Melburnians Gather for Vigil Following Murder of Courtney Herron

By AAP
June 1, 2019 Updated: June 1, 2019

Courtney Herron might not have thought people cared about her in life but mourners gave an outpour of love to remember the 25-year-old woman slain at a Melbourne park.

Flowers, messages of support and photographs adorn the makeshift memorial site where her body was found in Royal Park by dog walkers a week ago, on May 25.

Melburnians Gather For Vigil Following Murder Of Courtney Herron
Family members gather at the make shift memorial in Royal Park in Melbourne, Australia, on May 31, 2019. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

A poem by Louise Karch reads: “Night owls shocked by an unexpected angel calls ‘no’, as Courtney rises suddenly. Sacred, we come to blood-soaked ground to cradle grief, yearning to birth better. No accident—this was inevitable.”

It comes as family and strangers gathered at the Parkville site for a vigil late May 31 with her mum Maxie Herron pleading “be happy baby” as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“She is not crying, she is watching down. She is at peace. She is in the arms of her papou saying ‘it’s okay Mum I’ve shed my tears’,” she told the crowd.

Melburnians Gather For Vigil Following Murder Of Courtney Herron
Family members gather at the make shift memorial in Royal Park in Melbourne, Australia on May 31, 2019. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“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’.”

Herron’s death sparked has widespread calls for action.

Melburnians Gather For Vigil Following Murder Of Courtney Herron
Mourners pay their respects at Royal Park in Melbourne, Australia on May 31, 2019. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“The safety of women is something that must concern us all,” federal Minister for Women Marise Payne said, noting Herron’s death.

Vigil co-organiser Jessamy Gleeson begged for political action to stop more deaths.

“It’s already May and we have done over 20 (vigils for women killed) so it is very real. Women feel unsafe,” she said.

“There is a big crisis happening,” she said. “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.”

Homeless man Henry Richard Hammond, 27, has been charged with Herron’s murder. He has faced court and remains in custody.

More than $13,000 has been raised in an online appeal to pay for Herron’s funeral.

Melburnians Gather For Vigil Following Murder Of Courtney Herron
A makeshift shrine is seen at Royal Park in Melbourne, Australia, on May 31, 2019. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

By Christine McGinn

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