Monday, March 23, 2015

Vale Pat Gallaher OAM

Patricia 'Pat' Gallaher OAM was one of the inaugural members of the ALIA Retirees Group, having devoted almost 30 years to delivering exceptional public library services in regional Western Australia, in Paraburdoo, Karratha and Geraldton as well as serving on the Library Board of Western Australia. 
Photo credit: State Library of Western Australia

Pat began her working life as a laboratory technician in Sheffield. She emigrated to Australia and worked at the Defence Standards Laboratories in Alexandria, Sydney.  Her first library job was at Mosman Public Library in Sydney. Moving a few years later to Western Australia, Pat Gallaher worked in public libraries in regional areas for almost 30 years. She held positions in Paraburdoo and Karratha, and then for 20 years as the regional librarian for the City of Geraldton (1981-2001). While at Geraldton Library Pat introduced many new services and developments, including a service to house-bound residents, the internet, and an automated library management system. Pat also oversaw extensions to the Library and established the local studies collection.

Recognizing a need to foster young writers, Pat initiated the Randolph Stow Young Writers Award in 1989 to encourage school students in the Geraldton region of Western Australia to write. Pat Gallaher served on many committees promoting regional arts, including the Geraldton Arts Council and as a board member of Country Arts WA. In 1987 Pat formed the Mid West regional chapter of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

Pat Gallaher joined the Library Board of Western Australia in 2002 as the representative for the Western Australian Local Government Association and served a four year term to 2006. She was named as a Fellow of the Library Board in 2011, in recognition for her commitment to libraries and the arts in regional Western Australia. She was interviewed on 28 October 2013 as part of the Library Board of Western Australia 60th anniversary project.

Pat remained involved with the library profession in her retirement, helping to establish the Retirees section of the Australian Library and Information Association.  Following her retirement from the Geraldton Library, Pat was elected to the Geraldton City Council, serving on the municipal council from 2001-2003.

In 2003 Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the arts and to the community, particularly as a regional librarian. In 2011 she was made a Fellow of the Library Board of Western Australia.

Pat Gallaher died in Perth, Western Australia on 11 December 2014.

Source: Patricia Gallaher. (2015, February 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:45, March 23, 2015, from

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