Police have this afternoon confirmed Melbourne woman Krystal Browitt was one of the victims of the White Island volcano eruption.
Vet nursing student Krystal Browitt turned 21 on November 29, less than a week before her family boarded the Ovation of the Seas cruise - aboard which she was celebrating her birthday.
Friends of Krystal's have been posting tributes on Facebook with one saying: "You were so compassionate and so much affection to give all the animals I saw you come across. I will miss seeing you in class but I hope you and [your sister] are catching up and are happily together again."
Another wrote a poem: "We've talked of grief and sadness. For when a pet should die, And how to comfort strangers. When they say their final goodbye."
The Herald Sun confirmed Krystal's father, Paul Browitt, was transferred to the Alfred Hospital earlier this week in a stable but serious condition.
His daughter Stephanie was also hurt.
Mr Browitt has worked for the Victorian Government for 30 years.
Ms Browitt's mother, Marie, escaped the tragedy unharmed, having opted not to tour White Island and instead remained on the cruise liner.
Fellow vet nursing student Natalie Cirillo told the Herald Sun Krystal's classmates were "absolutely heartbroken".
"She is an amazing friend," Ms Cirillo said. "She is extremely passionate about her studies, loving all animals."
Friend Angelo Frattasio said Krystal "always had a smile on her face".
"She's an amazing person," he said.
Frattasio said the Browitts were a "very close family that did everything together".
"She (Krystal) was very excited to go on the cruise and excited to relax," he said.
Mr Browitt's colleagues at the State Revenue Office have been receiving support in the wake of the volcano disaster and Commissioner Paul Broderick said "it has been an incredibly sad week".
"It's unfortunate that one of our staff members, Paul Browitt, and his family were affected by the volcanic eruption in New Zealand," he said.
"We have passed on our thoughts and prayers to Paul's wife, friends and family. We are all thinking of them during this tragedy.
"Counselling has been arranged for staff and their family members to help them through this tragedy. Further updates will be provided to staff as new information becomes available."
Treasurer Tim Pallas said it was a tragedy "and we will ensure the best care and support for all those affected.".
The Browitt's neighbour, Supreetha Konda, said that they were "beautiful" people.
"I can't imagine what Marie is going through all alone," she told Channel 7.
Another friend told the Herald Sun they had been "crying for days".
"Everyone is devastated, lost and confused about how and why this could happen," the family friend said.
"They are humble, deserving, kind. Everyone who is friends with them adores them."
Of Krystal, the friend said: "You hold out hope because that is all you have".
Both Krystal and Stephanie Browitt graduated from Kolbe Catholic College in Greenvale.
Principal Nick Scully said, like all Australians, he was "deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries caused by the White Island volcano eruption".
"A 2016 graduate, Krystal is a much-loved member of the Kolbe community that her teachers describe as a beautiful soul.'
"Stephanie Browitt, Krystal's sister and a 2014 graduate, has also been affected by the eruption and we pray for the recovery of her health.'
"All of the families affected by this tragedy are in our thoughts and prayers and we offer our deepest condolences to everyone mourning the loss of those who have died."
Back in 2011 Marie Browitt posted on Facebook to mark her "precious sweet darling" daughter's 13th birthday, saying Krystal had "a tremendous future" ahead.
Ms Browitt's boyfriend, Daniel Czimmermann, has rushed to New Zealand to join the family in the wake of the tragedy.
Other friends devastated by the news have rallied to support the Browitt family and launched an online fundraiser.
One wrote: "Thinking of our workmate Paul and his family. Wishing strength and love in this difficult time".
A friend said she was "lost for words", while another said the family was in her thoughts and prayers.
Ms Browitt's colleagues at Craigieburn's Woolworths store were also "shaken", and were on Thursday offered counselling.
"Our thoughts are with our team member and her loved ones at this difficult time," a Woolworths spokeswoman said.
"We've made contact with her family and offered to assist in any way we can.
"We're also offering our support to her colleagues in Craigieburn, who are understandably shaken by the news."
Australian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Thursday said the federal government activated a repatriation plan to bring a number of Australians back home for specialist medical care.
"Our focus is on ensuring the best clinical care for those injured, and support for their immediate family during this difficult time," she said.
- with the Herald Sun