Vigil Held For Yet Another Woman Murdered In Melbourne
Family, friends and members of the public have turned out in their hundreds at a Melbourne Park to mourn murdered woman Courtney Herron.
Herron's family and friends have paid emotional tributes to the 25-year-old at the spot where her body was found, brutally bashed to death at Royal Park in the inner-north suburb of Parkville.
Herron's devastated mother, Maxi, looked to the sky pleading "be happy baby" and said her daughter was holding back the rain, after what had been a grey and wet Friday across the city.
"She is not crying, she is watching down. She is at peace. She is in the arms of her pappou saying 'it's okay Mum I've shed my tears'," she told the crowd through tears.
Maxi thanked those gathered for their outpouring of love.
"This outpouring of love is unexpected. My baby in life thought people didn't care, and that people were staring at her. But she is in heaven watching down, saying 'I am loved'."
As she stopped speaking, rain poured down.
Hundreds of members of the public also turned out and stood in solidarity, laying flowers, messages and holding candles, despite the wind and rain.
Herron's body was discovered last Saturday morning sparking an outpouring of grief and renewed calls to improve the public safety of women.
Friday night's memorial was tragically similar to a string of other vigils held across Melbourne in the last 12 months.
Herron is the fourth woman to be killed in a public place in Melbourne in just the last year.
Eurydice Dixon, 22, was raped and murdered at nearby Princes Park last June.
Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe was found in shrubbery outside a shopping centre in Bundoora in January.
And Natalina Angok, was found in Chinatown in April.
Vigil co-organiser Jessamy Gleeson said many women felt unsafe and called for political action to stop the deaths.
"It's not that Melbourne has a problem, it's that Australia has a problem and a lot of places have a problem," she told reporters.
"The message I want politicians to hear is that we are tired of doing these vigils and there needs to be a big structural change in how we address violence against women.
"(Courtney) was a young women who was just going about her business in Melbourne and there was absolutely no reason for her life be taken."
Newly appointed federal Minister for Women Marise Payne said: "the safety of women is something that must concern us all."
A homeless man Henry Richard Hammond, 27, has been charged with Herron's murder.
He has faced court and remains in custody.