The Bourke St rampage of Jan 2017 had its first anniversary this year. With the pain and loss still raw for the families of the victims, this was a time for remembrance and healing.’
Bourke St is Melbourne’s only retail ‘main street’ Mall. The Mall, located between Elizabeth and Swanston St is banned to vehicular traffic from 6am until midnight. It can however be easily breached as the Trams have access at all times.
AML have a good knowledge of the precinct through an associate who managed portable displays in the Mall for over 10 years. The Mall can easily be locked down with sensor operated bollards or boom gates for Trams and strategically deployed florals. For major events mobile crash barriers can be situated effectively to ensure minimal risk.
We pay our respects to the victims and their families and pray that such an event doesn’t occur again. Here is the report from the ABC on the memorial ceremony and those participating.
Bourke Street car attack anniversary marked at memorial service in Melbourne
Family members of victims of the Bourke Street car attack have spoken of how they miss their loved ones and thanked the public for their care and support at a memorial service in Melbourne.
Six people were killed and many more injured when a car drove through the busy Bourke Street mall and along the footpath for several blocks on January 20, 2017.
Three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Thalia Hakin, 10, Matthew Si, 33, Yosuke Kanno, 25 and Jess Mudie, 22, were all killed after being hit along Bourke St.
Emily and Kurt Mudie delivered a tribute to their sister Jess, who was Emily’s twin.
“She was the most amazing person that I know, she would never ever fail to put a smile on my face, and I loved doing anything with her,” Ms Mudie said.
Ms Mudie said her sister would never leave her and continued to motivate her, as she had in life.
Mr Mudie said he had always tried to be there for his sister, but she had always been there for him.
The siblings sent love to their families and friends, to those who had been on Bourke Street on that day, and others who had lost loved ones.
“We know that this is a super-crap time, but I’m told time is a great healer and we will always be there for you if you ever need it,” Ms Mudie said.
The wife of Matthew Si, Melinda Tan, said she had been supported by many through the heartbreak of losing her husband.
“The pain of losing Matt will never disappear,” she said.
“His time with us was cut short, he was only 33 years old and he was always rushing home to our daughter Aria.
“That day he dropped her off at childcare and never came back. I’ve had to adjust to a new life that will always be missing a loving husband and father.”
Ms Tan said she was comforted that emergency crews did their best to save her husband and that he did not suffer alone.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sophie Rowell performed a violin solo for Mr Si, who was himself an accomplished violinist.
Matthew Bryant, the father of three-month-old Zachary Bryant, fought back tears as he spoke about his son.
“Our connection with Zachy started long before he was born — we named him a couple of months into the pregnancy and couldn’t have been more excited to welcome that little man into our family.
“From the first time I held him, it was pure love.”
Mr Bryant said he would always be grateful and blessed to be Zachary’s father.
The couple had a third child, Zayne, last month, joining their older daughter Zara, who was with Zachary when he died.
“While he unfortunately will never have the chance to meet his older brother, we endeavour to always keep the memory of Zachy strong and alive,” Mr Bryant said.
Victorian Governor Linda Dessau honoured those who had been injured, the first responders and families who had lost loved ones.
“To show that we have not forgotten your loss, and to offer you whatever support and comfort that we can.”
She also paid tribute to civilians who helped on the day.
“Those who responded when they found themselves in the midst of something for which they could not possibly have been prepared … who did all they could do to humanly help and provided us with a much appreciated beacon of hope by their goodness.”
The accused driver, James Gargasoulas, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.
‘Tragedy will not define us’
Premier Daniel Andrews said Victorians had responded to “one act of evil with countless acts of empathy, compassion and, most importantly, love”.
“No words will ever be enough, nothing can ever undo the damage, but I hope that there is some small measure of comfort in knowing that you are not alone,” he said.
On Saturday, which was exactly one year since the incident, a private ceremony involving family and friends of those who died, as well as those who were injured, was held at the Parliament Gardens Reserve.
Two plaques were also unveiled — one in the pavement and one on a park chair.
“In memory of those whose lives were lost in Bourke Street on 20 January 2017 and in recognition of others who were injured or affected by this tragedy,” they read.
While some left flowers and notes at the reserve and also at different places along Bourke St, there was no official service on Saturday.