The IAPMO Group extends its deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of Paul Pholeros, Architect and Director of Healthabitat, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 62 in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 1.
Since establishing Healthabitat – a nonprofit organization working to improve the health of poor and disadvantaged people by improving their housing – in 1985, Pholeros worked tirelessly on a series of urban, rural, and remote architectural projects throughout his native Australia and beyond. In particular, he focused on improvements with the understanding that the living environment plays a key and often overlooked role in health.
Pholeros was an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney, his alma mater, and Vice-Chairman and Board Member of Emergency Architects Australia. In 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition for his persistence and outstanding service to the health and well-being of the indigenous population of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.
Since 2012, IAPMO has supported Healthabitat’s growing international Sanitation Studio program, addressing community sanitation and skills development needs in locations including Nepal, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Papua New Guinea. The Community Plumbing Challenge, presented for the first time in India, was the latest initiative to emerge under Pholeros’ direction and guidance.
“We have lost a true leader and someone who has helped change people’s lives for the better,” IAPMO CEO Russ Chaney said. “Paul will never be replaced, as he was a true visionary.”
Dave Viola, IAPMO’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Strategy, said, “We are all shaken and deeply saddened to hear the news of Paul’s passing. With his work, he has touched many lives in a very significant way and he will be dearly missed.”
Speaking at TEDx Sydney 2013, Pholeros explained how Healthabitat’s Housing for Health program strives for “focused design to improve even the poorest living environments,” originating from one clear and simple goal: “stopping people getting sick.” His inspiring presentation may be seen in full here.
Pholeros’ funeral will be in the Camellia Chapel at Macquarie Park Crematorium, North Ryde, Sydney, at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. For those who are unable to attend, it will be streaming live and then archived. Donations to the ongoing work of Healthabitat in the name of Paul Pholeros may be made on the Healthabitat website.