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Obituary Guest Book 10 Messages



With great sadness we farewell May who passed away on the 1st March 2020. Sympathy to all her family and friends. Carol

Published 6th Mar, 2020
ID: 4223359 GB: 4223359



Please be advised that due to the Corona Virus outbreak the Funeral Service for the Late May O'Brien which was to be held at Belvoir Function Centre in THURSDAY (26.03.2020) has been cancelled and a Memorial Service will take place at a later time. May will be laid to rest with dignity and respect at a Private Graveside Service. 

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  • O'BRIEN (May):

    Very saddened to learn of this. May O’Brien taught me at Mount Hawthorn primary school and was then known and loved as Miss Miller. I attended the schools 100 year anniversary and you could hear most wondering if Miss Miller would be there. Then, from about twenty metres away, I heard her call my name and sure enough she was there and remembering all of her students names. She lived in West Perth as I did when I was a child and for one term my mother dropped me at her place and she would take me to school and bring me home again. I remember one morning the radio announced that The Seekers were breaking up and they played The Carnival Is Over. We both looked at each other with a profound devastation as we, like most Australians, loved the band.

    She will always remain one of my great heroes.

    Sunday, 22 March 2020 Submitted online by Clint Walker
  • O'BRIEN (May):

    Beautiful memories of my amazing, gentle and kind grade one teacher Miss Miller 1962 at Mt Hawthorn. I can still remember sitting cross legged on the mat while you told us stories of your childhood and years later I read your books to my own children. You touched so many lives and achieved so much with grace and courage. 

    Deepest sympathy to all family and friends,

    Lee-Anne Callow (Robinson).

    Friday, 13 March 2020 Submitted online by Lee-anne Callow
  • O'BRIEN (May) 

    (nee Miss Miller) was my year one teacher at Mt Hawthorn Primary School in 1963. As a young white fella / wadjela from a working class family, going to a solid middle class school, I had no idea at the time how revolutionary and ground breaking my teacher was. I can only say she was a wonderful teacher, and a wonderful person. Fond memories of her bringing the class to attention with her standard line [clap clap] "Okay class, sit up straight, face the front and cross your arms!" The world is most certainly a better place for her being in it. Deepest condolences to her family and friends.

    Wednesday, 11 March 2020 Submitted online by David Tehr
  • O'BRIEN (May):

    Thank you May for all of your support, friendship and encouragement since I first met you on my ATP in Halls Creek 1982 and your last professional stay in Boulder with me in 2011. You were inspirational, kind and taught many educators how to work cross culturally to bridge the gap.

    Tuesday, 10 March 2020 Submitted online by Felicity Dear
  • O'BRIEN MAY We were fortunate to have been taught by you and remember your dedication to each and every one of us, Mrs O'Brien. It has been wonderful to reconnect again and dedicate our nature playground to you. Rest in peace. Natalie Tarr, family and Nollamara Primary class of 1970s

    Friday, 13 March 2020 Published in The West Australian

    A trailblazer in WA education, it was always a privilege to work with May and share her stories. Condolences to her family and our friends at Fremantle Press.

    Seven West Media Education and The West Australian's ED! Magazine.

    Wednesday, 11 March 2020 Published in The West Australian

    One of Western Australia's leading educators, May was the first female Aboriginal teacher in WA and dedicated 34 years of her life to educating children across the state, first as a teacher and consultant to the Aboriginal Education Branch and then as superintendent of Aboriginal Education.

    She will be fondly remembered by all.

    From the Director General and Corporate Executive of the Department of Education.

    Tuesday, 10 March 2020 Published in The West Australian

    Farewell darling May. What a force for good you were in our State, in Australia and globally. My heart is filled with great memories of our Long Courses and our shared time in the UK when you had your Churchill Fellowship.

    Thank you for all your wisdom. Rest in peace.

    With love Lyn Sherwood.

    Saturday, 7 March 2020 Published in The West Australian


    I will always remember the times we met for coffee at the Galleria, the stories we shared and all the laughter. My heartfelt sympathy to May's family and friends. Sally Morgan.

    Saturday, 7 March 2020 Published in The West Australian

    May was a valued friend and aunt to my grandchildren. Hers was a life dedicated to helping others and generations of Aboriginal children are her beneficiaries. It was a life of triumphs over adversities faced by trail blazers. Now gone but never forgotten for such is her legacy.

    McCudden family

    Saturday, 7 March 2020 Published in The West Australian


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