Police have told Mel Fitzpatrick that they believe Mandy Rollins took her own life at The Gap on Saturday, September 4.
One of the most popular DJs on the Australian dance scene, Rollins went missing that night, becoming uncontactable by phone some time after 7.30pm. The following day her cap, wallet, phone and watch were recovered by police at The Gap.
Police have made several searches of the area but have been unable to locate a body.
Fitzpatrick, better known to many as DJ Feisty, said she and Rollins had been best friends for 12 years, with seven of those spent together in a loving relationship that only ended two months ago when Rollins decided to go her own way.
Fitzpatrick called their time together, “the happiest years of my life”.
“We did not have relationship problems [but] Mandy had her own personal battles and despite my best efforts she chose to leave our relationship to follow her own path.”
Fitzpatrick remembered Rollins as a complex person who put people at ease, but had intermittently struggled with depression.
“Mandy had a way of engaging people and making everyone feel special,” she said.
“She was gentle, loving, generous, dignified and very proud of her achievements — but also very shy.
“She loved being part of Australia’s gay community and I know her passion for music was something we all felt and enjoyed over many years and so many parties.”
Fitzpatrick said Rollins had been particularly proud of her move into party promotion and Extra Dirty parties.
She said for this reason she was proceeding with the October 3 Extra Dirty as a tribute to Rollins, with proceeds going to an education campaign aimed at teaching people how to look after each other in regards to depression.
Sydney Star Observer’s web page and Rollins’ Facebook page have been overflowing with tributes. Fellow Sydney DJs have praised her music skill and personality.
“Mandy was a master of her craft, the top of her game,” DJ Murray Hood said. “She’s inspired so many of us, and has light up dance floors for so many years.”
Friend and associate DJ Sveta said her 14-year rivalry, and subsequent friendship, with Rollins pushed them to be better DJs.
“I have the greatest respect for everything she brought to our diverse community … the music, parties and the joy of dancing… and I will miss Mandy greatly,” she said.
Exchange Hotel licensee Darren Hickey also praised Rollins.
“Mandy was a much-loved institution at Phoenix and was part of our family,” he said. “Her spirit and music gave listeners many happy memories over many years”.
New Mardi Gras co-chair Steph Sands described Rollins as “an institution”.
“There ‘s no doubt Mandy will be missed by our community, and we are all grieving the loss of someone so special to us.”
Sydney Leather Pride president Rod Spark said Rollins had a unique place in the community.
“We are a poorer community for having lost her, but her spirit will shine on forever,” he said.
Fitzpatrick thanked those who gathered at the Clarence Hotel on Saturday to remember Rollins and said a private memorial service would be held for Rollins’ close friends and family in days to come.
“She was my very best friend and we had no doubts we’d be mates for life,” Fitzpatrick said.
“I have lost the other half of my soul, but I know I will always have Mandy in my heart and especially in the music.”
— Additional reporting by Scott Abrahams
info: There will be a tribute to Mandy Rollins at Hellfire this Friday, September 17, from 9.30pm. Money raised will be donated to a suicide prevention group. The scheduled Oct 3 Extra Dirty party will go ahead as a tribute to Rollins.
Photo Gallery: Rollins remembered