Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeNewsLocalsVale Ashley Montabello (1990-2023)

Vale Ashley Montabello (1990-2023)

Ashley Anne-Maree Montabello was a kind person. Whenever we met – for lunch or coffee at Barn Doors Café on Redfern Street, with carers from St Vincent de Paul, at the Uniting Church in Raglan Street, in Phillip Street – she would greet me as a friend, with affection, humour, respect. And I will never forget it.

Ashley was a brave person. In April 2022 she was at Redfern railway station when a man fainted and fell from the platform. His head hit the tracks. A bystander recorded it. The Daily Mail reported it. How Ashley leapt from the platform, how she crossed herself and positioned herself between the fallen man and the approaching train – that she offered him whatever protection she could.

Those who knew Ashley best know that she often showed this kind of compassion.

We gathered for Ashley’s funeral on Thursday March 23, at the Liverpool Cemetery Chapel. We gave thanks for Ashley’s life – for all the ways her life blessed ours. We grieved her passing and offered support to Ashley’s partner Tommy, Ashley’s sisters and many friends.

We read from the gospel of Luke. In the parable Jesus tells (Luke 10:25-37), the one who showed compassion was an outsider, a Samaritan. In contrast to the Judean religious leaders – “respectable”, “important” – the Samaritan was quick to respond to a person beaten and fallen, to offer help and then ongoing care. The Samaritan – according to southern prejudices suspect, improper – was properly religious, that is, concerned for a neighbour in need.

We recommitted ourselves to compassion – in the Spirit of Jesus, with properly religious concern, in honour of Ashley – compassion, understanding, advocacy. We recommitted ourselves to opposing harmful stereotypes of drug users, people in pain; overcoming ignorance, including our own, when it comes to addiction, when it comes to trauma; seeking adequate health care, housing, support services. We recommitted ourselves to speaking up, taking action – trying and trying again.

Ashley Anne-Maree Montabello was a good person.

- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img

Tenants have their say about Waterloo

In the first half of 2023, at community events, online and through government and non-government agencies, tenants had opportunity to provide their views as part of the Waterloo Public Housing Tenant Survey.

Volunteers’ News – June 2024

Volunteers’ News – June 2024.

Living with dementia – a carer’s journey: 5. Psychotic episodes

One evening in May 2020, Stuart suddenly felt freezing cold. I checked his vital signs, all seemed to be within the normal range. In the following days and weeks, gradually the symptoms became more frequent. He would start with feeling cold, then roll onto the floor, shivering, holding his head saying “you are hitting me”, “it hurts”.

Crown Princess Mary Scholarship: how a Sydney student met Denmark’s Queen

When University of Sydney student Sophia Parada began her degree in 2020, she feared the pandemic would derail her dreams of studying abroad. In late May, at a ceremony in Denmark, she shook hands with Queen Mary as she accepted a scholarship to study at the University of Copenhagen.

Jan de Voogd’s legacy of compassion

Jan de Voogd was a Quaker peace activist, musician, teacher, sailor and boat builder who lived in Sydney. Born in Japan to Dutch parents, Jan spoke several languages. His work for peace spanned more than 50 years.

Volunteers rule!

Counterpoint Community Services hosted its 18th Redfern and Waterloo Volunteer Awards at the Alexandria Town Hall on May 22. The event was part of National Volunteer Week.