A Tribute to Annette Murphy

18 Jul 2023

Annette Murphy
Annette Murphy

HEIDI DOUGLASS | h.douglass@unsw.edu.au

In August 1932, a baby girl given the name Annette Barbara Murphy was born in Temora, New South Wales. 

At age 90, following a 10-year battle with dementia, Annette passed away peacefully at Killara Gardens Aged Care. 

Annette was a Piano Teacher, a lover of the arts and was blessed with a happy, fulfilling life and an adoring life partner who was with her for 57 years. 

She was admired by her four children Jennifer, Peter, Debra and Justine, and a much-loved Ma-Ma to her eight grandchildren, Elliot, Lilly, Georgina, Anna, George, Julia, Aveline and Edith. She had also recently become a great grandmother to granddaughter Nora.  

Son Peter Murphy, surfer in CHeBA’s Wipeout Dementia events, said the decade since this much-loved member of the family’s diagnosis had been devastating for the family.  

Peter Murphy and son Wipeout Dementia

Annette's son Peter and grandson George at the 2019 inter-generational Wipeout Dementia

Annette's son Peter competing in the 2019 inter-generational Wipeout Dementia

“Mum was a kind, intelligent and strong woman".

Peter Murphy 

“To witness her decline was debilitating for all of us. I can still recall the moment where she failed to recognise me and it’s a heartbreaking experience,” he said. 
Annette’s family said their loving goodbyes on Monday, 17 July, at a beautiful Requiem Mass at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Edgecliff. She was then laid to rest at South Head Cemetery Vaucluse.  

Mr Murphy, chief executive of SkiJapan, first surfed and fundraised in Wipeout Dementia in 2016. SkiJapan then went on to become a key sponsor of the corporate surfing fundraiser and Peter would go on to be featured in the local newspaper. He even competed alongside then 15 year-old son George in the first inter-generational Wipeout Dementia held in 2019. 

“My Mum’s diagnosis was particularly cruel after losing my Dad to Alzheimer’s disease. For both of them it was a process of slow grieving.”

Peter Murphy

With 55 million people worldwide living with dementia and close to 250 Australians diagnosed every day, Peter said he was proud to support CHeBA’s work into the prevention, early detection and earlier intervention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and was a passionate supporter of Wipeout Dementia. 

Annette Murphy’s funeral was held on Monday, 17 July. Donations to CHeBA were generously given in lieu of flowers. CHeBA’s Co-Directors Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Perminder Sachdev and Wipeout Dementia Ambasssador Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew AM extend their deepest condolences and thanks to the Murphy family for their support of CHeBA’s research. 

To make an in memoriam donation, please go to: alumni.unsw.edu.au/giving/MED/CHEBA