The gift of giving stirred something meaningful inside Chelsea Ireland. The 19-year-old victim of a horrific double shooting was a charity volunteer.
The gift of giving stirred something meaningful inside Chelsea Ireland. The 19-year-old victim of a horrific double shooting was a charity volunteer.

'Chelsea was always giving – but her life was snatched away'

Chelsea Ireland was thoughtful, polite, and found it easy to always put others before herself - even if it meant cutting off her waist-length hair.

Before she was shot dead in an alleged double murder near Millicent on the weekend, Chelsea had lived a life of sacrifice and service.

Blessed with beautiful brown locks, it was a YouTube video that inspired the then 15-year-old to donate what she could to cancer patients.

The hair - and a $1000 donation collected from the sale of baked goods during lunchtime at St Mary's College - was gifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital's wig recycling and loan service in 2015. A young cancer patient received a wig.

Chelsea and Łukasz at a formal function. Picture: Facebook
Chelsea and Łukasz at a formal function. Picture: Facebook

For Chelsea, the gift of giving stirred something meaningful inside. It led to a volunteer role at Puddle Jumpers Incorporated - a non-profit organisation that cares for the needs of vulnerable children and young people.

But tragically, Chelsea was never given the opportunity to reach her full potential.

The 19-year-old was shot to death alongside long-term boyfriend Lukasz Klosowski, also 19, at a rural property near Millicent on Saturday night.

A 46-year-old man has been charged with two counts of murder.

"We are so saddened of the news of one of our amazing volunteers having her life (and her boyfriend's life) cut short," a Puddle Jumpers statement said.

"Chelsea, a beautiful kind-hearted volunteer, you will be very much missed by all.

"We can't begin to imagine how this must be rocking the entire worlds of their families and close friends. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, sending you so much love."

Chelsea all smiles. Picture: Facebook
Chelsea all smiles. Picture: Facebook

 

Chelsea and Łukasz on holiday overseas. Picture: Facebook
Chelsea and Łukasz on holiday overseas. Picture: Facebook

While the Ireland family battles to comprehend the shock loss of a daughter and sister, friends have paid tribute to a "passionate and friendly" girl.

"I am completely heartbroken among so many others for the loss of Chelsea and (Lukasz)," one friend said on social media.

"It feels impossible to find words to express how much you both made an impact on people's lives. RIP Chelsea Ireland, and Lukasz Klosowski."

Another person said: "She definitely was going to have a bright future. How devastating."

Chelsea's care for others was fostered from a young age. It led her to a tiny, remote Aboriginal school in Oak Valley - about 500km northwest of Ceduna on Maralinga Tjarutja Lands - during a school trip in 2017.

For her, it was an opportunity to better understand the world from the shoes of others.

She graduated in 2018, travelled overseas with Lukasz, and started studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Adelaide University this year. She worked at Baker's Delight on Gouger Street where she was a valued team member.

"I am truly beside myself. She was such a genuine, kind-hearted girl. I'm proud to have graduated by her side," one girl said.

"Precious Chelsea. We had such a special bond, so shocked, brings back a lot of sadness. Will miss our conversations," another friend said.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

Originally published as Chelsea was always giving - but her life was snatched away


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