When we said goodbye as we left for our most recent lockdown, we thought at most it would be for a few weeks. Not forever. Sadly, within a few days of the lockdown Phan was in hospital with the terrible news that she only had a few weeks to live, and that any treatment was not going to prolong her life.
True to Phan’s fighting spirit she was then on a mission to get everything in her life in order as well as she could for her son Max. Most days she had a new task for the team, even the leech mission was tackled!
Phan was extremely grateful for the very quick way so many people across UC arranged for her exit so she could focus on spending the little time she had left with Max.
Thankfully those few weeks Phan stretched into a few months and she came to peace. Over that time we had the opportunity to share with each other stories of Phan’s infectious, raucous laugh. Her fruit collection. Her amazing ability to get so much done in a day – much like the duck analogy – graceful on the outside but madly paddling under the water. Her quiet demeanour punctuated sometimes with fierceness when someone or something she believed strongly in was challenged.
So many people across UC will have worked with Phan. She was the one who you contacted for web support. She quietly just fixed your issue or she might have even trained you on using T4 yourself. She was here so long, that it is hard to imagine life without her. Thankfully, not that long ago we celebrated her long service with a morning tea, where she had a chance to reflect on the many people she had worked with and share stories.
We are sad that Phan has left us too soon. But we are grateful that she was in our lives.
Vale Phan Vong.