Katharine Perera, Professor Emerita of Linguistics and former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, died on 1 October 2016. Katharine was an inspiration to generations of students and academic colleagues. She began her work life as a teacher of English as a Second Language, working and travelling in Southeast Asia. Her research career, launched in the early 1980s, focused on children’s acquisition of reading and writing, language assessment and notions of linguistic norm, and general child language development. She was Editor of the prestigious Journal of Child Language, before becoming one of the first female professors to take on a senior university management role. She set up the Women in Leadership project, which she continued to lead many years after her retirement. When Multilingual Manchester was taking its first steps, between 2010-2012, Katharine was there to support us with invaluable advice and encouragement, especially around our strategy to involve students in research and in community volunteering activities. Ours is one of numerous academic and outreach activities that received direct inspiration from her vision, her integrity, her values, and her love of people, life, and learning, and we shall always remember her.