Bill's Speeches

VIGIL FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - CANBERRA - MONDAY, 18 JUNE 2018

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners on the land upon which we meet and I pay my respects to their elders both past and present. I'd like to acknowledge the presence of the Prime Minister and so many members of Parliament.
 

All around Australia, but in particular in my home town of Melbourne, there are people gathered in a vigil to remember a shocking waste of life, a shocking act. As a Melbournian, Princes Park is very well known. Even my own boy has played soccer on the very oval where some of these scenes have taken place. I have a teenage daughter who is attending the vigil in Melbourne tonight as we speak.
 
When I heard the news, I thought oh no, not again, how on earth can it be that women are getting killed. It is a shocking crime that we've seen.
 
In the days which have followed and the coverage we've seen unveiled to us, a picture of quite a remarkable young woman. It is tragic that many of us only get to know her upon her passing. But to see that she was an accomplished comedian full of life, as so many young Australian women are right now, to find out that you can't even walk home safely on this occasion is shocking.
 
The conversations which all of us as parents have had to have with our sons and daughters explaining how this could be shows you that we have failed. She had every right to walk home. Every right to have freedom of movement. There are some debates that somehow you've got to not do these things.
 
I don't want to pass judgement here.
 
This woman did nothing to deserve what has happened to her.
 
So tonight, in Parliament where we have a position of leadership, we join alongside thousands of our fellow Australians. 
 
We must disable the violence. We must disable the enablers of violence. We must try and make some sense of this to our sons and daughters.
 
We are too late to prevent what's happened to Eurydice but we do have the opportunity to make sure it doesn't happen again.
 
So I pass on my condolences to her family, to the people who loved her and who are loved by her. This is so terribly unfair, so terribly senseless, so terribly beyond explanation. 
 
This vigil to me is just the commitment we make to every other Australian woman that you ought to be safe and nothing less than that is acceptable.


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