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Trisha Broadbridge

Quick Facts

  • Name: Trisha Broadbridge (maiden name Silvers)
  • Born: April 19, 1981, in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Victim of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Her husband, Melbourne (AFL) footballer Troy Broadbridge, died in the tsunami.
  • Enlisted Melbourne footballers to build a school in tsunami-devastated Phi Phi, Thailand.
  • Fund Manager for the Reach Broadbridge Foundation.
  • Young Australian of the Year 2006
  • Quote: "I want to be known for the person I am and the positive things I do, not for the negativity of what happened." (The Age, October 2005)

Biography

On Boxing Day, 2004, Trisha Broadbridge’s life changed forever. She and husband, Melbourne (AFL) footballer Troy (5 October 1980 – 26 December 2004), were honeymooning on Phi Phi Island Beach, a resort in Thailand, when disaster struck. A massive tsunami, caused by an earthquake at sea, registering 9.0 on the Ritcher scale, swept across much of Asia and parts of Africa. It was one of the greatest natural disasters in history, engulfing the island of Phi Phi and sweeping Trisha Broadbridge’s husband out to sea, along with thousands of others. She never saw him alive again.

Trisha Broadbridge was devastated by the loss of her husband, and the traumatic change to her life, publicly acknowledging that she had reached the depths of despair in her struggle to come to terms with impact of the disaster on her life. Through this struggle came the realisation that, as a survivor of the tsunami, she had been given a second chance at life, and she was determined not to waste it, for the sakes of all those who had lost their chance in that disaster.

Determined to make a difference, she returned to Phi Phi Island, to build an education centre for the children of the island, many of whom lost love ones to the tsunami, and, like Broadbridge, were coping daily with the psychological effects of the event. She enlisted support from the Melbourne Football Club and from a charitable organisation, the Reach Foundation, an organisation which she had turned to as a teenager, and for which she worked on a voluntary basis. The result was funding for building supplies and a volunteer labour force made up of 34 Melbourne football players. One of the club’s former players, and founder of the Reach Foundation, Jimmy Stynes, helped her establish the Broadbridge Foundation, under the umbrella of Reach, to help realise her vision for the children of Phi Phi Island.

Her selfless contribution to the children of Phi Phi Island, as well as her work counselling and assisting young people in their lives through the Reach Foundation, was recognised when she was named Young Australian of the Year in 2006. Trisha Broadbridge has used the lessons of her life experiences to help others overcome obstacles in their lives; and returned to university study, to help equip herself with the skills to continue her work in overcoming disadvantage in developing countries.

Media

Books

  • Beyond the Wave: A tsunami survivor’s story by Trisha Broadbridge and Jon Carnegie (Allen and Unwin)

Audio Links

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