Patricia Rhatigan

Remote area educator

2008 WA Senior Australian of the Year

Patricia Rhatigan has worked for almost fifty years as a nun in the Kimberly region. Being a nun and working for the needy is all she ever wanted to do, beginning at a leprosarium in Broome and the Beagle Bay mission. She became a classroom teacher in 1960 and served in a range of roles leading to her becoming the foundation regional officer for the Catholic Education Office in Broome. After negotiating for first year undergraduate degrees to be offered fully through the Broome campus of the Notre Dame University, Sister Patricia was appointed Dean of the campus in 1998. Under her leadership the campus inaugurated its studies in nursing and counselling and a Diploma of Indigenous Management. She is a prodigious researcher of remote area teaching and is currently coordinator of the Sisters of St John of God Kimberly Centenary activities.