Pat W Merrick (1932 – 1990) spent a lifetime making a difference to the lives of others through provision of mental health care, mentoring or just a sympathetic ear and comforting hand on the shoulder for those in their darkest hour. Following service in the Australian Navy during the Korean War period, Pat set about dedicating his life to the implementation of pioneering psychiatric healthcare strategies in an era when today’s contemporary awareness of mental health was in its infancy. As a clinical nurse educator he oversaw a new generation of mental health clinicians enter the system – professionals who would go on to be at the vanguard of mental healthcare as we know it today.
But it wasn’t just his work in the field of healthcare that defined him because Pat Merrick’s life was a rich tapestry that wove itself into the lives of so many people, whether it be through his involvement with his beloved New Norfolk Eagles football club, various sporting associations, community service and, in his later years, helping countless people battling drug and alcohol addiction to come back from the edge that they were perilously close to. And adding to the kaleidoscope of his life, it was his quest for knowledge, his love of science and his towering intellect that left such a mark on those closest to him.
It is with this in mind that the PW Merrick Foundation has been established to continue Pat’s philosophy of forward-thinking and continually pushing through the established boundaries of scientific knowledge.