Celebrating the life of a FAWWA leader,
Dr. Trisha Kotai-Ewers OAM
On January 17, 2021, long-standing FAWWA leader Trisha Kotai-Ewers passed away peacefully at her home.
Trisha was the driving force behind the relocation and restoration of Tom Collins House and Mattie Furphy House, which serve as administration and events space for FAWWA.
She was President several times between 1988 and 2013, and was central to the administration of FAWWA during this time. An author in her own right she supported and encouraged many of us during her long involvement with FAWWA.
Trisha was the only child of Jean nee McIntyre and John Keith ‘JK’ Ewers, founding President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers of WA (FAWWA).
Trisha's contribution to FAWWA through the late twentieth century, and first decade of the twenty-first, have given us a solid base on which to build a vibrant and independent future. A dynamic personality, renowned for her generosity and warmth, Trisha will be sorely missed.
On Saturday 27 March, 2021, FAWWA held a memorial celebration for Trisha Kotai-Ewers, in conjunction with her family. The weather was a glorious, sunny 31 degrees, with a gentle sea breeze.
Over 100 of her friends and family gathered in The Hollow behind Mattie Furphy House and listened to a program of readers share memories and stories from her life. The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos were feeding in mighty Tuart trees above and calling throughout the afternoon. Afterwards, Ultimo Caterers, organised by Trisha's family, served wonderful food, drinks, tea and coffee.
FAWWA had put together a number of storyboards to illustrate Trisha's life and displayed books by both Trisha and her father John K. Ewers on the verandah. A slideshow was running in the main room. People mingled and chatted under the shady trees sharing many happy memories of knowing Trisha.
Various people spoke about Trisha's life and contribution to the writing sector, sharing their memories of Trisha. Please enjoy these links to the following speeches:
Nicholas Hasluck - a eulogy for Trisha Kotai-Ewers
Glen Phillips - Trisha in my life
Dr Patricia Kotai-Ewers traced the origins and development of FAWWA and its influence on the development of literature in Western Australia for her Doctor of Philosophy thesis in 2013. More here.
Click below for photo highlights from the beautiful day of celebrations.
Trisha Kotai-Ewers as a teenager dancing with the West Australian Ballet. Photo courtesy the Kotai family.
Dr Trisha Kotai-Ewers receiving heritage funding to restore Mattie Furphy House in 2011.