Tsunami AFL widow gets Australian honour


Trisha Broadbridge has been admitted to a psychiatric clinic three times since her husband died in the 2004 east Asian tsunami.

She revealed her experiences as she took to the stage to be named the 2006 Young Australian of the Year.

Her husband, Troy, was killed when the tsunami hit while they were honeymooning on Phi Phi Island in Thailand on December 26, 2004.
The catastrophic event claimed at least 250,000 lives across the Indian Ocean.
After being presented with the Young Australian of the Year award in a ceremony on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, Ms Broadbridge said she had contemplated taking her own life on a number of occasions.
"There's been many moments where I didn't want to live," she told reporters after the ceremony.

"Sometimes it's hard for me to know why I'm still here and what's the point to life if I have to live with pain all the time."
But she said wanted to turn her pain into something positive and let people know there were many ways to deal with grief.
"I don't want people to think that if you lose someone, you have to go and build a school, or you have to start up a foundation because that's what I chose to do and it worked for me, but it's not for everyone."

The 24-year-old works with young people through The Reach Foundation to improve their self-esteem and founded the Reach Broadbridge Fund in honour of her husband.
Along with the Melbourne Football Club, she also established the Broadbridge Education Centre on Phi Phi Island.
But she said the award was bitter sweet.
"It's a bit bitter sweet for me in many ways because this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't lost Troy."

Ms Broadbridge takes over from the 2005 Young Australian of the year, Khoa Do, who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam and was honoured last year for film making.

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