A strong message emerges from the warm tributes that have poured out for human rights lawyer and social justice warrior Sophie Trevitt, who died on 27 July at age 32 from a brain cancer.
“What Sophie managed to pack into those 32 years is a lesson for all of us in how to make every moment count…” Greens Senator Larissa Waters told the Senate in an emotional tribute (watch in full here).
“Her death reminds us all to stop mucking around and take action, get kids out of prisons, get refugees out of detention, stop approving new coal and gas, love boldly, be kind and have fun…she dedicated her life to showing up, standing up, holding firm and fighting for things that matter.”
Trevitt’s death was announced on her Twitter account on 28 July, where her loved ones then tweeted:
Tenacious and concerned for others even in her hardest times, she would want little fuss – except if it could somehow inspire you to make to a difference to the world and the people within it.
Be kind, be brave. Fight for justice. Fight to make people safe.
Today and all tomorrows, ask yourself: what would Sophie do?”
“Sophie set the standard for the rest of us,” the Greens State MP for Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, told the Victorian Parliament, describing her friend’s history of fighting for justice alongside First Nations people, especially for children and young people in detention and prison, for law reform to #raisetheage of imprisonment for children, and for climate action.
Tributes via Twitter
Senator Larissa Waters told Parliament that a theme of so many tributes was that “Sophie made you a better person”. She hoped the collective love for her friend and former colleague would bring comfort for family, friends and partner Tom Swann, “the love of her life”.
At Croakey, we are grateful for Trevitt’s strong contributions to our coverage of justice matters, and join others in acknowledging the power of her writing and advocacy, as exemplified in this article for The Guardian in 2019, ‘The road to hell, where children are left to fall through the cracks‘.
Also listen to her speaking to ABC Radio in June after winning the 2023 Liberty Victoria’s Voltaire Human Rights Award.* This post was updated after publication with additional tweets
See Croakey’s archive of articles on human rights and health