BELOVED DAUGHTER: Sjaan Van Ansem, 21, is being remembered as a trailblazer for women, and a determined young leader among her peers, after her tragic passing last week.
BELOVED DAUGHTER: Sjaan Van Ansem, 21, is being remembered as a trailblazer for women, and a determined young leader among her peers, after her tragic passing last week. Contributed

Tributes for young St Ursula's graduate after spa tragedy

SJAAN Van Ansem left an indelible mark on the lives of those she loved in her short 21 years.

The St Ursula's graduate, team captain, car enthusiast and mechanical trainee is being remembered as a trailblazer for young women and an inspiration to her family.

Her heartbroken mother and friends have shared moving tributes to the young woman who had dreamed, and was working towards, taking over the family business.

"She was a determined young woman who, when she set her mind to something, just worked hard at it," her mother Sandy Van Ansem told The Chronicle.

"She was always caring for others - that's just how she was."

Through a tear-filled chuckle, Mrs Van Ansem said Sjaan was named her school's cricket team co-captain in her year, "not because of her skills but because she was such a great team player".

"That's just who she was," Mrs Van Ansem said, adding she was a beloved daughter and sister.

Sjaan Van Ansem.
Sjaan Van Ansem. Meg Bolton

Sjaan passed away on Friday after she was pulled from a spa at a Forest Hill property last Wednesday.

The Van Ansem family, which owns the family mechanics in Forest Hill, is well known in the region and have been overwhelmed with the flow of tributes for their daughter after the tragedy.

Mrs Van Ansem said reading the "wonderful and kind words" shared by her daughters friends, employer and former teachers was testament to Sjaan's character.

"We have so many beautiful people around us," she said.

Sjaan was awarded the Mayoral School Achievement and Outstanding Service to the College Community through Services awards from St Ursula's in 2014.

But academia was never her dream.

The Llewellyn Motors trainee forged her own path in the male-dominated industry with the view of one day taking over the family business, Van Ansem Auto Electrical and Mechanical.

Funeral details will be published in a later edition of The Chronicle.



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