her co-founders John and Margaret Pugh.

“It is with so much love and respect in our broken hearts that the PFLAG Perth family wishes to announce the passing of our founder June Smythe, on Tuesday the 23rd of March 2021,” PFLAG Perth’s Kate Salinger told OUTinPerth.

“June was the first Australian member of PFLAG in the United States and, with the help of her dear friends John and Margaret Pugh, started the first Australian PFLAG branch, right here in Perth.”

“Through de-criminalisation, the height of the AIDS crisis, the road to Marriage Equality and right up until the last time I spoke with her, June’s love and concern for the LGBTQIA+ community was unflagging.”

“Her sharp wit, wicked sense of humour and genuinely humble nature was an impressive combination. June’s legacy is a huge one and while she will be missed enormously, she will live on in the hearts of so many and in the work of PFLAG in Australia. Vale June Smythe.”

June’s loved ones are inviting the community to celebrate June’s life and ensure her farewell service is as bright and beautiful as possible.  The funeral service will be held at Bowra & O’Dea on the corner of Great Eastern Highway and Robinson Road in Bellevue.

The service will commence at 10.00am. People are encouraged to wear their rainbow best, or come in drag, or in whichever fabulousness you feel will best honour June. A private cremation will be held at a later date.

OIP Staff

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