I have thought of the best way to begin this post, but for the first time in a long time, the words do not flow. This is strange for someone who makes so much noise like me.

If you have followed my posts across my socials, you would have been taken on a journey that began in 2019. I posted every major milestone of my PhD, I posted my wins, my failures. The idea was to keep myself accountable and to inspire those who followed my story.

Today is a good day. The PhD is officially over.

Congratulations Dr. AAP

I had a sentimental attachment to my PhD especially because when I was 15, my mother died of HIV. At 20, my dad followed. Researching and working in the area of HIV and infectious diseases was personal. Anyway, this is a story for another day.

Dr AAP teaching roles during PhD

Today is about celebration and thanksgiving. While a PhD can be a long and lonely journey, I remained active across all spheres of family, research, volunteering, teaching and supporting many others to winning scholarships too. The mantra was “Until we all win, no one has won”. It remained so to the very end.

Dr AAP academic output during PhD

I send out my heartfelt thanks to all those who supported me through this PhD, especially my darling beautiful Squeezim (Anizoba Ezinne Zine-Zi), who was a major reason for me starting and finishing this PhD. Thanks baby. To my most prized PhD publications, Zoe and Zita, thank you.

I am fortunate to have been supervised by three incredible women: Assoc. Prof. Julie Anne King, Dr. Jo Durham, and Prof. Amy Mullens. Thank you.

Thank you to all my friends and family who came on this long journey with me. For all those whom I always cautioned not to call me Dr., from today on, you have express permission to refer to me as Dr. AAP😀.

Dr AAP’s leadership roles during PhD candidature

Next steps:

  1. I will continue in my role as a qualitative researcher in the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood donor research team, which I began four months ago.
  2. Await my graduation ceremony in the coming months.
  3. Continue to work on my manuscripts for publication.

If you are a qualitative researcher or student working in the area of HIV and Disability, my thesis is a good place to start. I did a fantastic job with that 312-page document. As my people will say “I finish work for there”😀.

It is indeed over

Dr. Aaron Akpu Philip
PhD Public health

cc: QUT School of Public Health and Social Work
QUT (Queensland University of Technology)

#DrAAPtalks #CommunityDevelopmentWorker #Aa2Zi