A young vet who moved to Australia from the United States has tragically died after a battle with depression.
Tributes have begun pouring in for Melissa Steiner following her sudden and unexpected death earlier this week.
She has been remembered by friends and colleagues as a ‘bright’ and ‘caring’ woman.
Dr Steiner relocated to Sydney from California a few years ago in a university exchange program and decided to stay permanently.
She worked at Pyrmont Vet and Double Bay Veterinary Clinic and was a well known member of the Jewish community in the eastern suburbs.
Melissa Steiner (pictured), of Pyrmont Vet and Double Bay Veterinary Clinic, tragically died earlier this week
Rabbi Eli Feldman, of Newtown Shul, who knew Dr Steiner through his work as university chaplain, said she volunteered her time with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students and Challah for Hunger.
‘She would organise these big baking sessions where the students would all come together and bake traditional Jewish bread and then sell it on campus to raise money to alleviate hunger around the world,’ Rabbi Feldman told the Daily Telegraph.
‘She was someone who was not just a nice person socially but who actually stepped up to take an active role in positive causes.
‘I think that’s why there’s such an outpouring of tributes for her – because she was so committed to making this world a better place. These are the things that will continue to live on beyond her short lifetime.’
The veterinary clinics confirmed the devastating news over their Facebook pages on Tuesday.
They wrote a loving tribute to Dr Steiner who had been a member of their team for the past 12 months.
‘As a group we are deeply distressed, but our hearts are ultimately with her family and friends in the USA,’ the post read.
‘Her life’s journey crossed continents and touched many people We had hoped she had found a permanent home with us as a professional family and with the Jewish community she was so proud of here in the eastern suburbs.’
‘Melissa was quiet and caring, considered and evolving. Melissa was an asset to our profession and we are poorer for her loss.’
Dr Steiner has been remembered as a ‘bright’ and ‘caring’ woman who volunteered for the Australiasian Union of Jewish Students and Challah for Hunger
Dr Steiner (pictured on her graduation at a Californian University) had relocated to Australia to study a few years ago then decided to stay
Friends and clients of the clinic shared how she had touched their lives.
‘Love to her family, such a loss of a bright star,’ Elise Cooper wrote.
Kichelle Stewart said: ‘Bless Melissa’s soul. So grateful for her kind and caring nature.’
‘Deep sorrow for everyone there who has lost a close team mate, family member and a wonderful doctor to many lives she had taken care of,’ Joanna Chen responded.
‘Such a devastating loss. May Melissa Rest In Peace,’ wrote Jos Budge.
The vet clinics were closed on Monday and Tuesday following news of her death.
For confidential support in Australia LIFELINE: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au . Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467