Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vale Dame Patricia O'Sullivan OAM

Two days ago Dame Patricia O'Sullivan OAM slipped peacefully away  in her sleep. 

We all lost a true champion for the disabled and under-priviledged and a true champion of building close relationships between Australia and Indonesia.

Dame Patricia was the driving force behind the creation of POSH - The Patricia O'Sullivan Humanitarian Project - that has supported thousands of young children in East Java with hearing disabilities.

Those of you who have had the privilege of visiting the Karya Mulia School for Deaf Children in Surabaya, would have been deeply touched by the work of POSH. 

Since Dame Patricia suffered an untimely stroke some years ago, her daughter Trisha Henderson has taken over the vision and responsibility for this incredible project.

Dame Patricia would be justifiably proud of her daughter and those that work so hard to make the lives of so many young children in East Java just a little better.

Dame Patricia made a difference in our world and we bid her farewell.


Ross B. Taylor AM


Indonesia Institute (Inc)


  1. Dear Members,

    I echo and support Ross’s accolades for Dame Patricia O’Sullivan, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Cambridge, which in 1997 as the Rotary Club of Floreat had the joy and privilege of helping join with Pat in her joyful, knowledgeable and very enthusiastic choices of toys and educational materials for thousands of deaf children in Surabaya.

    Pat was also a delightful and influential character, with her persuasive packages shipped to Surabaya with maximum efficiency and speed by Garuda Airlines.

    We should celebrate her life, as thousands of children certainly do, and hopefully many now adults, all in their silent and alingual world.

    We also sincerely thank Trish, the daughter of two powerful and wonderful people, Dan and Pat, for taking up their heritage in building and strengthening effective community bridges with Indonesia.

    And I personally thank Ross, who kindly opened one of our links when times were much more greatly troubled.

    With truly wondrous memories.

    (Prof.) Brian J. O'Brien
    Floreat WA 6014

  2. So sorry to hear of Patricia's passing. She did much to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and damaged; through translating her concerns into practical projects she also strengthened relations between RI and Oz.

    As we say here, not a NATO (no action, talk only) lady.

    You can be justly proud of her many achievements, Trisha.

    My sympathies.

    Duncan Graham
    RI: +62 817378460 / +62 341 727719

  3. Thanks Ross.

    Pat was a formidable woman and one who I thoroughly enjoyed working with - thank you for introducing us all those years ago and take a bow that our (yours, mine, hers) work was part of the story of getting those funds to the school.

    The image of our daughter Ruby doing signing with the kids on a visit to Karya Mulia is treasured.

    Vale Dame Patricia.

    Tony McRae
    Riverton WA

  4. A few years ago Trisha told me:
    “My mother came from a poor family and always felt for poor children. She knew that big differences can be made by doing many small things. She talked about ‘lighthouse projects’, beacons of best practice showing the way for others to follow.

    “Indonesia is now where Australia used to be in caring for deaf children.

    “In WA we are blessed – we can afford to be generous. It’s our humanitarian responsibility to offer our expertise and support those who want to improve services."