While there’s a lot going on in the world of Pat’s sister Emma right now – she’s building a brand new business, she’s just become engaged, bought a house, and just turned 30 – her thoughts of Pat are never far away.
For International Women’s Day, we thought it timely to share Emma’s thoughts on resilience, the challenges of carving out a new career direction, as well as growing up with Pat and how his passing has changed her outlook on life.
Has the passage of time made it any easier in coming to terms with what happened to Pat?
I don’t think it’s made it any easier. Whenever there are milestones or days when the whole family comes together, we are invariably wishing that Pat could be here sharing in the moment.
Certainly, we are glad that the court process is behind us now.
It’s always heart-warming to know that so many people are familiar with Pat’s story. I think that’s partly because we are an ordinary, run-of-the-mill family – which makes it so relatable.
Have the events of the past five years changed the way you look at the everyday?
It’s made me appreciate the people around me even more and to enjoy every moment. It’s made me realise life doesn’t always go to plan and even though terrible things happen there are always positives to look out for.
You’ve just opened your own business. What prompted that decision?
I’m an osteopath and I’m branching out with my own small clinic in the north-east Melbourne suburb of Research.
It’s my first business and it would have happened sooner but COVID got in the way. While building any business can be challenging, I’m starting slowly and gradually getting busier over time.
I started the business because I wanted to be able to help people in my local community and continue to develop my skills as an osteopath.
You’ve also just become engaged and bought a new house?
Yes, there’s a lot happening in my world right now.
I met my fiance, Patrick two-and-a-bit years ago. He’s an accountant, and he’s been a big support all the way through – not only for me but the Foundation.
We’ve just bought a suburban family home, and we’ve got plans to do it up. At the moment we’re busy painting the interior before we move in.
Uncannily, your fiancé’s name is also Patrick.
There’s an amusing story that goes with that. On our first date, I had to inform him that I already had his name tattooed on my leg!
The tattoo is a tribute to Pat, of course. I wanted to have a small reminder of him with me wherever I went.
I wanted it to be something that would remind me of him and Winnie the Pooh was a character that was both of our favourites when we were younger. Pat had all the Pooh Bear characters and lots of toys to do with them all.
Can you share some memories of growing up with Pat?
I remember the family going on several major holidays, including to America and Europe.
In fact, there’s a photo of Pat that the Foundation has used a lot. He’s posing with a football and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is in the background.
I remember the morning that shot was taken – we had all just been for a big bike ride across the bridge and all around and were pretty tired.
The reason Pat is holding a football is that it was an integral part of every holiday. Dad made a point of bringing along a ball on all our holidays so that the boys could burn off energy. It certainly worked.
A football appears in lots of family photos. We started out with a red Sherrin and later on it was a yellow one.
Would there be a piece of advice you would pass on to your own children one day?
Every action has a consequence whether that be good or bad, so it’s always important to think carefully and be wise.
The Pat Cronin Foundation is dedicated to empowering young people never to use violence. You can also follow us on Facebook. Think carefully. Act kindly.