A beloved nanny who died this week after going into cardiac arrest is being mourned by her devastated family back in Fiji.
Known simply as Nulla, the Fijian woman was a much loved identity in Cremorne on Sydney’s lower north shore for keeping the community tidy, thanks to her daily clean-ups as well as collecting cans and bottles to recycle and exchange for coins.
Believed to be aged in her 50s, Nulla was alone on the street with a trolley of rubbish as the temperature dipped to 8C on Monday night when she suffered a cardiac arrest.
Emergency services and locals spent almost an hour desperately trying to revive Nulla before she was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital at St Leonards in a critical condition, where she later died.
Cremorne local Louisa McCole said Nulla will be sorely missed.
Fijian woman Nulla (pictured left) is being mourned by many after her tragic death this week in Sydney
Nulla’s tragic death has rocked the Cremorne community. Pictured are floral tributes at the site where she spent her last moments
‘Nulla was close to my family and was both daughters’ nanny for seven years (five years ago now) we kept in regular contact with her and spoke to her weekly,’ she posted on a local Facebook Page.
‘I have now spoken to her Fijian church friends where she went almost daily and they will be putting on a big service for her and have notified her family back in Fiji.
‘She lived in Stanmore and collected all sorts of things on her daily travels.
‘She loved the suburb (Cremorne) and enjoyed her collecting of bottles and cans as she had made many friends along the way and enjoyed the exercise.
‘I have since spoken to family members who have said heart problems ran in the family with both her brother and sister passing away from sudden heart attacks a few years ago.’
A heartbreaking photo of Nulla’s abandoned trolley packed with bags of bottles and cans from Monday night sparked an outpouring of grief online.
Nulla was collecting bottles and cans in Cremorne on Monday night when she went into cardiac arrest and died. Pictured is her abandoned trolley
Nulla’s tragic death has been a timely reminder for shattered locals to look out for the vulnerable during winter and the current coronavirus lockdown.
‘Very sad to see what remained left of the Fijian woman who collected cans and bottles as paramedics worked tirelessly for almost an hour,’ the resident captioned the photo.
‘It made me question the kind of community we live in where people turn a blind eye (myself included) at elders like herself doing whatever they can to survive.
‘I should have stopped, slipped her spare change from time to time and at least knew her name. I was always indifferent, but the shock of seeing her, made me realise how caught up we all get in our own lives.
‘I need to do better,… and be a better human being.’
Floral tributes have been laid at the site where Nulla spent her last moments.
The gut-wrenching post prompted residents to share more details about Nulla and their memories of the much-loved local identity.
Nulla lived in inner-city Stanmore, where she was involved in the local Fijian Seventh day Adventist Church and travelled to Cremorne every day to clean houses.
She also previously worked seven years as a nanny for a local family.
Another resident, Nadine, remembered Nulla as a grateful and kind soul.
She and her young son struck up a friendship with Nulla after they moved to the area a year ago and would take the bottles and cans to the nearest Return and Earn collection point to save Nulla the 3km walk.
‘We started taking the bottles and giving her the vouchers to save her the trip,’ Nadine wrote.
‘My son loved helping her and she always hugged him. She said she missed her family and was trying to save money for a ticket back to Fiji.’
‘She came here to look after a little girl and I’m not sure if she was alone here or the whole story of why she collects bottles. I tried to give her as much dignity as possible.’
Nulla’s tragic death has sparked an outpouring of grief in the affluent community
Other residents recalled seeing how unwell Nulla appeared on Monday night as she insisted she was fine shortly before she suffered a cardiac arrest.
North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson described Nulla’s death as very sad for everyone in the local community.
‘It’s always sad when any local passes away but when it happens in a public place, it’s very confronting,’ Ms Gibson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s a stark reminder to everyone that even though we are an affluent community, there are people who are struggling and the need to be kind to each other.’
She understands Nulla had been struggling with a number of issues including her health, and paid tribute to those who rushed to her aid on Monday night.
‘Everyone knew her, she was a very well-known character who was very keen on recycling and keeping the area clean,’ Ms Gibson said.
‘Members of the community were very kind to her and did their best to save her.’
Nulla’s death is the second within a week to rock Sydney’s lower north shore.
A community vigil was held in North Sydney last Friday night for local homeless man Peter, 48, who had sleeping rough on the streets for five years.
‘We need to be on the lookout for the vulnerable during winter and Covid and ensure their lives are as comfortable as possible,’ Ms Gibson said.
‘If you see someone, stop and check if they have something to eat and have warm clothing.’
North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson said Nulla’s death has been a stark reminder to everyone to be kind to one other and be on lookout for the vulnerable