Burnett was an early AIDS activist and educator. Originally from Auckland, Burnett had been living in Europe and then in the US in the late 1970s. He returned from San Francisco in November 1983. In August 1984 he began a one-man tour of the country attempting to educate at risk communities about AIDS. One of the first AIDS workshops in Wellington happened at Turnbull House. Burnett died on 1 June 1985.
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