Central Victorians join city march to honour Jill

CENTRAL Victorians were among the thousands of people who walked down Melbourne’s Sydney Road in honour of Jill Meagher yesterday.

Traffic was closed to the busy Brunswick street as people attended the peace walk, paying respects to the murdered Irish national whose body was found in Gisborne South last week.

Mourners laid flowers outside the Duchess Boutique, where Ms Meagher’s last movements were captured on CCTV.

Golden Square’s Sarah Lawrence was one central Victorian to attend the walk. The 24-year-old said the vibe was “peaceful and lovely”. 

“There’s a lot of violence in the world, so the peace concept was such a marvellous concept,” she said.

“I think it achieved closure for a lot of people who have been disturbed or rattled by this. There was a sense of strength today and it was a sign that the community supports each other.”

Ms Lawrence said Ms Meagher’s murder had struck a chord with not just the Brunswick community, but with people across Australia.

It had made women question their safety on the streets, Ms Lawrence said.

“It was such a big story and people developed such a strong emotional connection to it. It was such a random attack and women’s safety is such a tricky issue. 

“As women we want to be independent but the fear is that this type of thing is still happening.”

Ms Lawrence said the association with Gisborne was particularly shocking for central Victorians.

“Many people drive up and down the Calder every day, especially from Bendigo, and to think the murderer had driven up that exact same road after killing her is chilling.”

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