In Loving Memory Of

Heidi Christina Hellingman

25th December, 1969 - 15th May, 1999

I would like to share my memories of a beautiful young Lady, Heidi Hellingman, who I had the utmost respect for & loved like a daughter.

Heidi touched so many peoples lives.

For many years I have been a Foster Mother for damaged, abused & "in need" children ...
Heidi burst into my life like a ray of sunshine, on one of my many trips to the Currumbin Sanctuary with 'my children', introducing me to another side of 'Fostering' ~
"Mothering" injured and endangered wildlife for the Currumbin Sanctuary.
With Heidi's delightfully persuasive ways - one could never say no to taking on an extra baby! *smile*
I remember the time she phoned saying she had a nest of baby birds,
I went to the Sanctuary to pick them up...
YES...23 babies no larger than the nail on my small finger!!
Oh Me!!
With Heidi's encouragement & help we always believed we could achieve miracles & save another small life...often accomplishing the impossible against all odds.

For one so young, Heidi had such a wealth of knowledge & her love of animals always shone through.

During the decade I knew her, Heidi always went beyond all believable boundaries in caring for the animals in her care...

Our beautiful, fun-loving friend, a devoted animal lover, died in a car accident in Melbourne, Australia - 15th May 1999.

Heidi's love of animals took her all over the world.
She worked at zoos in Frankfurt, Cologne, London, Edinburgh and Rotterdam.

Heidi devoted 10 years to the Currumbin Sanctuary, but her commitment to animals started long before she entered the workforce.
Heidi would have to be the most photgraphed person I have ever known....appearing on telephone directories, brochures, television programs and newspapers...always with a "special" of her charges...
anything from a snake to an exotic bird,
a bat or a dingo
or her very special 'babies' the kangaroos & wallabies.

"Now ride into the sunset with your soul forever free, And I'll meet you on the other side,
under the big gum tree."

God hath not promised - Skies always blue
Flower-strewn pathways - All our lives through
God hath not promised - Sun without rain
Joy without sorrow - Peace without pain.

But God hath promised - Strength for the day
Rest for the labour - Light for the way
Grace for the trials - Help from above
Unfailing sympathy

We thought of you with love today, But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday, And days before that too.
We think of you in silence, We often speak your name...
All we have now are memories, And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake, With which we will never part, God has you in his keep, We have you in our heart.
It broke our heart to lose you. But you didn't go alone,
For a part of us went with you...
The day God took you home.
-Author Unknown-

A memorial service for Heidi was held at the
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Gold Coast Australia,
Friday 26th May '99.

Five hundred plus people attended this very sad,
yet very beautiful service.
A tree planted in Heidi's memory, at her special picnic spot
at the Sanctuary, where she often met her family & friends for lunch.
Alongside the creek running quietly through the property
we all said our goodbyes to our friend,

Heidi You are not gone from our lives....
You are only in the room next door.
We love you my dear beautiful friend.
God has taken you to care for his animals in heaven.

Heidi - You will always remain in our hearts & in our memories.

ASZK (The Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping) Meetings & Conferences

"The A.S.Z.K held its first national conference at
Melbourne Zoo in 1978, and has held an annual conference
every year since then.
A number of professional awards are presented by A.S.Z.K
at the annual conference, including
the "Heidi Hellingman memorial award"
for outstanding achievement in Zoo Keeping by an individual."

Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping
A.S.Z.K. is a non-profit organisation
made up of professional zoo keepers and
other interested persons from the Australasian region,
dedicated to professional animal care and wildlife conservation.

Any of Heidi's friends wishing to add a link or their own tribute through this site
Please email

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June 2003
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