Members Statement: Marie Browitt & Family

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (16:50): I rise to express my condolences to Marie Browitt and her extended family and friends for the devastating loss of her daughter Krystal and husband, Paul, following the White Island, or Whakaari, volcano eruption in New Zealand. The Browitt family are well known in Craigieburn: Paul a much-loved husband and father, Marie assisting to reunite lost pets with their owners, Stephanie, 23, working at Target, and Krystal at Woolworths, both at Craigieburn Central.

The family were cruising on the Ovation of the Seas to celebrate Krystal’s 21st birthday. On 9 December Paul, Stephanie and Krystal took the White Island volcano tour when tragedy struck and White Island was transformed from a tourist destination to a disaster zone for the 47 people on the island. After the eruption Paul was taken to Auckland hospital and Stephanie to Christchurch Hospital. Krystal was declared missing; however, she was one of the first found and formally identified during the retrieval operation.

Krystal graduated in 2016 from Kolbe Catholic College. Principal Nick Scully described her as a ‘much-loved member of the Kolbe community that her teachers describe as a beautiful soul’. Krystal’s kindness was demonstrated by her ongoing studies in veterinary nursing.

Paul and Stephanie were repatriated to the Alfred hospital, where sadly Paul passed away due to his injuries on 13 January. Paul was a highly respected and well-liked senior investigator at the State Revenue Office, where he worked for 36 years. Stephanie remains in hospital, with Marie by her bedside every day. The Craigieburn community has been united in their support and grief— (Time expired)