January 26, 2021

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Anger, sadness at Hannah Clarke vigil

3 min read
<p>Stories of deep sadness and anger emerged at last night's Brisbane vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children who were murdered by her estranged husband.</p>

Stories of deep sadness and anger emerged at last night's Brisbane vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children who were murdered by her estranged husband.

The vigil was held at the Bill Hewitt Reserve, a park in south Brisbane, for Hannah and her children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey.

Around 1000 people gathered just blocks away from where they were murdered on Wednesday morning at the hands of the children's father, Rowan Baxter.

Speaking to Today, two of the vigil organisers said the gathering allowed people to come together, grieve and show their love and support for Hannah and her family.

Collin Sivalingum, from the Red Cross, said his team had read all the messages attached to the countless bouquets of flowers and soft toys that strangers have placed at the site.

"What we picked up ... is a story of emotion, a story of anger and lots of stories of support for people experiencing domestic violence," Mr Sivalingum said.

"These are messages of hope and recovery," he said.

Hannah's family requested the soft toys be given to charities when the shrine is taken away, Mr Sivalingum said.

Local Councillor Fiona Cunningham, who also helped arrange the vigil, said she had met Hannah's parents and paid tribute to the family.

"Her parents are amazing people. They have been incredibly strong through this," Ms Cunningham said.

As part of the vigil, Brisbane's Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and City Hall were lit up pink to honour the late family.

A mass of flowers and children's toys were laid at the front of the vigil, while hundreds of condolence messages were written by a community still in shock.

Dressed in pink, Hannah's father Lloyd and brother Nat, thanked the crowd for their support.

"We would have felt lost without all your support," Lloyd Clarke said.

"I don't know how we can repay such kindness."

Many who addressed the crowd spoke of Hannah's courage and love.

On Saturday, Hannah's family posted a thank you message for public support as donations for the family soared past $206,000.

"It is the most beautiful thing to see so many people offering donations and such kind messages - It has given the family hope for change and touched their hearts to know so many care," Hannah's sister-in-law Stacey Roberts said.

Earlier, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Hannah was able to give a detailed account of the attack while fighting for her life.

While many tried to remember the best of Ms Clarke and her children, many could not hide their grief over one of the state's worst acts of domestic violence.

Nikki Brookes was a friend of Ms Clarke, held back tears as she addressed the crowd.

She called for the community to not turn a blind eye to domestic violence.

"We are a nation in pain," she said.

"Don't back away from your friends for the sake of convenience.

"Time's up on domestic violence."

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

*Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

*MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

*Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au

National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).

Reported with AAP.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/hannah-clarke-vigil-to-be-held-in-brisbane-for-mother-and-children/ba4343cc-7908-4e2c-8413-50758c8979b3

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