top of page

Phil McAuliffe

Phil McAuliffe (he/him) is a Dad, a partner, a son, an uncle, a cousin, a friend and a plane-nerd. He loves to have real conversations over a good coffee.


Phil’s a white, cis-gendered gay man. He learned first-hand that we know how to support people who come out of the closet more than we know how to support people who admit their loneliness.


Phil realised that he was lonely as he entered middle-age. He had a loving family and a prestigious job surrounded by privilege. It didn't make him immune to loneliness.


Phil initially found it tough to find information and support for the loneliness he was feeling. He got help and he got curious about loneliness. He's created spaces for other humans to engage on the topic without loneliness' stigma.

Phil starts and leads conversations that de-stigmatise loneliness and promote authentic connection - the kind of connection that every human needs and deserves. He leads these conversations in the media, at conferences and workplaces.

Through his work, Phil supports other humans who experience loneliness and to let them know that they're not alone.

Phil's here to connect and to help others connect.

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram


Phil McAuliffe (he/him) is a loneliness thought leader who draws upon his lived experience to start and lead kind and honest conversations that de-stigmatise loneliness and help humans get the authentic connection they need.

He is the founder of HUMANS:CONNECTING, a social enterprise that works to de-stigmatise loneliness and lead efforts to reduce loneliness globally. He also created The Lonely Diplomat (in 2018) and The Loneliness Guy (in 2020), which are also based on his lived experience.


He is the Co-Chair of the Ending Loneliness Together Lived Experience Advisory Panel.

Phil was an Australian Public Servant for 23 years. During this time he lived and worked in Canberra, Caracas, Darwin, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Tokyo and Wellington as a diplomat and as an accompanying diplomatic spouse. He worked as a journalist in Caracas.

His lived experience and insights on loneliness have appeared in Science, the BBC World Service and various Australian media.

He lives in Canberra (on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country) with Jeff, his partner, and their two teenage sons.


this is me

I’m a country boy with a city education and can naturally adapt my communication style depending on with whom I’m speaking. This puts others at ease and helps me feel at home in the world. 


I set about living my life collaboratively by bringing people together using my steely determination and a dry sense of humour. I’m committed to challenging myself, others and the status quo.


I love moving my body and finding out what I’m physically able to do. I love feeling better now than when I was 20 years old. I love that I love swimming, running, cycling, lifting heavy things in a gym and eating well.


I love our two children, Jeff - my partner - and my family and friends. I watch in awe and wonder as they each experience their world and work out how to give it the best of themselves.


I’m never far away from my eclectic music collection and it provides the soundtrack to my life. Photography connects me to life around me and be in the moment. I’m always on the lookout for a photo opportunity around me – the sky, a building, a quirky sign or people just doing their thing. My photos and music are my connections to people, places, events and feelings.


I’m socially progressive and financially conservative. It upsets me to witness and experience injustice and unfairness. Laziness, intolerance and people being inconsiderate of others make me mad and moves me to action.


I’m determined to not let life pass me by. My insatiable curiosity compels me to know what’s over the horizon or around the next corner. I want to keep learning about myself and others and experiencing new cultures, societies and ways of thinking. All this combined fuels my passion for travel, and when I’m not planning our next adventure, I’m doing so in my mind as I play Flight Simulator to destinations around the world for hours on end.


I love learning languages, because I appreciate the insight they give me on how people think about things and view the world. I often laugh when I become horribly confused when trying to remember the right words in the right language at the right time.


I want to let my light shine brightly, uncovered and uncluttered by needless stuff. I’m embracing minimalism. It not only has practical lifestyle advantages for a former diplomat who's moved houses every three years, it forces me to critically assess my place in the modern consumer society. The idea of using only what’s needed and embracing simplicity appeals to me deeply. It’s awakened an environmental consciousness that I eagerly explore. I don't live in a cave on a remote hillside; rather live well within my means, aware that my actions and decisions have consequences and leaving more time and energy for what’s important: me, my family and friends and making a positive contribution to the world.

where to next?

bottom of page