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Vale Simone Morrissey

Lee Rhiannon 6 Aug 2011

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

Simone Morrissey died last night, just 24 years old. Our personal and collective sadness is enormous – for Simone, for her family, for all of us.

On Monday Simone suffered an aneurysm that resulted in extensive brain damage. The doctors and nurses at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital made every effort to save Simone. Sadly her partner and family had to make the decision to have her life support turned off.

I still find it so hard to believe that we will not see Simone again.

In many conversations with friends and her family in recent days our thoughts have turned to Simone’s courage, her humanity and her passion. Her sense of justice framed her life.

I remember Simone telling me how pleased she was to be appointed an NTEU organiser and she shared her delight by circulating a photo of her name on her own office door. This was now Simone’s time to work with union members. Her excitement was a delight to share.

Here was a job where Simone lived her beliefs, campaigning for decent working conditions and for progressive politics.

The Your Rights at Work campaign was Simone’s political initiation. Working with people was her strength and working for a union further fostered her many skills.

When I think of Simone her personality beams into my thoughts. She was a proud woman who had the courage and the cut through to keep the focus on the task at hand – whether we were trying to win an election, build the equal pay case or organise a feminist conference Simone’s skills brought out the best in all and helped us step around those with unhelpful agendas.

Her sparky personality and humour were a delight to be around. Life was to be enjoyed with Simone baking scones, knitting, networking with friends while always engaging with the political world.

I met Simone in the Greens. She was on the 2010 Greens NSW federal election Senate ticket and then in the 2011state election she stood as a lower house candidate for the seat of Menai. Here’s her election campaign page.

This is the description Simone gave herself on her twitter page: ‘Sparkly mix of lefty, feminista, enviro, unionist extraordinaire. Yay!’

And it is Yay! many times over for Simone.

Simone’s life encapsulated wonder and passion. Our loss is huge.

The death of someone so young is always deeply wrong. The old should not bury the young.

As the sadness of Simone’s death grips us I take solace in remembering Simone as she was and as I know she always would have been – a loyal friend, a fighter for good causes and the life of the party.

I extend my condolences to Simone’s partner, family, friends and work colleagues. This is such a sad day.

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