Tributes are being paid to a former Lithgow woman and Aboriginal educator who died in the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine.
Emma Bell, who went to Lithgow High School and studied at Griffith University, has been confirmed as one of the passengers killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
She had been working out of Maningrida in the Northern Territory teaching Indigenous students for about 18 months.
A post about her death on the local community’s Facebook page says simply “a sad, sad day”.
A friend of Emma Bell’s Bernard Price has told the ABC she was a popular teacher and will be missed by her students.
“She sort of had an infectious nature that rubbed off on everyone,” he said.
“From an education point of view, I’d sort of describe her as one of the very few that actually gets it when it comes to Indigenous education.”
Mr Price says Ms Bell had an “infectious nature” that rubbed off on everyone.
He says she was a popular teacher who will be greatly missed.
“It’s not something you’d expect to happen in the small community of Maningrida,” he said.
“There’s obviously quite a few still on holidays rolling in in the next day or two, so no doubt we’ll pay her respects.”