Carmel Rosella: A personal reflection

When I think of Carmel Rosella, a smile comes to my lips. It comes from a sense of admiration and affection for this wonderful woman, a woman of significance who changed so much for so many. She had many friends and supported people in the community with whom she shared an understanding of the challenges life can bring.

Her childhood was one of massive abuse, an absence of trust when it was so needed and her life was scarred with alcohol and self-harm in her attempts to obliterate the pain.Carmel emerged as an adult who could not read or write – life for her was very unfair and she wanted it otherwise. Remarkably, she made it so and became an inspiration for us all. She learned to read and write and her abilities with communication, especially her work as Co-ordinator of the Reading and Writing Group, helped change the lives of others in her community.

Most of us reading this know these things about Carmel and something of the hurt she carried with her. But she was also a person of humour and kindness, with great depths of courage and goodness; a woman with persuasive power and a huge capacity for love and generosity. It was these qualities she shared for the good in her short stay on this earth. We are poorer without her presence amongst us. People like Carmel are rare though and never really go away. Who amongst us will ever forget that she had overcome so much and had given back what she could to others. Most of us could never have achieved what she did.

I will always be grateful for her friendship and the fact that she trusted me enough to talk about her life. I will take her with me always. Thank you Carmel. You are a profound spirit.

Debbie Price, former Anglicare employee.