[ASC-list] Dr Melanie McKenzie - a woman of wit, keen intelligence and passion

Jennifer Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Thu Nov 5 04:23:21 UTC 2015

Dear colleagues and friends,

I am devastated to hear of Melanie's death earlier today after suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Melanie worked with Econnect from early 2006 right up until towards the end of last year. We also supported her PhD studies at the University of Queensland through an industry grant.

Mel loved being a science communicator (I still remember when she told me early on that if I didn't give her a job, she'd still hang around Econnect anyways).  She was one of the best workshop facilitators that Econnect has ever had. She was very witty, super smart and had a keen sense of humour.  She hated anything that wasn't logical or objective (the engineer in her) and was passionate about combatting anything anti-science. We used to jokingly call her "Mystic Melanie".

Tomorrow I celebrate my 20 years at Econnect Communication, and Melanie is one of the major reasons why Econnect has succeeded for so long. She brought intellect, rigour and excellence to everything she did.

Thank you Mel. Your life on this earth has been too short, but you gave it your all. You were my employee but also my friend, and I loved you.


PS. Her partner, Jason, sent the following message to her friends:

Melanie didn't want a funeral or formal commemoration. She has donated her body to UQ, and I will eventually spread her ashes at the North Gorge on Stradbroke Island.
In lieu of flowers...

You can help to fund good pancreatic cancer research by giving money directly to the people who are doing the work. Sean Grimmond and his team at The University of Queensland are doing some great stuff with genomic profiling. If you'd like to contribute, go to <https://www.uq.edu.au/giving/donations/fund/990046>, click "Other," and type "Grimmond's research on pancreatic cancer."

The palliative care folks at St Vincent's hospital have been heroic during this entire process. They have given us time, compassion, and comfort-visiting us at home, keeping Melanie's oncologists in check, and even setting up a cot for me next to her bed during the last week. I am so very grateful. If you'd like to make a donation, visit <https://svphb.org.au/home/support-us/donations>, and maybe email <candice.anderson at svha.org.au<mailto:candice.anderson at svha.org.au>> to make sure that your gift goes directly to the 3rd-floor palliative care ward.

Finally, Melanie loved animals. I remember her rolling up her pants and wading across a pond to save some baby ducks from certain doom, sneaking around like a ninja to rescue mistreated dogs, and spending her weekends cleaning litter trays and cuddling kittens at the humane society. I'm sure that the RSPCA <https://donate.rspcaqld.org.au/PublicDonation/Donate?FormId=GenDon> or Animals Australia <https://fundraise.animalsaustralia.org/companion-animals/donate> would appreciate your help.

Jenni Metcalfe
Econnect Communication - 'Bringing Science to Life'
phone: +617 3846 7111; +61 (0) 408 551 866
jenni at econnect.com.au<mailto:jenni at econnect.com.au>
skype: jenni.metcalfe
twitter: @JenniMet
PO Box 3734 South Brisbane Q 4101
14 Horan St West End Q 4101
subscribe to Econnect's free monthly e-newsletter:http://www.econnect.com.au/publications/newsletters/

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