Patricia was, in 1997, one of six playwrights shortlisted for the British Council International Playwrighting Awards for a play that was never produced in Australia. This was Il Mostro: A Day in the Mind of a Madman.
She was one of four writers in residence at AFTRS in 1979-80, and her first original screenplay, Goodbye, Johnny Ray, won an AFI Award for best short film at the Sydney Film Festival.
Patricia wrote extensively for quality television, in series such as A Country Practice and GP, and was praised by the Sydney Morning Herald for her work in Fields of Fire 11 and Fields of Fire 111: The simplicity of the story is one of the pleasures of this piece. You wander with these people through an almost sunny life, punctuated with their private moments of disaster. Patricia Johnson has made an excellent script out of the slightest ingredients. This trilogy is still shown regularly on French, Spanish and Italian TV.
An original screenplay for a TV Feature, The Saint in Australia: Fear in Fun Park, was commissioned by an American production company in a series featuring a new 'Saint' saving the day in his international travels. The brief to writers' agents in several countries was for 'real' storylines based on news that was relevant to the local community. From all the submissions from Australian writers, this was the film that got made.
Kindred Spirits, a 1984 ABC film, won the 1985 Ditmar Award for best Australian sci-fi or fantasy film, beating Fred Schepisi's made-in-Hollywood Iceman. Bill Collins said: 'Kindred Spirits' is one of the three most impressive Australian films I have seen this year. It revives one's faith in the industry.
Patricia Johnson has been a trail-blazer for women script writers. Her early work as a journalist, in Sydney, then London and Madrid nourished her talent for writing 'true' stories. Her original work for stage and screen has been inspired by real events and her fictional characters interpret these events. Her receipt, as yet unpublished and unproduced, work includes a novel in which the central character is an 8-year-old boy who is a Ward of the State in Queensland, as well as several scripts including a screenplay, Tessie, for a Feature about cloning, science and the Tasmanian Tiger.
Patricia's first full-length stage play, Gladbags, was praised by the Sydney Sunday Telegraph: The playwright's characters are sharply perceived and deftly drawn ... and unforgettably funny; and the Perth Western Mail: Deliriously funny. The success of this play led to Patricia's appointment as the STC's writer in residence, in 1984, where she wrote And the Best Man Makes Three. The Sydney Morning Herald said: "And the Best Man Makes Three" will be one of the most memorable productions of the season. Her script is exemplary. She offers two wonderfully original characters, carefully observed and generously conceived. The dialogue is sparse, purposeful and idiomatic. It is a thoughtful, funny and gently profound play.